Special Issue "Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Erosion and Sediment Transport".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Yukiyoshi Iwata
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Rural Engineering, National Agricultural and Food Research Organization, 2-1-6 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8609, Japan
Interests: soil physics; hydrology; micro-meteorology; irrigation; thermal regime in soil

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil water retention is one of the most important factors to evaluate the available water for crops. Because the ability of water-holding capacity at given matric potential (i.e., water characteristic curve) reflects the soil pore structure, we can estimate hydraulic conductivity at given matric potential or water content with the water characteristic curve. Soil water retention is therefore an important parameter not only for plant growth but also for the description of soil water movement in the vadose zone, which largely influences hydrology in a basin.

This Special Issue invites both fundamental and applied research works related to water retention and water movement in soils. Laboratory or field experiments to reveal the interactions among pore structure, water retention, water movement, and water absorption by plant root are suitable topics for this issue. These physical parameters are also important to clarify the potential of agricultural productivity using other porous media, such as horticultural substance (e.g., coconuts husks and peat moss) for intensive cultivation in plant factories. Thus, we also welcome original research works related to water retention and movement in various types of porous media.

Dr. Yukiyoshi Iwata
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • soil water characteristic curve
  • hydraulic conductivity
  • matric potential
  • water content
  • field capacity
  • wilting point
  • averrable water
  • irrigation
  • water use efficiency
  • porous media

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Vegetation Alters Soil Water Drainage and Retention of Replicate Rain Gardens
Water 2020, 12(11), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113151 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Rain gardens are residential bioretention practices widely used to manage urban runoff, yet their design as plant-soil systems lacks understanding. We hypothesized that vegetative treatment (turfgrass, prairie, and shrubs, plus a non-vegetated control) would alter the volume and rate of drainage from 12 [...] Read more.
Rain gardens are residential bioretention practices widely used to manage urban runoff, yet their design as plant-soil systems lacks understanding. We hypothesized that vegetative treatment (turfgrass, prairie, and shrubs, plus a non-vegetated control) would alter the volume and rate of drainage from 12 replicate mesocosms (i.e., rain gardens) through changes to the belowground system. Roof runoff was collected on-site and distributed equally among the mesocosms following natural rain events for two growing seasons. We monitored stormwater input, drainage output, and soil moisture to assess differences in hydrology by treatment, explained by indices of soil structural development (infiltration, saturated hydraulic conductivity, soil water retention). Drainage volume and response dynamics differed as predicted by vegetative treatment in support of our hypothesis. The greatest reductions in drainage volume were observed beneath shrubs and prairie following smaller stormwater inputs, and accelerated drainage responses were observed beneath turfgrass following larger stormwater inputs. Differences in infiltration, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and plant-induced changes in antecedent soil moisture among vegetative treatments help explain these plant-mediated drainage responses. This study shows that plants can alter the hydrologic dynamics of rain gardens and thus are a critical component of the design and intent of these plant-soil systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance)
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Article
Evaluating Maize Drought and Wet Stress in a Converted Japanese Paddy Field Using a SWAP Model
Water 2020, 12(5), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051363 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Japanese government recommend farmers to cultivate upland crops in paddy fields (“converted fields”) to suppress the overproduction of rice. Converted fields are subject to excessively wet and dry conditions that reduce the yield of non-rice crops. Drought and wet stresses are critical to [...] Read more.
Japanese government recommend farmers to cultivate upland crops in paddy fields (“converted fields”) to suppress the overproduction of rice. Converted fields are subject to excessively wet and dry conditions that reduce the yield of non-rice crops. Drought and wet stresses are critical to crop growth within specific growth periods. To provide data for use in mitigating crop yield reduction, we evaluated drought and wet stresses in maize (Zea mays L.). A SWAP (soil–water–atmosphere–plant) model was applied to a converted maize field. Observations were carried out in 2019 and 2018 for model calibration and validation. Thereafter, we evaluated the water stress of maize in 2019 (actual conditions) and at a tillage depth 11 cm deeper (scenario conditions). We found that (1) drought and wet stresses occurred within the relevant critical growth periods under actual conditions; (2) in the critical periods, the drought and wet stresses under scenario conditions were 33%–75% and 10%–82%, respectively, of those under actual conditions; (3) water stress at depths of 10 and 20 cm was lower under the scenario conditions than under the actual conditions. These results indicate that deeper tillage may mitigate both drought and wet stresses and can be used to reduce water stress damage in converted fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance)
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Article
Studying Unimodal, Bimodal, PDI and Bimodal-PDI Variants of Multiple Soil Water Retention Models: I. Direct Model Fit Using the Extended Evaporation and Dewpoint Methods
Water 2020, 12(3), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030900 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
This study focuses on the reliable parametrization of the full Soil Water Retention Curve (SWRC) from saturation to oven-dryness using high resolution but limited range measured water retention data by the Hydraulic Property Analyzer (HYPROP) system. We studied the performance of five unimodal [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the reliable parametrization of the full Soil Water Retention Curve (SWRC) from saturation to oven-dryness using high resolution but limited range measured water retention data by the Hydraulic Property Analyzer (HYPROP) system. We studied the performance of five unimodal water retention models including the Brooks and Corey model (BC model), the Fredlund and Xing model (FX model), the Kosugi model (K model), the van Genuchten constrained model with four free parameters (VG model), and the van Genuchten unconstrained model with five free parameters (VGm model). In addition, eleven alternative expressions including Peters–Durner–Iden (PDI), bimodal, and bimodal-PDI variants of the original models were evaluated. We used a data set consisting of 94 soil samples from Turkey and the United States with high-resolution measured data (a total of 9264 measured water retention data pairs) mainly via the HYPROP system and supplemented for some samples with measured dry-end data using the WP4C instrument. Among unimodal expressions, the FX and the K models with the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) values equal to 0.005 cm3 cm−3 and 0.015 cm3 cm−3 have the highest and the lowest accuracy, respectively. Overall, the alternative variants provided a better fit than the unimodal expressions. The unimodal models, except for the FX model, fail to provide reliable dry-end estimations using HYPROP data (average MAE: 0.041 cm3 cm−3, average r: 0.52). Our results suggested that only models that account for the zero water content at the oven dryness and properly shift from the middle range to dry-end (i.e., the FX model and PDI variants) can adequately represent the full SWRC using typical data obtained via the HYPROP system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance)
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Article
Studying Unimodal, Bimodal, PDI and Bimodal-PDI Variants of Multiple Soil Water Retention Models: II. Evaluation of Parametric Pedotransfer Functions Against Direct Fits
Water 2020, 12(3), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030896 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
A high-resolution soil water retention data set (81 repacked soil samples with 7729 observations) measured by the HYPROP system was used to develop and evaluate the performance of regression parametric pedotransfer functions (PTFs). A total of sixteen soil hydraulic models were evaluated including [...] Read more.
A high-resolution soil water retention data set (81 repacked soil samples with 7729 observations) measured by the HYPROP system was used to develop and evaluate the performance of regression parametric pedotransfer functions (PTFs). A total of sixteen soil hydraulic models were evaluated including five unimodal water retention expressions of Brooks and Corey (BC model), Fredlund and Xing (FX model), Kosugi (K model), van Genuchten with four free parameters (VG model) and van Genuchten with five free parameters (VGm model). In addition, eleven bimodal, Peters–Durner–Iden (PDI) and bimodal-PDI variants of the original expressions were studied. Six modeling scenarios (S1 to S6) were examined with different combinations of the following input predictors: soil texture (percentages of sand, silt and clay), soil bulk density, organic matter content, percent of stable aggregates and saturated water content (θs). Although a majority of the model parameters showed low correlations with basic soil properties, most of the parametric PTFs provided reasonable water content estimations. The VGm parametric PTF with an RMSE of 0.034 cm3 cm−3 was the best PTF when all input predictors were considered. When averaged across modeling scenarios, the PDI variant of the K model with an RMSE of 0.045 cm3 cm−3 showed the highest performance. The best performance of all models occurred at S6 when θs was considered as an additional input predictor. The second-best performance for 11 out of the 16 models belonged to S1 with soil textural components as the only inputs. Our results do not recommend the development of parametric PTFs using bimodal variants because of their poor performance, which is attributed to their high number of free parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance)
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Article
Reclaiming Tropical Saline-Sodic Soils with Gypsum and Cow Manure
Water 2020, 12(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010057 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
Saline-sodic soils are a major impediment for agricultural production in semi-arid regions. Salinity and sodicity drastically reduce agricultural crop yields, damage farm equipment, jeopardize food security, and render soils unusable for agriculture. However, many farmers in developing semi-arid regions cannot afford expensive amendments [...] Read more.
Saline-sodic soils are a major impediment for agricultural production in semi-arid regions. Salinity and sodicity drastically reduce agricultural crop yields, damage farm equipment, jeopardize food security, and render soils unusable for agriculture. However, many farmers in developing semi-arid regions cannot afford expensive amendments to reclaim saline-sodic soils. Furthermore, existing research does not cover soil types (e.g., Luvisols and Lixisols) that are found in many semi-arid regions of South America. Therefore, we used percolation columns to evaluate the effect of inexpensive chemical and organic amendments (gypsum and cow manure) on the reclamation of saline-sodic soils in the northeast of Brazil. Soil samples from two layers (0–20 cm and 20–40 cm in depth) were collected and placed in percolation columns. Then, we applied gypsum into the columns, with and without cow manure. The experiment followed a complete randomized design with three replications. The chemical amendment treatments included a control and four combinations of gypsum and cow manure. Percolation columns were subjected to a constant flood layer of 55 mm. We evaluated the effectiveness of sodic soil reclamation treatments via changes in soil hydraulic conductivity, chemical composition (cations and anions), electrical conductivity of the saturated soil-paste extract, pH, and the exchangeable sodium percentage. These results suggest that the combined use of gypsum and cow manure is better to reduce soil sodicity, improve soil chemical properties, and increase water infiltration than gypsum alone. Cow manure at 40 ton ha−1 was better than at 80 ton ha−1 to reduce the sodium adsorption ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Retention and Movement in Soils and Horticultural Substance)
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