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Soil Syst., Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 17 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Low pH of a High Carbon Gleysol Contributes to Nitrification Inhibition Resulting in Low N2O Soil Emissions and Limited Effectiveness of Nitrification Inhibitors
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040075 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas, and drained tropical/subtropical wetland soils that are high in carbon (C) make a substantial contribution to global anthropogenic N2O emissions. However, we previously reported negligible N2O emissions from an [...] Read more.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas, and drained tropical/subtropical wetland soils that are high in carbon (C) make a substantial contribution to global anthropogenic N2O emissions. However, we previously reported negligible N2O emissions from an acidic, C-rich Gleysol under aerobic rice (Oryza sativa L.) production in the subtropics despite ample moisture and fertiliser nitrogen (N). In a field experiment, seasonal cumulative N2O emissions in the field following the application of 90 kg ha−1 N as urea were low (0.15 kg N2O-N ha−1·season−1). An incubation study examining the effects of temperature (20 °C, 25 °C and 30 °C) and water-filled pore space (WFPS; 40% vs. 60%) on N transformations showed that incubation temperature had a larger influence on nitrification than WFPS (40% vs. 60%). There was limited nitrification at 20 °C at either WFPS over 30 days, but low concentrations of NO3 (<100 mg kg−1) began to accumulate between 16–23 days at 30 °C and between 23–30 days at 25 °C. Liming soil resulted in nitrification after 10 days, while only minor nitrification was evident in the unlimed soil. The presence of the nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) with urea delayed nitrification for up to 4 days in the limed soil, suggesting such inhibitors may not provide substantial benefits in high C soils. Our results suggest that a low soil pH contributes to impaired nitrification in the C-rich Gleysol examined, which is associated with low fluxes of N2O in the field. We suggest that soil pH could potentially be manipulated to sustain low rates of nitrification and lower N losses, without compromising crop growth. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Accessing Legacy Phosphorus in Soils
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040074 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Repeated applications of phosphorus (P) fertilizers result in the buildup of P in soil (commonly known as legacy P), a large fraction of which is not immediately available for plant use. Long-term applications and accumulations of soil P is an inefficient use of [...] Read more.
Repeated applications of phosphorus (P) fertilizers result in the buildup of P in soil (commonly known as legacy P), a large fraction of which is not immediately available for plant use. Long-term applications and accumulations of soil P is an inefficient use of dwindling P supplies and can result in nutrient runoff, often leading to eutrophication of water bodies. Although soil legacy P is problematic in some regards, it conversely may serve as a source of P for crop use and could potentially decrease dependence on external P fertilizer inputs. This paper reviews the (1) current knowledge on the occurrence and bioaccessibility of different chemical forms of P in soil, (2) legacy P transformations with mineral and organic fertilizer applications in relation to their potential bioaccessibility, and (3) approaches and associated challenges for accessing native soil P that could be used to harness soil legacy P for crop production. We highlight how the occurrence and potential bioaccessibility of different forms of soil inorganic and organic P vary depending on soil properties, such as soil pH and organic matter content. We also found that accumulation of inorganic legacy P forms changes more than organic P species with fertilizer applications and cessations. We also discuss progress and challenges with current approaches for accessing native soil P that could be used for accessing legacy P, including natural and genetically modified plant-based strategies, the use of P-solubilizing microorganisms, and immobilized organic P-hydrolyzing enzymes. It is foreseeable that accessing legacy P will require multidisciplinary approaches to address these limitations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Weathering Intensity and Presence of Vegetation Are Key Controls on Soil Phosphorus Concentrations: Implications for Past and Future Terrestrial Ecosystems
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040073 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is an essential limiting nutrient in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding the natural and anthropogenic influence on P concentration in soils is critical for predicting how its distribution in soils may shift as climate changes. While it is known that P [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential limiting nutrient in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding the natural and anthropogenic influence on P concentration in soils is critical for predicting how its distribution in soils may shift as climate changes. While it is known that P is sourced from bedrock weathering, relationships between weathering, P, and other soil-forming factors have not been quantified at continental scales, limiting our ability to predict large-scale changes in P concentrations. Additionally, while we know that Fe oxide-associated P is an important P phase in terrestrial environments, the range in and controls on soil Fe concentrations and species (e.g., Fe in oxides, labile Fe) are poorly constrained. Here, we explore the relationships between soil P and Fe concentrations, soil order, climate, and vegetation in over 5000 soils, and Fe speciation in ca. 400 soils. Weathering intensity has a nuanced control on P concentrations in soils, with P concentrations peaking at intermediate weathering intensities (Chemical Index of Alteration, CIA~60). The presence of vegetation (but not plant functional types) affected soils’ ability to accumulate P. Contrary to expectations, P was not more strongly associated with Fe in oxides than other Fe phases. These results are useful both for predicting changes in potential P fluxes from soils to rivers under climate change and for reconstructing changes in terrestrial nutrient limitations in Earth’s past. In particular, soils’ tendency to accumulate more P with the presence of vegetation suggests that biogeochemical models invoking the evolution and spread of land plants as a driver for increased P fluxes in the geological record may need to be revisited. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sampled Soil Volume Effect on Soil Physical Quality Determination: A Case Study on Conventional Tillage and No-Tillage of the Soil under Winter Wheat
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems4040072 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 421
Abstract
Sampled soil volume is a main experimental factor which must be properly considered to obtain a reliable estimation of soil physical quality (SPQ) and, thus, to obtain credible evaluation of the impact of a conservative-conventional soil management system on the soil air–water relationship. [...] Read more.
Sampled soil volume is a main experimental factor which must be properly considered to obtain a reliable estimation of soil physical quality (SPQ) and, thus, to obtain credible evaluation of the impact of a conservative-conventional soil management system on the soil air–water relationship. In this investigation, two ring sizes were used to sample two fine textured soils and soil management for durum wheat cultivation, namely, conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT). The soil water retention was determined; soil bulk density (BD), macroporosity (MACpor), air capacity (AC), and relative field capacity (RFC) were estimated to assess the soil physical quality indicators, in agreement with the guidelines suggested in the literature. The main results showed that the sampling volume of the soil affected the soil water retention estimation (θ) and, consequently, affected the SPQ estimation, given that (i) higher θ values (by a factor 1.11 as mean) were generally obtained with a large diameter than a small one; these differences decreased (by a factor 1.20, 1.10 and 1.03) as the imposed pressure head value decreased (respectively, at h = 0, −10 and −100 cm); (ii) among SPQ indicators considered, soil volume samples seemed to impact the BD–RFC estimation more than AC–MACpor, as statistical differences were identified only in the former case; iii) NT soil was significantly more compact, and had lower macroporosity or air capacity, when compared with CT; at the time of sampling, the mean SPQ was always poor for AC–RFC, or optimal for BD, regardless of soil management, and it was intermediate or poor when the MACpor was evaluated under CT or NT. This study contributes toward understanding the impact of soil management on soil physical properties in Mediterranean agro-environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pteris vittata Arsenic Accumulation Only Partially Explains Soil Arsenic Depletion during Field-Scale Phytoextraction
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040071 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Soil arsenic heterogeneity complicates our understanding of phytoextraction rates during arsenic phytoextraction with Pteris vittata, including in response to rate stimulation with nutrient treatments. In a 58-week arsenic phytoextraction field study, we determined the effects of soil arsenic concentrations, fertilizer application, and [...] Read more.
Soil arsenic heterogeneity complicates our understanding of phytoextraction rates during arsenic phytoextraction with Pteris vittata, including in response to rate stimulation with nutrient treatments. In a 58-week arsenic phytoextraction field study, we determined the effects of soil arsenic concentrations, fertilizer application, and mycorrhizal fungi inoculation on P. vittata arsenic uptake rates, soil arsenic depletion, and arsenic soil–plant mass balances. Initial soil arsenic concentrations were positively correlated with arsenic uptake rates. Soil inoculation with mycorrhizal fungus Funneliformis mosseae led to 1.5–2 times higher fern aboveground biomass. Across all treatments, ferns accumulated a mean of 3.6% of the initial soil arsenic, and mean soil arsenic concentrations decreased by up to 44%. At depths of 0–10 cm, arsenic accumulation in P. vittata matched soil arsenic depletion. However, at depths of 0–20 cm, fern arsenic accumulation could not account for 61.5% of the soil arsenic depletion, suggesting that the missing arsenic could have been lost to leaching. A higher fraction of arsenic (III) (12.8–71.5%) in the rhizosphere compared to bulk soils suggests that the rhizosphere is a distinct geochemical environment featuring processes that could solubilize arsenic. To our knowledge, this is the first mass balance relating arsenic accumulation in P. vittata to significant decreases in soil arsenic concentrations under field conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Correlations of Soil Fungi, Soil Structure and Tree Vigour on an Apple Orchard with Replant Soil
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040070 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 562
Abstract
The soil-borne apple replant disease (ARD) is caused by biotic agents and affected by abiotic properties. There is evidence for the interrelation of the soil fungal population and soil aggregate structure. The aim of this study conducted between March and October 2020 on [...] Read more.
The soil-borne apple replant disease (ARD) is caused by biotic agents and affected by abiotic properties. There is evidence for the interrelation of the soil fungal population and soil aggregate structure. The aim of this study conducted between March and October 2020 on an orchard in north-east Germany was to detect the correlations of soil fungal density, soil structure and tree vigour under replant conditions in a series of time intervals. By using the replant system as the subject matter of investigation, we found that replanting had an impact on the increase of soil fungal DNA, which correlated with a mass decrease of large macro-aggregates and an increase of small macro- and large micro-aggregates in the late summer. Increased proportions of water-stable aggregates (WS) with binding forces ≤ 50 J mL−1, decreased proportions of WS > 100 J mL−1 and a decrease of the mean weight diameter of aggregates (MWD) emphasised a reduction of aggregate stability in replant soils. Correlation analyses highlighted interactions between replant-sensitive soil fungi (Alternaria-group), the loss of soil structure and suppressed tree vigour, which become obvious only at specific time intervals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biochar Effects on Soil Physiochemical Properties in Degraded Managed Ecosystems in Northeastern Bangladesh
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040069 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 742
Abstract
A body of emerging research shows the promise of charcoal soil amendments (“biochars”) in restoring fertility in degraded agricultural and forest soils. “Sustainable biochars” derived from locally produced waste biomass and produced near the application site are of particular interest. We tested the [...] Read more.
A body of emerging research shows the promise of charcoal soil amendments (“biochars”) in restoring fertility in degraded agricultural and forest soils. “Sustainable biochars” derived from locally produced waste biomass and produced near the application site are of particular interest. We tested the effects of surface applications of wood-derived biochars (applied at 7.5 t·ha−1) on soil physiochemical properties (N, P, K, pH, soil moisture content, organic matter content, and bulk density) in three land-use types: agriculture (Camellia sinensis monoculture), agroforestry (C. sinensis with shade trees), and secondary forest (Dipterocarpus dominated) assessed over seven months. We found significant positive effects of biochar on soil physiochemical properties in all land-use types, with the strongest responses in the most degraded tea monoculture sites. Although biochar had no significant effect on soil N and K, it improved soil P—the primary nutrient most commonly limiting in tropical soils. Biochar also enhanced soil moisture and organic matter content, reduced bulk density, and increased soil pH in monoculture sites. Our results support the general hypothesis that biochar can improve the fertility of degraded soils in agricultural and forest systems in Bangladesh and suggest that biochar additions may be of great benefit to the most degraded soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Arsenate and Arsenite in Equimolar Ferrous and Ferric Sulfate Solutions through Mineral Coprecipitation: Formation of Sulfate Green Rust, Goethite, and Lepidocrocite
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040068 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 489
Abstract
An improved understanding of in situ mineralization in the presence of dissolved arsenic and both ferrous and ferric iron is necessary because it is an important geochemical process in the fate and transformation of arsenic and iron in groundwater systems. This work aimed [...] Read more.
An improved understanding of in situ mineralization in the presence of dissolved arsenic and both ferrous and ferric iron is necessary because it is an important geochemical process in the fate and transformation of arsenic and iron in groundwater systems. This work aimed at evaluating mineral phases that could form and the related transformation of arsenic species during coprecipitation. We conducted batch tests to precipitate ferrous (133 mM) and ferric (133 mM) ions in sulfate (533 mM) solutions spiked with As (0–100 mM As(V) or As(III)) and titrated with solid NaOH (400 mM). Goethite and lepidocrocite were formed at 0.5–5 mM As(V) or As(III). Only lepidocrocite formed at 10 mM As(III). Only goethite formed in the absence of added As(V) or As(III). Iron (II, III) hydroxysulfate green rust (sulfate green rust or SGR) was formed at 50 mM As(III) at an equilibrium pH of 6.34. X-ray analysis indicated that amorphous solid products were formed at 10–100 mM As(V) or 100 mM As(III). The batch tests showed that As removal ranged from 98.65–100%. Total arsenic concentrations in the formed solid phases increased with the initial solution arsenic concentrations ranging from 1.85–20.7 g kg−1. Substantial oxidation of initially added As(III) to As(V) occurred, whereas As(V) reduction did not occur. This study demonstrates that concentrations and species of arsenic in the parent solution influence the mineralogy of coprecipitated solid phases, which in turn affects As redox transformations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stratified Soil Sampling Improves Predictions of P Concentration in Surface Runoff and Tile Discharge
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040067 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) stratification in agricultural soils has been proposed to increase the risk of P loss to surface waters. Stratified soil sampling that assesses soil test P (STP) in a shallow soil horizon may improve predictions of P concentrations in surface and subsurface [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) stratification in agricultural soils has been proposed to increase the risk of P loss to surface waters. Stratified soil sampling that assesses soil test P (STP) in a shallow soil horizon may improve predictions of P concentrations in surface and subsurface discharge compared to single depth agronomic soil sampling. However, the utility of stratified sampling efforts for enhancing understanding of environmental P losses remains uncertain. In this study, we examined the potential benefit of integrating stratified sampling into existing agronomic soil testing efforts for predicting P concentrations in discharge from 39 crop fields in NW Ohio, USA. Edge-of-field (EoF) dissolved reactive P (DRP) and total P (TP) flow-weighted mean concentrations in surface runoff and tile drainage were positively related to soil test P (STP) measured in both the agronomic sampling depth (0–20 cm) and shallow sampling depth (0–5 cm). Tile and surface DRP and TP were more closely related to shallow depth STP than agronomic STP, as indicated by regression models with greater coefficients of determination (R2) and lesser root-mean square errors (RMSE). A multiple regression model including the agronomic STP and P stratification ratio (Pstrat) provided the best model fit for DRP in surface runoff and tile drainage and TP in tile drainage. Additionally, STP often varied significantly between soil sampling events at individual sites and these differences were only partially explained by management practices, highlighting the challenge of assessing STP at the field scale. Overall, the linkages between shallow STP and P transport persisted over time across agricultural fields and incorporating stratified soil sampling approaches showed potential for improving predictions of P concentrations in surface runoff and tile drainage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Grazing Systems to Retain and Redistribute Soil Phosphorus and to Reduce Phosphorus Losses in Runoff
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040066 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
A study of phosphorus accumulation and mobility was conducted in eight pastures in the Georgia piedmont, USA. We compared two potential grazing treatments: strategic-grazing (STR) and continuous-grazing-with-hay-distribution (CHD) from 2015 (Baseline) to 2018 (Post-Treatment) for (1) distribution of Mehlich-1 Phosphorus (M1P) in soil [...] Read more.
A study of phosphorus accumulation and mobility was conducted in eight pastures in the Georgia piedmont, USA. We compared two potential grazing treatments: strategic-grazing (STR) and continuous-grazing-with-hay-distribution (CHD) from 2015 (Baseline) to 2018 (Post-Treatment) for (1) distribution of Mehlich-1 Phosphorus (M1P) in soil and (2) dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and total Kjeldahl phosphorus (TKP) in runoff water. STR included rotational grazing, excluding erosion vulnerable areas, and cattle-lure management using movable equipment (hay-rings, shades, and waterers). After three years of treatment, M1P had significantly accrued 6- and 5-fold in the 0–5 cm soil layer and by 2- and 1.6-fold in the 5–10 cm layer for CHD and STR, respectively, compared to Baseline M1P. In STR exclusions, M1P also increased to 10 cm depth post-treatment compared to Baseline. During Post-Treatment, TKP runoff concentrations were 21% and 29% lower, for CHD and STR, respectively, in 2018 compared to 2015. Hot Spot Analysis, a spatial clustering tool that utilizes Getis-Ord Gi* statistic, revealed no change in Post-Treatment CHD pastures, while hotspots in STR pastures had moved from low-lying to high-lying areas. Exclusion vegetation retained P and reduced bulk density facilitating vertical transportation of P deeper into the soil, ergo, soil P was less vulnerable to export in runoff, retained in the soil for forage utilization and reduced export of P to aquatic systems Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Two Important Leguminous Trees on Their Soil Microbiomes and Nitrogen Cycle Activities in a Primary and Recovering Secondary Forest in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040065 - 06 Nov 2020
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Inga edulis and Pentaclethra macroloba are dominant N-fixing forest trees in Costa Rica, likely important for recovery of soil N and C after deforestation, yet little is known of their soil microbiomes nor how land use impacts them. Soils from both trees in [...] Read more.
Inga edulis and Pentaclethra macroloba are dominant N-fixing forest trees in Costa Rica, likely important for recovery of soil N and C after deforestation, yet little is known of their soil microbiomes nor how land use impacts them. Soils from both trees in a primary and secondary forest were assessed for N-cycle metrics and DNA sequence-based composition of total bacterial, potential N-fixing bacterial, and potential ammonium oxidizing bacterial genera. The compositions of the functional groups of bacteria, but not their total relative abundance of DNA, were different across the soils. The P. macroloba soils had greater NO3 levels and richness of both functional groups, while I. edulis soils had greater NH4+ levels, consistent with its NH4+ preference for root nodule development. The bacterial communities were different by habitat, as secondary forest I. edulis microbiomes were less rich, more dominant, possibly more affected by the disturbance, or reached equilibrium status quicker than the richer, less dominant P. macroloba microbiomes, which may be developing slower along with secondary forest succession, or were less affected by the disturbance. Functional redundancy and switching of 10 N-cycle bacterial genera was evident between the primary and secondary forest soils, likely to maintain stable levels of N-cycle activity following disturbance. In summary, the two tree soil microbiomes are different, land use differentially affects them, and, thus, both tree species should be used during forest regeneration strategies in this region. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Livestock Manure and the Impacts on Soil Health: A Review
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040064 - 25 Oct 2020
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Soil health is the capacity of the soil to provide an environment for optimum growth and development of plants, while also ensuring the health of animals and humans. Animal manure has been used for centuries as a source of nutrients in agriculture. However, [...] Read more.
Soil health is the capacity of the soil to provide an environment for optimum growth and development of plants, while also ensuring the health of animals and humans. Animal manure has been used for centuries as a source of nutrients in agriculture. However, many other soil properties that contribute to soil health are affected when manure is applied. Bulk density, aggregate stability, infiltration, water holding capacity, soil fertility, and biological properties are impacted to various degrees with manure application. The goal of this paper was to compile the research findings on the effects of various livestock manure types on soil fertility, soil physical properties, soil biology and the yield of various cereal crops. Specifically, this paper summarizes results for poultry, cattle, and swine manure used in various cropping systems. Although there are conflicting results in the literature with regards to the effect of manure on various soil properties, the literature offers convincing evidence of beneficial impacts of manure on soil and the growth of crops. The degree to which manure affects soil depends on the physical and chemical properties of the manure itself and various management and environmental factors including rate and timing of application, soil type, and climate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interactions of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi with Hyphosphere Microbial Communities in a Saline Soil: Impacts on Phosphorus Availability and Alkaline Phosphatase Gene Abundance
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040063 - 22 Oct 2020
Viewed by 626
Abstract
The limited availability of soil phosphorus to plants under salinity stress is a major constraint for crop production in saline soils, which could be alleviated by improving mycorrhizal and soil microbial interactions. This study investigated the effects of Funneliformis mosseae (Fm) [...] Read more.
The limited availability of soil phosphorus to plants under salinity stress is a major constraint for crop production in saline soils, which could be alleviated by improving mycorrhizal and soil microbial interactions. This study investigated the effects of Funneliformis mosseae (Fm) inoculation on phosphorus (P) availability to Sorghum bicolor, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and gene abundance (phoD) in a P-deficient naturally saline soil. A greenhouse study was conducted in order to compare the experimental treatments of Fm inoculated vs. control plants grown in saline soil with and without (sterilized soil) native microbial community. A separate hyphosphere (root-free) compartment was constructed within the mycorrhizosphere and amended with phosphate. After four weeks of transplanting, shoot, roots, mycorrhizosphere, and hyphosphere samples were collected and analyzed for soil and plant P concentrations, root colonization, and abundance of ALP and phoD. The results showed significantly higher colonization in Fm-inoculated treatments compared to uninoculated. Plant available P concentrations, phoD gene abundance and ALP activity were significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in sterilized-hyphosphere as compared to unsterilized in both Fm-inoculated and uninoculated treatments. Inoculation with Fm significantly increased the plant P uptake (p < 0.05) when compared to uninoculated treatments, but only in the plants gown in unsterile mycorrhizosphere. It can be concluded that inoculation of Fm increased root colonization and the uptake of P by sorghum plant in saline soil and native microbial community interactions were critical for increasing bioavailable P concentrations. These beneficial interactions between plants, mycorrhizae, and native microbes should be considered for soil fertility management in saline soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Zoning of a Newly-Planted Vineyard: Spatial Variability of Physico-Chemical Soil Properties
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040062 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
Soil properties show a high spatio-temporal variability, affecting productivity and crop quality within a given field. In new vineyard plantations, with changes in the initial topographic profile, this variability is exacerbated due to the incorporation of soil from different origins and qualities. The [...] Read more.
Soil properties show a high spatio-temporal variability, affecting productivity and crop quality within a given field. In new vineyard plantations, with changes in the initial topographic profile, this variability is exacerbated due to the incorporation of soil from different origins and qualities. The aim of the current study was to characterize the variability of soil properties in a newly established vineyard, and delineating zones for site-specific management of fertilization. For this purpose, the soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) in the first 150 cm was measured with an electromagnetic induction sensor. A soil sampling was performed following a regular grid (35 × 35 m, 149 samples), collecting samples down to 40 cm depth for determining soil chemical properties. Spatial variability was assessed through semivariogram calculation and ordinary kriging. The soil properties that better represent the variability in this newly established vineyard were pH, effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC), carbon content, clay and ECa. The ECa was homogeneous all over the vineyard, except for the area closer to the river where a greater human intervention had occurred, with contributions of external soil at a greater depth. Soil properties showed a great spatial variability. Interpolated maps allowed for detecting areas with a lack of nutrients in which a differential fertilization could be performed in search of a sustainable and balanced production. The information provided by the maps of pH, ECEC and carbon and potassium contents allow for performing a differential management of the vineyard in terms of fertilization. In addition, the results obtained suggest that the vineyard should be divided into two sectors for a differential irrigation management. The ECa was not significantly correlated to most of the soil properties determined in the current study; however, it allowed for a low-cost mapping of the vineyard soil and established large areas of management within the vineyard. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Field Comparison of Electrical Resistance, Electromagnetic Induction, and Frequency Domain Reflectometry for Soil Salinity Appraisal
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040061 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 480
Abstract
By using different physical foundations and technologies, many probes have been developed for on-site soil salinity appraisal in the last forty years. In order to better understand their respective technical and practical advantages and constraints, comparisons among probes are needed. In this study, [...] Read more.
By using different physical foundations and technologies, many probes have been developed for on-site soil salinity appraisal in the last forty years. In order to better understand their respective technical and practical advantages and constraints, comparisons among probes are needed. In this study, three different probes, based on electrical resistance (ER), electromagnetic induction (EMI), and frequency domain reflectometry (FDR), were compared during a field survey carried out in a large salt-threatened agricultural area. Information about the soil bulk electrical conductivity (σb) at different depths was obtained with each of the probes and, additionally, other soil properties were also measured depending on the specifications of each instrument and, moreover, determined in samples. On average, the EMI and FDR techniques could be regarded as equivalent for σb measurement, whereas ER gave higher σb values. Whatever the case, EMI, and also ER, had to be supplemented with information about soil clay, organic matter, and water mass fractions to attain, despite this effort, poor soil salinity estimations by means of multiple linear regression models (R2 < 0.5). On the contrary, FDR needed only probe data to achieve R2 of 0.7, though root mean standard error (RMSE) was still 1.5 dS m−1. The extra measurements and calculations that modern electrical conductivity contact probes integrate, specifically, those based on FDR, remarkably increase their ability for soil salinity appraisal, although there is still room for improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Prediction and Remediation of Soil Salinization)
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Open AccessArticle
How Do Newly-Amended Biochar Particles Affect Erodibility and Soil Water Movement?—A Small-Scale Experimental Approach
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040060 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 517
Abstract
Biochar amendment changes chemical and physical properties of soils and influences soil biota. It is, thus, assumed that it can also affect soil erosion and erosion-related processes. In this study, we investigated how biochar particles instantly change erodibility by rain splash and the [...] Read more.
Biochar amendment changes chemical and physical properties of soils and influences soil biota. It is, thus, assumed that it can also affect soil erosion and erosion-related processes. In this study, we investigated how biochar particles instantly change erodibility by rain splash and the initial movement of soil water in a small-scale experiment. Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC)-char and Pyrochar were admixed to two soil substrates. Soil erodibility was determined with Tübingen splash cups under simulated rainfall, soil hydraulic conductivity was calculated from texture and bulk soil density, and soil water retention was measured using the negative and the excess pressure methods. Results showed that the addition of biochar significantly reduced initial soil erosion in coarse sand and silt loam immediately after biochar application. Furthermore, biochar particles were not preferentially removed from the substrate surface, but increasing biochar particle sizes partly showed decreasing erodibility of substrates. Moreover, biochar amendment led to improved hydraulic conductivity and soil water retention, regarding soil erosion control. In conclusion, this study provided evidence that biochar amendments reduce soil degradation by water erosion. Furthermore, this effect is detectable in a very early stage, and without long-term incorporation of biochar into soils. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Continuous Cropping Alters Multiple Biotic and Abiotic Indicators of Soil Health
Soil Syst. 2020, 4(4), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems4040059 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
The continuous cropping (CC) of major agricultural, horticultural, and industrial crops is an established practice worldwide, though it has significant soil health-related concerns. However, a combined review of the effects of CC on soil health indicators, in particular omics ones, remains missing. The [...] Read more.
The continuous cropping (CC) of major agricultural, horticultural, and industrial crops is an established practice worldwide, though it has significant soil health-related concerns. However, a combined review of the effects of CC on soil health indicators, in particular omics ones, remains missing. The CC may negatively impact multiple biotic and abiotic indicators of soil health, fertility, and crop yield. It could potentially alter the soil biotic indicators, which include but are not limited to the composition, abundance, diversity, and functioning of soil micro- and macro-organisms, microbial networks, enzyme activities, and soil food web interactions. Moreover, it could also alter various soil abiotic (physicochemical) properties. For instance, it could increase the accumulation of toxic metabolites, salts, and acids, reduce soil aggregation and alter the composition of soil aggregate-size classes, decrease mineralization, soil organic matter, active carbon, and nutrient contents. All these alterations could accelerate soil degradation. Meanwhile, there is still a great need to develop quantitative ranges in soil health indicators to mechanistically predict the impact of CC on soil health and crop yield gaps. Following ecological principles, we strongly highlight the significance of inter-, mixture-, and rotation-cropping with cover crops to sustain soil health and agricultural production. Full article
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