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Soil Syst., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 21 articles

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Article
Integrated Geochemical Assessment of Soils and Stream Sediments to Evaluate Source-Sink Relationships and Background Variations in the Parauapebas River Basin, Eastern Amazon
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010021 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 681
Abstract
This study aims to handle an integrated evaluation of soil and stream sediment geochemical data to evaluate source apportionment and to establish geochemical threshold variations for Fe, Al, and 20 selected Potentially Toxic Elements (PTE) in the Parauapebas River Basin (PB), Eastern Amazon. [...] Read more.
This study aims to handle an integrated evaluation of soil and stream sediment geochemical data to evaluate source apportionment and to establish geochemical threshold variations for Fe, Al, and 20 selected Potentially Toxic Elements (PTE) in the Parauapebas River Basin (PB), Eastern Amazon. The data set used in this study is from the Itacaiúnas Geochemical Mapping and Background Project (ItacGMBP), which collected 364 surface soil (0–10 cm) samples and 189 stream sediments samples in the entire PB. The <0.177 mm fraction of these samples were analyzed for 51 elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES, following an aqua regia digestion. The geochemical maps of many elements revealed substantial differences between the north (NPB) and the south (SPB) of PB, mainly due to the geological setting. The new statistically derived threshold values of the NPB and SPB regions were compared to the threshold of the whole PB, reported in previous studies, and to quality guidelines proposed by Brazilian environmental agencies. The natural variation of geochemical background in soils and stream sediments of PB should be considered prior to defining new guideline values. At the regional scale, the local anomalies are mostly influenced by the predominant lithology rather than any anthropogenic impact. Full article
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Article
Antimony (V) Adsorption at the Hematite–Water Interface: A Macroscopic and In Situ ATR-FTIR Study
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010020 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The environmental mobility of antimony (Sb) is largely unexplored in geochemical environments. Iron oxide minerals are considered major sinks for Sb. Among the different oxidation states of Sb, (+) V is found more commonly in a wide redox range. Despite many adsorption studies [...] Read more.
The environmental mobility of antimony (Sb) is largely unexplored in geochemical environments. Iron oxide minerals are considered major sinks for Sb. Among the different oxidation states of Sb, (+) V is found more commonly in a wide redox range. Despite many adsorption studies of Sb (V) with various iron oxide minerals, detailed research on the adsorption mechanism of Sb (V) on hematite using macroscopic, spectroscopic, and surface complexation modeling is rare. Thus, the main objective of our study is to evaluate the surface complexation mechanism of Sb (V) on hematite under a range of solution properties using macroscopic, in situ attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopic, and surface complexation modeling. The results indicate that the Sb (V) adsorption on hematite was highest at pH 4–6. After pH 6, the adsorption decreased sharply and became negligible above pH 9. The effect of ionic strength was negligible from pH 4 to 6. The spectroscopic results confirmed the presence of inner- and outer-sphere surface complexes at lower pH values, and only outer-sphere-type surface complex at pH 8. Surface complexation models successfully predicted the Sb (V) adsorption envelope. Our research will improve the understanding of Sb (V) mobility in iron-oxide-rich environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sorption Processes in Soils and Sediments)
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Article
Microbial Community Composition Correlates with Metal Sorption in an Ombrotrophic Boreal Bog: Implications for Radionuclide Retention
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010019 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Microbial communities throughout the 6.5 m depth profile of a boreal ombrotrophic bog were characterized using amplicon sequencing of archaeal, fungal, and bacterial marker genes. Microbial populations and their relationship to oxic and anoxic batch sorption of radionuclides (using radioactive tracers of I, [...] Read more.
Microbial communities throughout the 6.5 m depth profile of a boreal ombrotrophic bog were characterized using amplicon sequencing of archaeal, fungal, and bacterial marker genes. Microbial populations and their relationship to oxic and anoxic batch sorption of radionuclides (using radioactive tracers of I, Se, Cs, Ni, and Ag) and the prevailing metal concentrations in the natural bog was investigated. The majority of the detected archaea belonged to the Crenarchaeota, Halobacterota, and Thermoplasmatota, whereas the fungal communities consisted of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and unclassified fungi. The bacterial communities consisted mostly of Acidobacteriota, Proteobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The occurrence of several microbial genera were found to statistically significantly correlate with metal concentrations as well as with Se, Cs, I, and Ag batch sorption data. We suggest that the metal concentrations of peat, gyttja, and clay layers affect the composition of the microbial populations in these nutrient-low conditions and that particularly parts of the bacterial and archaeal communities tolerate high concentrations of potentially toxic metals and may concurrently contribute to the total retention of metals and radionuclides in this ombrotrophic environment. In addition, the varying metal concentrations together with chemical, mineralogical, and physical factors may contribute to the shape of the total archaeal and bacterial populations and most probably shifts the populations for more metal resistant genera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sorption Processes in Soils and Sediments)
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Article
Field, Laboratory and Modeling Evidence for Strong Attenuation of a Cr(VI) Plume in a Mudstone Aquifer Due to Matrix Diffusion and Reaction Processes
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010018 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
This study uses a combination of conventional and high resolution field and laboratory methods to investigate processes causing attenuation of a hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) plume in sedimentary bedrock at a former industrial facility. Groundwater plume Cr(VI) [...] Read more.
This study uses a combination of conventional and high resolution field and laboratory methods to investigate processes causing attenuation of a hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) plume in sedimentary bedrock at a former industrial facility. Groundwater plume Cr(VI) concentrations decline by more than three orders of magnitude over a 900 m distance down gradient from the site. Internal plume concentrations generally exhibit stable to declining trends due to diffusive and reactive transport in the low permeability matrix as fluxes from the contamination source dissipate due to natural depletion processes and active remediation efforts. The strong attenuation is attributed to diffusion from mobile groundwater in fractures to immobile porewater in the rock matrix, and reactions causing transformation of aqueous Cr(VI) to low-solubility Cr(III) precipitates, confirmed by high spatial resolution rock matrix contaminant concentrations and comparisons with groundwater concentrations from multi-level sampling within the plume. Field characterization data for the fracture network and matrix properties were used to inform 2-D discrete-fracture matrix (DFM) numerical model simulations that quantify attenuation due to diffusion and reaction processes, which show consistency with field datasets, and provide insights regarding future plume conditions. The combination of field, laboratory and modeling evidence demonstrates effects of matrix diffusion and reaction processes causing strong attenuation of a Cr(VI) plume in a sedimentary bedrock aquifer. This approach has important implications for characterization of sites with Cr(VI) contamination for improved site conceptual models and remediation decision-making. Full article
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Article
Rainfall Alters Permafrost Soil Redox Conditions, but Meta-Omics Show Divergent Microbial Community Responses by Tundra Type in the Arctic
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010017 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Soil anoxia is common in the annually thawed surface (‘active’) layer of permafrost soils, particularly when soils are saturated, and supports anaerobic microbial metabolism and methane (CH4) production. Rainfall contributes to soil saturation, but can also introduce oxygen, causing soil oxidation [...] Read more.
Soil anoxia is common in the annually thawed surface (‘active’) layer of permafrost soils, particularly when soils are saturated, and supports anaerobic microbial metabolism and methane (CH4) production. Rainfall contributes to soil saturation, but can also introduce oxygen, causing soil oxidation and altering anoxic conditions. We simulated a rainfall event in soil mesocosms from two dominant tundra types, tussock tundra and wet sedge tundra, to test the impacts of rainfall-induced soil oxidation on microbial communities and their metabolic capacity for anaerobic CH4 production and aerobic respiration following soil oxidation. In both types, rainfall increased total soil O2 concentration, but in tussock tundra there was a 2.5-fold greater increase in soil O2 compared to wet sedge tundra due to differences in soil drainage. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses found divergent microbial responses to rainfall between tundra types. Active microbial taxa in the tussock tundra community, including bacteria and fungi, responded to rainfall with a decline in gene expression for anaerobic metabolism and a concurrent increase in gene expression for cellular growth. In contrast, the wet sedge tundra community showed no significant changes in microbial gene expression from anaerobic metabolism, fermentation, or methanogenesis following rainfall, despite an initial increase in soil O2 concentration. These results suggest that rainfall induces soil oxidation and enhances aerobic microbial respiration in tussock tundra communities but may not accumulate or remain in wet sedge tundra soils long enough to induce a community-wide shift from anaerobic metabolism. Thus, rainfall may serve only to maintain saturated soil conditions that promote CH4 production in low-lying wet sedge tundra soils across the Arctic. Full article
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Article
Forest Soil Cation Dynamics and Increases in Carbon on the Allegheny Plateau, PA, USA Following a Period of Strongly Declining Acid Deposition
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010016 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
Reductions in exchangeable calcium and magnesium and increase in exchangeable aluminum concentrations have been shown in soils impacted by acid deposition, including at four sites on the Allegheny Plateau, PA, USA, sampled in 1967 and 1997 during a period of peak deposition. We [...] Read more.
Reductions in exchangeable calcium and magnesium and increase in exchangeable aluminum concentrations have been shown in soils impacted by acid deposition, including at four sites on the Allegheny Plateau, PA, USA, sampled in 1967 and 1997 during a period of peak deposition. We repeated sampling at these sites in 2017 to evaluate changes in soils during the more recent period when there has been a strong decline in acid deposition. The uppermost horizons, including the Oa and A horizons where humified organic matter transitions to mineral soil, were thicker, had higher concentrations of organic carbon and exchangeable calcium and magnesium, and lower concentrations of exchangeable aluminum in 2017 compared to 1997, approximating values measured in 1967. Below the Oa/A horizons, 2017 soil chemistry was more similar to the 1997 results, with some reduction of Ca in the recent measurements. These results suggest recovery of base cation–aluminum balance in surface horizons and may indicate a reduction of aluminum mobilization and increased efficiency of vegetation recycling of nutrients with decreased acid anion concentrations. These changes are consistent with a partial recovery from acid deposition. However, the increase in humified soil organic matter may also be affected by coincident increases in temperature and soil moisture. Full article
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Review
Phosphorus Transport along the Cropland–Riparian–Stream Continuum in Cold Climate Agroecosystems: A Review
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010015 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 869
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) loss from cropland to ground and surface waters is a global concern. In cold climates (CCs), freeze–thaw cycles, snowmelt runoff events, and seasonally wet soils increase P loss potential while limiting P removal effectiveness of riparian buffer zones (RBZs) and other [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) loss from cropland to ground and surface waters is a global concern. In cold climates (CCs), freeze–thaw cycles, snowmelt runoff events, and seasonally wet soils increase P loss potential while limiting P removal effectiveness of riparian buffer zones (RBZs) and other practices. While RBZs can help reduce particulate P transfer to streams, attenuation of dissolved P forms is more challenging. Moreover, P transport studies often focus on either cropland or RBZs exclusively rather than spanning the natural cropland–RBZ–stream gradient, defined here as the cropland–RBZ–stream continuum. Watershed P transport models and agronomic P site indices are commonly used to identify critical source areas; however, RBZ effects on P transport are usually not included. In addition, the coarse resolution of watershed P models may not capture finer-scale soil factors affecting P mobilization. It is clear that site microtopography and hydrology are closely linked and important drivers of P release and transport in overland flow. Combining light detection and ranging (LiDAR) based digital elevation models with P site indices and process-based models show promise for mapping and modeling P transport risk in cropland-RBZ areas; however, a better mechanistic understanding of processes controlling mobile P species across regions is needed. Broader predictive approaches integrating soil hydro-biogeochemical processes with real-time hydroclimatic data and risk assessment tools also hold promise for improving P transport risk assessment in CCs. Full article
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Article
Undisturbed Soil Pedon under Birch Forest: Characterization of Microbiome in Genetic Horizons
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010014 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
Vast areas of land in the forest-steppe of West Siberia are occupied by birch forests, the most common ecosystems there. However, currently, little is known about the microbiome composition in the underlying soil, especially along a sequence of soil genetic horizons. The study [...] Read more.
Vast areas of land in the forest-steppe of West Siberia are occupied by birch forests, the most common ecosystems there. However, currently, little is known about the microbiome composition in the underlying soil, especially along a sequence of soil genetic horizons. The study aimed at inventorying microbiome in genetic horizons of a typical Phaeozem under undisturbed birch forest in West Siberia. Bacteria and fungi were studied using 16S rRNA genes’ and ITS2 amplicon sequencing with Illumina MiSeq. Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria together accounted for two-thirds of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) numbers and half of the sequences in each genetic horizon. Acidobacteria predominated in eluvial environments, whereas Proteobacteria, preferred topsoil. The fungal sequences were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota phyla. Basidiomycota was the most abundant in the topsoil, whereas Ascomycota increased down the soil profile. Thelephoraceae family was the most abundant in the A horizon, whereas the Pyronemataceae family dominants in the AEl horizon, ultimately prevailing in the subsoil. We conclude that soil genetic horizons shape distinct microbiomes, therefore soil horizontation should be accounted for while studying undisturbed soils. This study, representing the first description of bacterio- and mycobiomes in genetic horizons of the Phaeozem profile, provides a reference for future research. Full article
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Review
Sorption Mechanisms of Chemicals in Soils
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010013 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
Sorption of chemicals onto soil particle surfaces is an important process controlling their availability for uptake by organisms and loss from soils to ground and surface waters. The mechanisms of chemical sorption are inner- and outer-sphere adsorption and precipitation onto mineral surfaces. Factors [...] Read more.
Sorption of chemicals onto soil particle surfaces is an important process controlling their availability for uptake by organisms and loss from soils to ground and surface waters. The mechanisms of chemical sorption are inner- and outer-sphere adsorption and precipitation onto mineral surfaces. Factors that determine the sorption behavior are properties of soil mineral and organic matter surfaces and properties of the sorbing chemicals (including valence, electron configuration, and hydrophobicity). Because soils are complex heterogeneous mixtures, measuring sorption mechanisms is challenging; however, advancements analytical methods have made direct determination of sorption mechanisms possible. In this review, historical and modern research that supports the mechanistic understanding of sorption mechanisms in soils is discussed. Sorption mechanisms covered include cation exchange, outer-sphere adsorption, inner-sphere adsorption, surface precipitation, and ternary adsorption complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sorption Processes in Soils and Sediments)
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Article
Modelling the Influence of Soil Properties on Crop Yields Using a Non-Linear NFIR Model and Laboratory Data
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010012 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 791
Abstract
This paper introduces a new non-linear correlation analysis method based on a non-linear finite impulse response (NFIR) model to study and quantify the effects of ten soil properties on crop yield. Two versions of the NFIR model were implemented: NFIR-LN, accounting for both [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a new non-linear correlation analysis method based on a non-linear finite impulse response (NFIR) model to study and quantify the effects of ten soil properties on crop yield. Two versions of the NFIR model were implemented: NFIR-LN, accounting for both the linear and non-linear variability in the system, and NFIR-L, accounting for linear variability only. The performance of the NFIR models was compared with a non-linear random forest (RF) model, to predict oilseed rape (2013) and wheat (2014) yields in one field at Premslin, Germany. The ten soil properties were used as system inputs, whereas crop yield was the system output. Results demonstrated that the individual and total contribution of the soil properties on crop yield varied throughout the different cropping seasons, weather conditions, and crops. Both the NFIR-LN and RF models outperformed the NFIR-L model and explained up to 55.62% and 50.66% of the yield variation for years 2013 and 2014, respectively. The NFIR-LN and RF models performed equally during yield prediction, although the NFIR-LN model provided more consistent results through the two cropping seasons. Higher phosphorus and potassium contributions to the yield were calculated with the NFIR-LN model, suggesting this method outperforms the RF model. Full article
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Article
Uncovering the Role of Biophysical Factors and Socioeconomic Forces Shaping Soil Sensitivity to Degradation: Insights from Italy
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010011 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
Following an operational framework derived from earlier research, our study research estimates the specific contribution of biophysical and socioeconomic factors to soil sensitivity to degradation at two-time points (Early-1990s and Early-2010s) in Italy, a Mediterranean hotspot for desertification risk. A total of 34 [...] Read more.
Following an operational framework derived from earlier research, our study research estimates the specific contribution of biophysical and socioeconomic factors to soil sensitivity to degradation at two-time points (Early-1990s and Early-2010s) in Italy, a Mediterranean hotspot for desertification risk. A total of 34 variables associated (directly or, at least, indirectly) with different processes of soil degradation (erosion, salinization, sealing, contamination, and compaction) and climate change were considered here, delineating the predominant (underlying) cause (i.e., biophysical or socioeconomic). This set of variables represented the largest (quantitative) information available from national and international data sources including official statistics at both national and European scale. Contribution of biophysical and socioeconomic dimensions to soil sensitivity to degradation was heterogeneous in Italy, with the level of soil sensitivity to biophysical factors being the highest in less accessible, natural areas mostly located in hilly and mountainous districts. The highest level of soil sensitivity to socioeconomic drivers was instead observed in more accessible locations around large cities and flat rural districts with crop intensification and low (but increasing) population density. All these factors delineated an enlarged divide in environmental quality between (i) flat and upland districts, and between (ii) Northern and Southern Italian regions. These findings suggest the appropriateness of policy strategies protecting soils with a strong place-specific knowledge, i.e., based on permanent monitoring of local (biophysical and socioeconomic) conditions. Full article
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Article
Untargeted Exometabolomics Provides a Powerful Approach to Investigate Biogeochemical Hotspots with Vegetation and Polygon Type in Arctic Tundra Soils
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010010 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Rising temperatures in the Arctic have led to the thawing of tundra soils, which is rapidly changing terrain, hydrology, and plant and microbial communities, causing hotspots of biogeochemical activity across the landscape. Despite this, little is known about how nutrient-rich low molecular weight [...] Read more.
Rising temperatures in the Arctic have led to the thawing of tundra soils, which is rapidly changing terrain, hydrology, and plant and microbial communities, causing hotspots of biogeochemical activity across the landscape. Despite this, little is known about how nutrient-rich low molecular weight dissolved organic matter (LMW DOM) varies within and across tundra ecosystems. Using a high-resolution nano-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) approach, we characterized the composition and availability of LMW DOM from high-centered polygons (HCP) and low-centered polygons (LCP) with Eriophorum angustifolium or Carex aquatilis as the dominant vegetation. Over 3000 unique features (i.e., discrete mass/charge ions) were detected; 521 were identified as differentially abundant between polygonal types and 217 were putatively annotated using high mass accuracy MS data. While polygon type was a strong predictor of LMW DOM composition and availability, vegetation and soil depth were also important drivers. Extensive evidence was found for enhanced microbial processing at the LCP sites, which were dominated by Carex plant species. We detected significant differences between polygon types with varying aboveground landscape features or properties, and hotspots of biogeochemical activity, indicating LMW DOM, as quantified by untargeted exometabolomics, provides a window into the dynamic complex interactions between landscape topography, vegetation, and organic matter cycling in Arctic polygonal tundra soils. Full article
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Article
The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Estimating Soil Volumes Retained by Check Dams after Wildfires in Mediterranean Forests
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010009 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Check dams act as soil collectors during floods, thus retaining a large amount of sediments. The estimation of the soil volumes stored behind a check dam is a key activity for a proper design of these control works and for evaluation of soil [...] Read more.
Check dams act as soil collectors during floods, thus retaining a large amount of sediments. The estimation of the soil volumes stored behind a check dam is a key activity for a proper design of these control works and for evaluation of soil delivery after restoration measures at watershed level. Several topographic techniques have been proposed for this activity, but the sediment wedge mapping tools are complex and time consuming. Conversely, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been proposed to support aerophotogrammetric techniques for several survey activities with promising results. However, surveys by UAVs have never applied to calculate the size of the sediment wedge behind check dams that are built in fire-affected watersheds, where soil loss and sediment transport may be high after a wildfire. To fill this gap, this study evaluates the efficiency and efficacy of aerophotogrammetric surveys using UAVs to estimate the volume of the sediments stored behind ten check dams, built as post-fire channel treatment in a forest watershed of Castilla La Mancha (Central Eastern Spain). The results of the aerophotogrammetric technique were compared to traditional topographic surveys using a total station and GNSS/RTK, assumed as reference. The estimation of sediment wedge volume provided by UAVs was more accurate (mean RMSE of 0.432), extensive (density of mapped points of 328 m−2) and quick (two days of fieldwork) compared to surveys using the topographic method (RMSE < 0.04 m, six days of field work and density of mapped points of 0.194 m−2) by the topographic method. The differences in the sediment volume estimated by the two methods were not significant, but the UAV method was more accurate for the larger check dams. Moreover, a significant correlation was observed between the volume estimates provided by the two methods, shown by a coefficient of determination close to 0.98. Overall, these results propose a larger use of the aerial surveys for mapping activities in channels regulated by check dams, such as those built for restoration of fire-affected forest watersheds. Full article
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Soil Systems in 2020
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010008 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Soil Systems maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Article
Linking Soil CO2 Efflux to Individual Trees: Size-Dependent Variation and the Importance of the Birch Effect
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010007 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Soil CO2 efflux (FCO2) is a major component of the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle but challenges in explaining local variability hamper efforts to link broad-scale fluxes to their biotic drivers. Trees are the dominant C source for forest soils, so [...] Read more.
Soil CO2 efflux (FCO2) is a major component of the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle but challenges in explaining local variability hamper efforts to link broad-scale fluxes to their biotic drivers. Trees are the dominant C source for forest soils, so linking tree properties to FCO2 could open new avenues to study plant-soil feedbacks and facilitate scaling; furthermore, FCO2 responds dynamically to meteorological conditions, complicating predictions of total FCO2 and forest C balance. We tested for proximity effects of individual Acer saccharum Marsh. trees on FCO2, comparing FCO2 within 1 m of mature stems to background fluxes before and after an intense rainfall event. Wetting significantly increased background FCO2 (6.4 ± 0.3 vs. 8.6 ± 0.6 s.e. μmol CO2 m−2s−1), with a much larger enhancement near tree stems (6.3 ± 0.3 vs. 10.8 ± 0.4 μmol CO2 m−2s−1). FCO2 varied significantly among individual trees and post-rain values increased with tree diameter (with a slope of 0.058 μmol CO2 m−2s−1cm−1). Post-wetting amplification of FCO2 (the ‘Birch effect’) in root zones often results from the improved mobility of labile carbohydrates and further metabolization of recalcitrant organic matter, which may both occur at higher densities near larger trees. Our results indicate that plant-soil feedbacks change through tree ontogeny and provide evidence for a novel link between whole-system carbon fluxes and forest structure. Full article
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Article
Have Sustained Acidic Deposition Decreases Led to Increased Calcium Availability in Recovering Watersheds of the Adirondack Region of New York, USA?
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010006 - 23 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Soil calcium depletion has been strongly linked to acidic deposition in eastern North America and recent studies have begun to document the recovery of soils in response to large decreases in acidic deposition. However, increased calcium availability has not yet been seen in [...] Read more.
Soil calcium depletion has been strongly linked to acidic deposition in eastern North America and recent studies have begun to document the recovery of soils in response to large decreases in acidic deposition. However, increased calcium availability has not yet been seen in the B horizon, where calcium depletion has been most acute, but mineral weathering is critically important for resupplying ecosystem calcium. This study provides new data in seven watersheds in the Adirondack region (New York, USA), where acidic deposition impacts on soils and surface waters have been substantial and recovery remains slow. Initial sampling in 1997–1998 and 2003–2004 was repeated in 2009–2010, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Exchangeable calcium concentrations increased by an average of 43% in the Oe horizon of three watersheds where this horizon was sampled (10.7–15.3 cmolc kg−1). Changes in calcium were not seen in the individual watersheds of the Oa and B horizons, but as a group, a significant increase in calcium was measured in the upper B horizon. Liming of a calcium-depleted watershed also tripled calcium concentration in the upper B horizon in 5 years. However, stream calcium in unlimed watersheds decreased over the study period. Small increases in B-horizon calcium may be underway. Full article
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Article
Soil Management and Slope Impacts on Soil Properties, Hydrological Response, and Erosion in Hazelnut Orchard
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010005 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Proper soil management is crucial to mitigate soil degradation. Hazelnut orchards are often raised on slopes and intensively managed, which makes them similar to the already defined highly erodible land uses like vineyards. This research aims to assess the impacts of soil management [...] Read more.
Proper soil management is crucial to mitigate soil degradation. Hazelnut orchards are often raised on slopes and intensively managed, which makes them similar to the already defined highly erodible land uses like vineyards. This research aims to assess the impacts of soil management and the slope on the soil properties, hydrological response, and erosion in the hazelnut orchard. At eastern Croatia on Cambisols, four treatments were chosen, representing two soil managements in the study area (herbicide and mulched) on two different slope inclinations (high ~9° and low ~4.5°), for rainfall simulation experiments and soil sampling. The herbicide treatments on both slopes removed soil cover and reduced (p < 0.05) soil organic matter, mean weight diameter, and water-stable aggregates. Mulched treatments recorded a lower (p < 0.05) bulk density. These soil properties affected soil hydrological response, as the reduction of infiltration in herbicide plots lead to higher water and sediment losses. The higher slope increased erosion in herbicide soil to over 2.2 t ha−1. Mulching was shown as a superior practice as it enhances soil properties and reduces soil erosion, even reducing the effect of the higher slope on erosional processes. Full article
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Article
Zero Tillage Systems Conserve Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, Enhancing Soil Glomalin and Water Stable Aggregates with Implications for Soil Stability
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010004 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with approximately 80% of terrestrial plant species, while producing the glycoprotein glomalin as a structural support molecule along their mycelial network. Glomalin confers two benefits for soils: (1) acting as a carbon and nitrogen storage [...] Read more.
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with approximately 80% of terrestrial plant species, while producing the glycoprotein glomalin as a structural support molecule along their mycelial network. Glomalin confers two benefits for soils: (1) acting as a carbon and nitrogen storage molecule; (2) the binding of soil microaggregates (<250 µm) to form larger, more stable structures. The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that a correlation between glomalin and soil aggregation exists and that this is influenced by the method of seedbed preparation. The soils from two crops of winter wheat in Hertfordshire, UK, practising either conventional (20 cm soil inversion) or zero tillage exclusively, were sampled in a 50 m grid arrangement over a 12 month period. Glomalin and water stable aggregates (WSA) were quantified for each soil sample and found to be significantly greater in zero tillage soils compared to those of conventional tillage. A stronger correlation between WSA and glomalin was observed in zero tillage (Pearson’s coeffect 0.85) throughout the cropping year compared to conventional tillage (Pearson’s coeffect 0.07). The present study was able to conclude that zero tillage systems are beneficial for AM fungi, the enhancement of soil glomalin and soil erosion mitigation. Full article
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Article
Biogeochemical Controls on the Potential for Long-Term Contaminant Leaching from Soils Developing on Historic Coal Mine Spoil
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010003 - 30 Dec 2020
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Abstract
Coal mine spoil is widespread in US coal mining regions, and the potential long-term leaching of toxic metal(loid)s is a significant and underappreciated issue. This study aimed to determine the flux of contaminants from historic mine coal spoil at a field site located [...] Read more.
Coal mine spoil is widespread in US coal mining regions, and the potential long-term leaching of toxic metal(loid)s is a significant and underappreciated issue. This study aimed to determine the flux of contaminants from historic mine coal spoil at a field site located in Appalachian Ohio (USA) and link pore water composition and solid-phase composition to the weathering reaction stages within the soils. The overall mineralogical and microbial community composition indicates that despite very different soil formation pathways, soils developing on historic coal mine spoil and an undisturbed soil are currently dominated by similar mineral weathering reactions. Both soils contained pyrite coated with clays and secondary oxide minerals. However, mine spoil soil contained abundant residual coal, with abundant Fe- and Mn- (oxy)hydroxides. These secondary phases likely control and mitigate trace metal (Cu, Ni, and Zn) transport from the soils. While Mn was highly mobile in Mn-enriched soils, Fe and Al mobility may be more controlled by dissolved organic carbon dynamics than mineral abundance. There is also likely an underappreciated risk of Mn transport from coal mine spoil, and that mine spoil soils could become a major source of metals if local biogeochemical conditions change. Full article
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Article
Soil Lead Concentration and Speciation in Community Farms of Newark, New Jersey, USA
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010002 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 857
Abstract
Farmed urban soils often bear legacies of historic contamination from anthropogenic and industrial sources. Soils from seven community farms in Newark, New Jersey (NJ), USA, were analyzed to determine the concentration and speciation of lead (Pb) depending on garden location and cultivation status. [...] Read more.
Farmed urban soils often bear legacies of historic contamination from anthropogenic and industrial sources. Soils from seven community farms in Newark, New Jersey (NJ), USA, were analyzed to determine the concentration and speciation of lead (Pb) depending on garden location and cultivation status. Samples were evaluated using single-step 1 M nitric acid (HNO3) and Tessier sequential extractions in combination with X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (XAFS) analysis. Single-step extractable Pb concentration ranged from 22 to 830 mg kg−1, with 21% of samples reporting concentrations of Pb > 400 mg kg−1, which is the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) limit for residential soils. Sequential extractions indicated lowest Pb concentrations in the exchangeable fraction (0–211 mg kg−1), with highest concentrations (0–3002 mg kg−1) in the oxidizable and reducible fractions. For samples with Pb > 400 mg kg−1, Pb distribution was mostly uniform in particle size fractions of <0.125–1 mm, with slightly higher Pb concentrations in the <0.125 mm fraction. XAFS analysis confirmed that Pb was predominantly associated with pyromorphite, iron–manganese oxides and organic matter. Overall results showed that lowest concentrations of Pb are detected in raised beds, whereas uncultivated native soil and parking lot samples had highest values of Pb. As most of the Pb is associated with reducible and oxidizable soil fractions, there is a lower risk of mobility and bioavailability. However, Pb exposure through ingestion and inhalation pathways is still of concern when directly handling the soil. With increasing interest in urban farming in cities across the USA, this study highlights the need for awareness of soil contaminants and the utility of coupled macroscopic and molecular-scale geochemical techniques to understand the distribution and speciation of soil Pb. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sorption Processes in Soils and Sediments)
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Article
Influence of Soil and Manure Management Practices on Surface Runoff Phosphorus and Nitrogen Loss in a Corn Silage Production System: A Paired Watershed Approach
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soilsystems5010001 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
Best management practices (BMPs) can mitigate erosion and nutrient runoff. We evaluated runoff losses for silage corn management systems using paired watershed fields in central Wisconsin. A two-year calibration period of fall-applied liquid dairy manure incorporated with chisel plow tillage (FMT) was followed [...] Read more.
Best management practices (BMPs) can mitigate erosion and nutrient runoff. We evaluated runoff losses for silage corn management systems using paired watershed fields in central Wisconsin. A two-year calibration period of fall-applied liquid dairy manure incorporated with chisel plow tillage (FMT) was followed by a three and a half-year treatment period. During the treatment period FMT was continued on one field, and three different systems on the others: (a) fall-applied manure and chisel tillage plus a vegetative buffer strip (BFMT); (b) a fall rye cover crop with spring manure application and chisel tillage (RSMT), both BMPs; a common system (c) fall manure application with spring chisel tillage (FMST). Year-round runoff monitoring included flow, suspended sediment (SS), total phosphorus (TP), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), ammonium (NH4+-N), nitrate, and total nitrogen (TN). Results showed BFMT reduced runoff SS, TP, and TN concentration and load compared to FMT. The RSMT system reduced concentrations of SS, TP, and TN, but not load because of increased runoff. The FMST practice increased TP, DRP, and NH4+-N loads by 39, 376, and 197%, respectively. While BMPs showed mitigation potential for SS, TN, and TP, none controlled DRP, suggesting additional practices may be needed in manured corn silage fields with high runoff potential. Full article
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