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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 15 November 2016, Vol.380, pp.224-231
    Description: Parameters of soil aeration and of soil water tension were measured for three years in skid trails of a 34 year old beech forest from natural regeneration which received its first thinning. The investigation took place in the Solling (Germany, Lower Saxony) at 400 m a.s.l. where cambisols have developed from silty Pleistocene deposits on Triassic sandstone. During thinning skid trails were laid out with a harvester, followed by a forwarder. The following measurements were made (i) in the undisturbed soil, (ii) in the wheel track, (iii) in the middle line between the wheel tracks: Continuous monitoring of water tension in 6–10 cm soil depth and soil air CO -concentration in 6 cm soil depth. Iron rods in the soil (down to 27 cm) were taken as indicators for soil aeration (redox indication) and were exposed for four weeks in late summer every year. Research questions were: How does the soil air CO -concentration and soil water tension change in time? How is soil air CO -concentration related to soil water tension and to soil temperature? What is the course of CO -concentration and soil water tension in the skid trail middle lane compared to undisturbed soil and wheel-track soil? Can iron rods reflect the soil aeration difference between trafficked and undisturbed soil? CO measurement, monitoring of soil water tension, and redox indication with iron rods showed that driving with harvester and forwarder not only affected the wheel tracks but also the unpassed middle lane of the skidding trails. Decrease of CO -concentration in the soil air indicated an initial regeneration of air diffusivity in the first 6 cm of the impacted soil within the first three years after trafficking. Iron rods had significantly different frequencies of reducing conditions in the order wheel tracks 〉 middle lane between wheel tracks 〉 undisturbed soil. Iron rods indicated no recovery of soil aeration in depth 12–24 cm during the three years of observation. The soil water tension reflected the transpirational water extraction by trees in the undisturbed soil in the course of the vegetation period (from spring to summer/autumn). In the skid trail the water tension indicated a more water filled porosity than in the undisturbed soil. The generally weaker water tension in the skid trails indicated, that also the middle lane between the wheel tracks was separated from the transpirational flow of soil water to the trees. CO -concentration in soil air at 6 cm depth in summer was more related to soil water tension than to soil temperature.
    Keywords: Soil Compaction ; Wheel Track ; Redox Indication ; Co2-Concentration ; Soil Moisture ; Soil Recovery ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Soils and Sediments, 2011, Vol.11(1), pp.93-100
    Description: In this study, the ecotoxicological effects of the soil contaminations at an uncovered landfill site are assessed with two biological tests (earthworm avoidance test and luminous bacteria test). Furthermore, the state of rotting of the organic substance is estimated. Therefore, total organic carbon (TOC) contents and basal respiration rates are measured.The study has been carried out with polluted samples originating from the old deposit I 27 in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. To assess the ecotoxicological effects, heavy metal contents were determined and earthworm avoidance tests were conducted. Luminous bacteria tests with Vibrio fischeri were applied to the soil eluates. Furthermore, the TOC contents and the basal respiration rates were measured regarding to the stability of the organic substance.Although the determined heavy metal contents showed high values, the results of the biotests do neither indicate an emission of contaminants with the seepage water nor a toxic disturbance of the soil function as a biological habitat. Beyond that, the respiration rates turned out to be in a range that is typical for natural soils.Due to the aerobic decomposition of the organic matter and the associated development of humic substances, the contaminants contained in the material seem to be mainly immobile. The organic matter is stabilised to a large part. Altogether the results accord to the long-term perspective for the environmental behaviour of artificially aerated waste.
    Keywords: Aeration ; Carbon dynamics ; Earthworm avoidance test ; Ecotoxicology ; Landfill ; Respiration ; Waste
    ISSN: 1439-0108
    E-ISSN: 1614-7480
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Journal of soils and sediments JSS, 2011, Vol.11(1), pp.93-100
    Description: Purpose In this study, the ecotoxicological effects of the soil contaminations at an uncovered landfill site are assessed with two biological tests (earthworm avoidance test and luminous bacteria test). Furthermore, the state of rotting of the organic substance is estimated. Therefore, total organic carbon (TOC) contents and basal respiration rates are measured. Materials and methods The study has been carried out with polluted samples originating from the old deposit I 27 in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. To assess the ecotoxicological effects, heavy metal contents were determined and earthworm avoidance tests were conducted. Luminous bacteria tests with Vibrio fischeri were applied to the soil eluates. Furthermore, the TOC contents and the basal respiration rates were measured regarding to the stability of the organic substance. Results and discussion Although the determined heavy metal contents showed high values, the results of the biotests do neither indicate an emission of contaminants with the seepage water nor a toxic disturbance of the soil function as a biological habitat. Beyond that, the respiration rates turned out to be in a range that is typical for natural soils. Conclusions Due to the aerobic decomposition of the organic matter and the associated development of humic substances, the contaminants contained in the material seem to be mainly immobile. The organic matter is stabilised to a large part. Altogether the results accord to the long-term perspective for the environmental behaviour of artificially aerated waste. ; Includes references ; p. 93-100.
    Keywords: Ecotoxicology ; Wastes ; Landfills ; Aeration ; Earthworm Avoidance Test ; Carbon Dynamics ; Respiration
    ISSN: 1439-0108
    E-ISSN: 16147480
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Forensic Science International, 2009, Vol.188(1), pp.18-22
    Description: Adipocere is formed from body fat in moist and oxygen-deficient decay conditions. The persistence of adipocere may cause problems for the reuse of graves after the expiration of statutory resting times in some countries. Up to now, no quantitative data existed on the persistence of adipocere in either aerated or anoxic conditions. We investigated the rate of degradation (disappearance) of adipocere in five different samples from human corpses. The experimental incubation was (a) in water without air contact, (b) in water with access to air, (c) in physiological saline with access to air, (d) on sterilized quartz sand, (e) in vitro on living soil, and (f) buried 15 cm deep in field soil. The weight loss of the samples was determined after 215 (293) days and half-lives were calculated under the assumption of simple first-order kinetics. Furthermore, the nitrogen content and the fatty acid composition of the adipocere samples were analyzed. The results revealed half-lives that differ between the adipocere samples from 11 to 82 years under anaerobic conditions (mean of all samples, 37 years). In air, the half-life of adipocere was reduced to about one tenth, ranging from 0.7 to 10 years (mean of 2.8 years for all samples incubated in aerated physiological saline, mean of 4.0 years for all samples incubated on living soil in the laboratory). Burying adipocere in a biologically active field soil resulted in half-lives of disappearance from 1.2 years to 2.1 years (mean, 1.5 years). The N content of the adipocere samples ranged between 1.9 and 6.7 mg N g . The sample with the highest N content was also that with the lowest half-life of disappearance in all types of incubation. The fatty acid analysis of the samples revealed a composition typical of adipocere, with a clear dominance of saturated acids (palmitic, myristic and stearic acid) over unsaturated ones. The variation of fatty acid composition between the different adipocere samples could only be attributed partly to their age and the burial conditions. It can be concluded that the aeration of adipocere-laden corpses will lead to a disappearance of adipocere (and hence restitution of the decay process) within a time span of several years.
    Keywords: Adipocere ; Degradation ; Decay ; Dt50 ; Soil Biota ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0379-0738
    E-ISSN: 1872-6283
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Geoderma, 2011, Vol.166(1), pp.198-205
    Description: A successful determination of spectrally active soil components with visible and near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (VIS-NIRS, 400–2500 nm) depends on the selection of an adequate multivariate calibration technique. In this study, the contents of thermolabile organic carbon (C ), the inert organic C fraction (C ) and the sum of both (total soil organic carbon, OC ) were estimated with three different methods: partial least squares regression (PLSR) as common standard tool, a combination of PLSR with a genetic algorithm (GA-PLSR) for spectral feature selection, and support vector machine regression (SVMR) with non-linear fitting capacities. The objective was to explore whether these methods show differences concerning their ability to predict soil organic carbon pools from VIS-NIR data. For this analysis, we used both measured spectra and also spectra successively blurred with uniformly distributed white noise. Soil sampling was performed in a floodplain (grassland plots) near Osnabrück (Germany) and comprised a total of 149 samples (109 calibration samples, 40 validation samples); spectral readings were taken in the laboratory with a fibre-optics ASD FieldSpec II Pro FR spectroradiometer. In the external validation, differences between the calibration methods were rather small, none of the applied techniques emerged to be the fittest with superior prediction accuracies. For C and OC , all approaches provided reliable estimates with r² (coefficient of determination) greater than 0.85 and RPD values (defined as ratio of standard deviation of measurements to standard error of prediction) greater than 2.5. For C , accuracies dropped to r² 〈 0.50 and RPD 〈 1.5; after the removal of two extreme values (n = 38) results improved at best (GA-PLSR) to r² = 0.80 and RPD = 1.98. The noise experiment revealed different responses of the studied approaches. For PLSR and GA-PLSR, increasing spectral noise resulted in successively reduced r² and RPD values. By contrast, SVMR kept high coefficients of determination even at high levels of noise, but increasing noise caused severely biased estimates, so that regression models were less accurate than those of PLSR and GA-PLSR. ► Inert organic C, thermolabile organic C and total organic C were studied as soil constituents. ► PLSR, GA-PLSR and SVMR were compared as calibration methods using soil VIS-NIR spectra. ► Validation approach did not reveal GA-PLSR or SVMR to be superior to PLSR. ► Responses of the calibration methods to artificial spectral noise were different. ► With SVMR, r² remained high but estimates were biased severely for strongly noised data.
    Keywords: Vis-Nir Spectroscopy ; Soil Organic Carbon ; Partial Least Squares Regression ; Support Vector Machine Regression ; Genetic Algorithm ; Spectral Noise ; Agriculture
    ISSN: 0016-7061
    E-ISSN: 1872-6259
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, 2013, Vol.49(3), pp.363-366
    Description: A new experimental setup for studying the behaviour of earthworms in compacted soil is described. The main features are (1) the soil column containing the earthworms is surrounded by repellent soil, (2) a compacted soil block is placed on top of this column, (3) the soil block can be prepared with different attributes (e.g. amendments), and (4) the soil block can be removed for further investigation. The experimental setup was tested using adult individuals of the anecic Lumbricus terrestris and two different kinds of compaction (bulk density, 1.3 and 1.7 g cm −3 ). At the end of the experiment (15 days), earthworm activity at the compacted soil was recorded on transparency film. Soil blocks of 1.3 g cm −3 bulk density were penetrated within 1 day whilst blocks of 1.7 g cm −3 had not been penetrated by 15 days.
    Keywords: Earthworm ; Laboratory microcosm ; Soil compaction ; Artificial soil cores ; Lumbricus terrestris ; Bulk density
    ISSN: 0178-2762
    E-ISSN: 1432-0789
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Geoderma, 01 July 2017, Vol.297, pp.61-69
    Description: The use of heavy machinery for timber harvesting causes soil damage, which may restrict forest soil functions over decades. Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative impact of soil compaction on soil physical properties, but the effects of compaction of forest soils on soil chemical and biological processes like the phosphorus availability are largely unknown. Aim of our study was to analyze the effect of skidding activity on the P dynamics on skid trails and the soil recovery ability after skidding. Furthermore, we wanted to assess if acid phosphatase activity is an appropriate indicator of soil structure damage after compaction. We investigated the phosphorus availability, acid phosphatase activity, TOC, pH value, and fine root density of soil samples from skid trails and from control plots without any skidding effect. We conducted our studies at three sites (Göttingen: Cambisols on limestone, Heide: Podzol on glacial drift and sand, and Solling: Cambisols at loess-covered sandstone) in Lower Saxony, Germany 10 to 40 years after last traffic impact in a space-for-time substitution. We observed mainly higher P concentrations and higher pH values at the wheel tracks than in the control. TOC was predominantly higher at the wheel tracks, but lower TOC at the wheel tracks was also found. In the acidic loams of the Solling region, the amount of mineralized phosphate was much higher in the tracks compared to the control areas 10 to 30 years after last traffic impact. This suggests a decoupling of P mineralization from P uptake in the wheel tracks for several decades. Furthermore, higher as well as lower phosphatase activity at the wheel tracks compared to the untrafficked control was found, but higher phosphatase activities at the wheel tracks were predominant. Acid phosphatase activity was strongly correlated with TOC, but did not correlate with the time since last traffic impact and the gas diffusivity of the soil. Therefore, our results did not confirm that acid phosphatase activity is an appropriate soil biological indicator of soil compaction and structural recovery.
    Keywords: Acid Phosphatase Activity ; P Availability ; Soil Compaction ; Soil Structure Recovery ; Agriculture
    ISSN: 0016-7061
    E-ISSN: 1872-6259
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Soils and Sediments, 2012, Vol.12(8), pp.1209-1210
    Description: Issue Title: Special issue: Coevolution of organic substances and soils
    Keywords: Environment ; Environmental Physics ; Soil Science & Conservation ; Environment, General ; Agriculture;
    ISSN: 1439-0108
    E-ISSN: 1614-7480
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Pedobiologia - International Journal of Soil Biology, 2010, Vol.53(2), pp.119-125
    Description: Earthworms are used in an increasing number of microcosm experiments that investigate their behaviour and biology or that consider earthworms an environmental factor that influences soil properties and biological interactions. However, there exists no standardized protocol for performing comparable studies. After giving a short overview of the different experimental approaches using earthworms as model organisms, the present paper provides recommendations for the planning and execution of earthworm experiments that help in achieving comparable results. The recommendations, summarized in a workflow diagram, pertain to the acquisition, treatment and description of earthworms for experimentation, the description and preparation of test soils and the criteria that should be met for valid experimental results.
    Keywords: Earthworm Experiments ; Laboratory Microcosm ; Validity Criteria ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Zoology
    ISSN: 0031-4056
    E-ISSN: 1873-1511
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, April 2009, Vol.172(2), pp.201-209
    Description: Soil samples from grassland plots in the Hase floodplain near Osnabrück (NW Germany) were analyzed using visible and near‐infrared laboratory spectroscopy (VNIRS) by means of an ASD FieldSpec II Pro FR‐ spectroradiometer (spectral range 0.4–2.5 µm), paralleled by atomic‐absorption spectrometry (AAS), automated combustion for C quantification, and texture analysis. By AAS, contents of Cu, Zn, and Pb were found to be clearly elevated which is due to industrial effluents into the river in the 19th and 20th century. As these heavy metals (HMs) cannot be assessed directly by VNIRS, it was one major task to clarify whether they can be quantified indirectly using intercorrelations with spectrally active soil components. A second goal was to identify the specific spectroscopic predictive mechanism which may also be applicable to assess trace‐HM contents of other soil samples similar to those investigated here. For the latter, C was found to be most indicative, whereas the binding of the metals to other constituents (Fe oxides, clay) was not utilizable in the spectroscopic approach. The measured spectra were subjected to a multiplicative scatter correction and afterwards used to establish partial least‐squares regression (PLSR) models to estimate the contents of the different soil constituents. For C, very reliable estimates were obtained for both calibration and validation samples (in the validation, r² amounted to 0.90 and the percentage root mean square error [RMSE] was equal to 30.6%). Estimation accuracies obtained by PLSR for the trace HMs were considerably lower (r² between 0.56 and 0.71, percentage RMSE 〉 50%), which can be traced back to moderate correlations with C as main spectral determinant. According to these results, VNIRS can be applied as rapid and precise screening method for C to complement traditional analytical methods and to be used efficiently for a large number of samples. The method of VNIRS may also be applied for an indirect estimation of C‐associated metals to address their spatial variability, for example. This issue appears to be of high importance for digital soil mapping by imaging spectroscopy on a local to medium spatial scale.
    Keywords: Trace Heavy Metals ; Soil Organic Carbon ; Vnir Spectroscopy ; Partial Least‐Squares Regression ; Multiplicative Scatter Correction
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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