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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2013, Vol.369(1), pp.669-680
    Description: Aims: The rhizosphere is a dynamic system strongly influenced by root activity. Roots modify the pH of their surrounding soil causing the soil pH to vary as a function of distance from root surface, location along root axes, and root maturity. Non-invasive imaging techniques provide the possibility to capture pH patterns around the roots as they develop. Methods: We developed a novel fluorescence imaging set up and applied to the root system of two lupin (Lupinus albus L., Lupinus angustifolius L.) and one soft-rush (Juncus effusus L.) species. We grew plants in glass containers filled with soil and equipped with fluorescence sensor foils on the container side walls. We gained highly-resolved data on the spatial distribution of H super(+) around the roots by taking time-lapse images of the samples over the course of several days. Results: We showed how the soil pH in the vicinity of roots developed over time to different values from that of the original bulk soil. The soil pH in the immediate vicinity of the root surface varied greatly along the root length, with the most acidic point being at 0.56-3.36 mm behind the root tip. Indications were also found for temporal soil pH changes due to root maturity. Conclusion: In conclusion, this study shows that this novel optical fluorescence imaging set up is a powerful tool for studying pH developments around roots in situ.
    Keywords: Acidification ; Alkalization ; Exudates ; Fluorescence imaging ; Optical sensors ; pH mapping ; Rhizosphere
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Hydrology, August 2016, Vol.539, pp.74-87
    Description: The analytical evaluation of diurnal temperature variation in riverbed sediments provides detailed information on exchange fluxes between rivers and groundwater. The underlying assumption of the stationary, one-dimensional vertical flow field is frequently violated in natural systems where subsurface water flow often has a significant horizontal component. In this paper, we present a new methodology for identifying the geometry of the subsurface flow field using vertical temperature profiles. The statistical analyses are based on model optimisation and selection and are used to evaluate the shape of vertical amplitude ratio profiles. The method was applied to multiple profiles measured around in-stream geomorphological structures in a losing reach of a gravel bed river. The predominant subsurface flow field was systematically categorised in purely vertical and horizontal (hyporheic, parafluvial) components. The results highlight that river groundwater exchange flux at the head, crest and tail of geomorphological structures significantly deviated from the one-dimensional vertical flow, due to a significant horizontal component. The geometry of the subsurface water flow depended on the position around the geomorphological structures and on the river level. The methodology presented in this paper features great potential for characterising the spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of complex subsurface flow geometries by using measured temperature time series in vertical profiles.
    Keywords: Temperature Time Series ; Amplitude Ratio ; River–Groundwater Exchange ; Hyporheic Zone ; In-Stream Geomorphological Structures ; River Restoration ; Geography
    ISSN: 0022-1694
    E-ISSN: 1879-2707
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2015, Vol.397(1), pp.273-287
    Description: BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Water is often heterogeneously distributed in soils. Understanding roots’ responses to this soil-water heterogeneity is a key parameter defining plant survival in dry climates. To determine local root water uptake for partly dry conditions in a plant’s root system, we prepared soil patches with different water contents, then used neutron radiography to monitor daily changes in root structure and water uptake. METHODS: Lupin plants were grown in 30 × 25 × 1 cm³ aluminum containers filled with sandy soil. In two partitioning set-ups, the soil-root zone was divided into either two or nine hydraulically-isolated soil compartments. This was done by packing layers of coarse sand as capillary barriers, by which vertical and/or horizontal soil water heterogeneity as well as homogeneous well-watered treatments were applied for control. Daily changes in soil water content in each compartment, water uptake and root growth were monitored non-invasively and quantified by neutron radiography during a period of 15 consecutive days. RESULTS: In optimal homogeneously-wet soil, lateral roots in the top 10 cm of the root system showed the highest water uptake rate, up to around 10 mg/(mm. root. day), which on average was twice as much as that for younger lateral roots in lower position and taproot. In heterogeneous treatments, root water uptake declined strongly in compartments with the soil water content below 0.13–0.10 cm³/cm³ while in parallel an enhanced uptake rate, rising by up to 100 %, was observed for the roots in wet compartments, presumably to compensate for roots in dry compartments and, therefore, sustain the total transpiration. Also, our observations showed that in the drying compartment a reduction of soil water content to 0.10–0.15 triggered local cluster root formation. CONCLUSIONS: With the experimental set-up presented the pattern of water uptake across a lupin root system can be quantified and normalized to root length. Water uptake was shown to be highly variable in different parts of the root system. A threshold for water stress to cause cessation of local water uptake was identified, and the considerable amount of compensation by water uptake in other parts identified. The dynamic trade-off among different parts of the root system seems to regulate total root uptake also during water stress to sustain the daily transpirational demand. ; p. 273-287.
    Keywords: Compensation ; Neutron radiography ; Partial root-zone drying ; Plant root ; Root length ; Soil water heterogeneity ; Water uptake
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, August 2018, Vol.239, pp.579-589
    Description: Following the widespread assumption that a majority of ubiquitous marine microplastic particles originate from land-based sources, recent studies identify rivers as important pathways for microplastic particles (MPP) to the oceans. Yet a detailed understanding of the underlying processes and dominant sources is difficult to obtain with the existing accurate but extremely time-consuming methods available for the identification of MPP. Thus in the presented study, a novel approach applying short-wave infrared imaging spectroscopy for the quick and semi-automated identification of MPP is applied in combination with a multitemporal survey concept. Volume-reduced surface water samples were taken from transects at ten points along a major watercourse running through the South of Berlin, Germany, on six dates. After laboratory treatment, the samples were filtered onto glass fiber filters, scanned with an imaging spectrometer and analyzed by image processing. The presented method allows to count MPP, classify the plastic types and determine particle sizes. At the present stage of development particles larger than 450 μm in diameter can be identified and a visual validation showed that the results are reliable after a subsequent visual final check of certain typical error types. Therefore, the method has the potential to accelerate microplastic identification by complementing FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy. Technical advancements (e.g. new lens) will allow lower detection limits and a higher grade of automatization in the near future. The resulting microplastic concentrations in the water samples are discussed in a spatio-temporal context with respect to the influence (i) of urban areas, (ii) of effluents of three major Berlin wastewater treatment plants discharging into the canal and (iii) of precipitation events. Microplastic concentrations were higher downstream of the urban area and after precipitation. An increase in microplastic concentrations was discernible for the wastewater treatment plant located furthest upstream though not for the other two. Short-wave imaging spectroscopy automatizes and accelerates the analysis of microplastic particles 〉450 μm extracted from environmental samples and thus opens the door for extensive (spatial and/or temporal) sampling surveys.
    Keywords: Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Water Research, 2011, Vol.45(16), pp.5063-5074
    Description: Field investigations on the treatment of MTBE and benzene from contaminated groundwater in pilot or full-scale constructed wetlands are lacking hugely. The aim of this study was to develop a biological treatment technology that can be operated in an economic, reliable and robust mode over a long period of time. Two pilot-scale vertical-flow soil filter eco-technologies, a roughing filter (RF) and a polishing filter (PF) with plants (willows), were operated independently in a single-stage configuration and coupled together in a multi-stage (RF + PF) configuration to investigate the MTBE and benzene removal performances. Both filters were loaded with groundwater from a refinery site contaminated with MTBE and benzene as the main contaminants, with a mean concentration of 2970 ± 816 and 13,966 ± 1998 μg L , respectively. Four different hydraulic loading rates (HLRs) with a stepwise increment of 60, 120, 240 and 480 L m  d were applied over a period of 388 days in the single-stage operation. At the highest HLR of 480 L m  d , the mean concentrations of MTBE and benzene were found to be 550 ± 133 and 65 ± 123 μg L in the effluent of the RF. In the effluent of the PF system, respective mean MTBE and benzene concentrations of 49 ± 77 and 0.5 ± 0.2 μg L were obtained, which were well below the relevant MTBE and benzene limit values of 200 and 1 μg L for drinking water quality. But a dynamic fluctuation in the effluent MTBE concentration showed a lack of stability in regards to the increase in the measured values by nearly 10%, which were higher than the limit value. Therefore, both (RF + PF) filters were combined in a multi-stage configuration and the combined system proved to be more stable and effective with a highly efficient reduction of the MTBE and benzene concentrations in the effluent. Nearly 70% of MTBE and 98% of benzene were eliminated from the influent groundwater by the first vertical filter (RF) and the remaining amount was almost completely diminished (∼100% reduction) after passing through the second filter (PF), with a mean MTBE and benzene concentration of 5 ± 10 and 0.6 ± 0.2 μg L in the final effluent. The emission rate of volatile organic compounds mass into the air from the systems was less than 1% of the inflow mass loading rate. The results obtained in this study not only demonstrate the feasibility of vertical-flow soil filter systems for treating groundwater contaminated with MTBE and benzene, but can also be considered a major step forward towards their application under full-scale conditions for commercial purposes in the oil and gas industries. ► We design vertical soil filters for MTBE and benzene removal from groundwater. ► Filter effluent shows highly efficient MTBE and benzene concentration reduction. ► Multi-stage system provides sufficient and stable results than single-stage. ► Negligible emission indicates biodegradation as main removal pathway. ► Novel technology promises to be an effective solution for groundwater remediation.
    Keywords: Benzene ; Groundwater Remediation ; Hydraulic Loading Rate ; Mtbe ; Pilot-Scale Constructed Wetland ; Vertical-Flow Soil Filter ; Willow Tree ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0043-1354
    E-ISSN: 1879-2448
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2010, Vol.332(1), pp.163-176
    Description: Water flow from soil to plants depends on the properties of the soil next to roots, the rhizosphere. Although several studies showed that the rhizosphere has different properties than the bulk soil, effects of the rhizosphere on root water uptake are commonly neglected. To investigate the rhizosphere’s properties we used neutron radiography to image water content distributions in soil samples planted with lupins during drying and subsequent rewetting. During drying, the water content in the rhizosphere was 0.05 larger than in the bulk soil. Immediately after rewetting, the picture reversed and the rhizosphere remained markedly dry. During the following days the water content of the rhizosphere increased and after 60 h it exceeded that of the bulk soil. The rhizosphere’s thickness was approximately 1.5 mm. Based on the observed dynamics, we derived the distinct, hysteretic and time-dependent water retention curve of the rhizosphere. Our hypothesis is that the rhizosphere’s water retention curve was determined by mucilage exuded by roots. The rhizosphere properties reduce water depletion around roots and weaken the drop of water potential towards roots, therefore favoring water uptake under dry conditions, as demonstrated by means of analytical calculation of water flow to a single root.
    Keywords: Root water uptake ; Water retention curve ; Rhizosphere ; Neutron radiography ; Mucilage ; Hysteresis
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 7
    Language: German
    In: Grundwasser, 2011, Vol.16(4), pp.269-278
    Description: In this study, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), a non-destructive measurement technique, has been applied for investigation of iron turn-over processes. In non-invasive laboratory experiments, iron dissolution and precipitation reactions in saturated natural sands were observed spatially and temporally. These processes play an important role in groundwater with varying redox and pH conditions. Redox reactions turning Fe2+ into Fe3+ and Fe3+ into Fe2+ were detected in aqueous solution by the difference in magnetic relaxation times. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of the iron reduction reaction, the consumption and diffusive transfer to and from the reaction sites, was observed in a 1D set-up with natural sands. The achieved spatial resolution was less than one millimetre while repeating measurements every half an hour. It showed the system changing from diffusion-limited to reaction-limited. ; p. 269-278.
    Keywords: Groundwater ; Redox Reactions ; Laboratory Experimentation ; Ph ; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
    ISSN: 1430-483X
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 2013, Vol.224(9), pp.1-13
    Description: High applications of P fertilizers and manure are general practice in intensive agriculture and may cause eutrophication in adjacent streams. Bioavailability of P can be estimated by sequential extractions commonly used for soil or sediment. A single combined method may facilitate more effective comparisons of topsoils and adjoining stream sediments, and enhance management decisions. In this study, the suitability of an established soil P sequential extraction was tested on stream bed sediments. The study was conducted in the Sumas River watershed in the agricultural Lower Fraser Valley, Canada. Sediment samples with differing land use (forest, low and high intensity agriculture) from 1993, 1994, 2008, and 2009 from 14 sites along the Sumas River and tributaries were used. Total sequential extraction concentrations were in agreement with aqua regia digestion (Rs = 0.96) and showed consistency over the study time sequence. P fractions released by 0.5 M NaHCO 3 (median 14 %), 0.1 M NaOH (33 %), and 1.0 M HCl (38 %) were significantly ( α  = 0.05) higher than P released by other extractants. These three extraction steps provide a practical and time-effective assessment of P lability in stream sediments and may be used as a combined scheme for sediment and soil. Analytical results further revealed that land use has a major and characteristic impact on P lability. With a land use change from forest to intensive agriculture, results showed an increase in total P concentrations (30 to 4,000 ppm) and in P lability, in particular for the moderately labile NaOH-P fraction (20 to 50 %).
    Keywords: Phosphorus ; Eutrophication ; Availability ; Sequential extraction ; Agriculture ; River bed sediment
    ISSN: 0049-6979
    E-ISSN: 1573-2932
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 2011, Vol.126(1), pp.8-18
    Description: Aiming at the stimulation of intrinsic microbial activity, pulses of pure oxygen or pressurized air were recurrently injected into groundwater polluted with chlorobenzene. To achieve well-controlled conditions and intensive sampling, a large, vertical underground tank was filled with the local unconfined sandy aquifer material. In the course of two individual gas injections, one using pure oxygen and one using pressurized air, the mass transfer of individual gas species between trapped gas phase and groundwater was studied. Field data on the dissolved gas composition in the groundwater were combined with a kinetic model on gas dissolution and transport in porous media. Phase mass transfer of individual gas components caused a temporary enrichment of nitrogen, and to a lower degree of methane, in trapped gas leading to the formation of excess dissolved nitrogen levels downgradient from the dissolving gas phase. By applying a novel gas sampling method for dissolved gases in groundwater it was shown that dissolved nitrogen can be used as a partitioning tracer to indicate complete gas dissolution in porous media. ► Approach provided quantitative insight into multi-component gas–water mass transfer. ► Numerical modeling allows for prediction of gas dissolution in porous media. ► Dissolving gas plumes leave a characteristic nitrogen fingerprint in groundwater. ► Observing breakthrough of dissolved nitrogen aids in avoiding gas accumulation.
    Keywords: Inter-Phase Mass Transfer ; Groundwater ; Remediation ; Gas Sparging ; Nitrogen ; Methane ; Kinetics ; Bitterfeld ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Geography
    ISSN: 0169-7722
    E-ISSN: 1873-6009
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  • 10
    In: New Phytologist, November 2011, Vol.192(3), pp.653-663
    Description: • Despite the importance of rhizosphere properties for water flow from soil to roots, there is limited quantitative information on the distribution of water in the rhizosphere of plants. • Here, we used neutron tomography to quantify and visualize the water content in the rhizosphere of the plant species chickpea (Cicer arietinum), white lupin (Lupinus albus), and maize (Zea mays) 12 d after planting. • We clearly observed increasing soil water contents (θ) towards the root surface for all three plant species, as opposed to the usual assumption of decreasing water content. This was true for tap roots and lateral roots of both upper and lower parts of the root system. Furthermore, water gradients around the lower part of the roots were smaller and extended further into bulk soil compared with the upper part, where the gradients in water content were steeper. • Incorporating the hydraulic conductivity and water retention parameters of the rhizosphere into our model, we could simulate the gradual changes of θ towards the root surface, in agreement with the observations. The modelling result suggests that roots in their rhizosphere may modify the hydraulic properties of soil in a way that improves uptake under dry conditions.
    Keywords: Extent Of Rhizosphere ; Modelling ; Neutron Tomography ; Rhizosphere Hydraulic Properties ; Root Water Uptake ; Soil Moisture Profile ; Water Distribution
    ISSN: 0028-646X
    E-ISSN: 1469-8137
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