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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2013, Vol.77(2), p.403
    Description: The influence of clay content in soil-pore structure development and the relative importance of macroporosity in governing convective fluid flow are two key challenges toward better understanding and quantifying soil ecosystem functions. In this study, soil physical measurements (soil-water retention and air permeability) and x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning were combined and used from two scales on intact soil columns (100 and 580 cm super(3)). The columns were sampled along a natural clay gradient at six locations (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and L6 with 0.11, 0.16, 0.21, 0.32, 0.38 and 0.46 kg kg super(-1) clay content, respectively) at a field site in Lerbjerg, Denmark. The water-holding capacity of soils markedly increased with increasing soil clay content, while significantly higher air permeability was observed for the L1 to L3 soils than for the L4 to L6 soils. Higher air permeability values observed for 580- than 100-cm super(3) soil columns implied a scale effect and relatively greater importance of macropores in convective fluid flow at larger scale. Supporting this, x-ray CT showed that both interaggregate pores and biopores (pores formed by earthworms and plant roots) were present at L1 to L3 in decreasing order, whereas only interaggre- gate pores were observed at L4 to L6. Macroporosity inferred from x-ray CT to quantify pores 1 mm decreased from 2.9 to 0.1 % from L1 to L6. A progressive improvement was observed in the linear relationship (R super(2) increasing 0.50-0.95) of air permeability with total air-filled porosity, CT-inferred macroporosity, and CT-inferred limiting macroporosity (minimum macroporosity for any quarter of soil column). The findings of this study show the immense potential in linking x-ray CT-derived soil-pore parameters with classical soil physical measurements for quantifying soil architecture and functions. [PUBLICATION]
    Keywords: Soil ; Permeability ; Earthworms ; Soil Structure ; Clay ; Porosity ; Computed Tomography ; Denmark ; Air Pollution;
    ISSN: Soil Science Society of America Journal
    E-ISSN: 0361-5995
    E-ISSN: 14350661
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  • 2
    In: Soil Science, 2014, Vol.179(6), pp.273-283
    Description: ABSTRACT: Soil aggregates are useful indicators of soil structure and stability, and the impact on physical and mechanical aggregate properties is critical for the sustainable use of organic amendments in agricultural soil. In this work, we evaluated the short-term soil quality effects of applying biochar (0–10 kg m), in combination with swine manure (2.1 and 4.2 kg m), to a no-till maize (Zea mays L.) cropping system on a sandy loam soil in Denmark. Topsoil (0–20 cm) aggregates were analyzed for clay dispersibility, aggregate stability, tensile strength (TS), and specific rupture energy (SRE) using end-over-end shaking, a Yoder-type wet-sieving method, and an unconfined compression test in soil samples collected 7 and 19 months after final biochar application. The highest rates of biochar and swine manure application resulted in the highest aggregate stability and lowest clay dispersibility. Applying both amendments systematically increased TS and SRE for large aggregates (4–8 and 8–16 mm) but not for small aggregates (1–2 and 2–4 mm). Increased biochar application also decreased the friability index of soil aggregates. Based on X-ray visualization, it was found that aggregates containing larger amounts of biochar particles had higher TS and SRE probably because of bonding effects. Based on the improved soil aggregate properties, we suggest that biochar can be effective for increasing and sustaining overall soil quality, for example, related to minimizing the soil erosion potential.
    Keywords: Denmark ; Corn ; Soil Sciences ; Sustainable Development ; Organic Farming ; Tensile Strength ; Clay ; Soil Erosion Control;
    ISSN: 0038-075X
    E-ISSN: 15389243
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2014, Vol.78(4), p.1239
    Description: The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic-induced changes in biodiversity and associated soil functions is limited. We quantified an array of soil biological constituents (plants, earthworms, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi) to explore their interactions and to characterize their influence on various soil functions (habitat for soil organisms, air and water regulation, and recycling of nutrients and organic waste) along a legacy Cu pollution gradient. Increasing Cu concentrations had a detrimental impact on both plant growth and species richness. Belowground soil biota showed similar responses, with their sensitivity to elevated Cu concentrations decreasing in the order: earthworms bacteria nematodes fungi. The observed loss of soil biota adversely affected natural soil bioturbation, aggregate formation and stabilization, and decomposition and mineralization processes and therefore resulted in compacted soil with narrow pore size distributions and overall smaller pores, restricted air and water storage and flow, and impeded C, N, and P cycling. The simultaneous evolution of soil biodiversity and functions along the Cu gradient emphasized the key role of soil life in controlling ecosystem services. Furthermore, results indicated that different soil biodiversity and functional indicators started to decline (10% loss) within a Cu concentration range of 110 to 800 mg total Cu kg sigma up -1 greater than or equal to
    Keywords: Plants (Organisms) ; Bacteria ; Soil (Material) ; Fungi ; Porosity ; Biodiversity ; Copper ; Nematodes ; Pollution, Conservation, and Health Management (CE);
    ISSN: Soil Science Society of America Journal
    E-ISSN: 0361-5995
    E-ISSN: 14350661
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