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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2010, Vol.87(1), pp.11-20
    Description: Visual traces of iron reduction and oxidation are linked to the redox status of soils and have been used to characterise the quality of agricultural soils. We tested whether this feature could also be used to explain the spatial pattern of the natural vegetation of tidal habitats. If so, an easy assessment of the effect of rising sea level on tidal ecosystems would be possible. Our study was conducted at the salt marshes of the northern lagoon of Venice, which are strongly threatened by erosion and rising sea level and are part of the world heritage “Venice and its lagoon”. We analysed the abundance of plant species at 255 sampling points along a land–sea gradient. In addition, we surveyed the redox morphology (presence/absence of red iron oxide mottles in the greyish topsoil horizons) of the soils and the presence of disturbances. We used indicator species analysis, correlation trees and multivariate regression trees to analyse relations between soil properties and plant species distribution. Plant species with known sensitivity to anaerobic conditions (e.g. ) were identified as indicators for oxic soils (showing iron oxide mottles within a greyish soil matrix). Plant species that tolerate a low redox potential (e.g. ) were identified as indicators for anoxic soils (greyish matrix without oxide mottles). Correlation trees and multivariate regression trees indicate the dominant role of the redox morphology of the soils in plant species distribution. In addition, the distance from the mainland and the presence of disturbances were identified as tree-splitting variables. The small-scale variation of oxygen availability plays a key role for the biodiversity of salt marsh ecosystems. Our results suggest that the redox morphology of salt marsh soils indicates the plant availability of oxygen. Thus, the consideration of this indicator may enable an understanding of the heterogeneity of biological processes in oxygen-limited systems and may be a sensitive and easy-to-use tool to assess human impacts on salt marsh ecosystems.
    Keywords: Coastal Wetlands ; Iron Oxides ; Halophyte Ecology ; Regression Trees ; Indicator Species Analysis ; Classification of Marsh Soils ; Biology ; Oceanography
    ISSN: 0272-7714
    E-ISSN: 1096-0015
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 December 2015, Vol.535, pp.3-19
    Description: Engineered inorganic nanoparticles (EINP) from consumers' products and industrial applications, especially silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NP), are emitted into the aquatic and terrestrial environments in increasing amounts. However, the current knowledge on their environmental fate and biological effects is diverse and renders reliable predictions complicated. This review critically evaluates existing knowledge on colloidal aging mechanisms, biological functioning and transport of Ag NP and TiO NP in water and soil and it discusses challenges for concepts, experimental approaches and analytical methods in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the processes linking NP fate and effects. Ag NP undergo dissolution and oxidation with Ag S as a thermodynamically determined endpoint. Nonetheless, Ag NP also undergo colloidal transformations in the nanoparticulate state and may act as carriers for other substances. Ag NP and TiO NP can have adverse biological effects on organisms. Whereas Ag NP reveal higher colloidal stability and mobility, the efficiency of NOM as a stabilizing agent is greater towards TiO NP than towards Ag NP, and multivalent cations can dominate the colloidal behavior over NOM. Many of the past analytical obstacles have been overcome just recently. Single particle ICP-MS based methods in combination with field flow fractionation techniques and hydrodynamic chromatography have the potential to fill the gaps currently hampering a comprehensive understanding of fate and effects also at a low field relevant concentrations. These analytical developments will allow for mechanistically orientated research and transfer to a larger set of EINP. This includes separating processes driven by NP specific properties and bulk chemical properties, categorization of effect-triggering pathways directing the EINP effects towards specific recipients, and identification of dominant environmental parameters triggering fate and effect of EINP in specific ecosystems (e.g. soil, lake, or riverine systems).
    Keywords: Transport ; Aggregation ; Analytics ; Environment ; Aging ; Ecotoxicology ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Geomorphology, 01 June 2014, Vol.214, pp.157-167
    Description: Sediment trapping and organic carbon (OC) accretion in soil are crucial ecosystem services of floodplain forests. However, interactions between the two processes have scarcely been analyzed at the ecosystem level. This study aimed at quantifying OC accretion parameters (CAP, including sedimentation rate, OC concentration, OC accretion) over roughly the last 50 years on both sides of a dike in a Danubian floodplain forest in Austria. Additionally, we determined soil OC stocks (0–100 cm in depth) and modeled both CAP and OC stocks in relation to environmental parameters. Overall, mean sedimentation rate and OC accretion of the riparian forest were 0.8 cm y and 3.3 t OC ha y and significantly higher in flooded riparian forest (FRF; 1.0 cm y and 4.1 t OC ha y ) than in diked riparian forest (DRF; 0.3 cm y and 1.5 t OC ha y ). In contrast, mean OC concentration (0.05 t OC m ) and OC stocks (238 t OC ha ) were significantly higher in the DRF than in FRF (0.05 vs. 0.04 t OC m and 286 vs. 201 t OC ha ). Modeling revealed tree species, fluctuation of groundwater table, and the distance to the river as valuable indicators for OC accretion rate. The OC concentration and distance to the river were positively and sedimentation negatively correlated with OC stock. The dike was consistently ruled out as a significant predictor variable. Consequently, differences among FRF and DRF seem to be related rather to longer term processes during the last centuries than directly to the dike. Our findings highlight the relevance of sediment quality (i.e., OC concentration) for building up long-term soil OC stocks, whereas sediment quantity is the main driver of recent OC accretion rates.
    Keywords: Carbon Accretion Rate ; Carbon Stock ; Dendrogeomorphology ; Dike ; Floodplain Forest ; Sedimentation Rate ; Geography ; Geology
    ISSN: 0169-555X
    E-ISSN: 1872-695X
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Geoderma, 15 February 2017, Vol.288, pp.204-212
    Description: Deadwood is a key factor in forest ecosystems, yet how it influences forest soil properties is uncertain. We hypothesized that changes in soil properties induced by deadwood mainly depend on the amount of released phenolic matter. Consequently we expected softwood- and hardwood-related deadwood effects on soil to be explained by unequal enrichment of phenolic substances. We measured differences in the quantity and composition of soil organic matter (SOM), pH, nutrient concentrations, and enzymatic activity between paired control and treatment points influenced by deadwood of silver fir ( Mill.) and European beech ( L.), and checked for correlations with total C and phenolic matter; the latter was quantified as aromaticity of water-extractable organic C through specific UV absorbance at 280 nm. Near fir deadwood, aromaticity and effective cation exchange capacity (CEC) increased while pH decreased. In comparison, concentrations of water-extractable organic C, effective CEC, exchangeable Ca and Mg , base saturation, and available molybdenum-reactive P increased near beech deadwood while exchangeable Al decreased. For fir deadwood, soil properties strongly correlated almost exclusively with total C. For beech deadwood, numerous strong correlations with aromaticity indicated that extractable phenolics influenced soil properties. These differences in correlations imply that deadwood affects soil through the composition of added phenolic matter, which would stem from differing decay processes and organisms. Decayed, particulate lignin from brown-rot in fir deadwood as opposed to oxidized, dissolved lignin from white-rot in beech deadwood would account for our observations.
    Keywords: Coarse Woody Debris ; Soil Chemistry ; Lignin ; Brown-Rot Fungi ; White-Rot Fungi ; Agriculture
    ISSN: 0016-7061
    E-ISSN: 1872-6259
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