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  • Ecosystems
  • OneFile (GALE)  (5)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 2012, Vol.93(1), pp.75-88
    Description: Topsoil constituents are eroded from agricultural sites and leached towards drainage channels. This transfer can affect aquatic ecosystems and deteriorate the efficiency of drainage systems and fertilisers. As long as erosion cannot be completely avoided, the recycling of sediments and associated nutrients may offer a sustainable solution to these problems. The aim of our case study at the island Sant Erasmo, lagoon of Venice (Italy) was to assess the ecological problems and potentials of sediment recycling. With our assessment we concentrated on (1) the origin of channel sediments, (2) the benefit of sediment application for increasing the nutrient stocks of the soils, and (3) the risk of heavy metal (HM) contamination of arable soils by sediment application. Samples from soils of horticultural sites, sediments, and waters from adjacent drainage channels and lagoon sediments were analyzed for the concentrations of nutrients (P and K) and HM (Cu, Pb, and Zn). Potentially available channel sediment masses and element stocks were calculated for the soil fertility classes of Sant Erasmo based on local measurements of sediment depths and analyses of aerial photographs by a geographic information system. In a column experiment, leaching of both nutrients and Cu from recently dredged sediments was analyzed. Heavy metal concentrations of soils and channel sediments were much higher than of lagoon sediments. The similarity of the chemical properties of the channel sediments and of top soil samples implies that topsoil material is eroded into the channels. The amount of sediments accumulated in the channels corresponded to soil erosion rates between 2 and 23 t ha −1  a −1 . Channel sediments contained higher concentrations of nutrients and organic carbon but slightly lower concentrations of HM than the soils of adjacent horticultural sites. Sediment P and K yields would be sufficient to replace fertiliser application at the horticultural sites for up to 51 and 35 years, respectively. The column experiment indicated that Cu mobilization induced by oxidation processes is restricted to the first years after sediments are applied to the soils. Our study emphasizes that for a comprehensive assessment of sediment recycling in agricultural systems the available sediment stocks as well as the contents of nutrients and pollutants of the sediment in relation to soils have to be considered.
    Keywords: Phosphorus ; Heavy metals ; Nutrient cycling ; Leaching experiment
    ISSN: 1385-1314
    E-ISSN: 1573-0867
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, April 2016, Vol.179(2), pp.129-135
    Description: Phosphorus is one of the major limiting factors of primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems and, thus, the P demand of plants might be among the most important drivers of soil and ecosystem development. The P cycling in forest ecosystems seems an ideal example to illustrate the concept of ecosystem nutrition. Ecosystem nutrition combines and extents the traditional concepts of nutrient cycling and ecosystem ecology. The major extension is to consider also the loading and unloading of nutrient cycles and the impact of nutrient acquiring and recycling processes on overall ecosystem properties. Ecosystem nutrition aims to integrate nutrient related aspects at different scales and in different ecosystem compartments including all processes, interactions and feedbacks associated with the nutrition of an ecosystem. We review numerous previous studies dealing with P nutrition from this ecosystem nutrition perspective. The available information contributes to the description of basic ecosystem characteristics such as emergence, hierarchy, and robustness. In result, we were able to refine Odum's hypothesis on P nutrition strategies along ecosystem succession to substrate related ecosystem nutrition and development. We hypothesize that at sites rich in mineral‐bound P, plant and microbial communities tend to introduce P from primary minerals into the biogeochemical P cycle (acquiring systems), and hence the tightness of the P cycle is of minor relevance for ecosystem functioning. In contrast, tight P recycling is a crucial emergent property of forest ecosystems established at sites poor in mineral bound P (recycling systems). We conclude that the integration of knowledge on nutrient cycling, soil science, and ecosystem ecology into holistic ecosystem nutrition will provide an entirely new view on soil–plant–microbe interactions.
    Keywords: Ecosystem Properties ; P Recycling ; P Nutrition Strategy ; Forest Nutrition ; P Acquiring
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, August 2016, Vol.179(4), pp.472-480
    Description: Among several environmental factors shaping soil microbial communities the impact of soil nutrients is of special interest. While continuous application mainly of N and P dramatically shifts community composition during fertilization, it remains unclear whether this effect is consistent in generic, unfertilized beech forest ecosystems of Germany, where differences in nutrient contents are mostly a result of the parental material and climatic conditions. We postulate that in such ecosystems nutrient effects are less pronounced due to the possibility of the soil microbiome to adapt to the corresponding conditions over decades and the vegetation acts as the major driver. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the bacterial community composition in five different German beech dominated forest soils, representing a natural gradient of total‐ and easily available mineral‐P. A community fingerprinting approach was performed using terminal‐Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, while abundance of bacteria was measured applying quantitative real‐time PCR. Bacterial communities at the five forest sites were distinctly separated, with strongest differences between the end‐members of the P‐gradient. However the majority of identified microbial groups (43%) were present at all sites, forming a core microbiome independent from the differences in soil chemical properties. Especially in the P‐deficient soil the abundance of unique bacterial groups was highly increased, indicating a special adaption of the community to P limitation at this site. In this regard Correspondence Analysis elucidated that exclusively soil pH significantly affected community composition at the investigated sites. In contrast soil C, N and P contents did mainly affect the overall abundance of bacteria.
    Keywords: Core Microbiome ; Forest Soil ; Nutrient Content ; Diversity
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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