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  • 1
    In: Soil Science, 2012, Vol.177(1), pp.1-11
    Description: ABSTRACT: It is important to understand the impact of texture and organic carbon (OC) on soil structure development. Only few studies investigated this for silt-dominated soils. In this study, soil physical properties were determined on samples from a controlled experiment (Static Fertilization Experiment, Bad Lauchstädt, Germany) on a loess soil that started more than 100 years ago with six different combinations of organic and mineral fertilizers. The parameters measured include soil texture, water retention curve, air-connected porosity, gas diffusion coefficient, air permeability, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The management resulted in a distinct gradient in OC. A bulk density gradient developed from differences in amount of clay not complexed with OC. This gradient in bulk density mainly affected content of pores larger than 3 μm. The air-connected porosity measured by a pycnometer was highly similar to the total air-filled porosity calculated from gravimetric water content. For all six treatments, diffusivities and permeabilities were quite similar; both suggested that air-filled pore space was inactive for gas transport for air saturation below 0.1, but became highly connected around 0.2 to 0.25. Furthermore, diffusion data from intact cores compared well with data from repacked samples measured at low air-filled porosities and another high-silt soil (Yolo silt loam, USA) measured at higher air-filled porosities. A two-parameter fitting model was used to analyze gas diffusion coefficient data; the model pore-connectivity factor was fairly constant, whereas the water blockage factor was markedly different. Water and air parameters both implied that change in bulk density was the major driver for diffusive and convective parameters in the experiment.
    Keywords: Soil Sciences ; Physical Properties ; Carbon ; Porosity ; Diffusion;
    ISSN: 0038-075X
    E-ISSN: 15389243
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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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