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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, February 2010, Vol.173(1), pp.88-99
    Description: Soil, the “Earth's thin skin” serves as the delicate interface between the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. It is a dynamic and hierarchically organized system of various organic and inorganic constituents and organisms, the spatial structure of which defines a large, complex, and heterogeneous interface. Biogeochemical processes at soil interfaces are fundamental for the overall soil development, and they are the primary driving force for key ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and water quality. Ultimately, these processes control the fate and transport of contaminants and nutrients into the vadose zone and as such their biogeochemical cycling. The definite objective in biogeochemical‐interface research is to gain a mechanistic understanding of the architecture of these biogeochemical interfaces in soils and of the complex interplay and interdependencies of the physical, chemical, and biological processes acting at and within these dynamic interfaces in soil. The major challenges are (1) to identify the factors controlling the architecture of biogeochemical interfaces, (2) to link the processes operative at the individual molecular and/or organism scale to the phenomena active at the aggregate scale in a mechanistic way, and (3) to explain the behavior of organic chemicals in soil within a general mechanistic framework. To put this in action, integration of soil physical, chemical, and biological disciplines is mandatory. Indispensably, it requires the adaption and development of characterization and probing techniques adapted from the neighboring fields of molecular biology, analytical and computational chemistry as well as materials and nano‐sciences. To shape this field of fundamental soil research, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted the Priority Program “Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil”, in which 22 individual research projects are involved.
    Keywords: Soil Function ; Soil Architecture ; Spectro‐Microscopy ; Tomography ; Som ; Soil Microbial Ecology ; Organic Chemicals
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: SOIL, 2018, Vol.4(1), pp.83-92
    Description: The central importance of soil for the functioning of terrestrial systems is increasingly recognized. Critically relevant for water quality, climate control, nutrient cycling and biodiversity, soil provides more functions than just the basis for agricultural production. Nowadays, soil is increasingly under pressure as a limited resource for the production of food, energy and raw materials. This has led to an increasing demand for concepts assessing soil functions so that they can be adequately considered in decision-making aimed at sustainable soil management. The various soil science disciplines have progressively developed highly sophisticated methods to explore the multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes in soil. It is not obvious, however, how the steadily improving insight into soil processes may contribute to the evaluation of soil functions. Here, we present to a new systemic modeling framework that allows for a consistent coupling between reductionist yet observable indicators for soil functions with detailed process understanding. It is based on the mechanistic relationships between soil functional attributes, each explained by a network of interacting processes as derived from scientific evidence. The non-linear character of these interactions produces stability and resilience of soil with respect to functional characteristics. We anticipate that this new conceptional framework will integrate the various soil science disciplines and help identify important future research questions at the interface between disciplines. It allows the overwhelming complexity of soil systems to be adequately coped with and paves the way for steadily improving our capability to assess soil functions based on scientific understanding.
    Keywords: Soil Stability ; Evaluation ; Agricultural Production ; Modelling ; Agricultural Management ; Biodiversity ; Soil Stability ; Food Production ; Water Quality ; Raw Materials ; Biological Activity ; Decision Making ; Soil Improvement ; Soil Science ; Terrestrial Environments ; Interactions ; Water Quality ; Soil Management ; Modelling ; Raw Materials ; Raw Materials ; Soil Sciences ; Water Quality ; Soils ; Framework ; Stability ; Nutrient Cycles ; Mathematical Models ; Agricultural Production ; Biodiversity ; Nutrients (Mineral) ; Soils ; Decision Making ; Water Quality ; Biodiversity ; Biodiversity;
    ISSN: SOIL
    E-ISSN: 2199-398X
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Earth Sciences, 2013, Vol.69(2), pp.317-333
    Description: Sustainable water quality management requires a profound understanding of water fluxes (precipitation, run-off, recharge, etc.) and solute turnover such as retention, reaction, transformation, etc. at the catchment or landscape scale. The Water and Earth System Science competence cluster (WESS, http://www.wess.info/ ) aims at a holistic analysis of the water cycle coupled to reactive solute transport, including soil–plant–atmosphere and groundwater–surface water interactions. To facilitate exploring the impact of land-use and climate changes on water cycling and water quality, special emphasis is placed on feedbacks between the atmosphere, the land surface, and the subsurface. A major challenge lies in bridging the scales in monitoring and modeling of surface/subsurface versus atmospheric processes. The field work follows the approach of contrasting catchments, i.e. neighboring watersheds with different land use or similar watersheds with different climate. This paper introduces the featured catchments and explains methodologies of WESS by selected examples.
    Keywords: Water and solute fluxes ; Water quality ; Catchments ; Land-surface atmosphere exchange ; Processes and feedbacks ; Modeling ; Monitoring
    ISSN: 1866-6280
    E-ISSN: 1866-6299
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Earth Sciences, 2017, Vol.76(1), pp.1-25
    Description: This article provides an overview about the Bode River catchment that was selected as the hydrological observatory and main region for hydro-ecological research within the TERrestrial ENvironmental Observatories Harz/Central German Lowland Observatory. It first provides information about the general characteristics of the catchment including climate, geology, soils, land use, water quality and aquatic ecology, followed by the description of the interdisciplinary research framework and the monitoring concept with the main components of the multi-scale and multi-temporal monitoring infrastructure. It also shows examples of interdisciplinary research projects aiming to advance the understanding of complex hydrological processes under natural and anthropogenic forcings and their interactions in a catchment context. The overview is complemented with research work conducted at a number of intensive research sites, each focusing on a particular functional zone or specific components and processes of the hydro-ecological system.
    Keywords: Monitoring ; Catchment ; Water quality ; Observatory ; Water fluxes
    ISSN: 1866-6280
    E-ISSN: 1866-6299
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