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Journal of Environmental Quality : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research. Articles are compiled into issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq, which includes the complete archive.

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Maguire, R.O., P.J. A. Kleinman, C.J. Dell, D.B. Beegle, R.C. Brandt, J.M. McGrath, and Q.M. Ketterings. 2011. Manure application technology in reduced tillage and forage systems: A review. J. Environ. Qual. doi: 10.2134/jeq2009.0228

Current issue: J. Environ. Qual. 45(6)


    • E. W. Duncan, C. J. Dell, P. J. A. Kleinman and D. B. Beegle
      Nitrous Oxide and Ammonia Emissions from Injected and Broadcast-Applied Dairy Slurry

      Trade-offs associated with surface application or injection of manure pose important environmental and agronomic concerns. Manure injection can conserve nitrogen (N) by decreasing ammonia (NH3) volatilization. However, the injection band also creates conditions that potentially favor nitrous oxide (N2O) production: an abundant organic substrate–promoting microbial activity, anaerobic conditions favoring denitrification, and large local concentrations of N. We assessed differences in NH3 volatilization and N2O emissions with broadcast application versus shallow disk injection of dairy slurry during the 2011 to 2013 growing seasons on a well-drained silt loam that received average manure-N application rates of 180 kg N ha−1 via injection or 200 kg N ha−1 via broadcast. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Manure injection decreases NH3 volatilization but increases N2O emissions.
      • Shallow disk manure injection reduced ammonia emissions by 92–98%.
      • Manure injection increased cumulative N2O emissions by 84–152% compared with broadcast.
      • N2O emissions are at least three orders of magnitude lower than NH3 volatilization.

      Published: December 1, 2016


    • Renqiang Li, Shujie Zhao, Haifeng Zhao, Ming Xu, Liyun Zhang, Hui Wen and Qingkai Sheng
      Spatiotemporal Assessment of Forest Biomass Carbon Sinks: The Relative Roles of Forest Expansion and Growth in Sichuan Province, China

      Spatiotemporal patterns of forest carbon (C) sinks and accurate estimation of such patterns are crucial to sustainable forest management. We combined individual tree biomass equations and a Random Forest algorithm to assess the spatiotemporal changes in biomass C sequestration and to further quantify the relative contributions of forest areal expansion and growth to biomass C sinks in Sichuan Province, China, over the past 25 yr. Forest area and average biomass C density increased from 10.5 million ha and 45.7 Mg C ha−1 in 1988 to 14.2 million ha and 52.3 Mg C ha−1 in 2012. Average C density was generally larger in the north and west of Sichuan Province compared with other regions. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Accurate estimation of spatiotemporal patterns of forest C sinks is crucial to sustainable forest management.
      • We integrated individual tree biomass equations and a random forest algorithm.
      • A spatially explicit map of C density allows comparisons among different subregions.
      • We quantified the relative contributions of forest expansion and growth to biomass C sinks.
      • A new forestry mode is needed to maintain the long-term health of forest ecosystems in Sichuan Province.

      Published: December 8, 2016


    • Alvaro J. Romera, Rogerio Cichota, Pierre C. Beukes, Pablo Gregorini, Val O. Snow and Iris Vogeler
      Combining Restricted Grazing and Nitrification Inhibitors to Reduce Nitrogen Leaching on New Zealand Dairy Farms

      Intensification of pastoral dairy systems often means more nitrogen (N) leaching. A number of mitigation strategies have been proposed to reduce or reverse this trend. The main strategies focus on reducing the urinary N load onto pastures or reducing the rate of nitrification once the urine has been deposited. Restricted grazing is an example of the former and the use of nitrification inhibitors an example of the latter. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Nitrogen leaching from pastoral dairy farms should be reduced.
      • We modeled the effectiveness of nitrification inhibitors and restricted grazing.
      • Nitrification inhibitors reduced N leaching by 12% and restricted grazing by 23 to 32%.
      • Combining the two strategies reduced N leaching by 31 to 40%.
      • Restricted grazing and nitrification inhibitors can be effective in combination.

      Published: December 8, 2016


    • Michela Schiavon and Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits
      Selenium Biofortification and Phytoremediation Phytotechnologies: A Review

      The element selenium (Se) is both essential and toxic for most life forms, with a narrow margin between deficiency and toxicity. Phytotechnologies using plants and their associated microbes can address both of these problems. To prevent Se toxicity due to excess environmental Se, plants may be used to phytoremediate Se from soil or water. To alleviate Se deficiency in humans or livestock, crops may be biofortified with Se. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Plants may be used to clean up excess selenium from the environment.
      • Plants may be used to provide dietary selenium in selenium-deficient areas.
      • Plants may be used to mine Se from seleniferous soil.

      Published: December 1, 2016


    • Roxana P. Colombo, José G. Ibarra, Laura Fernandez Bidondo, Vanesa A. Silvani, María J. Bompadre, Mariana Pergola, Nancy I. Lopez and Alicia M. Godeas
      Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Association in Genetically Modified Drought-Tolerant Corn

      The commercial use of genetically modified (GM) plants has significantly increased worldwide. The interactions between GM plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are of considerable importance given the agricultural and ecological role of AM and the lack of knowledge regarding potential effects of drought-tolerant GM corn (Zea mays L.) on AM fungal symbiosis. This work studied AM fungal colonization in five corn lines growing under two different irrigation regimes (30 and 100% of soil field capacity [SFC]). Four of the lines were GM corn, and two of these were drought tolerant. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The impact of genetically modified corn on mycorrhization was tested.
      • Mycorrhizal colonization was higher under drought-stress conditions.
      • Corn biomass and days to senescence were not negatively affected by drought.
      • The transgenic lines tested did not affect the establishment of symbiosis.

      Published: December 8, 2016


    • Ying Wang and Nora Fung Yee Tam
      Glutathione–Ascorbate Cycle Is an Early Warning Indicator of Toxicity of BDE-47 in Mangroves

      Mangroves are often exposed to contamination by polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from wastewater discharges and solid waste dumping. As one of the most prevalent and toxic PBDE congeners in the environment, 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and its oxidative stress deserves more attention. In plants, the glutathione–ascorbate (GSH-AsA) cycle plays an important role in the defensive processes against oxidative stress. However, the importance of this cycle in mangroves to defend against PBDE toxicity has not been reported. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • BDE-47 posed oxidative stress to Kandelia obovata seedlings.
      • Leaf and root biomass of K. obovata was suppressed after short BDE-47 exposure.
      • GSH-AsA cycle-related antioxidants changed significantly immediately after exposure.
      • GSH-AsA cycle was a more sensitive indicator to BDE-47 toxicity than growth.
      • AsA and GPx were early warning indicators to PBDE toxicity in mangrove plants.

      Published: October 13, 2016


    • William I. Ford, Kevin W. King, Mark R. Williams and Remegio B. Confesor
      Modified APEX model for Simulating Macropore Phosphorus Contributions to Tile Drains

      The contribution of macropore flow to phosphorus (P) loadings in tile-drained agricultural landscapes remains poorly understood at the field scale, despite the recognized deleterious impacts of contaminant transport via macropore pathways. A new subroutine that couples existing matrix-excess and matrix-desiccation macropore flow theory and a modified P routine is implemented in the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. The original and modified formulation were applied and evaluated for a case study in a poorly drained field in Western Ohio with 31 months of surface and subsurface monitoring data. Results highlighted that a macropore subroutine in APEX improved edge-of-field discharge calibration and validation for both tile and total discharge from satisfactory and good, respectively, to very good and improved dissolved reactive P load calibration and validation statistics for tile P loads from unsatisfactory to very good. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The field-scale APEX model is modified to account for macropore P contributions.
      • APEX modifications significantly improve hydrology and P simulations for a case study.
      • Macropore flow contributes approximately 48% of flow and 43% of P annually.
      • The model has potential for informing pathway partitioning in P site assessment tools.

      Published: December 1, 2016

    • Alisha Spears Mulkey, Frank J. Coale, Peter A. Vadas, Gary W. Shenk and Gopal X. Bhatt
      Revised Method and Outcomes for Estimating Soil Phosphorus Losses from Agricultural Land in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model

      Current restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay watershed mandate a timeline for reducing the load of nutrients and sediment into receiving waters. The Chesapeake Bay watershed model (WSM) has been used for two decades to simulate hydrology and nutrient and sediment transport; however, spatial limitations of the WSM preclude edge-of-field scale representation of phosphorus (P) losses. Rather, the WSM relies on literature-derived, county-scale rates of P loss (targets) for simulated land uses. An independent field-scale modeling tool, Annual Phosphorus Loss Estimator (APLE), was used as an alternative to the current WSM approach. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • APLE estimated P losses were compared with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model’s (WSM) losses.
      • Substituting the APLE estimated P loss into the WSM improved calibration performance.
      • Findings suggest the importance of well-estimated transport factors in modeling P losses.

      Published: October 6, 2016

    • Mark R. Williams, Kevin W. King, Gregory A. LaBarge, Remegio B. Confesor and Norman R. Fausey
      Edge-Of-Field Evaluation of the Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index

      The Phosphorus Index (PI) has been the cornerstone for phosphorus (P)-based management and planning over the past twenty years, yet field-scale evaluation of many state PIs has been limited. In this study, P loads measured in surface runoff and tile discharge from 40 agricultural fields in Ohio with prevailing management practices were used to evaluate the Ohio PI. Annual P loads were highly variable among fields (dissolved reactive P: 0.03–4.51 kg ha−1, total P: 0.03–6.88 kg ha−1). Both measured annual dissolved reactive P (R2 = 0.36, p < 0.001) and total P (R2 = 0.25, p < 0.001) loads were significantly related to Ohio PI score. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Measured P loads from 40 fields were used to evaluate the Ohio Phosphorus Index.
      • Risk of P loss was linearly related to both measured annual and averaged P loads.
      • Field P management recommendations varied among local, state, and national metrics.
      • Field datasets should be used to improve and calibrate the Ohio Phosphorus Index.

      Published: September 15, 2016


    • Mohammed Masud Parvage, Barbro Ulén and Holger Kirchmann
      Can Organic Materials Reduce Excess Nutrient Leaching from Manure-Rich Paddock Soils?

      Horse paddocks have been identified as a significant contributor of animal waste nutrients to natural waters; thus, modified paddock management is needed. Because chemical amendments pose a health risk to horses, an alternative for reducing nutrient translocation from manure is to add available organic residues to the soil. To examine the feasibility of outdoor use of organic materials to reduce nutrient losses from paddock soils, three commonly available organic materials (peat, wheat straw, and wood chips) were tested for their nutrient retention capacities in batch experiments followed by leaching experiments in an in-house lysimeter station using artificial rainfall. Results showed that the grounded peat and wood chips retained some phosphorus (P), whereas grounded wheat straw released P to the solution. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Paddock soils are “hot spots” for nutrient losses that need to be managed.
      • The capacity of organic materials to reduce nutrient loss from soil is not widely known.
      • Peat reduced N losses, and wood chips reduced both P and C losses.
      • Wheat straw increased nutrient leaching losses.

      Published: December 1, 2016

    • K. Christy Tanner, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Jacob A. Fleck, Kenneth W. Tate, Stephen A. McCord and Bruce A. Linquist
      The Contribution of Rice Agriculture to Methylmercury in Surface Waters: A Review of Data from the Sacramento Valley, California

      Methylmercury (MeHg) is a bioaccumulative pollutant produced in and exported from flooded soils, including those used for rice (Oriza sativa L.) production. Using unfiltered aqueous MeHg data from MeHg monitoring programs in the Sacramento River watershed from 1996 to 2007, we assessed the MeHg contribution from rice systems to the Sacramento River. Using a mixed-effects regression analysis, we compared MeHg concentrations in agricultural drainage water from rice-dominated regions (AgDrain) to MeHg concentrations in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers, both upstream and downstream of AgDrain inputs. We also calculated MeHg loads from AgDrains and the Sacramento and Feather Rivers. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We studied the impact of rice production on MeHg at the watershed scale.
      • MeHg concentration was elevated in agricultural drainage water during November through May.
      • Watershed-scale MeHg loads were lower than expected based on field studies.

      Published: November 23, 2016


    • Lisa M. Durso, Daniel N. Miller, Daniel D. Snow, Christopher G. Henry, Monica Santin and Bryan L. Woodbury
      Evaluation of Fecal Indicators and Pathogens in a Beef Cattle Feedlot Vegetative Treatment System

      Runoff from open-lot animal feeding areas contains microorganisms that may adversely affect human and animal health if not properly managed. One alternative to full manure containment systems is a vegetative treatment system (VTS) that collects runoff in a sediment basin and then applies it to a perennial vegetation (grass) treatment area that is harvested for hay. Little is known regarding the efficacy of large-scale commercial VTSs for the removal of microbial contaminants. In this study, an active, pump-based VTS designed and built for a 1200-head beef cattle feedlot operation was examined to determine the effects of repeated feedlot runoff application on fecal indicator microorganisms and pathogens over short-term (2 wk) and long-term (3 yr) operations and whether fecal bacteria were infiltrating into deeper soils within the treatment area. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Repeated application of runoff did not enrich pathogens or indicators in the soil.
      • No evidence of vertical migration of pathogens in the soil profile was found.
      • Pathogens were reduced via infiltration and cell death over time in the soil.
      • Total coliform and Enterococcus counts are not reliable for environmental samples.

      Published: December 1, 2016

    • Biana H. Kuwano, Marco A. Nogueira, Cristiane A. Santos, Dáfila S.L. Fagotti, Michele B. Santos, Luís E.A.M. Lescano, Diva S. Andrade, Graziela M.C. Barbosa and João Tavares-Filho
      Application of Landfill Leachate Improves Wheat Nutrition and Yield but Has Minor Effects on Soil Properties

      Landfill leachates, which are potential pollutants, may also carry significant amounts of nutrients that can be recycled by plants. We assessed the nutritional status and yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and properties of a Rhodic Kandiudult soil (depths of 0–10, 10–20, 20–40, and 40–60 cm) after 11 applications of landfill leachate over 4 yr. In the last application, wheat received 0, 32.7, 65.4, 98.1, or 130.8 m3 ha−1 (875 mg L−1 of nitrogen, N) of leachate and a positive control (90 kg ha−1 of N as urea) 15 d after sowing. Urea increased nitrate (>160 mg kg−1) in the topsoil (down to 40 cm), whereas landfill leachate increased nitrate (>60 mg kg−1) only at 40 to 60 cm with the highest dose, suggesting leaching. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Agricultural soil received 11 applications of landfill leachate over four years.
      • Assessments up to 60 cm showed no major concerns on soil attributes.
      • Nitrate from leachate was more leachable than nitrate from mineral fertilizer.
      • Wheat plants benefited from nitrogen in the leachate for nutrition and grain yield.

      Published: December 1, 2016

    • Astrid Spielmeyer, Franziska Stahl, Madeleine S. Petri, Walter Zerr, Hubertus Brunn and Gerd Hamscher
      Transformation of Sulfonamides and Tetracyclines during Anaerobic Fermentation of Liquid Manure

      Liquid manure is frequently used as soil fertilizer due to its high nutrient content. It can also contain residues of pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, if farm animals are medicated. The anaerobic fermentation process in biogas plants is discussed as one way to reduce the input of antibiotics into the environment. Therefore, 10 worldwide-applied sulfonamides (sulfachloropyridazine, sulfadiazine, sulfadimethoxine, sulfaguanidine, sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfamethoxypyridazine, sulfapyridine, and sulfathiazole) and four frequently used tetracyclines (chlortetracycline, doxycycline, oxytetracycline, and tetracycline) were investigated concerning their elimination pattern during anaerobic fermentation. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Veterinary antibiotics were incubated in both active and autoclaved inoculum.
      • Substance-related elimination profiles were found for sulfonamides and tetracyclines.
      • Autoclaving of the inoculum reduced the elimination of the sulfonamides.
      • O-Demethylation and hydrogenation led to various transformation products.
      • Some transformation products showed a reduced antimicrobial activity.

      Published: November 23, 2016

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