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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.

Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

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. 46(1)


    • David M. Snider, Claudia Wagner-Riddle and John Spoelstra
      Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Cycling of Soil Nitrogen after Manure Application

      Understanding the fate of applied nitrogen (N) in agricultural soils is important for agronomic, environmental, and human health reasons, but it is methodologically difficult to study at the field scale. Natural abundance stable isotope measurements (δ15N) were used in this field study with micrometeorological measurements of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to identify the biogeochemical processes responsible for rapid N transformations immediately after application of liquid dairy manure. Fifteen samplings occurred between 16 Mar. 2012 and 5 Apr. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • 49 to 63% of the manure-NH4+ was volatilized, assimilated, or fixed 3 d after application.
      • Only 4 to 6% of the manure-NH4+ remained in the soil 3 wk after application.
      • In situ 15N isotope effect for nitrification (ammonium–nitrate) was −32.0 (±5.3)‰.
      • N2O emissions after manure application were produced by nitrifier-denitrification.
      • The δ15N values showed active production and consumption of NO3− during winter thaw.

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • Annamaria Costa
      Ammonia Concentrations and Emissions from Finishing Pigs Reared in Different Growing Rooms

      Even with the adoption of Best Available Techniques (BAT) standards, pig producers have observed different degrees of fouling on the floor during the finishing phase. These differences depend on the excretory behavior of pigs reared in different growing facilities. Our objectives in this study were to measure ammonia (NH3) concentrations and emissions from finishing pigs reared in different growing rooms and subsequently housed in identical BAT room types. The 1600 pigs used in the study were reared in growing rooms with a slatted floor and a vacuum system for manure removal (WSF) or in growing rooms with a solid floor and an outside alley and storage pit (WCF). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Two groups of 800 fattening pigs were housed in different BAT weaning facilities.
      • Weaners were reared either on slats or on full floor with external area.
      • Floors were fouled by 35% in WCF and by 70% in WSF weaning rooms.
      • With fatteners reared in WCF houses, fouling degree was 37% (WCF) and 77% (WSF).
      • Ammonia concentration and emission was higher for WSF fatteners.

      Published: January 26, 2017


    • Sarah A. Vitale, Gary A. Robbins and Lukas A. McNaboe
      Impacts of Road Salting on Water Quality in Fractured Crystalline Bedrock

      Many rural communities depend on bedrock wells as a primary water source, which raises the issue as to whether increasing amounts of salt application are affecting bedrock water quality and to what degree. Through wellbore profiling, this study investigated changes in specific conductance in two crystalline bedrock wells at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, from 2003 to 2016, with particular emphasis on the impacts of increased salt application with a change in deicing practices at the university after 2009. Hourly specific conductance measurements were collected in 2014 to determine how water source may affect wellbore concentrations seasonally. Chloride was found to be highly persistent in the bedrock, with concentrations consistently increasing from 2003 to 2016 despite year-to-year variations in salt application. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Chloride is highly persistent in groundwater in crystalline bedrock.
      • Chloride in bedrock wells increased in response to a change in deicing practices.
      • Stored chloride contributes to wellbore concentrations beyond the salting season.

      Published: February 23, 2017


    • Richard W. McDowell, Kyle R. Elkin and Peter J.A. Kleinman
      Temperature and Nitrogen Effects on Phosphorus Uptake by Agricultural Stream-Bed Sediments

      Climate change will likely increase the growing season, temperatures, and ratio of nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) loss from land to water. However, it is unknown how these factors influence P concentrations in streams. We sought to evaluate differences in biotic and abiotic processes affecting stream sediment P dynamics under different temperature and N-enrichment regimes. Three sediments of varying P composition and sorption characteristics were placed into a fluvarium. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Climate change will boost stream temperatures, N inputs, and P limitation of algae.
      • P uptake from runoff was greater at 19°C with added N than at 26°C without N.
      • Uptake at 19°C was attributed to sorption, but also to the microbial biomass.
      • Uptake by microbial biomass at 26°C was inhibited and P may be released.
      • Climate change may increase baseflow P requiring runoff inputs to be better mitigated.

      Published: February 23, 2017


    • Shai Sela, Harold M. van Es, Bianca N. Moebius-Clune, Rebecca Marjerison, Daniel Moebius-Clune, Robert Schindelbeck, Keith Severson and Eric Young
      Dynamic Model Improves Agronomic and Environmental Outcomes for Maize Nitrogen Management over Static Approach

      Large temporal and spatial variability in soil nitrogen (N) availability leads many farmers across the United States to over-apply N fertilizers in maize (Zea Mays L.) production environments, often resulting in large environmental N losses. Static Stanford-type N recommendation tools are typically promoted in the United States, but new dynamic model-based decision tools allow for highly adaptive N recommendations that account for specific production environments and conditions. This study compares the Corn N Calculator (CNC), a static N recommendation tool for New York, to Adapt-N, a dynamic simulation tool that combines soil, crop, and management information with real-time weather data to estimate optimum N application rates for maize. The efficiency of the two tools in predicting the Economically Optimum N Rate (EONR) is compared using field data from 14 multiple N-rate trials conducted in New York during the years 2011 through 2015. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Dynamic N recommendation tool reduces environmental impacts over static approach.
      • Dynamic N recommendation tool accounts for different production environments.
      • Dynamic N recommendation tool is successful in estimating field-measured EONR.

      Published: January 19, 2017


    • Kevin W. King, Mark R. Williams, Laura T. Johnson, Douglas R. Smith, Gregory A. LaBarge and Norman R. Fausey
      Phosphorus Availability in Western Lake Erie Basin Drainage Waters: Legacy Evidence across Spatial Scales

      The Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) was inundated with precipitation during June and July 2015 (two to three times greater than historical averages), which led to significant nutrient loading and the largest in-lake algal bloom on record. Using discharge and concentration data from three spatial scales (0.18–16,000 km2), we contrast the patterns in nitrate (NO3–N) and dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) concentration dynamics and discuss potential management implications. Across all scales, NO3–N concentration steadily declined with each subsequent rainfall event as it was flushed from the system. In contrast, DRP concentration persisted, even on soils at or below agronomic P levels, suggesting that legacy P significantly contributes to nutrient loads in the WLEB. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Persistent P concentrations were measured from edge-of-field to basin scale.
      • Persistent P concentrations after successive rainfall events are indicative of legacy P.
      • Evidence of legacy P beckons for more comprehensive soil test metrics.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Kosuke Yamamoto and Yohey Hashimoto
      Chemical Species of Phosphorus and Zinc in Water-Dispersible Colloids from Swine Manure Compost

      The release of phosphorus (P) and zinc (Zn) from swine manure compost and from soils applied with swine manure compost can be accelerated by colloidal particles. This study investigated the concentrations and chemical species of P and Zn in water-dispersible colloids (WDCs) collected from swine manure compost by using X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. A filtration and ultracentrifugation process was used to separate and collect WDCs (20–1000 nm) from the bulk swine manure compost (<2 mm). The swine manure compost contained 2.7 g kg−1 WDC, in which P (140 g kg−1) was highly concentrated and Zn concentrations were greater than in the bulk compost (1.45 g kg−1). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We investigated chemical species of P and Zn in the WDC collected from swine manure compost.
      • Struvite was not found in WDC, but tricalcium phosphate and P adsorbed on ferrihydrite were predominant.
      • Hopeite and organically bound Zn were predominant in the WDC fraction.

      Published: February 23, 2017


    • Bei Chu and Frieda Eivazi
      Enhanced Dissipation of Selected Herbicides in a Simulated Organic Matrix Biobed: A System to Control On-Farm Point-Source Pollution

      Most farms have a centralized location to fill spray tanks with pesticides and to flush and clean application equipment. These sites, depending on the frequency of use, could be significant sources of surface and groundwater contamination. One approach to minimize this contamination is to install a treatment system, such as a biobed. This study sought to construct a biobed and test the effects of different biomix materials in enhancing the dissipation of herbicides widely used in crop production. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Biobed material composition and ratio were evaluated.
      • The dissipation rates of atrazine and pendimethalin were enhanced in biomixes.
      • Phenol oxidase was higher in peat biomixes than in compost.
      • A mobile, low-cost system was designed to capture contamination on-farm.

      Published: December 28, 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


    • Stephen R. Sutton, Antonio Lanzirotti, Matthew Newville, Mark L. Rivers, Peter Eng and Liliana Lefticariu
      Spatially Resolved Elemental Analysis, Spectroscopy and Diffraction at the GSECARS Sector at the Advanced Photon Source

      X-ray microprobes (XRM) coupled with high-brightness synchrotron X-ray facilities are powerful tools for environmental biogeochemistry research. One such instrument, the XRM at the Geo Soil Enviro Center for Advanced Radiation Sources Sector 13 at the Advanced Photon Source (APS; Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL) was recently improved as part of a canted undulator geometry upgrade of the insertion device port, effectively doubling the available undulator beam time and extending the operating energy of the branch supporting the XRM down to the sulfur K edge (2.3 keV). Capabilities include rapid, high-resolution, elemental imaging including fluorescence microtomography, microscale X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy including sulfur K edge capability, and microscale X-ray diffraction. These capabilities are advantageous for (i) two-dimensional elemental mapping of relatively large samples at high resolution, with the dwell times typically limited only by the count times needed to obtain usable counting statistics for low concentration elements, (ii) three-dimensional imaging of internal elemental distributions in fragile hydrated specimens, such as biological tissues, avoiding the need for physical slicing, (iii) spatially resolved speciation determinations of contaminants in environmental materials, and (iv) identification of contaminant host phases. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • X-ray microprobes are powerful tools for environmental biogeochemistry.
      • Upgraded GSECARS XRM operates down to the sulfur K edge.
      • Capabilities: spatially resolved elemental analysis, spectroscopy, and diffraction.
      • Advanced Photon Source upgrade will further advance XRM capabilities.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Ranju R. Karna, Matt Noerpel, Aaron R. Betts and Kirk G. Scheckel
      Lead and Arsenic Bioaccessibility and Speciation as a Function of Soil Particle Size

      Bioavailability research of soil metals has advanced considerably from default values to validated in vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) assays for site-specific risk assessment. Previously, USEPA determined that the soil-size fraction representative of dermal adherence and consequent soil ingestion was <250 μm. This size fraction was widely used in testing efforts for both in vivo and in vitro experiments. However, recent studies indicate the <150-μm size fraction better represents the particle size that adheres to skin for potential ingestion. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Identified critical knowledge gaps regarding the <250-μm vs. <150-μm particle size used for IVBA.
      • Wider implementation of the <150-μm size fraction maintains past validation with <-250 μm fraction.
      • Regardless of increase in total and extractable Pb and As, %IVBA results remained consistent.
      • Using <150-μm particle size for IVBA requires much higher volumes/masses of soils.
      • Synchrotron-based speciation is significant in bioavailability studies to understand the fate and transport of contaminants.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Marina Colzato, Marcos Y. Kamogawa, Hudson W.P. Carvalho, Luís R.F. Alleoni and Dean Hesterberg
      Temporal Changes in Cadmium Speciation in Brazilian Soils Evaluated Using Cd L III –Edge XANES and Chemical Fractionation

      Chemical speciation of soil cadmium (Cd) dictates its mobility and potential toxicity in the environment. Our objective was to compare temporal changes in speciation of Cd(II) reacted with samples from six Brazilian soils having varying Cd(II) sorption capacities. Cadmium LIII–edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analysis showed there were short-term changes in speciation after reaction with 4.45 mmol Cd kg−1 for 0.5 and 6 h. Chemical fractionation evaluated changes in Cd extractability after reaction with 89 μmol Cd kg−1 for up to 4 mo. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Cadmium speciation showed weak and variable evidence for temporal changes.
      • No evidence for progressive natural attenuation of soil cadmium was found.
      • Cadmium(II) bonded preferentially with soil organic matter and oxide minerals.

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • Peter M Kopittke, Peng Wang, Enzo Lombi and Erica Donner
      Synchrotron-based X-Ray Approaches for Examining Toxic Trace Metal(loid)s in Soil–Plant Systems

      Elevated levels of trace metal(loid)s reduce plant growth, both in soils contaminated by industrial activities and in acid agricultural soils. Although the adverse effects of trace metal(loid)s have long been recognized, there remains much unknown both about their behavior in soils, their toxicity to plants, and the mechanisms that plants use to tolerate elevated concentrations. Synchrotron-based approaches are being utilized increasingly in soil–plant systems to examine toxic metal(loid)s. In the present review, brief consideration is given to the theory of synchrotron radiation. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Synchrotron analyses allow in situ analyses of metal(loid)s in soils and plants.
      • This review provides a brief introduction to the theory of synchrotron radiation.
      • The distribution and speciation of metal(loid)s in soils and plants is reviewed.

      Published: February 2, 2017


    • Adam Forsberg, David E. Radcliffe, Carl H. Bolster, Aaron Mittelstet, Daniel E. Storm and Deanna Osmond
      Evaluation of the TBET Model for Potential Improvement of Southern P Indices

      Due to a shortage of available phosphorus (P)-loss datasets, simulated data from an accurate quantitative P transport model could be used to evaluate a P Index. The objective of this study was to compare predictions from the Texas Best Management Practice Evaluation Tool (TBET) against measured P-loss data to determine whether the model could be used to improve P Indices in the southern region. Measured P-loss data from field-scale study sites in Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina were used to assess the accuracy of TBET for predicting field-scale loss of P. We found that event-based predictions using an uncalibrated model were generally poor. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Predictions from an accurate P transport model could be used to evaluate a P Index.
      • Predictions from an uncalibrated TBET model were generally poor.
      • A calibrated TBET model was better but did not meet the performance criteria.
      • A curve number approach for runoff could be incorporated into P Indices.

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • Carl H. Bolster, Adam Forsberg, Aaron Mittelstet, David E. Radcliffe, Daniel Storm, John Ramirez-Avila, Andrew N. Sharpley and Deanna Osmond
      Comparing an Annual and a Daily Time-Step Model for Predicting Field-Scale Phosphorus Loss

      A wide range of mathematical models are available for predicting phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural fields, ranging from simple, empirically based annual time-step models to more complex, process-based daily time-step models. In this study, we compare field-scale P-loss predictions between the Annual P Loss Estimator (APLE), an empirically based annual time-step model, and the Texas Best Management Practice Evaluation Tool (TBET), a process-based daily time-step model based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. We first compared predictions of field-scale P loss from both models using field and land management data collected from 11 research sites throughout the southern United States. We then compared predictions of P loss from both models with measured P-loss data from these sites. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We compared predictions of P loss between an empirically-based and process-based model.
      • Predictions from both models were well correlated with each other.
      • The process-based model did not result in noticeably better predictions of P loss.
      • APLE predicted greater DP loss and TBET predicted greater PP loss.
      • Results indicate the need for improving accuracy of both models.

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • Peter A. Vadas, Laura W. Good, William E. Jokela, K.G. Karthikeyan, Francisco J. Arriaga and Melanie Stock
      Quantifying the Impact of Seasonal and Short-term Manure Application Decisions on Phosphorus Loss in Surface Runoff

      Agricultural phosphorus (P) management is a research and policy issue due to P loss from fields and water quality degradation. Better information is needed on the risk of P loss from dairy manure applied in winter or when runoff is imminent. We used the SurPhos computer model and 108 site–years of weather and runoff data to assess the impact of these two practices on dissolved P loss. Model results showed that winter manure application can increase P loss by 2.5 to 3.6 times compared with non-winter applications, with the amount increasing as the average runoff from a field increases. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Winter application of dairy manure can significantly increase P loss in surface runoff.
      • Producers have few options to reduce P manure loss by avoiding near-term runoff.
      • Models can help quantify the effect of management on manure P loss in runoff.

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • David B. Baker, Laura T. Johnson, Remegio B. Confesor and John P. Crumrine
      Vertical Stratification of Soil Phosphorus as a Concern for Dissolved Phosphorus Runoff in the Lake Erie Basin

      During the re-eutrophication of Lake Erie, dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loading and concentrations to the lake have nearly doubled, while particulate phosphorus (PP) has remained relatively constant. One potential cause of increased DRP concentrations is P stratification, or the buildup of soil-test P (STP) in the upper soil layer (<5 cm). Stratification often accompanies no-till and mulch-till practices that reduce erosion and PP loading, practices that have been widely implemented throughout the Lake Erie Basin. To evaluate the extent of P stratification in the Sandusky Watershed, certified crop advisors were enlisted to collect stratified soil samples (0–5 or 0–2.5 cm) alongside their normal agronomic samples (0–20 cm) (n = 1758 fields). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • P stratification increases surficial soil-test levels by 55% over agronomic cores.
      • Agronomic soil-test levels are not good indicators of surficial soil-test levels.
      • Soils in maintenance range account for the largest proportion of DRP runoff risks.
      • Targeted stratification reduction could reduce DRP runoff more than drawdown.
      • Stratification reduction could reduce DRP runoff more quickly than drawdown.

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • Ammar B. Bhandari, Nathan O. Nelson, Daniel W. Sweeney, Claire Baffaut, John A. Lory, Anomaa Senaviratne, Gary M. Pierzynski, Keith A. Janssen and Philip L. Barnes
      Calibration of the APEX Model to Simulate Management Practice Effects on Runoff, Sediment, and Phosphorus Loss

      Process-based computer models have been proposed as a tool to generate data for Phosphorus (P) Index assessment and development. Although models are commonly used to simulate P loss from agriculture using managements that are different from the calibration data, this use of models has not been fully tested. The objective of this study is to determine if the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model can accurately simulate runoff, sediment, total P, and dissolved P loss from 0.4 to 1.5 ha of agricultural fields with managements that are different from the calibration data. The APEX model was calibrated with field-scale data from eight different managements at two locations (management-specific models). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The APEX model has limited ability to simulate effects of changing management.
      • If available, multiple management should be used to calibrate and validate the model.
      • Policy makers must exercise caution in using model-estimated P losses to evaluate PIs.

      Published: December 15, 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


    • Jim J. Miller, Tony Curtis, David S. Chanasyk and Walter D. Willms
      Influence of Cattle Trails on Runoff Quantity and Quality

      Cattle trails in grazed pastures close to rivers may adversely affect surface water quality of the adjacent river by directing runoff to it. The objective of this 3-yr study (2013–2015) in southern Alberta, Canada, was to determine if cattle trails significantly increased the risk of runoff and contaminants (sediment, nutrients) compared with the adjacent grazed pasture (control). A portable rainfall simulator was used to generate artificial rainfall (140 mm h−1) and runoff. The runoff properties measured were time to runoff and initial abstraction (infiltration), total runoff depth and average runoff rates, as well as concentrations and mass loads of sediment, N, and P fractions. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Runoff quantity was significantly increased in cattle trails compared with adjacent grazed pasture.
      • Cattle trails did not increase contaminant concentrations in runoff.
      • Mass loads of TSS, NH4–N, and DRP were significantly greater because of increased runoff volumes.
      • Field observations revealed a hydrologic link between cattle trails and river.
      • Runoff in cattle trails may adversely impact water quality in adjacent rivers.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • C. Pilon, P. A. Moore, D. H. Pote, J. H. Pennington, J. W. Martin, D. K. Brauer, R. L. Raper, S. M. Dabney and J. Lee
      Long-term Effects of Grazing Management and Buffer Strips on Soil Erosion from Pastures

      High grazing pressure can lead to soil erosion in pastures, causing increased sediment delivery to waterways. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the impact of grazing management and buffer strips on soil erosion by assessing soil physical properties, hydrology, and sediment loads from pastures fertilized with broiler litter. Field studies were conducted for 12 yr on 15 small watersheds. Five management strategies were evaluated: hayed (H), continuously grazed (CG), rotationally grazed (R), rotationally grazed with a buffer strip (RB), and rotationally grazed with a fenced riparian buffer (RBR). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Bulk density and penetration resistance increased in continuously grazed watersheds.
      • Continuous grazing increased total suspended solids load in runoff.
      • Haying resulted in the lowest runoff volumes and sediment loads of all treatments.
      • Rotational grazing with a fenced riparian buffer was effective in reducing erosion.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Ardeshir Adeli, John J. Read, John P. Brooks, Dana Miles, Gary Feng and Johnie N. Jenkins
      Broiler Litter × Industrial By-Products Reduce Nutrients and Microbial Losses in Surface Runoff When Applied to Forages

      The inability to incorporate broiler litter (BL) into permanent hayfields and pastures leads to nutrient accumulation near the soil surface and increases the potential transport of nutrients in runoff. This study was conducted on Marietta silt loam soil to determine the effect of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum and lignite on P, N, C, and microbial concentrations in runoff. Treatments were (i) control (unfertilized) and (ii) BL at 13.4 Mg ha−1 alone or (iii) treated with either FGD gypsum or lignite applied at 20% (w/w) (2.68 Mg ha−1). Rainfall simulators were used to produce a 5.6 cm h−1 storm event sufficient in duration to cause 15 min of continuous runoff. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Lignite reduces runoff N.
      • FGD gypsum protects dissolved organic C and water soluble P from loss in runoff water.
      • Lignite application improved nitrogen efficiency.

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • Richard E. Lizotte, Lindsey M. W. Yasarer, Martin A. Locke, Ronald L. Bingner and Scott S. Knight
      Lake Nutrient Responses to Integrated Conservation Practices in an Agricultural Watershed

      Watershed-scale management efforts to reduce nutrient loads and improve the conservation of lakes in agricultural watersheds require effective integration of a variety of agricultural conservation best management practices (BMPs). This paper documents watershed-scale assessments of the influence of multiple integrated BMPs on oxbow lake nutrient concentrations in a 625-ha watershed of intensive row-crop agricultural activity during a 14-yr monitoring period (1996–2009). A suite of BMPs within fields and at field edges throughout the watershed and enrollment of 87 ha into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) were implemented from 1995 to 2006. Total phosphorus (TP), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), ammonium, and nitrate were measured approximately biweekly from 1996 to 2009, and total nitrogen (TN) was measured from 2001 to 2009. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We showed watershed-scale effects of integrated BMPs on lake nutrient concentrations.
      • Decreases in several lake nutrient concentrations occurred after BMP implementation.
      • Model simulations corroborated observed reductions in nutrient loads with BMPs.
      • Results demonstrate watershed-wide BMPs reduce nutrient loading in aquatic systems.

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • Johanna Laakso, Risto Uusitalo, Janette Leppänen and Markku Yli-Halla
      Sediment from Agricultural Constructed Wetland Immobilizes Soil Phosphorus

      Phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural soils impair the quality of receiving surface waters by enhancing eutrophication. This study tested the potential of using sediment from agricultural constructed wetlands (CWs) to immobilize soil P using two soils differing in texture and soil test P (STP). A silty clay soil (SIC) with high STP (24 mg ammonium acetate–extractable P [PAc] L−1) and a sandy loam soil (SL) with excessive STP (210 mg PAc L−1) were incubated with increasing amounts of clayey CW sediment. The soil–sediment mixtures were studied with the quantity/intensity (Q/I) technique, using chemical extractions, and by exposing the mixtures to simulated rainfall. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We amended soil with increasing amounts of clayey constructed wetland sediment.
      • High soil test P was immobilized by the sediment in simulated rainfall.
      • Dissolved reactive P in percolating water was reduced with increasing sediment addition.
      • Prolonged rainfall declined the effect of sediment on DRP and PP.
      • Recommended rate of sediment application is 5 vol. %.

      Published: February 2, 2017


    • Carla E. Rosenfeld, Rufus L. Chaney, Ryan V. Tappero and Carmen E. Martínez
      Microscale Investigations of Soil Heterogeneity: Impacts on Zinc Retention and Uptake in Zinc-Contaminated Soils

      Metal contaminants in soils can persist for millennia, causing lasting negative impacts on local ecosystems. Long-term contaminant bioavailability is related to soil pH and to the strength and stability of solid-phase associations. We combined physical density separation with synchrotron-based microspectroscopy to reduce solid-phase complexity and to study Zn speciation in field-contaminated soils. We also investigated Zn uptake in two Zn-hyperaccumulating ecotypes of Noccaea caerulescens (Ganges and Prayon). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Ice embedding is a preferable method to prepare thin sections for μXAS analysis.
      • Soil phases essential for retaining Zn may be obscured in complex samples.
      • Zn removal is soil dependent and does not match well with single parameters.
      • Zn redistribution can occur over decades after contamination.
      • Solid phase Zn redistribution can continually alter Zn bioavailability.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Ling Zhao, Wei Zheng, Ondřej Mašek, Xiang Chen, Bowen Gu, Brajendra K. Sharma and Xinde Cao
      Roles of Phosphoric Acid in Biochar Formation: Synchronously Improving Carbon Retention and Sorption Capacity

      Pretreatment of biomass with phosphoric acid (H3PO4) for biochar production was expected to improve carbon (C) retention, porosity structure, and the sorption ability of biochar. This study investigated the interaction of phosphorus with the C structure to elucidate the mechanisms by which H3PO4 simultaneously captured C and created micropores. Sawdust was soaked in diluted H3PO4 and dried for pyrolytic biochar generation at 350, 500, and 650°C. Results showed that H3PO4 pretreatment resulted in 70 to 80% of biomass C retention in biochar, compared with only about 50% remaining without pretreatment. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Multiple benefits were obtained in biochar formation with H3PO4 pretreatment.
      • H3PO4 increased pore creation, carbon retention, and sorption ability of biochars.
      • H3PO4 decreased the demanded energy for fibrous cells decomposition.
      • H3PO4 promoted an amorphous form and lattice defect of the carbon structure.
      • Insertion of P-O-P into carbon lattice leading to carbon dilation and crosslinking.

      Published: February 23, 2017


    • John F. Obrycki, Nicholas T. Basta and Steven W. Culman
      Management Options for Contaminated Urban Soils to Reduce Public Exposure and Maintain Soil Health

      Soil management in urban areas faces dual challenges of reducing public exposure to soil contaminants, such as lead (Pb) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and maintaining soil function. This study evaluated three management options for an urban lot in Cleveland, OH, containing 185 to 5197 mg Pb kg−1 and 0.28 to 5.50 mg benzo(a)pyrene kg−1. Treatment options included: (i) cap the site with a soil blend containing compost and beneficially reused dredged sediments, (ii) mix compost with the soil, and (iii) mix compost and sediments with the soil. The soil blend cap reduced surface soil Pb to 12.4 mg Pb kg−1 and benzo(a)pyrene content to 0.99 ± 0.41 mg kg−1. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Soil blend incorporation maximized soil health and human health benefits.
      • Soil capping may cover contaminants but reduced surface soil aggregate stability short term.
      • Compost addition maintained surface aggregate stability and diluted Pb surface contamination.
      • Incorporating soil blends offers a potential long-term urban soil management solution.

      Published: February 23, 2017


    • Telse Vogel, Jens Kruse, Nina Siebers, Michael Nelles and Bettina Eichler-Löbermann
      Recycled Products from Municipal Wastewater: Composition and Effects on Phosphorus Mobility in a Sandy Soil

      Recycled products from wastewater may contain high concentrations of phosphorus (P) and are thus promising alternative fertilizers. However, to better predict their P fertilizer efficiency and potential for P leaching, investigations on P forms and P mobility in soil are essential. In this study, different recycled products—an untreated sewage sludge ash (SSA), an H2SO4–digested SSA, four thermochemically treated SSAs (two Mg-SSAs and two Ca-SSAs), and struvite—were investigated using a combination of wet chemical methods and P K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy concerning their composition and their effects on P sorption in a sandy soil in comparison to triple superphosphate. Most of the P in the SSAs was associated with Ca in stable P fractions. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Thermochemically treatment increased the P availability of sewage sludge ashes.
      • Struvite mainly contained less soluble P forms but raised high soluble soil P pools.
      • Chemical analyses of recycled P products should be combined with incubation studies.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • Marco Pipolo, Rui C. Martins, Rosa M. Quinta-Ferreira and Raquel Costa
      Integrating the Fenton’s Process with Biofiltration by Corbicula fluminea to Reduce Chemical Oxygen Demand of Winery Effluents

      The discharge of poorly decontaminated winery wastewater remains a serious environmental problem in many regions, and the industry is welcoming improved treatment methods. Here, an innovative decontamination approach integrating Fenton’s process with biofiltration by Asian clams is proposed. The potential of this approach was assessed at the pilot scale using real effluent and by taking an actual industrial treatment system as a benchmark. Fenton peroxidation was observed to remove 84% of the effluent’s chemical oxygen demand (COD), reducing it to 205 mg L−1. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Fentons’ reaction/biofiltration by Asian clams was assessed for winery effluent treatment.
      • Method studied at the pilot scale, using real effluent and an industrial benchmark.
      • Realistic Fenton’s conditions removed 84% COD but with no major impact on toxicity.
      • Biofiltration led COD to approximately zero with significant toxicity decrease in just 3 d.
      • Polishing in the biofilters was more efficient than current practice.

      Published: February 23, 2017

    • H. A. Torbert, R. L. Chaney and D. B. Watts
      Potential Adherence of Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum to Forage as a Consideration for Excessive Ingestion by Ruminants

      Gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate, CaSO4⋅2H2O) has long been used to improve soils and crop production, and its use has recently been encouraged by the USDA–NRCS for soil conservation through a new Conservation Practice Standard: Code 333. However, there is concern regarding the adverse effects of excessive direct ingestion of sulfate in gypsum by ruminants. The standard requires ruminants to be removed from grazing after application until after a rainfall, but there has been no research documenting gypsum adherence to forage or the potential for rainfall to reduce gypsum adherence. A study was established to examine the adherence and persistence of gypsum on different forage species. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Gypsum adherence to forage may be risk for PEM for ruminants feeding exclusively on pasture.
      • Gypsum adherence was greater on tall fescue than bermudagrass, likely due to leaf structure.
      • No gypsum adherence was observed after a second rainfall, indicating gypsum can be washed off.
      • Normal application rates are not likely to result in S concentrations sufficient to cause PEM.

      Published: February 2, 2017

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