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Soil Science Society of America Journal : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest soil science research. Articles are compiled into bimonthly issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/sssaj, which includes the complete archive. Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Nouwakpo, S. K. and C.-H. Huang. 2012. A Fluidized Bed Technique for Estimating Soil Critical Shear Stress Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. doi:10.2136/sssaj2012.0056

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Current issue: Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 79(4)


    • Ruiying Chang, Genxu Wang, Ran Fei, Yang Yang, Ji Luo and Jianrong Fan
      Altitudinal Change in Distribution of Soil Carbon and Nitrogen in Tibetan Montane Forests

      Knowledge of vertical patterns of soil organic C (SOC) and soil total N (STN) can improve our understanding of the dynamics of SOC and STN along a profile and the potential response of SOC and STN to climate change. However, such knowledge is limited. In this study, three common Tibetan forest types, dominated by Abies, Pinus, and Picea species, were sampled across a large altitude gradient (1700–4300 m asl). Vertical depths of SOC and STN in these forests were determined, and their changes with altitude, aspect, and gradient and the associated regulating factors were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). (continued)

      Published: August 3, 2015


    • Mario Fontana, Alfred Berner, Paul Mäder, Frederic Lamy and Pascal Boivin
      Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Bio-Physicochemical Properties as Co-Influenced by Tillage Treatment

      Soil conservation practices are growingly used with different aims such as reducing fuel consumption and preserving soil organic carbon (SOC). Among others, reduced tillage (RT) often replaces conventional tillage (CT). However, the compared impact of these practices on soil quality remains a matter of controversy. Moreover, the various changes expected are rarely considered all together though they are known to interact. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Lindsey C. Slaughter, Michael N. Weintraub and Rebecca L. McCulley
      Seasonal Effects Stronger than Three-Year Climate Manipulation on Grassland Soil Microbial Community

      Climate change will interact with seasonal variation in precipitation and temperature to alter plant and soil microbial relationships and the ecosystem services provided. We currently lack critical information on how grassland soil microbial dynamics will be altered by climate change, and the seasonal dependency of microbial responses. We measured soil microbial biomass, community composition, enzyme activities, potential C mineralization, and catabolic responses to nine substrates seasonally in a North American pasture subjected to 3 yr of warming (+3°C) and elevated growing season precipitation (+30% of the mean annual total). We hypothesized that climate treatments would elicit seasonally dependent changes in the microbial community (e.g., warming may increase microbial biomass and activity during cooler, wetter winter months compared with reductions in hotter, drier summer months). (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Christina L. Langlois and Bruce R. James
      Chromium Oxidation-Reduction Chemistry at Soil Horizon Interfaces Defined by Iron and Manganese Oxides

      Soil interfaces, including those defined by horizons, are a largely unstudied area in soils research, especially in terms of oxidation–reduction properties and processes. Despite this lack of research, understanding these interfaces is essential to the complete understanding of chromium chemistry in soils. Chromium is most commonly found in its non-toxic trivalent [Cr(III)] and its toxic hexavalent [Cr(VI)] forms under normal environmental conditions. In soils, both Cr(III) and Cr(VI) can undergo oxidation–reduction processes as a result of microbes, organic C, or Fe(III)/Mn(III,IV) (hydr)oxides, and can exist as soluble ions in the soil solution, sorbed ions on the soil surface, soluble organic complexes, or precipitated compounds. (continued)

      Published: August 21, 2015

    • J. J. T. I. Boesten
      Effects of Random and Systematic Errors on Freundlich Parameters for Pesticide Sorption

      Assessment of the Freundlich sorption parameters of pesticides is an important element of their environmental risk assessment (especially leaching to groundwater), and therefore these parameters must be accurately assessed. In this work, the effect of random and systematic errors on the accuracy of the Freundlich sorption parameters was assessed for pesticide–soil sorption studies using Monte Carlo simulations and analytical approximations. This assessment was performed for the so-called indirect method, which assumes that the mass in the system at the end of the study is equal to the added mass. The errors in these parameters appeared to depend strongly on the percentage decrease in the concentration in the liquid phase. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • Xiaoming Wang, Shuai Lan, Mengqiang Zhu, Matthew Ginder-Vogel, Hui Yin, Fan Liu, Wenfeng Tan and Xionghan Feng
      The Presence of Ferrihydrite Promotes Abiotic Formation of Manganese (Oxyhydr)oxides

      Iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) occur in various geological settings and are often associated with each other. In the present study, we examined the impacts of ferrihydrite surfaces on the oxidation of dissolved Mn(II) and concurrent formation of Mn(III/IV) (oxyhydr)oxides under various conditions. In the absence of ferrihydrite, the oxidation products of 24 mM Mn(II) by atmospheric O2 are manganite (γ-MnOOH) at pH 7.5 and 8.5, feitknechtite (β-MnOOH), groutite (α-MnOOH) and manganite at pH 8, and hausmannite (Mn3O4) only at pH 9. In contrast, in the presence of ferrihydrite, manganite is formed at pH 6.5 to 8, manganite and hausmannite at pH 8.5, hausmannite and birnessite (δ-MnO2) at pH 9. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Dorcas Franklin, Damla Bender-Özenç, Nedim Özenç and Miguel Cabrera
      Nitrogen Mineralization and Phosphorus Release from Composts and Soil Conditioners found in the Southeastern United States

      Composts and soil conditioners may be useful soil amendments to provide organic matter as well as nutrients such as N and P, but net N mineralized and P released can vary greatly among materials. Consequently, it is important to identify the material characteristics that control these processes. Furthermore, the magnitude of these processes may be affected by particle size. We conducted two laboratory studies at 30°C to: (i) identify variables that can be used to estimate N mineralized and Mehlich-1 P released from 14 composts and soil conditioners; and (ii) evaluate net N mineralized from three size fractions (<1.0 mm, 1.0–2.0, and 2.0–4.0 mm) of five different composts. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • Erick K. Towett, Keith D. Shepherd, Andrew Sila, Ermias Aynekulu and Georg Cadisch
      Mid-Infrared and Total X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Complementarity for Assessment of Soil Properties

      Diffuse reflectance Fourier transformed mid-infrared (DRIFT-MIR) spectroscopy can predict many soil properties but extractable nutrients are often predicted poorly. This paper tested the combined DRIFT-MIR and total X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectroscopy analysis for prediction of soil properties related to soil fertility. A total of 700 soil samples from 44 stratified randomly located 100-km2 sentinel sites distributed across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) were analyzed for physicochemical composition using conventional reference methods, and compared with MIR and TXRF spectra using Random Forests (RF) regression algorithm and an internal out-of-bag (OOB) validation. Mid-infrared spectra resulted in good prediction models (R2 > 0.80) for organic C and total N, Mehlich-3 Ca and Al, and pH. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015


    • Hailong He, Miles Dyck and Jinxing Wang Jialong Lv
      Evaluation of TDR for Quantifying Heat-Pulse-Method-Induced Ice Melting in Frozen Soils

      The heat pulse (HP) method is the standard for measuring thermal properties of unfrozen soils, but its application in partially frozen soils is confounded by melting and refreezing of ice that changes the properties being measured, and the most widely used data analysis models do not account for these latent heat fluxes. This study combined time domain reflectometry (TDR) and HP methods to quantify HP-induced ice melting through: (i) TDR-estimated liquid water content (θl) before and after the HP; and (ii) heat capacity (Cv) calculated from TDR-estimated θl and ice content (θi) and HP-estimated apparent heat capacity (Ca). Different heat pulse durations (8–60 s) and strengths (280–2100 J m−1) during soil thawing and freezing (−35 to 25 to −35°C) were investigated on loamy sand soil samples with a water content of 0.25 m3 m−3. The results showed that the first approach was restricted by the TDR measurement uncertainty and the difficulty in synchronizing TDR measurements with the peak ice melting. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015


    • J. D. Jabro and W. M. Iversen
      Nondestructive Analysis of Three-dimensional Objects using a Fluid Displacement Method

      Quantification of three-dimensional (3-D) objects has been a real challenge in agricultural, hydrological, and environmental studies. We designed and tested a method that is capable of quantifying 3-D objects using measurements of fluid displacement. The device consists of a stand that supports a movable platform to which the sample is attached. The sample is lowered by measured increments into a vat of fluid. (continued)

      Published: August 21, 2015


    • Maziar M. Kandelous, Barzin A. Moradi and Jan W. Hopmans
      An Alternative Tensiometer Design for Deep Vadose Zone Monitoring

      The conventional tensiometer is among the most accurate devices for soil water matric potential measurements, as well as for estimations of soil water flux from soil water potential gradients. Uncertainties associated with conventional tensiometers such as caused by ambient temperature effects and the draining of the tensiometer tube, as well as their limitation for deep soil monitoring, has prevented their widespread use for vadose zone monitoring, despite their superior accuracy in general. We introduce an alternative tensiometer design that offers the accuracy of the conventional tensiometer, while minimizing the aforementioned uncertainties and limitations. The proposed alternative tensiometer largely eliminates temperature-induced diurnal fluctuations and uncertainties associated with draining of the tensiometer tube and removes the limitation in installation depth. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Sylvia Koszinski, Bradley A. Miller, Wilfried Hierold, Henny Haelbich and Michael Sommer
      Spatial Modeling of Organic Carbon in Degraded Peatland Soils of Northeast Germany

      Spatial variation of C stocks within peatlands is an overall challenge for monitoring global C cycle processes, which is critical for responding to climate change induced by greenhouse gases (GHGs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of high-resolution, minimally invasive sensor data to predict spatial variation of soil organic C (SOC) stocks within highly degraded peatland soils in northeast Germany. Within the Rhin-Havelluch, a paludification mire that has been cultivated and drained for about 300 yr, seven fields were sampled by soil cores up to 2 m in depth, nine points for each field. Soil horizons were examined for dry bulk density, soil organic C content (SOCC), and thickness to calculate SOC stocks and to test for relationships with overall peat thickness, elevation, and electrical conductivity (ECa). (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015

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