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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(5)


    • Satoru Miura, Shin Ugawa, Shuichiro Yoshinaga and Tsuyoshi Yamada Keizo Hirai
      Floor Cover Percentage Determines Splash Erosion in Chamaecyparis obtusa Forests

      Plantations of Chamaecyparis obtusa (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl. are susceptible to soil erosion following significant decreases in forest floor cover. We quantified the relationship between forest floor cover and erosion under C. obtusa stands to provide information on soil conservation for sustainable forest management. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015


    • Priscila Oliveira Martins, Nathan A. Slaton, Trenton L. Roberts and Richard J. Norman
      Comparison of Field-Moist and Oven-Dry Soil on Mehlich-3 and Ammonium Acetate Extractable Soil Nutrient Concentrations

      Drying soil samples has been a standard step in soil processing but is known to influence the amount of extractable K. Our objectives were to evaluate the correlation between field-moist (FM) and oven-dry (OD) soil nutrient concentrations extracted with Mehlich-3 extractant and 1 mol L−1 NH4OAc and how Mehlich-3 extractable nutrient concentrations change from oven drying using loamy-textured soils. The Mehlich-3 and NH4OAc extractable K, Ca, and Mg concentrations were highly correlated (r2 > 0.95) for both FM and OD soils. The relationship between OD and FM soil-K concentrations for Mehlich-3 and NH4OAc was very similar and highly correlated (r2 = 0.92). (continued)

      Published: November 12, 2015


    • E. Zare, J. Huang, F.A. Monteiro Santos and J. Triantafilis
      Mapping Salinity in Three Dimensions using a DUALEM-421 and Electromagnetic Inversion Software

      To implement management plans, the salt content across affected fields and with depth needs mapping. In this study, we developed a method to map the distribution of normal, uniformly saline, and inverted salinity profiles. We did this by establishing a linear regression (LR) between calculated true electrical conductivity (σ) and electrical conductivity of the saturated soil-paste extract (ECe). We estimated σ by inverting the apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) collected from a DUALEM-421. (continued)

      Published: November 12, 2015

    • David C. Weindorf, Somsubhra Chakraborty, Abdalsamad Abdalsatar, Ali Aldabaa, Laura Paulette, Giuseppe Corti, Stefania Cocco, Erika Michéli, Dandan Wang, Bin Li, Titus Man, Aakriti Sharma and Taylor Person
      Lithologic Discontinuity Assessment in Soils via Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry and Visible Near-Infrared Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy

      Lithologic discontinuity identification can be arduous and erroneous in instances where distinct morphological differences between parent materials are absent. Often, investigators must wait for laboratory data to help differentiate parent materials via physicochemical properties. This study used visible near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (VisNIR DRS) and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry for establishing parent material differentia more quickly. Ten pedons containing 135 samples were scanned in situ in the United States, Italy, and Hungary, morphologically described by trained pedologists, then sampled for standard laboratory characterization. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015

    • Jingyi Huang, Edward G. Barrett-Lennard, Tanya Kilminster, Aidan Sinnott and John Triantafilis
      An Error Budget for Mapping Field-Scale Soil Salinity at Various Depths using Different Sources of Ancillary Data

      To manage soil salinity, farmers need to map its variation, often quantified as the electrical conductivity of a saturated soil-paste extract (ECe, dS m-1). However, ECe determination is time-consuming and expensive. Previous studies have evaluated the use of digital elevation models (DEMs, i.e., elevation), airborne γ-ray (γ-ray) spectrometry (i.e., K, U, and Th) and electromagnetic (EM, i.e., EM38 and EM34) data to map ECe at the district scale. Herein we use similar ancillary data set and empirical best linear unbiased prediction (E-BLUP) to make maps of ECe at different depth intervals (0–0.25, 0.25–0.50, and 0.50–0.75 m) at the field scale. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015


    • Shou-Qin Sun, Jagtar S. Bhatti, Rachhpal S. Jassal, Scott X. Chang, Carmela Arevalo, T. Andrew Black and Derek Sidders
      Stand Age and Productivity Control Soil Carbon Dioxide Efflux and Organic Carbon Dynamics in Poplar Plantations

      Establishment of hybrid poplar (HP) plantations has been advocated as an effective method for sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. However, how carbon (C) cycling in HP plantations changes during stand development under different soil fertility and climatic conditions is poorly understood. We studied the dynamics of soil respiration (Rs) and its heterotrophic (Rh) and autotrophic (Ra) components and soil organic C (SOC) content in HP plantations of different stand ages established on soils with different productivity (Class 1 vs. Class 3 soils) in Alberta (AB) and Ontario (ON), Canada. (continued)

      Published: November 23, 2015


    • Vladimir Ivezić, Bal Ram Singh, Vlatka Gvozdić and Zdenko Lončarić
      Trace Metal Availability and Soil Quality Index Relationships under Different Land Uses

      Long-term intensive agriculture without appropriate management is likely to cause soil degradation. Therefore, monitoring of soil quality in agricultural regions is essential for protecting soil and water resources and providing high-quality and safe food. Our objective was to quantify potential soil degradation by assessing trace element solubility and other major soil properties. We used principal component analysis to select, weight, and score soil quality indicators before combining them into a soil quality index (SQI). (continued)

      Published: November 12, 2015

    • Jiangqi Wu, Prajwal Paudel, Mingjing Sun, Sunendra R. Joshi, Lisa M. Stout, Ralf Greiner and Deb P. Jaisi
      Mechanisms and Pathways of Phytate Degradation: Evidence from Oxygen Isotope Ratios of Phosphate, HPLC, and Phosphorus-31 NMR Spectroscopy

      Phytate, the salt of myo-inositol hexakisphosphate, and its partially dephosphorylated products are commonly present in the environment, but their origins and bioavailability are not well understood. This research applied phosphate O isotope ratios (δ18OP) in combination with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods to characterize the kinetics and pathways of phytate degradation by wheat phytase and the O isotopic composition during progressive degradation of phytate. Our results show that phytate degradation undertakes two pathways: d-inositol-1,2,3,5,6-pentakisphosphate, d-inositol-1,2,5,6-tetrakisphosphate, d-inositol-1,2,6-trisphosphate, d-inositol-1,2-bisphosphate, d-inositol-1-phosphate; and d-inositol-1,2,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate, d-inositol-1,2,5,6-tetrakisphosphate, d-inositol-1,5,6-trisphosphate. The first pathway is similar to that previously known, while the other one is a new pathway. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015

    • Atsushi Nakao, Aya Nakao, Ryoji Tanaka, Sho Ogasawara and Junta Yanai
      Aeolian-Dust-Derived Micaceous Minerals Control Radiocesium Retention in Andosols in Japan

      Factors controlling the abilities of Allophanic Andosols (representative of Japanese volcanic ash soils) to retain radiocesium (RCs) were assessed. The hypothesis was that retention is largely controlled by traces of micaceous minerals deposited as components of aeolian dust. The radiocesium interception potentials (RIPs), mica K contents were determined in the 2- to 20- and <2.0-μm particle fractions of 23 soil samples from agricultural fields in areas representative of Japanese Allophanic Andosols. Quartz contents were determined in the 2- to 20-μm particle fractions of the same soil samples. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015


    • Richard E. Engel, Brad D. Towey and Emily Gravens
      Degradation of the Urease Inhibitor NBPT as Affected by Soil pH

      Soil pH is an important property affecting N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) inhibition of urease. Only a few studies have followed NBPT decay kinetics by making direct measurements of this molecule, and its oxygen analog (NBPTo) in soil or buffer mediums. This study characterized NBPT metabolism under biotic and abiotic conditions including the appearance of NBPTo and decay products under a pH gradient. Chemical buffer incubations were conducted at pH 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and 7.2, and degradation was quantified using 1H-NMR. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015

    • Katja Kerber, Doreen Zirkler, Martin Kaupenjohann and Andre Peters
      Phosphorus Mineralization and Transport in the Vicinity of an Anion Sink: Experiment and Modeling

      Digestates from biogas plants provide valuable crop nutrients, such as P. Plant uptake of anions like PO43− causes an alkalinization of the rhizosphere due to release of HCO3. We investigated the transport of P to an anion sink simulating the anion exchange activity of a plant root in digestate-amended soils and hypothesized that the HCO3 source induces enhanced mineralization of organic P. We expected this effect to strengthen with decreasing distance from the HCO3 source. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015

    • Hanna J. Poffenbarger, Steven B. Mirsky, Matthew Kramer, Raymond R. Weil, John J. Meisinger, Michel A. Cavigelli and John T. Spargo
      Cover Crop and Poultry Litter Management Influence Spatiotemporal Availability of Topsoil Nitrogen

      Green and animal manures provide plant-available N (PAN) in annual cropping systems and contribute to improved soil quality. Our objectives were to determine the effects of cover crop residue type and pelletized poultry litter (PPL) application method on: (i) the spatiotemporal distribution of topsoil mineral N (Nmin), (ii) the average topsoil Nmin at four developmental stages of corn (Zea mays L.), and (iii) corn N uptake. We collected soil and plant samples from a factorial experiment that included three cover crop residues: hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), cereal rye (Secale cereale L.), and a hairy vetch/cereal rye mixture; and four PPL treatments: no PPL and 3.5 Mg PPL ha-1 either broadcast at planting, subsurface banded at the fifth-leaf stage, or broadcast and incorporated at planting. Most of the Nmin in the broadcast treatment was concentrated near the soil surface, Nmin associated with the subsurface band remained within 10 cm of the delivery location throughout the growing season, while Nmin was distributed to a depth of 20 cm in the incorporated treatment. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015

    • Ahmed Attia, Charles Shapiro, William Kranz, Mitiku Mamo and Michael Mainz
      Improved Yield and Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Corn following Soybean in Irrigated Sandy Loams

      Crop rotation influences yield through its effects on nutrient and pest cycles, soil C, water availability, and soil physical and chemical properties. A cropping system study was conducted from 2004 to 2008 near Brunswick, NE, on sandy loam (Haplustolls) soils to evaluate improvements of irrigated corn (Zea mays L.) yield and N use efficiency (NUE) when following soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] in 2 yr as corn following soybean (CS) or in 3 yr as first-year corn following soybean (C1) and second-year corn following soybean (C2) compared with continuous corn (CC). SPAD readings at V10 and R2 were approximately 3 to 4% greater in CS than CC, indicating more in-season N availability. Corn grain yield of CS (12.1 Mg ha−1) was 20% greater than CC (10.1 Mg ha−1), with 69 and 57% greater NUE and N recovery efficiency, respectively. (continued)

      Published: October 30, 2015

    • Newton Z. Lupwayi and Yoong K. Soon
      Carbon and Nitrogen Release from Legume Crop Residues for Three Subsequent Crops

      Pulse crops are grown on the Canadian prairies because of their agronomic, economic, and environmental benefits. They are recommended to be grown once every 4 yr, but N release from their residues is usually quantified over one crop season following their harvest. We estimated biologically fixed N and monitored patterns of C and N release from residues of green and forage pea (Pisum sativum L.), faba bean (Vicia faba L.), faba green manure (GM), and chickling vetch (Lathyrus sativus L.) GM in three subsequent crop years. Pulses fixed more N, particularly faba bean (184 kg N ha−1) and forage pea (165 kg N ha−1), than GM legumes (77 and 95 kg N ha−1), and they contained more C (1839–2577 kg C ha−1) than GM residues (1072 and 1240 kg C ha−1). (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015


    • Erik S. Krueger, Tyson E. Ochsner, David M. Engle, J.D. Carlson, Dirac Twidwell and Samuel D. Fuhlendorf
      Soil Moisture Affects Growing-Season Wildfire Size in the Southern Great Plains

      The increasing availability of soil moisture data presents an opportunity for its use in wildfire danger assessments, but research regarding the influence of soil moisture on wildfires is scarce. Our objective was to identify relationships between soil moisture and wildfire size for Oklahoma wildfires during the growing (May-October) and dormant seasons (November-April). We hypothesized that soil moisture influences wildfire size when vegetation is growing but is less important when most vegetation is dead or dormant. Soil moisture, as fraction of available water capacity (FAW), and commonly measured weather variables were determined for 38,419 wildfires from 2000–2012. (continued)

      Published: November 6, 2015

    • Sheela Katuwal, Emmanuel Arthur, Markus Tuller, Per Moldrup and Lis Wollesen de Jonge
      Quantification of Soil Pore Network Complexity with X-ray Computed Tomography and Gas Transport Measurements

      Flow and transport of gases through soils are largely controlled by pore structural attributes. The quantification of pore network characteristics is therefore essential for accurate prediction of air permeability and gas diffusivity. In this study, the pore network characteristics of seven different soils subjected to 22 mo of field regeneration were quantified with X-ray computed tomography (CT) and compared with functional pore characteristics estimated from measurements of air permeability and gas diffusivity. Furthermore, predictive models for air permeability and gas diffusivity were developed based on CT-derived structural parameters and compared with previously proposed predictive models. (continued)

      Published: October 30, 2015

    • Xianlong Yang, Qingyin Zhang, Xuezhang Li, Xiaoxu Jia, Xiaorong Wei and Ming’an Shao
      Determination of Soil Texture by Laser Diffraction Method

      The laser-diffraction method (LDM) can rapidly determine soil particle-size distributions (PSDs), but LDM-derived PSDs cannot be directly used to classify soil textures by referring to the standards of the classical sieve-pipette method (SPM). Our objectives were to explore calibration models for converting PSD data from LDM (volume, %) to SPM (mass, %), and to evaluate the precision of textural classification by using LDM data. We determined the PSDs using both methods for 235 soil samples of various textures collected from three typical land uses, on the Loess Plateau of China. The LDM generally underestimated clay fractions by an average of 45.1%, and overestimated silt fractions by an average of 18.3% compared with SPM. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015

    • Lalit M. Arya and Joshua L. Heitman
      A Non-Empirical Method for Computing Pore Radii and Soil Water Characteristics from Particle-Size Distribution

      Soil water characteristics (SWC) is a common requirement in studies of soil physics and hydrology, and modeling this property is preferred because experimental measurements are error-prone, time-consuming, and costly. However, unknown empirical parameters in SWC models remain a source of uncertainty. This study proposes a formulation for computing pore radii and SWCs from routinely available particle-size distribution (PSD), bulk density, and particle density data, without the need for incorporating unknown empirical parameters. The proposed model emerged from combining attributes of natural-packed soil structure with those of a counterpart hypothetical structure consisting of spherical particles, and has the formwhere rin is the pore radius for a given fraction of particles on the PSD curve, Φ is the porosity, wi is the fraction solid mass, ρb is the bulk density, ni is the number of spherical particles that can be formed using the fraction solid mass, and Ri is the mean particle radius for the fraction. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015

    • Sheng Wang, Jun Fan and Quanjiu Wang
      Determining Evapotranspiration of a Chinese Willow Stand with Three-Needle Heat-Pulse Probes

      Quantifying evapotranspiration (ET) and partitioning it into its individual components, evaporation (E) and transpiration (T), is essential to understanding eco-hydrological systems and guiding agricultural production practices. Our study tested the possibility of using heat-pulse probes (HPP) to determine E, T, and ET. Values of E and T were determined using the sensible heat balance theory and heat ratio method (HRM), respectively. Field experiments were conducted in a small stand of 10 Salix matsudana trees growing in a sandy soil on the Loess Plateau, China. (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015

    • Kai Germer and Jürgen Braun
      Determination of Anisotropic Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of a Macroporous Slope Soil

      For a steeply sloped part of the “Heumöser”, a creeping landslide in Vorarlberg (Austria), it is postulated that subsurface macropore flow results in high pore water pressures at the base of the slope and thus triggers mass movement or may even cause slope failure. To quantify saturated hydraulic conductivity and anisotropy in a soil containing macropores, a novel method was required to obtain a “very large” (L/W/H ≈ 30/30/60 cm) undisturbed soil sample. A square column was carved out from the slope, wrapped in cling wrap, surrounded with timber walls on the four lateral sides and stabilized by injection of polyurethane foam. The sample was then cut off at the base and carefully transported to the laboratory where it was installed in a constant head permeameter to obtain values for vertical hydraulic conductivity (Kv). (continued)

      Published: October 23, 2015

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