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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/sssaj, which includes the complete archive.

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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

Current issue: Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 81(4)


    • Angel Maresma and Quirine M. Ketterings
      In-Field Variability of the Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test and Loss-on-Ignition Results for Nitrogen Management

      The Illinois soil N test (ISNT) with loss-on-ignition at 500°C (LOI500) adjustment can identify fields with low versus high soil N supply potential in New York. However, spatial and seasonal variability in ISNT-N and LOI500 can influence soil N supply classifications. We aimed to determine (i) the influence of sample density on the ratio of ISNT-N to the critical value for interpretations of ISNT results (ISNT-NCritical), and N supply classification, (ii) the implications of change in spatial and temporal variability on ISNT-N interpretations, (iii) the probability of obtaining accurate interpretations as impacted by sampling intensity, and (iv) the influence of using LOI500 equivalents [derived from loss-on-ignition at 360°C (LOI360)] on ISNT-N interpretations. Two 4-ha silage corn (Zea mays L.) fields were sampled (150 samples per field, 0–20 cm depth; 64 in regular 25 by 25 or 23 by 27 m grids, the remainder in a pattern optimizing lag distance distribution) in July and November. (continued)

      Published: August 31, 2017

    • Leonardo Deiss, Alan J. Franzluebbers and Anibal de Moraes
      Soil Texture and Organic Carbon Fractions Predicted from Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Geostatistics

      Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and geostatistics are relatively unexplored tools that could reduce the time, labor, and costs of soil analysis. Our objective was to efficiently determine lateral and vertical distributions of soil texture and soil organic C (SOC) fractions in an agroforestry system (a 7-ha field) on a Coastal Plain site in North Carolina. To predict selected properties from a large number of soil samples collected from this field, NIRS was calibrated against laboratory-determined properties. Support vector machines was a multivariate model that performed better than partial least squares to obtain greater precision with NIRS for all soil properties. (continued)

      Published: August 3, 2017


    • Zhaosheng Fan, Jeffrey E. Herrick, Rick Saltzman, Christina Matteis, Anna Yudina, Nicholas Nocella, Edward Crawford, Rick Parker and Justin Van Zee
      Measurement of Soil Color: A Comparison Between Smartphone Camera and the Munsell Color Charts

      Soil color is one of the most useful soil properties for assessing and monitoring soil health. Here we present results of tests of a new soil color app for mobile phones. Various smartphone cameras (SPCs) were tested under sunny and cloudy conditions and compared with visual estimates using Munsell color charts (MCCs). The measured and estimated soil colors were then compared with the “true” colors determined using a spectrophotometer. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Smartphone cameras can be used to reliably measure soil color.
      • Soil color measured with smartphone cameras had less subjectivity and uncertainty.
      • Natural lighting conditions affected the accuracy of the soil color measured with smartphone cameras.

      Published: September 7, 2017


    • Elton da Silva Bicalho, Mara Regina Moitinho, Daniel De Bortoli Teixeira, Alan Rodrigo Panosso, Kurt Arnold Spokas and Newton La Scala Jr.
      Soil Greenhouse Gases: Relations to Soil Attributes in a Sugarcane Production Area

      The production of the main soil greenhouse gases (GHG: carbon dioxide [CO2], methane [CH4,] and nitrous oxide [N2O]) is influenced by agricultural practices that cause changes in soil physical, chemical, and biological attributes, directly affecting their emission to the atmosphere. The aim of this study was to investigate the infield soil carbon dioxide emissions (Fbold>CO2) and soil CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide production potentials (PCO2, PCH4, and PN2O, respectively) under laboratory conditions and their relationship to soil attributes in a mechanically harvested sugarcane area. Soil carbon dioxide emissions presented an infield average emission value of 1.19 µmol CO2 m-2 s-1, while GHG production in the laboratory was 2.34 µg C–CO2 bold>g-1 bold>soil d-1 and 0.20 ng N–N2bold>O g-1 soil d-1 for PCO2 and PN2O, respectively. No significant production or oxidation was observed for CH4. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The production of the main soil greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) is influenced by agricultural practices.
      • The soil bulk density and micropores showed negative correlation with soil CO2 emission.
      • The factor analysis showed the formation of two independent processes that explained almost 72% of the total variance observed in the data.
      • The soil moisture is a controlling factor of soil CO2 emission.

      Published: July 20, 2017


    • Julia Gebert and Jan Streese-Kleeberg
      Coupling Stable Isotope Analysis with Gas Push-Pull Tests to Derive In Situ Values for the Fractionation Factor α ox Associated with the Microbial Oxidation of Methane in Soils

      A prerequisite for the application of stable isotope fractionation for the quantification of the methane (CH4) oxidation efficiency of landfill covers is that the fractionation factor αox is known or can be estimated with adequate accuracy. So far, αox has only been determined in laboratory experiments. In this study, αox was determined under in situ conditions in the field by coupling two independent methods, gas push-pull tests and stable isotope analysis, to assess biological fractionation of CH4 isotopologues in landfill cover soils. On six landfills with nine points of investigation, 22 measurements were performed, covering a wide range of environmental conditions, such as soil temperature and moisture and observed oxidation rates. (continued)

      Published: August 31, 2017


    • Samantha Ritter, Thomas DeSutter, Peter O’Brien, Frank Casey, Abbey Wick, Kevin Horsager and Eakalak Khan
      Binary Exchanges of Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium on Thermally Desorbed Soil

      Thermal desorption (TD) remediates hydrocarbon-contaminated soil by heating the soil (200–500°C) to volatilize the hydrocarbons, effectively removing the contaminant from the soil. Knowledge of the effects of TD on remediated soil for agricultural crop production are limited, but cation exchange capacity (CEC) and selectivity for cations can be good indicators of plant productivity potential. In this study, the CEC and selectivity of cations of TD-treated and untreated topsoil and subsoil were compared using binary exchange measurements of Ca–Mg, Ca–K, and Mg–K. The tested soils were illite and smectite-dominated Mollisols that were collected near an active TD-remediation site in northwest North Dakota. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Thermal desorption is used to remediate contaminated soil.
      • Thermal desorption can alter Gibb’s free energies.
      • Thermal desorption at 350°C did not change cation selectivity.

      Published: September 7, 2017

    • Nadia Adam
      A Wet-Chemical and Phosphorus K-edge X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure Investigation of Phosphate Adsorption on Binary Mixtures of Ferrihydrite and Calcite: Implications for Phosphorus Bioavailability

      A fundamental understanding of phosphorus (P) bioavailability in alkaline soils is critical to its better management in agricultural and environmental applications. The main objective of this study is to characterize phosphate speciation in the alkaline pH range (pH 8–9.5) in binary mixtures of ferrihydrite and calcite using a combination of wet-chemical and P K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy. Our results showed that ferrihydrite and calcite sorbed phosphate as an inner-sphere surface complex with binuclear-bidentate mode of phosphate bonding on ferrihydrite in both single- and mixed-mineral systems of ferrihydrite and calcite. Phosphate sorbed preferentially on ferrihydrite in binary mixtures of ferrihydrite and calcite particularly at higher concentrations of sorbed phosphate, probably due to greater concentration of metal-OH surface sites in ferrihydrite than in calcite. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Understanding P sorption complexity is critical to managing alkaline soil-P.
      • Molecular and macro-scale sorption are characterized in representative systems.
      • Preferential P sorption on ferrihydrite is seen in ferrihydrite–calcite mixtures.
      • Nonlinear P sorptive behavior in mineral–mixtures indicates mineral interaction.
      • An increase in P bioavailability is expected with soil reduction and pH increase.

      Published: August 31, 2017


    • Per Schjønning and Michael Koppelgaard
      The Forchheimer Approach for Soil Air Permeability Measurement

      Air permeability affects a range of soil functions and is useful in the quantification of soil pore characteristics. Measurements of air flow used to quantify air permeability are mostly performed at a fixed pressure difference, assuming a linear relation between flow and pressure. However, evidence exists that nonlinear pressure losses may occur even at low pressure gradients. We constructed an apparatus that allows automatic measurement of air flow at a range of pressures. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We developed an apparatus with automatic registration of flow (Q) and pressure (ΔP).
      • A curvilinear Q–ΔP relation was found for seven of eight soil samples tested.
      • Ignoring non-linear pressure loss gave permeability errors up to 65% at ΔP=100 Pa.
      • We suggest an index for pore tortuosity based on the non-linear Q–ΔP relation.

      Published: September 7, 2017

    • Yakun Zhang, Asim Biswas, Wenjun Ji and Viacheslav I. Adamchuk
      Depth-Specific Prediction of Soil Properties In Situ using vis-NIR Spectroscopy

      Visible-near infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy has been used to efficiently and accurately predict various soil properties and has shown potential in digital soil mapping (DSM). Recent developments in three-dimensional (3D)-DSM sought additional attention on vis-NIR spectroscopy. However, environmental and sampling challenges of in situ and depth-specific measurement of vis-NIR spectra limited its potential. This paper aims to test the predictive ability and performance of in situ vis-NIR spectra for various soil physical and chemical properties for the whole soil profile and at different depths. (continued)

      Published: August 31, 2017


    • Gülay Karahan and Sabit Erşahin
      Relating Macropore Flow to Soil Parametric and Morphological Variables

      Preferential flow is an important soil hydraulic property as it controls water flow and solute transport in saturated and near-saturated conditions. Preferential flow occurs in a small range of soil water potentials and soil structure predominantly controls soil water flow; it is thus challenging to model preferential flow using soil parametric variables. The aim of this study was to identify soil properties that affect macropore-type preferential flow. Thirty undisturbed soil samples were collected from the topsoil of a paddy field and adjacent grassland, and hydraulic conductivity (K) was measured at saturation and near saturation at different tension (h) values. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • A new parameter, “slope of macropore flow (s)”, was introduced
      • The parameter s allowed the identification of soil variables controlling macropore flow
      • Soil clay content was the key parameter controlling macropore flow
      • The parameter s may be used as a soil physical indicator in environmental studies

      Published: August 31, 2017


    • Mathieu Lamandé, Per Schjønning and Rodrigo Labouriau
      A Novel Method for Estimating Soil Precompression Stress from Uniaxial Confined Compression Tests

      The concept of precompression stress is used for estimating soil strength that is relevant to field traffic. It represents the maximum stress experienced by the soil. The most recently developed fitting method to estimate precompression stress (Gompertz) is based on the assumption of an S-shaped stress–strain curve, which is not always fulfilled. A new simple numerical method was developed to estimate precompression stress from stress–strain curves, based solely on the sharp bend on the stress–strain curve partitioning the curve into an elastic and a plastic section. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • A new numerical method could detect the point of maximum curvature in the stress–strain relationship.
      • The precompression stress identified by the new method correlated with the maximum stress the soil had experienced prior to the compression tests.
      • The combination of soil water potential and bulk density had a larger influence on precompression stress than soil texture and soil structure alone.

      Published: August 31, 2017


    • Samuel I. Haruna, Samuel I. Haruna, Stephen H. Anderson, Nsalambi V. Nkongolo, Timothy Reinbott and Syaharudin Zaibon
      Soil Thermal Properties Influenced by Perennial Biofuel and Cover Crop Management

      Heat transport is an important factor that can influence the soil environment. The objective of this study was to determine if perennial biofuel and cover crops could alter soil thermal properties. Experimental treatments included two levels of cover crops (cover crops [CC] vs. no cover crops) [NC], collectively called row crops (RC), and two biofuel crop treatments. (continued)

      Published: August 31, 2017

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