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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. 80(6)


    • S.V. Valadares, W.P. Cropper, Júlio C. Lima Neves, Hélio G. Leite, Nairam F. Barros and Stefan Gerber
      Pedotransfer Functions to Estimate Parameters for Soil Phosphorus Models

      Parameters of mechanistic and empirical models to simulate nutrient dynamics in soil–plant systems are not always readily available. One way to address this problem is by developing pedotransfer functions to estimate such parameters. In this study, we derive pedotransfer functions to estimate the P contents in soil solutions (Psol) of Brazilian soils and to estimate the partition coefficient of P desorption isotherms (kd,ds). We compiled data from previous studies and developed linear and nonlinear regression models to estimate P in soil solution as a function of P extracted by Mehlich-1 (M1) and of soil clay. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Equations with relatively simple parameters were provided to estimate soil solution phosphorus.
      • A regression was fitted to estimate partition coefficients of desorption isotherms.
      • The functions presented facilitate parameterization of existing P simulation models.

      Published: February 2, 2017


    • Tetsuhiro Watanabe, Yosuke Hasenaka, Arief Hartono, Supiandi Sabiham, Atsushi Nakao and Shinya Funakawa
      Parent Materials and Climate Control Secondary Mineral Distributions in Soils of Kalimantan, Indonesia

      It is important to clarify which factors control the distribution of secondary minerals because secondary minerals affect soil physicochemical properties. This study investigated the effects of parent materials and climate at different elevations on secondary mineral distributions in soils under a humid tropical climate with a hilly landscape and without recent volcanic activity. Soil material from B horizons was sampled at 60 sites on gentle slopes at different elevations (20–1700 m altitude). Each major parent material (sedimentary, felsic, and intermediate to mafic) was represented at different elevations. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • A unified interpretation of clay mineral distributions in Kalimantan was achieved.
      • The conditions under which soil clay minerals formed in Kalimantan were clarified.
      • Systematic sampling, considering parent material and climate, allowed clear analysis.
      • Thermodynamic analysis of clay mineral stability was performed.
      • The clarified mineralogy will allow better ecological and agricultural understanding.

      Published: January 26, 2017

    • Felipe Aburto and Randal Southard
      Refined Geomorphologic Interpretation of Glacial Deposits using Combined Soil Development Indices and LiDAR Terrain Analysis

      The ages of glacial deposits in the Lake Tahoe Basin (LTB) have been poorly constrained. Recent absolute cosmogenic dates and a newly delivered light detection and ranging (LiDAR) dataset for LTB, have revived interest for the age interpretation of these glacial deposits. In this study, we combined field geomorphic reconnaissance, terrain analysis, and soil development indices to discern the timing of glaciation for three Quaternary moraine complexes (Meeks Creek, General Creek, and McKinney Creek) in the western LTB. Tahoe-age deposits displayed significantly more relaxed and wider crests and lower flank slopes than Tioga-age deposits. (continued)

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • Gregory S. Rouze, Cristine L.S. Morgan, Alex B. McBratney and Haly L. Neely
      Exploratory Assessment of Aerial Gamma Radiometrics across the Conterminous United States

      Gamma radiometrics have recently been connected with soil properties at field scales (10 m) and thus may have potential to characterize soil across regional scales using data from preexisting aerial surveys. However, the relationship between γ radiometrics and soil properties across these larger spatial extents (100–1000 km) has been largely unexplored, particularly within the United States. Thus, the overall purpose of this work was to test the effectiveness of aerial γ radiometrics in modeling soil properties across the conterminous United States. After discovering that up to 19% of aerial γ radiometric variability could be explained by variations in physiography and parent material type, linear regression models were created between soil properties (clay and sand contents, cation exchange capacity, CaCO3 equivalent, and pH) and aerial γ dose rate based on physiography and parent material type. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • US aerial gamma radiometrics were analyzed with legacy soil data.
      • Relationships for aerial gamma and soils data differed by physiography and geology.
      • Gamma radiometrics could best map soil texture within relatively flat landscapes.
      • A US map where aerial radiometrics is most useful for soil mapping is provided.

      Published: December 29, 2016


    • Gustavo Cambareri, Craig Drury, John Lauzon, William Salas and Claudia Wagner-Riddle
      Year-Round Nitrous Oxide Emissions as Affected by Timing and Method of Dairy Manure Application to Corn

      Manure application to agricultural soils enhances N2O emissions, but these emissions could be reduced by using improved application methods at the right time. We conducted a 3-yr study on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in Elora, ON, Canada, to test the effects of timing and method of liquid dairy manure application on year-round N2O emissions. A randomized complete block design was set up every year evaluating two application times (fall vs. spring) and three methods of manure application (surface broadcasting, incorporation, and injection). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The year × timing interaction affects cumulative N2O emissions.
      • Injection of manure produces the highest cumulative N2O emissions.
      • Injection of manure produces the highest corn yields.

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • Olivia T. Yu, Rachel F. Greenhut, Anthony T. O’Geen, Bruce Mackey, William R. Horwath and Kerri L. Steenwerth
      Precipitation Events and Management Practices Affect Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vineyards in a Mediterranean Climate

      To evaluate the effect of precipitation events, management practices, and soil type in wine grape (Vitis vinifera L. ssp. vinifera) vineyard systems and provide data for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions calculators, we monitored nine vineyards in the Lodi wine grape district, California, from April 2011 to December 2012. These commercial vineyards exist on three soil series (Redding, San Joaquin, and Tokay), representing a spectrum of soil textures and degrees of soil development. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Alleys have greater soil C and N pools than vine rows.
      • Soil N2O emissions increase in response to precipitation, fertigation, and irrigation.
      • Path analysis revealed that vineyard zone and soil texture influence N2O emissions.
      • Path analysis revealed that GWC influences N2O emissions.

      Published: January 26, 2017

    • Ben W. Thomas, Xiying Hao, Francis J. Larney, Claudia Goyer, Martin H. Chantigny and Anaïs Charles
      Non-Legume Cover Crops Can Increase Non-Growing Season Nitrous Oxide Emissions

      Cover crops retain post-harvest nutrients but how they impact non-growing season nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions is unclear. Therefore, we quantified how cover crop type (fall rye [Secale cereale L.] or oilseed radish [Raphanus sativus L.]) and fertilizer source (compost or inorganic fertilizer) affected N2O emissions, soil water-extractable organic C (WEOC) and nitrate (NO3) dynamics over two non-growing seasons. A treatment with no fertilizer or cover crop was also included. Weekly, N2O fluxes were determined using vented static chambers; soil WEOC and NO3–N concentrations were measured monthly. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Nitrous oxide emissions were greater in winter than spring or fall.
      • Tillage radish increased over-winter N2O fluxes.
      • Non-legume cover crops increased N2O fluxes under apparent NO3 limiting conditions.

      Published: January 5, 2017

    • X.C. (John) Zhang
      Evaluating Water Erosion Prediction Project Model Using Cesium-137-Derived Spatial Soil Redistribution Data

      The lack of spatial soil erosion data has been a major constraint on the refinement and application of physically based erosion models. Spatially distributed models can only be thoroughly validated with distributed erosion data. Fallout 137Cs has been widely used to generate spatial soil redistribution data. The objectives of this study were to compare the soil redistribution patterns predicted using the 137Cs technique and the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model and to diagnose potential shortcomings in the configuration, functionality, and application of the WEPP model, if any. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Lack of spatial erosion data restricts model improvement and application.
      • Spatially distributed erosion data along a hillslope were derived using 137Cs.
      • For the first time, WEPP-predicted spatial erosion rate was rigorously evaluated.
      • Rill spacing is a key input parameter for simulating erosion on a hillslope.

      Published: December 29, 2016


    • Mingjing Sun, Jamal Alikhani, Arash Massoudieh, Ralf Greiner and Deb P. Jaisi
      Phytate Degradation by Different Phosphohydrolase Enzymes: Contrasting Kinetics, Decay Rates, Pathways, and Isotope Effects

      Phytate (IP6) is often the most common organic P compound particularly in agricultural soils. Understanding the fate of inositol phosphate (IPx) in the environment in terms of isomeric composition and concentration and assessing relative resistance to (or preference for) degradation is essential to estimate the potential role of IPx in generating inorganic P (Pi) as well as overall P cycling in the environment. In this study, we analyzed IP6 degradation by four common phosphohydrolase enzymes (phytase from wheat [Triticum aestivum L.] and Aspergillus niger and acid phosphatase from wheat germ and potato [Solanum tuberosum L.]), with particular focus on degradation pathways, isomer kinetic decay rate, and isotope effects using a combination of high-performance ion chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, stable isotopes, and process-based modeling techniques. Our results show that the degradation pathways are often distinct among enzymes. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Phytate is degraded through distinct pathways for a particular enzyme.
      • Oxygen isotope ratios of phosphate moieties in phytate are isotopically identical.
      • These findings bring new insights into tracking phytate sources in the environment.

      Published: February 9, 2017

    • R. Michael Lehman, Shannon L. Osborne and Sara E. Duke
      Diversified No-Till Crop Rotation Reduces Nitrous Oxide Emissions, Increases Soybean Yields, and Promotes Soil Carbon Accrual

      The effect of crop rotational diversity on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been explored in several studies, although rarely have measurements been made on whole rotations consisting of two or more crops. We evaluated the impact of crop rotational diversity on GHG emissions, soil organic carbon (SOC), and crop yields over a 4-yr period in eastern South Dakota, USA. Under no-till, rain-fed conditions, a 2-yr (corn [Zea mays L.]–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]) rotation and a 4-yr rotation (corn-field peas [Pisum sativum L.]–winter wheat [Triticum aestivum L.]–soybean) were established in a randomized, complete block design (each crop present each year) 8 yr prior to the current study. Average daily N2O fluxes were 24% lower (P = 0.0313) for the 4-yr rotation (2.34 ± 0.56 g N2O-N ha–1d–1) compared with the 2-yr rotation (3.06 ± 0.59 g N2O-N ha–1d–1). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Diversification of established no-till, rain-fed crop rotations was examined.
      • Mean daily N2O fluxes were 24% lower in 4-yr vs. 2-yr rotation.
      • Both no-till rotations (2-yr and 4-yr) accrued soil C over this time span.
      • 4-yr rotation accrued soil C earlier and deeper than 2-yr rotation.
      • Soybean yields were 22% higher in 4-yr vs. 2-yr rotation.

      Published: January 19, 2017

    • Drew A. Scott, Sara G. Baer and John M. Blair
      Recovery and Relative Influence of Root, Microbial, and Structural Properties of Soil on Physically Sequestered Carbon Stocks in Restored Grassland

      Managing soil to sequester C can help mitigate increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. To maximize this ecosystem service, more knowledge of factors influencing C sequestration is needed. The objectives of this study were to (i) quantify recovery of the roots, microbial biomass and composition, and soil structure across a chronosequence of grassland restorations and (ii) use a structural equation model to develop a data-based hypothesis on the relative influence of physical and biological soil properties on the soil C aggregate fraction diagnostic of sequestered C. Belowground plant biomass and tissue quality (C/N ratio), soil microbial biomass C, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) concentrations, soil structure, and soil C stocks in the bulk soil and each aggregate fraction were quantified from a cultivated field, prairies restored for 1 to 35-yr (n = 6), and a never-cultivated (native) prairie. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We found that cultivated and never-cultivated grassland soils had 12 and 59% of the total C pool sequestered in the micro-within-macro aggregate fraction, respectively.
      • The micro-within-macro aggregate C increased at a rate of 27 g C m–2 yr–1 across the restoration chronosequence; 50% of total C was in this physically protected fraction after 35 yr of restoration.
      • This is the first study to use structural equation modeling to explain soil C stocks in the micro-within-macro aggregate fraction. The model explains 98% of the variance in sequestered soil C, with microbial composition representing the strongest causal influence, followed by soil structure.

      Published: January 5, 2017


    • Kejing Li and Christi A. Dawydiak
      Chemistry and Transport of Potassium during the Non-Steady State of Syenite Leaching

      Syenite is mainly composed of potassium feldspar (Kfs), which is a structural K-bearing mineral in soil, typically considered as an insoluble K resource. In contrast to the slow dissolution process, the initial non-steady state stage usually gives a fast K+ release rate and quickly decreasing, which is closely related with surface reactions. This process in a flow reactor has not been fully understood with a kinetic model. Earlier research about albite found that ion exchange and surface cation desorption occur rapidly, which leads to experimental efforts of this work. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • A flow system for the release and extraction kinetics of ions from a rock fertilizer.
      • The initial release of ions from syenite studied using ICP-MS and a pH meter.
      • Fast surface potassium–proton ion exchange and K desorption observed.

      Published: February 16, 2017

    • Anna E. Normand, Adam N. Smith, Mark W. Clark, Joanna R. Long and K. Ramesh Reddy
      Chemical Composition of Soil Organic Matter in a Subarctic Peatland: Influence of Shifting Vegetation Communities

      Climate change in the subarctic region has increased the rate of inundation of peatlands due to increased temperatures, precipitation, and permafrost thaw. Increased inundation may result in vegetation community shifts, as documented in a subarctic mire near Abisko, Sweden. The wet fen communities have established in former sphagnum areas, and sphagnum colonized in degraded palsa hummocks. At Stordalen mire, we studied the influence of vegetation community on chemical composition of peat soil organic matter (SOM). (continued)

      Published: January 26, 2017

    • Sarah Doydora, Dean Hesterberg and Wantana Klysubun
      Phosphate Solubilization from Poorly Crystalline Iron and Aluminum Hydroxides by AVAIL Copolymer

      Less than 40% of fertilizer phosphate applied to soils is generally taken up by crops because of strong retention of P by soil solids. Our objective was to determine mechanisms by which AVAIL, a maleic-itaconic copolymer used as a fertilizer additive, potentially affects retention of applied phosphate, and consequently plant availability. We measured competitive sorption of AVAIL and orthophosphate in aqueous suspensions of ferrihydrite and poorly crystalline Al hydroxide [pxl-Al(OH)3] at pH 6.2, and characterized phosphate bonding distribution between Fe(III) and Al(III) in 1:1 (w/w) mixtures of these solids using P K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. With increasing co-additions of AVAIL and P at the levels evaluated, sorption results showed dissolved P increasing up to 0.45 and 1.25 mM for ferrihydrite and pxl-Al(OH)3, respectively, which represented 18 and 34% of added P. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Dissolved P increased with increasing co-additions of AVAIL and P to metal oxides.
      • AVAIL dissolved greater P with Al-hydroxide than with ferrihydrite.
      • AVAIL had no effect on P bonding distribution between Al(III) and Fe(III) in mixed sorbents.

      Published: December 29, 2016


    • Djalma Schmitt, Paulo H. Pagliari and Carlos A. C. do Nascimento
      Chemical Distribution of Phosphorus in Soils used during the Development of Sorption Isotherms

      This study was developed to provide initial information on the chemical distribution of P into the different soil P pools after a soil sample underwent P sorption using 17 soil samples from the United States (13) and Brazil (4). During the sorption phase, soil samples were equilibrated with solutions containing increasing P concentrations (0–75 mg P L–1) following standard procedures. Following the sorption phase, the soil samples were allowed to air dry for 72 h and underwent a chemical fractionation (in water, anionic resin, 0.5M NaHCO3, 0.1M NaOH, and 1.0M HCl). A wide range of sorption strength ranging from 0.043 to 0.289 L kg–1 and a maximum sorption ranging from 189 to 789 mg kg–1 were observed. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Soil P adsorption studies provide misleading information regarding how P binds to soil.
      • Phosphorus adsorption studies might not correctly estimate the true potential for a soil to hold P.
      • Adsorption strength calculated using adsorption studies are skewed towards the nonlabile pool, which does not represent where the majority of P binds during such studies.

      Published: January 19, 2017


    • W.A. Hawkins and R.C. Graham
      Soil Mineralogy of a Vernal Pool Catena in Southern California

      Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that are noted for their unique flora and fauna. Soils are critical to the hydrologic function of the vernal pools, but few studies have examined the mineralogy of vernal pool soils in detail. In this study, the soil mineralogy of a vernal pool catena on basalt in southern California was investigated to identify the mineral components, their origin, and their relationship to the soil hydrologic environment. Kaolin and smectite are found in the soil clay fraction throughout the catena. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Soil mineralogy, as with morphology, varies with slope position in the vernal pool watershed.
      • Vernal pool soil mineralogy is determined by parent material, weathering, relative solubility of elements, and hydrology.
      • Kaolin dominates on upper slope positions; smectite dominates on lower slope positions.

      Published: December 29, 2016


    • Hossein Babazadeh, Mahdi Sarai Tabrizi and Mehdi Homaee
      Assessing and Modifying Macroscopic Root Water extraction basil ( Ocimum basilicum ) models under simultaneous water and salinity stresses

      In arid and semiarid regions, plants are often subjected to both water scarcity and soil salinity. Our objectives were to compare several equations describing the combined effects of water and salinity stress on root water uptake and to improve one of the equations. Consequently, seven macroscopic root water extraction models were evaluated using basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) experimental data. An experiment was conducted with four irrigation water salinities [1.175 (S1), 3 (S2), 5 (S3), and 8 (S4) dS m–1] and four irrigation levels: 120 (W1), 100 (W2), 80 (W3), and 60% (W4) of crop water requirements, each with three replicates. (continued)

      Published: February 2, 2017

    • K. Vanderlinden, Y.A. Pachepsky, A. Pederera-Parrilla, G. Martínez, A.J. Espejo-Pérez, F. Perea and J.V. Giráldez
      Water Retention and Preferential States of Soil Moisture in a Cultivated Vertisol

      Vertisols are well suited for rainfed agriculture in water-limited environments as a result of their unique water transfer and retention characteristics. Despite their importance, the agro-hydrological behavior of these soils under seasonally dry climates is not yet fully understood. We collected water retention data for a Vertisol, measured from saturation to oven dryness on 27 undisturbed topsoil (0–0.05 m) samples from an experimental field in south-central Spain and related this information to the occurrence of field-observed preferential soil moisture states. A continuous function was fitted to the mean gravimetric water retention data, Θ, consisting of the sum of a double exponential model and the Groenevelt and Grant model. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Water retention data from saturation to oven dryness were collected for a Vertisol.
      • New water retention and differential water capacity models were developed.
      • Draining of intra-aggregate pore space triggers the dry field soil moisture state.
      • Mode of the textural pore space controls shift to wet field soil moisture state.

      Published: January 12, 2017


    • Martin C. Rabenhorst and Kristine A. Persing
      A Synthesized Manganese Oxide for Easily Making Durable Manganese-Coated IRIS Tubes

      During the last decade, Indicator of Reduction in Soils (IRIS) technology has been developed whereby polyvinyl chloride (PVC) devices coated with an Fe-oxide paint are inserted into the soil to document strongly reducing conditions. The IRIS devices are easy to use and interpret, are less prone to difficulties associated with other methods of assessing reducing soil conditions, and have been endorsed by the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils. There has been longstanding interest in Mn-oxide-coated tubes, but until lately there have been insurmountable problems associated with poor adhesion and durability of the Mn-oxide coating. Recently, workers have suggested an easily synthesized, poorly crystalline birnessite to make Mn-coated PVC IRIS devices, but their manufacturing procedure for tubes with a durable Mn coating is cumbersome and time consuming. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We developed a new synthesis of well-crystalline birnessite for making Mn-coated IRIS tubes.
      • The Mn coating can be easily and quickly applied using a foam brush and lathe.
      • The Mn coating on PVC tubes has strong adhesion and good durability.
      • Up to 30 (50-cm) Mn-coated IRIS tubes can be manufactured per hour.
      • The speed and ease of manufacturing permits broader use of Mn-coated IRIS tubes.

      Published: January 26, 2017

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