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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(3)


    • Xiaogang Tong, Xinhui Han, Wu Faqi, Fazhu Zhao, Chengjie Ren and Jiao Li
      Change in Carbon Storage in Soil Physical Fractions after Afforestation of Former Arable Land

      In the Loess Hill region of China, a large amount of arable land has been replaced by forest plantation, resulting in increased storage of soil organic C (SOC). To elucidate the mechanisms of SOC storage among the afforested lands, we separated SOC into four specific size/density fractions: coarse free particulate organic C (cfPOC), fine free POC (ffPOC), intra-microaggregate POC (iPOC), and mineral–associated organic C (MOC). Soils were collected from arable land and from areas with four tree species—robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), poplar (Populus tomentosa Carrière), caragana (Caragana korshinskii Kom.), and buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)—in 15-yr-old stands. The total soil C stock to a depth of 100 cm was in the order robinia > poplar > caragana = buckthorn, and C increased by 7.9 to 18.2 Mg C ha-1 compared with the arable land. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Physical fractionation techniques were used to determine SOC changes in afforested soil.
      • This study improves understanding of the role of the soil physical fractions in C sequestration.
      • Afforestation with arbor could increase more C in soil physical fractions than with shrubland.
      • Carbon associated with mineral was the primary mechanism for C sequestration in afforested soil.

      Published: July 21, 2016

    • Sarah E. Kolbe, Arnold I. Miller, Amy Townsend-Small, Guy N. Cameron and Theresa M. Culley
      Impact of Land-Use History and Forest Trees on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks

      Reforestation and afforestation of agricultural land can lead to increased storage of C and N. Few studies have determined the effect of reforestation on N compared with C accumulation or the impact of forest community structure on soil organic C (SOC) and N stocks. We selected a chronosequence of six forested study sites to investigate whether SOC and N were affected by land-use history or forest community structure. We took soil cores at depths of 15 to 35 cm from eight plots at each study site, measured SOC and N concentrations, SOC/N ratios, the minimum time since partial and full reforestation, and tree composition and structure. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The onset of reforestation is a key factor controlling SOC and N stocks.
      • Stocks increased from partial to full reforestation, particularly in shallow soils.
      • SOC/N ratio increased with time since reforestation in deep but not shallow soils.
      • Increased SOC/N ratio in deep soils reflected accumulated SOC but stable N.
      • No relationship existed between SOC and N stocks and tree composition or structure.

      Published: July 7, 2016


    • Juan B. Rodriguez, James Self and Francisco J. Arriaga
      A Simple, Gravimetric Method to Quantify Inorganic Carbon in Calcareous Soils

      Total C (TC) in calcareous soils has two components: inorganic C (IC) and organic C (OC). The IC must be measured and subtracted from the TC to obtain OC. Our objective was to develop a simple gravimetric technique to quantify IC. This technique, named the carbonate meter (CM), can be assembled in any soil testing laboratory with a 6-mL glass vial, a no. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • A carbonate meter that measures inorganic C in calcareous soils was assembled.
      • A technique was developed to determine inorganic C in calcareous soils using the meter.
      • The carbonate meter is simple and can be easily assembled in any soil testing lab.
      • The carbonate meter gravimetric method is easy, with good precision and accuracy.
      • The carbonate meter method is more efficient than the pressure transducer method.

      Published: July 7, 2016


    • Mark H. Stolt, Martin C. Rabenhorst, Elham A. Ghabbour and Geoffrey Davies
      Soil Color and US Northeast Aquods

      Aquods commonly occur in wetland settings across a range of temperature regimes. Understanding their morphologies is critical to developing effective hydric soil indicators. In this study, we examined a range of wet Spodosols of the northeastern United States. We tested whether the red hues associated with wet spodic horizons are a function of humic (HA) and fulvic acids (FA) or Fe, and addressed questions related to hydric soil indicators, horizon designation, and soil classification. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Identifying hydric soils and depth to seasonal high water table is difficult in Spodosols.
      • The specific criteria for classifying wet Spodosols need to change.
      • Extractable Fe does not appear to contribute to the red color of wet Spodosols.
      • An interaction between Al and humic substances may possibly contribute to the redder hues.

      Published: June 15, 2016


    • Keke Hua, Bo Zhu, Xiaoguo Wang and Linlin Tian
      Forms and Fluxes of Soil Organic Carbon Transport via Overland Flow, Interflow, and Soil Erosion

      The contributions of hydrological pathways (including overland flow, interflow, and soil erosion) to lateral soil organic carbon (SOC) transport have remained unclear until now. Hillslopes were monitored using free-draining lysimeters (8 m by 4 m) to quantify dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses due to overland flow and interflow and the total organic carbon (TOC), water extractable organic carbon (WEOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), and mineral-associated organic carbon (MOC) fractions in sediments from sloping croplands containing Regosols in Southwest China. The average annual DOC losses due to overland flow and interflow were 158.8 ± 33.0 and 750.4 ± 79.3 mg C m–2, respectively, and the TOC lost with sediment was 2201.0 ± 429.2 mg C m‒2. Overland flow, interflow, and sediment accounted for 5, 24, and 71%, respectively, of the annual SOC losses. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Interflow is another crucial route of soil organic carbon lateral transport.
      • Overland flow, interflow, and sediment contributed 5, 24, and 71%, respectively, of annual loss loads of soil organic carbon lateral transport.
      • Dissolved organic carbon is another important component for SOC lateral transport.

      Published: July 21, 2016

    • Humberto Blanco-Canqui, John Tatarko, Aaron L. Stalker, Tim M. Shaver and Simon J. van Donk
      Impacts of Corn Residue Grazing and Baling on Wind Erosion Potential in a Semiarid Environment

      Implications of corn (Zea mays L.) residue grazing and baling on wind erosion in integrated crop–livestock systems are not well understood. This study (i) determined soil properties affecting wind erosion potential including dry aggregate-size distribution, geometric mean diameter (GMD), geometric standard deviation of dry aggregates, and wind-erodible fraction (WEF), (ii) correlated these properties with soil organic C (SOC) and particulate organic matter (POM), and (iii) simulated soil loss using the Single-event Wind Erosion Evaluation Program (SWEEP) model after 7 and 8 yr of irrigated no-till corn residue management in a semiarid region in west-central Nebraska. Residue treatments were: control (no residue removal), light grazing (2.5 animal unit months [AUM] ha−1), heavy grazing (5.0 AUM ha−1), and baling. We simulated soil loss for a 3-h windstorm with a wind velocity of 13 m s−1. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Corn residue baling increased the wind-erodible fraction relative to no baling.
      • Cattle grazing of corn residues had smaller effects on wind erosion than baling.
      • As residue cover decreased, the wind-erodible fraction increased.
      • Soil erodibility decreased as particulate organic matter increased.
      • Simulated soil loss showed that baling increased the wind erosion potential.

      Published: July 21, 2016

    • S. Cullotta, V. Bagarello, G. Baiamonte, G. Gugliuzza, M. Iovino, D.S. La Mela Veca, F. Maetzke, V. Palmeri and S. Sferlazza
      Comparing Different Methods to Determine Soil Physical Quality in a Mediterranean Forest and Pasture Land

      Soil physical quality (SPQ) can be assessed by different experimental methodologies and criteria and the optimal/critical values or ranges for SPQ indicators are still approximate. Sampling soils with minimal anthropic pressures should allow improvements in SPQ assessment. Different experimental methodologies and criteria were applied to sample a Mediterranean oak forest (Quercus ilex L.) and pasture land, in Sicily, with a varying degree of anthropic disturbance. Soil water retention was determined in the laboratory and the field, using the BEST (Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer parameters) procedure of soil hydraulic characterization. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Optimal values of soil physical quality indicators are still approximate.
      • Sampling soils with minimal anthropic pressures will improve soil physical quality assessment.
      • Capacity-based indicators yielded plausible results in a near natural area in Sicily.
      • Field methods appears a possible alternative to laboratory techniques to assess soil physical quality.
      • Simultaneous characterization of forest and soil parameters is recommended.

      Published: July 14, 2016

    • Jane M. F. Johnson and Nancy W. Barbour
      Nitrous Oxide Emission and Soil Carbon Sequestration from Herbaceous Perennial Biofuel Feedstocks

      Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman) are potential bioenergy feedstocks. Perennial grasses managed as bioenergy feedstock require nitrogenous inputs, which can cause N2O emission and, thereby, alter their effectiveness to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Few studies have measured N2O emission from perennial grasses managed as feedstock. The objectives of this study were to compare N2O flux and soil organic C (SOC) storage between (i) grasses with legume companion crops or with nitrogenous fertilizer, (ii) two grass harvest times (autumn and spring), and (iii) perennial systems and corn (Zea maize L.)–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] (C–S) rotation, all without tillage. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Adding N fertilizer increases N2O emission from perennial grasses managed as feedstock.
      • Interseeding clover with perennial grasses reduced N2O emission and yield.
      • Soil organic C storage under grasses may be inadequate to offset fertilizer-induced N2O flux.
      • Nitrogen management to optimize yield-scaled N2O flux from established grasses is needed.
      • No soil organic C storage occurred under no-till corn–soybean rotation to offset N2O flux.

      Published: July 7, 2016

    • Jonathan J. Halvorson, Mark A. Liebig, David W. Archer and Mark S. West
      Impacts of Crop Sequence and Tillage Management on Soil Carbon Stocks in South-Central North Dakota

      Emphasis is placed on developing robust, productive, economically competitive, and environmentally benign agroecosystems. In 2012, after 18 yr of a study to evaluate the effects of crop sequence and tillage, we measured soil properties at various depths to 91.4 cm and estimated soil C. The experiment, near Mandan, ND, was a split-plot design, with crop sequence as whole plots and tillage (minimum tillage or no-till) as subplots. Crop sequences included continuous spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with crop residue retained or removed, spring wheat–millet [Setaria ema (L.) Beauv.], spring wheat–safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.)–fallow, spring wheat–safflower–rye (Secale cereale L.), and spring wheat–fallow. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • After 18 years of a study, we measured soil properties and estimated soil C.
      • Estimates based on equivalent mass (SOCem) exceeded those based on fixed depth.
      • Stocks of SOCem were not affected by cropping sequence at any partition depth.
      • We found more SOCem for no-till than minimum tillage at cumulative depths ≥30.5 cm.
      • Organic C in the 0–7.6-cm depth had increased, in 2012, by about 16% since 2001.

      Published: July 7, 2016

    • Toru Nakajima, Raj K. Shrestha and Rattan Lal
      On-Farm Assessments of Soil Quality in Ohio and Michigan

      Climate change may have major implications for agricultural production in the Midwest. In response, farmers and scientists need ways to ensure continued corn (Zea mays L.) productivity while minimizing the environmental impacts of their management decisions in response to those changes. The use of a soil quality index (SQI) may be an effective tool for accomplishing both goals. Our objectives were to demonstrate the on-farm use of an SQI for assessing the effects of tillage and crop rotation on soil quality and agronomic productivity while also identifying soil properties that can serve as key indicators for SQI assessment. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • We demonstrated the soil quality index for assessing on-farm sites.
      • Clay content and soil organic C were the key indicators for soil quality index assessment.
      • The soil quality index was positively correlated with corn yield.
      • Overall, the soil quality index is an effective tool for assessing agronomic productivity in Ohio and Michigan.

      Published: July 7, 2016


    • Cuicui Zhao, Fien Degryse, Vadakattu Gupta and Mike J. McLaughlin
      Low Effective Surface Area Explains Slow Oxidation of Co-Granulated Elemental Sulfur

      Elemental S (ES) is commonly used as a S fertilizer but must be oxidized to sulfate for plant uptake. Oxidation of ES in co-granulated fertilizers has been shown to be slower than that of powdered ES mixed with soil. We hypothesized that the slow oxidation is due to limited access of S oxidizers to the interior of the granule. To test this hypothesis, an experiment was conducted to compare chemical properties and bacterial populations in soil in the vicinity of a granule (diammonium phosphate [DAP] + ES [10%]) and in soil mixed with powdered DAP + ES. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The oxidation of co-granulated elemental S (ES) was slower than that of powdered ES.
      • Bacterial abundance and community composition in the soil localized around a granular fertilizer (diammonium phosphate [DAP] + ES [10%]) differed from that in the soil with powdered DAP + ES (thoroughly mixed).
      • Differences in bacterial abundance and community composition could not explain the differences in the percentage of ES oxidized between co-granulated and powdered ES.
      • The reduction in effective available surface area of ES particles corresponded to the slower oxidation of co-granulated ES compared to powdered ES.

      Published: July 21, 2016


    • Michael V. Callaghana, Edwin E. Cey and Laurence R. Bentley
      Adjustment of Soil Saturated Paste Extract Electrical Conductivity and Sodium Adsorption Ratio for Excess Gypsum Dissolution Using Equilibrium Geochemical Modeling

      Soil saturated paste extract (SPE) electrical conductivity (ECe) and sodium adsorption ratio (SARe) are widely used measures of soluble salts used to evaluate the salinity hazard to crop growth and the sodicity hazard to soil permeability. In gypsum-bearing soils, sparingly soluble gypsum dissolves during preparation of the SPE as a result of soil water dilution. This produces a higher measured ECe and lower SARe than would be measured if only field-soluble gypsum were present. As part of a soil remediation project, samples were collected from the location of a former oil and gas production facility with highly saline-sodic, brine-affected soils. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • In gypsum-bearing soils, excess dissolution occurs in the soil saturated paste extract.
      • EC and SAR may be adjusted for dissolution effects using geochemical modeling.
      • Characterization of salinity and sodicity hazard is improved.

      Published: July 14, 2016

    • S.M. O’Rourke, B. Minasny, N.M. Holden and A.B. McBratney
      Synergistic Use of Vis-NIR, MIR, and XRF Spectroscopy for the Determination of Soil Geochemistry

      Proposed legislation to secure and maintain soil quality in Europe has generated interest surrounding how best to characterize soil geochemistry, and how to assess and monitor soil contamination. Visible-near infrared (vis-NIR), mid-infrared (MIR), and portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectroscopy can reduce time and cost associated with new soil monitoring programs. Before becoming deployable, accuracy of these techniques needs to be quantified. This study investigated potential of these techniques to characterize a full suite of soil geochemistry (40 elements), pH, and soil organic carbon (SOC) in a diverse set of agricultural soils from the Irish National Soil Database (NSDB) archive. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Model ensemble, or model averaging, was used to combine vis-NIR/MIR and pXRF model outcomes.
      • Synergistic use of Vis-NIR, MIR, and pXRF spectroscopy increased the number of well predicted elements.
      • Synergistic use of Vis-NIR, MIR, and pXRF spectroscopy improved the accuracy of predicted elements
      • A combinatorial approach to spectral modeling may be used for routine soil monitoring.

      Published: June 17, 2016

    • Mitsuhiro Furuya, Yohey Hashimoto and Noriko Yamaguchi
      Time-Course Changes in Speciation and Solubility of Cadmium in Reduced and Oxidized Paddy Soils

      A prolonged flooding during rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivation is recommended to immobilize soil Cd by the formation of CdS under anoxic conditions. The problem with this recommended practice is that it reduces rice yields compared with intermittent flooding, which is less effective at immobilizing CdS through reductive precipitation. This study investigated the solubility of Cd in relation to chemical speciation of Cd and S and soil redox potential through a time series of measurements during a 29-d reduction period followed by a 20-d oxidation period using X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and chemical extraction. Two Aquent soils with different S levels in water- and oxalate-extractable fractions (hereafter low-S and high-S soils) were used to investigate the formation and dissolution of CdS. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The formation and dissolution of CdS were investigated in low- and high-S soils.
      • CdS reached 90% in the high-S soil but did not exceed 35% in the low-S soil.
      • Cd dissolved rapidly at soil Eh >435 mV (low-S soil) and >529 mV (high-S soil).

      Published: July 7, 2016


    • Carlos A.C. Crusciol, Angela C.C.A. Artigiani, Orivaldo Arf, Antonio C.A. Carmeis Filho, Rogério P. Soratto, Adriano S. Nascente and Rita C.F. Alvarez
      Surface Application of Lime–Silicate–Phosphogypsum Mixtures for Improving Tropical Soil Properties and Irrigated Common Bean Yield

      The movement of surface-applied lime to subsurface soil layers is slow, and, consequently, liming requires a long period of time to become effective. Thus, it is important to develop strategies to increase the efficiency of acidity amendments practices in order to improve the chemical properties of tropical acid soils in no-till systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of applying mixtures of silicate, lime, and phosphogypsum to the soil surface in tropical no-till systems on soil chemical properties and leaf nutrient concentrations, yield components, and grain yield of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). A field experiment was performed during two growing seasons (2004 and 2005) in a field with Typic Acrustox soils. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Soil acidity limits crop production in tropical regions.
      • Soil amendments mixture can be a strategy to alleviate subsoil acidity.
      • Subsoil profile acidity reduces common bean grain yield.

      Published: July 21, 2016

    • Kevin W. Bamber, Gregory K. Evanylo and Wade E. Thomason
      Importance of Soil Properties on Recommended Biosolids Management for Winter Wheat

      Environmental concerns and regulatory guidelines about winter N leaching limit fall biosolids applications to winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Virginia to a plant-available N (PAN) rate of ≤50 kg PAN ha−1. Ten field studies were established in 2012 to 2014 in Virginia to determine the agronomic and environmental feasibility of fall biosolids applications to soft red winter wheat at the agronomic N rate (100 kg PAN ha−1). Anaerobically digested and lime-stabilized biosolids were fall applied at rates of 100 and 50 kg PAN ha−1. The 50 kg PAN ha−1 biosolids treatments received 50 kg N ha−1 as urea in spring. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Coarse soil texture should not restrict fall biosolids application to winter wheat.
      • Grain yield from biosolids is greater than or equal to that from urea.
      • Nitrogen recovery from biosolids is greater than or equal to that from urea.

      Published: July 7, 2016


    • Andrew J. Margenot, Katelin Alldritt, Susan Southard and Anthony O’Geen
      Integrating Soil Science into Primary School Curricula: Students Promote Soil Science Education with Dig It! The Secrets of Soil

      Principles of soil science are highly complementary with subjects required by state and national standards and offer an opportunity to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and non-STEM subjects, such as history and anthropology. However, soil science is often absent from primary education curricula. This is a missed opportunity for both primary education and the soil science community. We integrated soil science into primary education using the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) traveling soil science exhibit Dig It! The Secrets of Soil. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • There is a need to incorporate soil science into primary education.
      • A partnership brought soil science to Grades 2–7 in the Sacramento–Davis area of California.
      • Graduate students used the Dig It! soils exhibit to engage primary school students.
      • Curricula standards are a potential constraint and entry point for soil science.

      Published: July 7, 2016

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