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Soil Research (continuing Australian Journal of Soil Research) is an international journal for publishing research relating to soils in primary production, land and water management, environmental pollution, and remediation. More

Editors-in-Chief: Balwant Singh and Mark Tibbett


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Published online 20 November 2014
Temporal variability in rill erodibility for two types of grasslands 
Guang-hui Zhang, Ke-ming Tang, Zhen-ling Sun and X. C. Zhang

Soil erosion is one of the most significant processes causing grassland degradation. The temporal variations in rill erodibility were detected in two grasslands and one bare soil, and rill erodibility of grassland was much less than bare soil due to the influence of root system and could be well estimated from the measured erodibility of bare soil and root density. The results are helpful to understand soil erosion mechanism and to simulate the temporal variation in rill erodibility for grassland.

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Published online 12 November 2014
Quantification of NOx and NH3 emissions from two sugarcane fields 
Bennett C. T. Macdonald, O. Tom Denmead and Ian White

Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from sugarcane is less than 1% of the applied fertiliser nitrogen. Water-filled pore space, which was a main driver of N2O emissions, did not seem to influence the measured emissions of NOx or NH3.

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Published online 12 November 2014
Ammonia volatilisation from nitrogen fertilisers surface-applied to bare fallows, wheat crops and perennial-grass-based pastures on Vertosols 
Graeme D. Schwenke, William Manning and Bruce M. Haigh

Nitrogen fertiliser is a major expense in modern cropping so farmers need to maximise the uptake of applied nitrogen into their crop. We measured the loss of nitrogen as volatilised ammonia when nitrogen fertiliser was applied to the soil surface; an average of 11% from urea on fallowed soil and 5% in wheat crops. Surface spreading of nitrogen fertiliser in autumn-winter on medium-heavy clay cropping soils of the northern Australian grains region should not result in major nitrogen loss.

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Published online 12 November 2014
Nitrous oxide emission from two acidic soils as affected by dolomite application 
Muhammad Shaaban, Qian Peng, Shan Lin, Yupeng Wu, Jinsong Zhao and Ronggui Hu

Global warming is a main issue and much attention is being paid to this topic. Agricultural soils are regarded as main source of global warming since a large magnitude of greenhouse gases is released to atmosphere. Greenhouse gas emission, especially nitrous oxide gas, could be controlled through soil management strategies such as application of dolomite to acidic soils.

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Published online 12 November 2014
Using X-ray fluorescence core scanning to assess acid sulfate soils 
Ulrike Proske, Henk Heijnis and Patricia Gadd

Acid sulfate soils are problematic for agriculture and infrastructure. We demonstrate a new approach that can help to detect different horizons in these soils in a fast and cost-effective manner. By using this method, the depth of acid sulfate soils can be roughly estimated and this knowledge can guide subsequent detailed or targeted analyses.

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Published online 10 November 2014
Seasonal monitoring of soil salinity by electromagnetic conductivity in irrigated sandy soils from a Saharan oasis 
Ismaiel Berkal, Christian Walter, Didier Michot and Kaddour Djili

Monitoring soil salinity over time is a crucial issue in Saharan oases to anticipate salinisation related to insufficient irrigation management. This project tested the ability of electromagnetic conductivity surveys to describe, by means of regression-tree inference models, spatiotemporal changes in soil salinity. The monitoring surveys revealed both the seasonal dynamics and spatial variability of salinity at different depths.

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Published online 10 November 2014
Transport of arsenic in some affected soils of Indian subtropics 
Indranil Das, Koushik Ghosh, D. K. Das and S. K. Sanyal

An Indian subtropical soil, contaminated through arsenic (As)-laden groundwater irrigation, facilitates the entry of As into the human food-chain, thereby affecting millions of people. The study covers the fate of As in soil during the course of its travel, while our findings revealed the activities of soil clay, clay minerals, organic matter and iron/aluminium in containing the toxin (As). Such findings may add valuable information to evolve the appropriate management practices for reducing As mobility in soil-crop system.

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Published online 05 November 2014
Opportunities and constraints for biochar technology in Australian agriculture: looking beyond carbon sequestration 
Balwant Singh, Lynne M. Macdonald, Rai S. Kookana, Lukas van Zwieten, Greg Butler, Stephen Joseph, Anthony Weatherley, Bhawana B. Kaudal, Andrew Regan, Julie Cattle, Feike Dijkstra, Mark Boersma, Stephen Kimber, Alexander Keith and Maryam Esfandbod

Biochar offers significant potential for long-term carbon storage and other beneficial effects in soils. However, there is uncertainty about the benefits at realistic application rates of biochars and the lack of knowledge about other benefits in soils. In this review, we have identified opportunities as well as challenges in the adoption of biochar technology particularly in relation to Australia.

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Published online 17 October 2014
Tolerance of young seedlings of different tree species and a cereal to poor soil aeration 
Gausul Azam, Robert S. Murray, Cameron D. Grant and Ian K. Nuberg

Young plants that tolerate poor soil aeration are more likely to establish and survive under variously waterlogged conditions. The sensitivity to waterlogging of seedlings of different tree species and a reference crop was evaluated in terms of their root and shoot growth and soil water use, and we found significant variation in species performance. The findings suggest there is plenty of scope for genetic improvement of both native and domestic plants grown on soils that experience extended periods of waterlogging.

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Volume 52 Number 7 2014

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A review of nitrogen losses due to leaching and surface runoff under intensive pasture management in Australia 
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Lucy L. Burkitt
pp. 621-636

This paper reviews the literature on nitrate leaching and nitrogen runoff under intensive dairy pasture systems in Australia and highlights that nitrate leaching loads are generally lower than those measured in New Zealand. However, few data are available, particularly following urine application, to make a thorough comparison. Similarly, more research is needed to quantify surface N runoff and leaching following effluent application and dissolved organic forms of N loss, particularly with the continued intensification of the Australian dairy industry.


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Coarse woody debris reduces the rate of moisture loss from surface soils of cleared temperate Australian woodlands 
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Sarah R. Goldin and Michael F. Hutchinson
pp. 637-644

Tree removal and agricultural practices have exposed the surface soils of Australian temperate woodlands to high rates of moisture loss.  Returning missing coarse woody debris (fallen trees and branches) is shown to reduce soil moisture loss by increasing drying times by around 40% in soil adjacent to the coarse woody debris.  Such reduced rates of soil moisture loss would be advantageous for organisms, especially during extended dry periods.


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Testing a new method for sequential silicon extraction on soils of a temperate–humid climate 
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Anna Georgiadis , Daniela Sauer , Ludger Herrmann , Jörn Breuer , Mehdi Zarei and Karl Stahr
pp. 645-657

Despite the importance of silicon for biogeochemical processes in soils, quantitative data on non-crystalline Si phases in soils are still fairly rare. For the first time, the recently developed method for sequential Si extraction from soils was tested on six different soil types of temperate-humid climate. The tests proved that the new method enables the quantification of important Si phases in soils. Furthermore, they revealed that the most abundant non-crystalline phase in the topsoils is biogenic origin.


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Fate of urine nitrogen through a volcanic vadose zone 
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G. F. Barkle , R. Stenger and Th. Wöhling
pp. 658-670

Little is known about the fate of nitrogen leaching from urine patches out of the root zone, through the unsaturated zone, and into the saturated zone (groundwater). Despite laboratory studies having indicated significant potential for nitrate removal in the unsaturated zone, this study showed that this potential is not realised under field conditions. Accordingly, reduction of leached nitrogen is only likely to occur where suitable conditions exist in the saturated zone.


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Coastal acid sulfate soils in the Saloum River basin, Senegal 
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Aïdara C. A. Lamine Fall , Jean-Pierre Montoroi and Karl Stahr
pp. 671-684

Acid sulfate soils (ASS) occur in coastal and inland environments in Senegal and West Africa and represent a major threat for sustainable land use. This work investigated the genesis and mineralogy of coastal ASS in the Saloum River basin, west central of Senegal and demonstrated the importance of environmental factors (topography, hydrology, soil acidity and salinity) on ASS formation and distribution. Such knowledge may help develop sound soil-management strategies, including optimising water management, at local and regional level.


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Soil fertility, physical and chemical organic matter fractions, natural 13C and 15N abundance in biogenic and physicogenic aggregates in areas under different land use systems 
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Arcângelo Loss , Marcos Gervasio Pereira , Elias Mendes Costa and Sidinei Julio Beutler
pp. 685-697

Information regarding topsoil biogenic and physicogenic aggregates formation is a simple indicator of soil quality. Biogenic aggregates were more sensitive to impacts caused by natural and anthropogenic processes, and also more efficient in increasing soil fertility and carbon content of soil organic matter fractions than were physicogenic aggregates. This was confirmed by the absence of biogenic aggregates in the conventional tillage system than a no-till system, forest and pasture areas.


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Soil fertility changes following conversion of grassland to oil palm 
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P. N. Nelson , M. Banabas , S. Nake , I. Goodrick , M. J. Webb and E. Gabriel
pp. 698-705

Oil palm plantations are expanding rapidly throughout the humid tropics. To conserve biodiversity and limit greenhouse gas emissions, conversion of grasslands is preferable to conversion of forests, but the effects on soil fertility were unknown. We found that soil structure and fertility were maintained in the desirable range after 25 years of oil palm cultivation on former grasslands. Slight acidification and loss of exchangeable magnesium occurred but this can be readily managed to ensure long-term sustainability of soil fertility.


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Effects of amendment of different biochars on soil enzyme activities related to carbon mineralisation 
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Lei Ouyang , Qian Tang , Liuqian Yu and Renduo Zhang
pp. 706-716

Biochar addition can affect soil biological properties. This study showed that biochar addition increased soil carbon mineralization rates and soil enzyme activities at the early incubation stage. The results should be useful to better understand biochar’s effects on soil carbon mineralization and sequestration from the biological point of view.


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How much soil organic carbon sequestration is due to conservation agriculture reducing soil erosion? 
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Yong Li , Hanqing Yu , Adrian Chappell , Na Zhou and Roger Funk
pp. 717-726

Widespread land use change and conservation agriculture has reduced wind erosion but few SOC sequestration studies have separated the effects. Here we show that SOC sequestration in conservation agriculture trials was over-estimated relative to conventional tillage without considering SOC redistribution. We conclude that reduced SOC erosion and/or SOC dust accumulation by vegetation–crop cover must be included when considering SOC sequestration induced by changes in land use and management.


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Interactive effects of clay and polyacrylamide properties on flocculation of pure and subsoil clays 
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Xiaoqian Yan and Xunjiang Zhang
pp. 727-737

Sediments, especially fine particles such as clay, are major surface water pollutants. Interactive effects between polyacrylamides (PAMs) and clays on clay flocculation and PAM adsorption were studied using various types of clays and PAMs. Results showed that PAMs were effective in flocculating clay particles and clarifying water. Widespread use of PAMs in surface water treatment and clarification of runoff water has great potential in improving surface water quality and therefore the wellbeing of aquatic organisms.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    SR14133  Accepted 14 November 2014
    Increased profile wettability in texture-contrast soils from clay delving: case studies in South Australia
    Giacomo Betti, Cameron Grant, Rob Murray, Jock Churchman

    SR14249  Accepted 05 November 2014
    Temporal variability in soil quality after organic residue application in mature oil palm plantations
    Marc-Philippe Carron, Mélodie Pierrat, Didier Snoeck, Cécile Villenave, Fabienne Ribeyre, Libz Suhardi, Raphael Marichal, Jean-Pierre Caliman

    SR14188  Accepted 02 November 2014
    Modelling and mapping rainfall erosivity in New South Wales
    Xihua Yang, Bofu Yu

    SR13369  Accepted 31 October 2014
    Checking soil organic fractions under conventional and no-till management in a long-term study in Southern Spain
    Rosa Carbonell-Bojollo, Emilio González-Sánchez, Miguel Repullo-Ruibérriz de Torres, Rafaela Ordonez Fernandez, Juan Dominguez-Jimenez, Gottlieb Basch

    SR14227  Accepted 28 October 2014
    Effect of cropping practices on soil organic carbon – evidence from long-term field experiments in Victoria, Australia
    Fiona Robertson, Roger Armstrong, Debra Partington, Roger Perris, Ivanah Oliver, Colin Aumann, Doug Crawford, David Rees

    SR14118  Accepted 28 October 2014
    Ameliorating effects of biochar and compost on soil quality and plant growth on a Ferralsol
    Getachew Agegnehu, Michael Bird, Paul Nelson, Adrian Bass

    SR14200  Accepted 22 October 2014
    KMnO4-determination of active carbon for laboratory routines: three Austrian long-term field experiments
    Michael Tatzber, Norman Schlatter, Andreas Baumgarten, Georg Dersch, Robert Körner, Taru Lehtinen, Gerhard Unger, Eva Mifek, Heide Spiegel

    SR13339  Accepted 07 October 2014
    Eucalyptus reforestation induces soil water repellency
    Lewis Walden, Richard Harper, Daniel Mendham, David Henry, Joseph Fontaine

    SR14060  Accepted 02 October 2014
    Carbon dynamics from carbonate dissolution in Australian agricultural soils
    Waqar Ahmad, Balwant Singh, Ram Dalal, Feike Dijkstra

    SR14162  Accepted 29 September 2014
    Soil aeration affects the degradation rate of the nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide
    Nimlesh Balaine, Tim Clough, Francis Kelliher, Chikako vanKoten

    SR14151  Accepted 29 September 2014
    Soil organic carbon and nitrogen losses due to soil erosion and cropping in a sloping terrace landscape
    Jianhui Zhang, Yong Wang, Fucheng Li

    SR14185  Accepted 19 September 2014
    Spatial decoupling of soil nitrogen cycling in an arid chenopod pattern ground
    Bennett Macdonald, Soren Warneke, Gordon McLachlan, Eloise Mason, Mark Farrell

    SR14147  Accepted 17 September 2014
    A landscape scale survey of indicators of soil health in grazing systems
    Kimberly Damsma, Michael Rose, Timothy Cavagnaro

    SR14053  Accepted 17 September 2014
    Binding of water extractable organic carbon to clay subsoil - effects of clay subsoil properties
    Shinhuey Lim, Trung Nguyen, Petra Marschner

    SR14210  Accepted 16 September 2014
    Chemical forms of cadmium in a calcareous soil treated with different levels of phosphorus-containing acidifying agents
    Chunfa Wu, Shihong Yan, Haibo Zhang, Yongming Luo

    SR13306  Accepted 15 September 2014
    Pragmatic models for the prediction and digital mapping of soil properties in eastern Australia
    Jonathan Gray, Thomas Bishop, Xihua Yang

    SR14126  Accepted 14 September 2014
    The use of handheld mid-infrared spectroscopy and partial least-squares regression for the prediction of the phosphorus buffering index in Australian soils
    SEAN FORRESTER, Leslie Janik, JOSE SORIANO DISLA, Sean Mason, Lucy Burkitt, PHIL MOODY, Cameron Gourley, Mike McLaughlin

    SR13188  Accepted 10 September 2014
    Caiena Bezerra, Tiago Ferreira, Ricardo Romero, Jaedson Mota, Juliana Vieira, Lilian Rafaelly Duarte, Miguel Cooper

    SR14020  Accepted 08 September 2014
    Development and calibration of a soil carbon inventory model for New Zealand
    Stephen McNeill, Nancy Golubiewski, James Barringer

    SR13312  Accepted 08 September 2014
    Evidence of pre-historical wind erosion of the Mackenzie Basin, South Island, New Zealand: An assessment based on 137Cs and Kawakawa-Oruanui tephra
    Hannah Leckie, Peter Almond

    SR13170  Accepted 08 September 2014
    Wildfire effects on soil carbon and water repellency under Eucalyptus forest in eastern Australia
    Jessica Heath, Chris Chafer, Thomas Bishop, Floris Van Ogtrop

    SR14090  Accepted 15 August 2014
    Salinity-induced differences in soil microbial communities around the hypersaline Lake Urmia
    Mohsen Barin, Nasser Aliasgharzad, Pal-Axel Olsson, MirHassan Rasouli- Sadeghiani

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 9 April 2014
The biochar dilemma

A. Mukherjee and R. Lal

2. Published 20 December 2013
Quantifying the allocation of soil organic carbon to biologically significant fractions

J. A. Baldock, J. Sanderman, L. M. Macdonald, A. Puccini, B. Hawke, S. Szarvas and J. McGowan

3. Published 20 December 2013
Predicting contents of carbon and its component fractions in Australian soils from diffuse reflectance mid-infrared spectra

J. A. Baldock, B. Hawke, J. Sanderman and L. M. Macdonald

4. Published 20 December 2013
Organic carbon stocks in cropping soils of Queensland, Australia, as affected by tillage management, climate, and soil characteristics

K. L. Page, R. C. Dalal, M. J. Pringle, M. Bell, Y. P. Dang, B. Radford and K. Bailey

5. Published 20 December 2013
Variations in soil organic carbon for two soil types and six land uses in the Murray Catchment, New South Wales, Australia

M. C. Davy and T. B. Koen

6. Published 1 May 2014
Estimating change in soil organic carbon using legacy data as the baseline: issues, approaches and lessons to learn

S. B. Karunaratne, T. F. A. Bishop, I. O. A. Odeh, J. A. Baldock and B. P. Marchant

7. Published 20 December 2013
Changes in total soil organic carbon stocks and carbon fractions in sugarcane systems as affected by tillage and trash management in Queensland, Australia

K. L. Page, M. Bell and R. C. Dalal

8. Published 20 December 2013
Capacity for increasing soil organic carbon stocks in dryland agricultural systems

F. C. Hoyle, M. D'Antuono, T. Overheu and D. V. Murphy

9. Published 20 December 2013
What determines soil organic carbon stocks in the grazing lands of north-eastern Australia?

D. E. Allen, M. J. Pringle, S. Bray, T. J. Hall, P. O. O'Reagain, D. Phelps, D. H. Cobon, P. M. Bloesch and R. C. Dalal

10. Published 1 May 2014
Amending soil with sludge, manure, humic acid, orthophosphate and phytic acid: effects on aggregate stability

A. I. Mamedov, B. Bar-Yosef, I. Levkovich, R. Rosenberg, A. Silber, P. Fine and G. J. Levy

11. Published 20 December 2013
Impact of carbon farming practices on soil carbon in northern New South Wales

Annette L. Cowie, Vanessa E. Lonergan, S. M. Fazle Rabbi, Flavio Fornasier, Catriona Macdonald, Steven Harden, Akitomo Kawasaki and Brajesh K. Singh

12. Published 21 March 2014
Influence of lime and gypsum on long-term rehabilitation of a Red Sodosol, in a semi-arid environment of New South Wales

J. McL. Bennett, R. S. B. Greene, B. W. Murphy, P. Hocking and D. Tongway

13. Published 20 December 2013
Land use and management influences on surface soil organic carbon in Tasmania

W. E. Cotching, G. Oliver, M. Downie, R. Corkrey and R. B. Doyle

14. Published 20 December 2013
Relationship between environmental and land-use variables on soil carbon levels at the regional scale in central New South Wales, Australia

Warwick B. Badgery, Aaron T. Simmons, Brian M. Murphy, Andrew Rawson, Karl O. Andersson, Vanessa E. Lonergan and Remy van de Ven

15. Published 21 March 2014
Digital mapping of a soil drainage index for irrigated enterprise suitability in Tasmania, Australia

D. B. Kidd, B. P. Malone, A. B. McBratney, B. Minasny and M. A. Webb

16. Published 19 November 2013
Impact of biochar on nitrate accumulation in an alkaline soil

Qing-Zhong Zhang, Xia-Hui Wang, Zhang-Liu Du, Xin-Ren Liu and Yi-Ding Wang

17. Published 5 February 2014
Effects of amendment of different biochars on soil carbon mineralisation and sequestration

Lei Ouyang, Liuqian Yu and Renduo Zhang

18. Published 26 June 2014
Potential soil organic carbon stock and its uncertainty under various cropping systems in Australian cropland

Zhongkui Luo, Enli Wang, Jeff Baldock and Hongtao Xing

19. Published 20 December 2013
Carbon sequestration under subtropical perennial pastures I: Overall trends

Jonathan Sanderman, I. R. P. Fillery, R. Jongepier, A. Massalsky, M. M. Roper, L. M. Macdonald, T. Maddern, D. V. Murphy, B. R. Wilson and J. A. Baldock

20. Published 10 October 2014
A review of nitrogen losses due to leaching and surface runoff under intensive pasture management in Australia

Lucy L. Burkitt

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Volume 52 (7)

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