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

Editor-in-Chief: Bob Gilkes


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Published online 19 August 2014
Effects of intercropping grasses on soil organic carbon and microbial community functional diversity under Chinese hickory (Carya cathayensis Sarg.) stands 
Jiasen Wu, Haiping Lin, Cifu Meng, Penkun Jiang and Weijun Fu

Long-term intensive management led to severe soil erosion and significant soil organic carbon content decrease in Chinese hickory stands. Intercropping (rape, ryegrass or Chinese milk vetch) could increase soil nutrients and soil organic carbon, and improve microbial community function. It is confirmed that sod cultivation is an effective way to improve soil quality and eliminate detrimental effects of clean tillage in Chinese hickory production.

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Published online 19 August 2014
Climate factors mediate soil respiration dynamics in Mediterranean agricultural environments: an empirical approach 
Sergio González-Ubierna, María Teresa de la Cruz and Miguel Ángel Casermeiro

Soil CO2 emissions are five times higher than those produced by burning fossil fuels, however, there are a lack of knowledge of its drivers. Climate factors have a key influence, but under Mediterranean climate, this influence could not be explaining by usual models. Gaussian approximations were better than linear ones, and climate factors synergy was the key in respiration variability. In soil respiration process, Mediterranean could be the exception that proves the rule or which put it into question.

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Published online 14 August 2014
Topsoil structure in no-tilled soils in the Rolling Pampa, Argentina 
C. R. Alvarez, M. A. Taboada, S. Perelman and H. J. M. Morrás

Food production must increase to accompany population growth, but based on the conservation of natural resources. No tillage is a way of planting crops that preserves the soil, controlling erosion but some soil properties do not necessary evolve favourably. Results of this assay showed that better management practices such as controlled agricultural traffic and crop rotations maximising living roots (e.g. cover crops, double cropping) are recommended to attain sustainable soil management under continuous no-till farming.

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Published online 14 August 2014
Characterisation of the hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite from the weathering of illite in Jiujiang red earth sediments 
Ke Yin, Hanlie Hong, Gordon Jock Churchman, Zhaohui Li, Wen Han and Chaowen Wang

Hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV) is a neo-formed clay species in soils, and its occurrence is closely related to paleoclimate. Hence, HIV mineralogy can be used as a proxy to reveal the evolution of the local environmental conditions in response to global climatic changes. However, only a few comprehensive investigations have so far been carried out on HIV mineralogy due to its minor presence in soils. HIV occurs abundantly in Jiujiang red earth, which provides a perfect opportunity to characterise HIV and decipher climatic information in soils.

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Published online 13 August 2014
Addition of glucose increases the activity of microbes in saline soils 
Bannur Elmajdoub, Petra Marschner and Richard G. Burns

Salinity is a stressor for plants and soil microbes. Salinity adaptation in microbes can be due to synthesis of organic osmolytes, but this is a very energy-consuming process. In soil, microbes are limited by available C. In this study, 0–5 g C kg–1 was added to soils with EC1:5 of 0.1, 1.1, 3.1 and 5.2 dS m–1. Over the study period of three weeks, glucose addition reduced the negative effect of salinity on soil respiration and microbial biomass.

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Published online 13 August 2014
Impact of organic soil amendments, including poultry-litter biochar, on nematodes in a Riverina, New South Wales, vineyard 
L. Rahman, M. A. Whitelaw-Weckert and B. Orchard

Vineyard soil nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that can act as friend or foe: beneficial nematodes decompose organic matter and transform nutrients in plant available forms, whereas parasitic nematodes cause serious disease. We found that organic soil amendments (biochar, composts and rice hulls) increased the ratio of beneficial to parasitic nematodes associated with grapevine roots. This discovery will benefit the wine industry by offering a management option for decreasing the effects of parasitic nematodes without using expensive, environmentally harmful chemicals.

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Published online 13 August 2014
Least-limiting water range of the soil seedbed submitted to mechanical and biological chiselling under no-till 
O. Guedes Filho, A. P. da Silva, N. F. B. Giarola and C. A. Tormena

Soil compaction under no-till system is considered a serious concern. To solve this problem has been used the mechanical and biological (plants with deep and aggressive rooting system) chiselling. Evaluating a soil physical quality index, we observed to be unnecessary both mechanical and biological chiselling. It is implies in reduction on the production costs since the mechanical chiselling is an expensive operation besides maintaining the no-till system undisturbed.

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Published online 08 August 2014
Effects of temperature on soil net nitrogen mineralisation in two contrasting forests on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, China 
Zhenfeng Xu, Qing Liu and Huajun Yin

Rising temperature is expected to affect soil nitrogen cycling of terrestrial ecosystems. This study found that the conversion from natural forest to spruce plantation reduces soil nitrogen mineralisation and natural forest is more sensitive to warming compared to plantation. The differences in nitrogen mineralisation between the two forest soils were substantially larger than warming-induced responses, implying that reforestation might be more important than soil temperature in regulating soil nitrogen mineralisation on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

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Published online 08 August 2014
Aerobic microbial activity in four tropical earthworm-soil systems. A mesocosm experiment 
J. Sierra, G. Loranger-Merciris, L. Desfontaines and M. Boval

Earthworms may play a major role in nutrient recycling in low-input tropical soils. We studied the effect of three earthworm species in two tropical soils with different organic matter content and quality, and found that earthworm activity increased soil microbial activity, and nitrogen and phosphorus availability, mainly in the more fertile soil. Inputs of labile organic matter are likely to be required to further increase nutrient availability in the infertile tropical soil.

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Published online 28 July 2014
Plant-induced differentiation of soil variables and nematode community structure in a Mediterranean serpentine ecosystem 
Nikolaos Monokrousos, George Charalampidis, George Boutsis, Varvara Sousanidou, Efimia M. Papatheodorou and Maria D. Argyropoulou

Understanding food web structure of serpentine soils is important, since they are naturally metalliferous and hostile to most plants and animals. Exploring soil variables under the few stunted shrubs of a serpentine Mediterranean ecosystem revealed that the features of the nematode community reflected the hostility and heterogeneity of serpentine soils better than other most commonly used variables, e.g. organic matter, microbial biomass or heavy metal and nutrient concentrations. This makes nematodes a must for plant-soil interaction studies in serpentine ecosystems.

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blank image Soil Research
Volume 52 Number 5 2014

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A combined equation to estimate the soil pore-water electrical conductivity: calibration with the WET and 5TE sensors 
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Fernando Visconti , Delfina Martínez , María José Molina , Florencio Ingelmo and José Miguel de Paz
pp. 419-430

Soil sensors of dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity are needed in salt-threatened areas to know when to irrigate, in order to avoid the occurrence of both water and salinity stresses on plants. However, these sensors must be reliably calibrated, and this can only be carried out using an appropriate equation, and a reference method for soil salinity assessment at actual field water contents, such as those used in this work. Irrigators and developers of soil salinity sensors will benefit from this work.


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Uncertainty analysis for large-scale prediction of the van Genuchten soil-water retention parameters with pedotransfer functions 
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K. Liao , S. Xu , J. Wu and Q. Zhu
pp. 431-442

Although pedotransfer functions have successfully been applied to predict soil water retention parameters, the uncertainty associated with the predictions cannot be ignored. This study evaluates the uncertainty in predicting water retention parameters at the large scale with pedotransfer functions, showing that the uncertainty due to the spatial prediction of basic soil properties is more important than the uncertainty due to the limited number of samples used for deriving pedotransfer functions. Obtaining more accurate spatial distribution of basic soil properties is critical in the accurate estimation of water retention parameters.


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Using categorical soil structure information to improve soil water retention estimates of tropical delta soils 
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Phuong Minh Nguyen , Khoa Van Le and Wim M. Cornelis
pp. 443-452

Accurate estimation of soil water retention characteristic is important for agricultural and environmental assessments, especially in tropical regions where this soil information is usually missing due to its costly and cumbersome direct measurement. The present study shows that using descriptive soil structural information on top of the widely used predictors (e.g. bulk density, soil texture and organic carbon content) could improve the predictability of SWRC-PTFs, which were developed for tropical delta soils. The findings might contribute to the efforts to overcome the dearth of hydraulic information in tropical regions, particularly tropical humid deltas.


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Impacts of landform, land use and soil type on soil chemical properties and enzymatic activities in a Loessial Gully watershed 
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Yajun Hao , Qingrui Chang , Linhai Li and Xiaorong Wei
pp. 453-462

The relationships among soil properties and, their relationships with landscapes are essential for assessing soil quality and soil productivity. Here we demonstrated the roles of landform, land use and soil type on the spatial patterns of soils chemical properties and enzymatic activities and suggest that crops and orchards should be arranged on plateau land, and grasses and woodland on terraced and sloping land, respectively, for better economic and ecological efficiency in gully region of the Loess Plateau. This study will help managing the land in the similar regions worldwide.


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Potential soil organic carbon stock and its uncertainty under various cropping systems in Australian cropland 
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Zhongkui Luo , Enli Wang , Jeff Baldock and Hongtao Xing
pp. 463-475

Soil organic carbon stock can be significantly affected by the type of cropping systems and management practices. A modelling approach was used to predict the potential for soil organic carbon sequestration under representative cropping systems across the Australian grain-growing regions, and it ranged from 28 to 64 t ha–1 with ~10% uncertainty caused by variation of cropping systems. Overall, an increase in soil organic carbon stock was predicted to be achievable under optimal nitrogen management together with stubble retention.


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Stability and storage of soil organic carbon in a heavy-textured Karst soil from south-eastern Australia 
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Eleanor Hobley , Garry R. Willgoose , Silvia Frisia and Geraldine Jacobsen
pp. 476-482

The depth distribution of soil organic carbon storage and stability was assessed using a combination of particle-size fractionation, elemental analysis and radiocarbon dating in a Terra Rossa Karst soil from South-eastern Australia. The radiocarbon age of subsoil organic carbon was centuries to millennia older than that of the organic carbon in the topsoil, implying enhanced carbon stability with increasing soil depth. At all depths, macroaggregate organic carbon was dated as the oldest, but the highest organic carbon storage was found within the finest fraction, implying that C stability may not necessarily be coupled with C storage in this soil.


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Manganese oxidation and reduction in soils: effects of temperature, water potential, pH and their interactions 
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L. A. Sparrow and N. C. Uren
pp. 483-494

An acidic soil was incubated, sometimes with a microbial inhibitor, to investigate the relative magnitude of manganese oxidation compared to manganese reduction over a range of soil pH, temperature and water potential. The incubations showed that relatively small changes in the soil environment could change the balance between these redox reactions in favour of oxidation (decreased manganese availability) or reduction (increased manganese availability). Steady-state situations of zero net change were also observed.


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Determination of carbonate-C in biochars 
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Tao Wang , Marta Camps-Arbestain , Mike Hedley , Bhupinder Pal Singh , Roberto Calvelo-Pereira and Congying Wang
pp. 495-504

Biochar, a charcoal-like material produced from the waste biomass by thermal treatments under no or low O2 conditions, has been promoted as a soil amendment to enhance carbon storage and to improve soil functions. In this study methodologies were developed to quantify the carbonate-C in biochars which is essential to understand both biochar liming properties and longevity in soils. Our results will contribute to a better characterisation of biochars, as needed if biochar technology is adopted as a climate change mitigation strategy.

    | Supplementary Material (473 KB)

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Effect of biochar on soil respiration in the maize growing season after 5 years of consecutive application 
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Ning Lu , Xing-Ren Liu , Zhang-Liu Du , Yi-Ding Wang and Qing-Zhong Zhang
pp. 505-512

Compared to treatment without biochar and crop residue application, after 5-year consecutive application biochar didn’t increase soil respiration, while significantly reduced soil respiration compared with the crop residue application treatment. Above results indicate that applying biochar into soil to be an effective measure in order to improve soil carbon sink without increasing soil carbon emission in our case.


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Nutrient and microbial loss in relation to timing of rainfall following surface application of dairy farm manure slurries to pasture 
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S. Laurenson and D. J. Houlbrooke
pp. 513-520

Agricultural manure slurries pose a high risk to surface water quality, particularly in dairy-farming systems with confinement of large animals. The risk of nutrient and faecal microbe loss following manure application to soil was greatest when rainfall, of sufficient quantity to generate surface runoff, was received within the first two days since application. Timing manure slurries to ensure more than two days before rainfall events will limit nutrient and faecal microbe losses and help protect water quality.


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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.

    SR14129  Accepted 15 August 2014
    Nitrous oxide emission from two acidic soils as affected by dolomite application
    Muhammad Shaaban, Qian Peng, Shan Lin, Yupeng Wu, ZHAO Jinsong, Ronggui Hu

    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

    SR14107  Accepted 13 August 2014
    Ammonia volatilisation from nitrogen fertilisers surface-applied to bare fallows, wheat crops and perennial grass-based pastures on Vertosols.
    Graeme Schwenke, Bruce Haigh, William Manning

    SR13311  Accepted 11 August 2014
    Quantification of NOx and NH3 emissions from two sugarcane fields.
    Bennett Macdonald, Tom Denmead, Ian White

    SR14106  Accepted 23 July 2014
    Interactive Effects of Clay and Polyacrylamide Properties on Flocculation of Pure and Subsoil Clays
    Xiao-Qian Yan, Xunjiang Zhang

    SR13305  Accepted 22 July 2014
    Seasonal monitoring of soil salinity by electromagnetic conductivity in irrigated sandy soils from a Saharan oasis.
    Ismaiel BERKAL, Christian Walter, Didier Michot, Kaddour Djili

    SR13219  Accepted 07 July 2014
    Tolerance of young seedlings of different trees and a cereal to poor soil aeration
    Gausul Azam, Rob Murray, Cameron Grant, Ian Nuberg

    SR14049  Accepted 19 June 2014
    Soil fertility changes following conversion of grassland to oil palm
    Paul Nelson, Murom Banabas, Steven Nake, Iain Goodrick, Michael Webb, Ella Gabriel

    SR14033  Accepted 19 June 2014
    Coastal acid sulfate soils in the Saloum River basin, Senegal
    Aidara Fall, Jean Montoroi, Karl Stahr

    SR13337  Accepted 02 June 2014
    Coarse woody debris reduces the rate of moisture loss from surface soils of cleared temperate Australian woodlands
    Sarah Goldin, Michael Hutchinson

    SR13282  Accepted 03 June 2014
    Greg Barkle, Roland Stenger, Thomas Woehling

    SR14016  Accepted 29 May 2014
    Testing a new method for sequential Si-extraction on soils of a temperate-humid climate
    Anna Georgiadis, Daniela Sauer, Ludger Herrmann, Jörn Breuer, Mehdi Zarei, Karl Stahr

    SR13351  Accepted 26 May 2014
    A review of N losses due to leaching and surface runoff under intensive pasture management in Australia
    Lucy Burkitt

    SR14078  Accepted 22 May 2014
    How much soil organic carbon sequestration is due to conservation agriculture reducing soil erosion?
    Yong Li, Hanqing Yu, Adrian Chappell, Na Zhou, Roger Funk

    SR14075  Accepted 21 May 2014
    Effects of amendment of different biochars on soil enzyme activities related to carbon mineralization
    Lei Ouyang, Qian Tang, Liuqian Yu, Renduo Zhang

    SR14045  Accepted 21 May 2014
    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
    Arcangelo Loss, Marcos Pereira, Elias Costa, Sidinei Beutler

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
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

3. 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

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
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

6. 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

7. 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

8. Published 25 September 2013
Changes in soil phosphorus availability and potential phosphorus loss following cessation of phosphorus fertiliser inputs

R. J. Dodd, R. W. McDowell and L. M. Condron

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

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 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

19. Published 19 November 2013
Evaluating long-term impact of land use on selected soil physical quality indicators

S. T. Abu

20. Published 20 December 2013
Carbon sequestration under subtropical perennial pastures II: Carbon dynamics

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

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Volume 52 (5)

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