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Soil, land care and environmental research

Soil Research

Soil Research

Soil Research is an international journal for publishing research about fundamental and applied aspects of soil science. Read more about the journalMore

Editors-in-Chief: Balwant Singh and Mark Tibbett

Current Issue

Soil Research

Volume 56 Number 3 2018

SR16343Fabric of soil derived from parna and the riddle of transported pellets

Stephen R. Cattle and Carol M. S. Smith
pp. 219-234

‘Parna’ the clayey loess of southeastern Australia, is assumed to have been transported by wind as fine sand- and silt-sized pellets, but little direct evidence of such pellets has been shown. The micromorphological and granulometric properties of several soils derived from parna have been investigated. In upper (younger) subsoils derived from parna, prolate fine sand-sized pellets are identifiable and have a distinctive mosaic-speckled b-fabric. However, in lower subsoils derived from older parna deposits, abundant illuviation features and a lack of identifiable pellets suggest that weathering and various pedologic processes have destroyed them.


Liming and trash blanket are commonly used for remediating soil acidity and managing trash residues. This study has shown that liming improves soil microbial growth, but trash blanket placement increases labile carbon and nitrogen availability in a sugarcane soil of subtropical Australia.

SR17214Potassium fertilisation with humic acid coated KCl in a sandy clay loam tropical soil

Ciro A. Rosolem, Danilo S. Almeida, Kassiano F. Rocha and Gustavo H. M. Bacco
pp. 244-251

Extensive areas with low clay soils will be converted to agriculture to meet global food demand, and K is prone to leaching in these soils. We compared a conventional K fertilizer with a fertilizer coated with humic substances, and showed that the protected fertilizer, although not avoiding K leaching, is an adequate fertilizer in low clay soils with very low K content.


Global demand for rooibos tea is increasing whereas yields are decreasing in the primary production area of Clanwilliam, South Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate soil quality and plant properties in cultivated rooibos plantations of various ages (1–60 years) and adjacent, wild rooibos stands in pristine fynbos. Long-term rooibos production resulted in declines in soil organic matter, basic cations and accumulation of phosphorus which correlated with rooibos yield declines and suppressed mycorrhizal colonization.

SR17081A simple numerical model to estimate water availability in saline soils

Mohammad Hossein Mohammadi and Mahnaz Khataar
pp. 264-274

Soil salinity decreases plant water uptake and crop yields in arid and semiarid regions. We develop an approach to estimate soil salinity after irrigation or precipitation events. Knowledge the influence of soil salinity on the plant water uptake will become useful in designing of irrigation scheme and field management to achieve more crops.

SR17087Effects of pH and mineralisation on nitrification in a subtropical acid forest soil

Wei Zhao, Jin-bo Zhang, Christoph Müller and Zu-cong Cai
pp. 275-283

Few studies considered the effect of soil pH on nitrification at the microsite scale which is associated with mineralization. The aim of the research was to investigate how increasing pH affected mineralization and then nitrification in the subtropical acid forest soil. Results suggested that pH-induced increase in N mineralization provided more microsites surrounded with NH4+ substrate and favorable pH for the development of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria populations and their nitrifying activity. A good understanding the synergistic effects of soil pH and mineralization on nitrification will improve our knowledge about the effects of land management practices on the subtropical acid forest soils and underlying mechanisms.


Soil organic C (SOC) retention is affected by texture, but it is not known how this relation is affected by altitude. Sampling coarse- and fine-textured soils at two altitudes, we found that texture affected SOC only at lower altitudes (1,060 m). SOC retention at >1,200 m is thus marked by weaker interaction with soil minerals, and probably less stable.

SR17219Does 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate or N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide reduce nitrous oxide emissions from a rain-fed cropping system?

Guangdi D. Li, Graeme D. Schwenke, Richard C. Hayes, Hongtao Xing, Adam J. Lowrie and Richard J. Lowrie
pp. 296-305

The use of DMPP significantly reduced N2O emission from soil, but NBPT did not in a rain-fed cropping system. A two-year field experiment failed to demonstrate positive crop yield response by using either DMPP or NBPT. Unless financial incentives for environmental benefits are provided, the lack of additional agronomic benefit and their additional cost will preclude the use of N inhibitors.


Tropical forests are among the most threatened and important biomes for exchanging large quantities of carbon and nutrients every year through decomposition of leaf and root litters. In tropics, secondary forests have become dominant landscape to provide many ecosystem services including the potential to function as sinks for atmospheric carbon. Therefore, these secondary forests have strong potential to provide similar ecosystem services to that of natural forest within 2 decades by managing their litter carbon and nitrogen fluxes.


Soil carbon stock is about four times more than in vegetation and about three times more than in the atmosphere, yet remains understudied upon land use change. This paper quantified soil organic carbon in a grassed catchment before and eight years after commercial afforestation, indicating that Pinus elliottii, Eucalyptus nitens decreased, and Pinus patula slightly increased soil organic carbon. This provides a valuable southern hemisphere reference for global carbon calculations and highlights the impact of land use change.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 20 April 2018

SR16344Ratio of CO2 and O2 as index for categorising soil biological activity in sugarcane areas under contrasting straw management regimes

Risely Ferraz de Almeida, Daniel de Bortoli Teixeira, Rafael Montanari, Antonio César Bolonhezi, Edson Belisário Teixeira, Mara Regina Moitinho, Alan Rodrigo Panosso, Kurt A. Spokas and Newton La Scala Júnior
 

The sugarcane mechanical harvesting with maintenance of straw improve soil carbon stock and soil protection, decreasing soil CO2 emission. ARQ can be used as an index to categorise biological activity in soil, with ARQ values close to 1 considered a reflection of aerobic activity with balance between CO2 production and O2 consumption. Sugarcane straw should be maintained on soil and ARQ values can be used to determine soil biological activity.

Published online 19 April 2018

SR17252Modelling of soil texture and its verification with related soil properties

M. Shahadat Hossain, G. K. M. Mustafizur Rahman, M. Saiful Alam, M. Mizanur Rahman, A. R. M. Solaiman and M. A. Baset Mia
 

A numerical model of soil texture is required for quick perception, making digital maps and facilitating flexible classification of soil. The study aim was to develop a numerical model that reflected soil texture and showed relationships with soil properties along with extended applicability in soil research. The model might further be useful for developing other models of soil.

Published online 19 April 2018

SR17282Assessment of efficacy of biocides in different soil types for use in sorption studies of low molecular weight organic compounds

Sheridan Martin, Rai S. Kookana, Lynne M. Macdonald and Mark Farrell
 

The abiotic protection of dissolved organic carbon in soils may be an important regulator of C cycling, but its mechanistic study is hampered by biological activity. Here, we investigated the use of biocides to reduce biological activity in batch sorption experiments. We found that although in sandy soils minimal biocide concentrations are effective, in clay-rich soils high concentrations of toxic biocidal compounds are required for complete microbial inhibition, and not using biocides could compromise findings where sorption of dissolved organic carbon is studied.

Published online 10 April 2018

SR17227Comparison of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in a pine forest soil and an agricultural soil

Víctor M. Flores-Núñez, Enriqueta Amora-Lazcano, Angélica Rodríguez-Dorantes, Juan A. Cruz-Maya and Janet Jan-Roblero
 

The diversity of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are markers that evaluate the health and quality of the soil. Here, PGPR diversity and the physicochemical properties of the soil were used to determine the effects of land use changes. Our results demonstrated that the PGPR correlated with the physicochemical properties of the soil, exhibiting differences between the soils caused by their use.

Published online 10 April 2018

SR17279Optimising methods for the recovery and quantification of di- and tripeptides in soil

Sandra Jämtgård, Nicole Robinson, Thomas Moritz, Michelle L. Colgrave and Susanne Schmidt
 

Di- and tripeptides are nitrogen-containing compounds that plants can take up and use for growth. Despite this, the ecological importance of these compounds for plant growth is a knowledge gap. This is because of their unknown occurrence in soil mainly due to the lack of robust analytical methods. This study optimises an analytical method for potential future use in quantification of soil di- and tripeptides to unravel their role.

Published online 20 March 2018

SR17071Quantification of wetting front movement under the influence of surface topography

Xuefeng Chu, Xinhua Jia and Yang Liu
 

It is crucial to understand how surface topography controls soil water movement. This study aimed to evaluate such effects under various hydrologic conditions through laboratory experiments and numerical modelling, and revealed two distinct soil water movement stages: topography-dominated two-dimensional flow and uniform one-dimensional flow. The findings are useful for better understanding of soil-water processes and agricultural water management.


Geogenic CO2, originating from volcanic and seismic activities, affects a variety of processes in soil. This study demonstrates a previously unknown effect on exchangeable cations, total element contents, and on the composition of physical fractions of soil organic matter, derived from infrared spectroscopy. These findings are potentially transferrable to other sites with similarly enhanced CO2 concentrations in the soil atmosphere.

Published online 01 March 2018

SR17193Soil erosion analysis by RUSLE and sediment yield models using remote sensing and GIS in Kelantan state, Peninsular Malaysia

M. T. Anees, K. Abdullah, M. N. M. Nawawi, N. A. N. Norulaini, M. I. Syakir and A. K. M. Omar
 

The remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used in this study for soil erosion analysis. There was a need to prioritise 82 watersheds according to high soil erosion in which two fell into the very high and high priority categories respectively. Very high and high priority areas were associated with high rainfall and agricultural activities on steep slopes which indicate the importance of remote sensing and GIS techniques in finding accurate causes of soil erosion.

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