Predicting and mapping soil available water capacity in Korea.
ABSTRACT: The knowledge on the spatial distribution of soil available water capacity at a regional or national extent is essential, as soil water capacity is a component of the water and energy balances in the terrestrial ecosystem. It controls the evapotranspiration rate, and has a major impact on climate. This paper demonstrates a protocol for mapping soil available water capacity in South Korea at a fine scale using data available from surveys. The procedures combined digital soil mapping technology with the available soil map of 1:25,000. We used the modal profile data from the Taxonomical Classification of Korean Soils. The data consist of profile description along with physical and chemical analysis for the modal profiles of the 380 soil series. However not all soil samples have measured bulk density and water content at -10 and -1500 kPa. Thus they need to be predicted using pedotransfer functions. Furthermore, water content at -10 kPa was measured using ground samples. Thus a correction factor is derived to take into account the effect of bulk density. Results showed that Andisols has the highest mean water storage capacity, followed by Entisols and Inceptisols which have loamy texture. The lowest water retention is Entisols which are dominated by sandy materials. Profile available water capacity to a depth of 1 m was calculated and mapped for Korea. The western part of the country shows higher available water capacity than the eastern part which is mountainous and has shallower soils. The highest water storage capacity soils are the Ultisols and Alfisols (mean of 206 and 205 mm, respectively). Validation of the maps showed promising results. The map produced can be used as an indication of soil physical quality of Korean soils.
Project description:More frequent and longer drought periods are predicted threatening agricultural yield. The capacity of soils to hold water is a highly important factor controlling drought stress intensity for plants. Biogenic amorphous silica (bASi) pools in soils are in the range of 0-6% and are suggested to help plants to resist drought. In agricultural soils, bASi pools declined to values of ~1% or lower) due to yearly crop harvest, decreasing water holding capacity of the soils. Here, we assessed the contribution of bASi to water holding capacity (WHC) of soil. Consequently, ASi was mixed at different rates (0, 1, 5 or 15%) with different soils. Afterwards, the retention curve of the soils was determined via Hyprop method. Here we show that bASi increases the soil water holding capacity substantially, by forming silica gels with a water content at saturation higher than 700%. An increase of bASi by 1% or 5% (weight) increased the water content at any water potential and plant available water increased by up to >?40% or >?60%, respectively. Our results suggest that soil management should be modified to increase bASi content, enhancing available water in soils and potentially decreasing drought stress for plants in terrestrial ecosystems.
Project description:Many studies report that, under some circumstances, amending soil with biochar can improve field capacity and plant-available water. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control these improvements, making it challenging to predict when biochar will improve soil water properties. To develop a conceptual model explaining biochar's effects on soil hydrologic processes, we conducted a series of well constrained laboratory experiments using a sand matrix to test the effects of biochar particle size and porosity on soil water retention curves. We showed that biochar particle size affects soil water storage through changing pore space between particles (interpores) and by adding pores that are part of the biochar (intrapores). We used these experimental results to better understand how biochar intrapores and biochar particle shape control the observed changes in water retention when capillary pressure is the main component of soil water potential. We propose that biochar's intrapores increase water content of biochar-sand mixtures when soils are drier. When biochar-sand mixtures are wetter, biochar particles' elongated shape disrupts the packing of grains in the sandy matrix, increasing the volume between grains (interpores) available for water storage. These results imply that biochars with a high intraporosity and irregular shapes will most effectively increase water storage in coarse soils.
Project description:The splashing of water drops on a soil surface is the first step of water erosion. There have been many investigations into splashing-most are based on recording and analysing images taken with high-speed cameras, or measuring the mass of the soil moved by splashing. Here, we present a new aspect of the splash phenomenon's characterization the measurement of the sound pressure level and the sound energy of the wave that propagates in the air. The measurements were carried out for 10 consecutive water drop impacts on the soil surface. Three soils were tested (Endogleyic Umbrisol, Fluvic Endogleyic Cambisol and Haplic Chernozem) with four initial moisture levels (pressure heads: 0.1 kPa, 1 kPa, 3.16 kPa and 16 kPa). We found that the values of the sound pressure and sound wave energy were dependent on the particle size distribution of the soil, less dependent on the initial pressure head, and practically the same for subsequent water drops (from the first to the tenth drop). The highest sound pressure level (and the greatest variability) was for Endogleyic Umbrisol, which had the highest sand fraction content. The sound pressure for this soil increased from 29 dB to 42 dB with the next incidence of drops falling on the sample The smallest (and the lowest variability) was for Fluvic Endogleyic Cambisol which had the highest clay fraction. For all experiments the sound pressure level ranged from ~27 to ~42 dB and the energy emitted in the form of sound waves was within the range of 0.14 ?J to 5.26 ?J. This was from 0.03 to 1.07% of the energy of the incident drops.
Project description:Burrows resulting from earthworm activity are important for supporting various physical and ecological soil processes. Earthworm burrowing activity is quantified using models for earthworm penetration and cavity expansion that consider soil moisture and mechanical properties. Key parameters in these models are the maximal pressures exerted by the earthworm's hydroskeleton (estimated at 200 kPa). We designed a special pressure chamber that directly measures the pressures exerted by moving earthworms under different confining pressures to delineate the limits of earthworm activity in soils at different mechanical and hydration states. The chamber consists of a Plexiglas prism fitted with inner flexible tubing that hosts the earthworm. The gap around the tubing is pressurized using water, and the earthworm's peristaltic motion and concurrent pressure fluctuations were recorded by a camera and pressure transducer. A model that links the earthworm's kinematics with measured pressure fluctuations was developed. Resulting maximal values of radial pressures for anecic and endogeic earthworms were 130 kPa and 195 kPa, respectively. Mean earthworm peristaltic frequencies were used to quantify burrowing rates that were in agreement with previous results. The study delineates mechanical constraints to soil bioturbation by earthworms by mapping the elastic behaviour in the measurement chamber onto the expected elasto-viscoplastic environment of natural soils.
Project description:Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition increases N availability in soils, with consequences affecting the decomposition of soil carbon (C). The impacts of increasing N availability on surface soil C dynamics are well studied. However, subsurface soils have been paid less attention although more than 50% soil C stock is present below this depth (below 20 cm). This study was designed to investigate the response of surface (0-20 cm) and subsurface (20-40 cm and 40-60 cm) C dynamics to 0 (0 kg N ha-1), low (70 kg N ha-1) and high (120 kg N ha-1) levels of N enrichment. The soils were sampled from a cropland and a grass lawn and incubated at 25 °C and 60% water holding capacity for 45 days. Results showed that N enrichment significantly decreased soil C mineralization (Rs) in all the three soil layers in the two studied sites (p < 0.05). The mineralization per unit soil organic carbon (SOC) increased with profile depth in both soils, indicating the higher decomposability of soil C down the soil profile. Moreover, high N level exhibited stronger suppression effect on Rs than low N level. Rs was significantly and positively correlated with microbial biomass carbon explaining 80% of variation in Rs. Overall; these results suggest that N enrichment may increase C sequestration both in surface and subsurface layers, by reducing C loss through mineralization.
Project description:Tomato cultivation in the greenhouse or field may experience high surplus salts, including magnesium (Mg2+), which may result in differences in the growth and metabolite composition of fruits. This study hypothesized that decreasing the supply of nutrients and/or water would enhance tomato fruit quality in soils with excess Mg2+ that are frequently encountered in the field and aimed to find better supply conditions. For tomato plants cultivated in plastic pots using a plastic film house soil, the fertilizer supply varied in either the nitrogen (N) or potassium (K) concentration, which were either 0.1 (lowest) or 0.75 times (lower) than the standard fertilizer concentrations. Water was supplied either at 30 (sufficient) or 80 kPa (limited) of the soil water potential. Lycopene content on a dry-weight basis (mg/kg) was enhanced by the combination of lowest N supply and sufficient water supply. However, this enhancement was not occurred by the combination of the lowest N supply and limited water supply. Sugars and organic acids were decreased by limiting the water supply. Therefore, we carefully suggest that an adjustment of nitrogen with sufficient watering could be one of strategies to enhance fruit quality in excess Mg2+ soils.
Project description:The dataset contains thermal properties of soil such as thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, temperature and specific heat capacity in an agricultural farm within the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. The data were acquired in forty (40) sampling points using thermal analyzer called KD-2 Pro. Soil samples taken at these sampling points were analyzed in the laboratory for their moisture content following the standard reference of American Association of State Highway and Transport Officials (AASHTO) T265. The data were acquired within the first and second weeks in the month of April, 2012. Statistical analyses were performed on the data set to understand the data. The data is made available publicly because thermal properties of soils have significant role in understanding the water retention capacity of soil and could be helpful for proper irrigation water management.
Project description:Soils are essential components of terrestrial ecosystems that experience strong pollution pressure. Microplastic contamination of soils is being increasingly documented, with potential consequences for soil biodiversity and function. Notwithstanding, data on effects of such contaminants on fundamental properties potentially impacting soil biota are lacking. The present study explores the potential of microplastics to disturb vital relationships between soil and water, as well as its consequences for soil structure and microbial function. During a 5-weeks garden experiment we exposed a loamy sand soil to environmentally relevant nominal concentrations (up to 2%) of four common microplastic types (polyacrylic fibers, polyamide beads, polyester fibers, and polyethylene fragments). Then, we measured bulk density, water holding capacity, hydraulic conductivity, soil aggregation, and microbial activity. Microplastics affected the bulk density, water holding capacity, and the functional relationship between the microbial activity and water stable aggregates. The effects are underestimated if idiosyncrasies of particle type and concentrations are neglected, suggesting that purely qualitative environmental microplastic data might be of limited value for the assessment of effects in soil. If extended to other soils and plastic types, the processes unravelled here suggest that microplastics are relevant long-term anthropogenic stressors and drivers of global change in terrestrial ecosystems.
Project description:Soil survey is indispensable for land-use planning in any agro-ecosystem, particularly in coastal ecosystems because they often face several environmental problems such as flooding and water pollution, leading to soil degradation. The data given in this article revealing the common soil types and substantial taxonomy levels in the coastal region of Lattakia, Syria which is a key question for the land-use planning in the region. Data from 30 representative soil profiles and 60 auger points covering different agroecosystems within the Mediterranean coastal region of the Lattakia governorate, Syria were studied. The database including, the field morphological characteristics, physicochemical, mineralogical and micromorphological laboratory analyses. Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols, and Vertisols are the main soil types demonstrated in the area, which requiring convenient management for these divergent soils. The full profile data is available online in this data article for further reuse and for appropriate decisions to manage these soils.
Project description:Recent studies have shown that rates of bacterial dispersion in soils are controlled by hydration conditions that define size and connectivity of the retained aqueous phase. Despite the ecological implications of such constraints, microscale observations of this phenomenon remain scarce. Here, we quantified aqueous film characteristics and bacterial flagellated motility in response to systematic variations in microhydrological conditions on porous ceramic surfaces that mimic unsaturated soils. We directly measured aqueous film thickness and documented its microscale heterogeneity. Flagellar motility was controlled by surface hydration conditions, as cell velocity decreased and dispersion practically ceased at water potentials exceeding -2?kPa (resulting in thinner and disconnected liquid films). The fragmentation of aquatic habitats was delineated indirectly through bacterial dispersal distances within connected aqueous clusters. We documented bacterial dispersal radii ranging from 100 to 10??m as the water potential varied from 0 to -7?kPa, respectively. The observed decrease of flagellated velocity and dispersal ranges at lower matric potentials were in good agreement with mechanistic model predictions. Hydration-restricted habitats thus play significant role in bacterial motility and dispersal, which has potentially important impact on soil microbial ecology and diversity.