Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Original research article 07 Feb 2018
Original research article | 07 Feb 2018
Local soil quality assessment of north-central Namibia: integrating farmers' and technical knowledge
Brice Prudat et al.
No articles found.
Philip Greenwood, Jan Bauer, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 76, 319–333,Short summary
Soil erosion by wind and water is a commonly recognized phenomenon on agricultural land. Erosion in forests is studied less and generally considered to be limited because of the soil protection by vegetation. However, trees, when toppled because of old age or wind, loosen a considerable amount of soil when their roots are pulled from the ground. In addition, the holes left in the ground act as collectors for water and concentrated runoff, causing significant soil loss on forested slopes.
Matthias Hunziker, Olafur Arnalds, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
SOIL, 5, 223–238,Short summary
Afforestation on severely degraded volcanic soils/landscapes is an important process concerning ecological restoration in Iceland. These landscapes have a high potential to act as carbon sinks. We tested the soil (0–30 cm) of different stages of afforested (mountain birch) landscapes and analysed the quantity and quality of the soil organic carbon. There is an increase in the total SOC stock during the encroachment. The increase is mostly because of POM SOC. Such soils demand SOC quality tests.
Wolfgang Fister, Nina Goldman, Marius Mayer, Manuel Suter, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 74, 81–91,
Vladimir R. Wingate, Nikolaus J. Kuhn, Stuart R. Phinn, and Cornelis van der Waal
Manuscript not accepted for further review
P. Greenwood, M. Hoelzle, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 311–313,Short summary
Editorial introducing the special issue of Geographica Helvetica: Mapping, Measuring and Modeling in Geomorphology.
L. Xiao, Y. Hu, P. Greenwood, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 167–174,
P. Greenwood, S. Kuonen, W. Fister, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 63–73,Short summary
Alpine and mountain slopes represent important pathways that link high-altitude grazing areas to meadows and rangelands at lower elevations. Given the acute gradients associated with such environments, we hypothesize that terracettes act as efficient runoff conveyance routes that facilitate the movement of runoff and associated material during erosion events. This hypothesis was partially disproved during a series of rainfall/runoff simulations on a well-developed terracette system, however.
Y. Hu and N. J. Kuhn
Biogeosciences, 11, 6209–6219,
Related subject area
Soils and the human environmentMiddle Bronze Age land use practices in the northwestern Alpine foreland – a multi-proxy study of colluvial deposits, archaeological features and peat bogsApplication of the Governance Disruptions Framework to German agricultural soil policySpatial variability in heavy metal concentration in urban pavement joints – a case studyGlobal concentrations of microplastics in soils – a reviewUsing constructed soils for green infrastructure – challenges and limitationsEffects of microplastic and microglass particles on soil microbial community structure in an arable soil (Chernozem)Women's agricultural practices and their effects on soil nutrient content in the Nyalenda urban gardens of Kisumu, KenyaEffects of golf course management on subsurface soil properties in IowaHow Alexander von Humboldt's life story can inspire innovative soil research in developing countriesPaleosols can promote root growth of recent vegetation – a case study from the sandy soil–sediment sequence Rakt, the NetherlandsAn insight into pre-Columbian raised fields: the case of San Borja, Bolivian lowlandsThe impact of ancestral heath management on soils and landscapes: a reconstruction based on paleoecological analyses of soil records in the central and southeastern NetherlandsSoil archives of a Fluvisol: subsurface analysis and soil history of the medieval city centre of Vlaardingen, the Netherlands – an integral approachEffect of grassland cutting frequency on soil carbon storage – a case study on public lawns in three Swedish citiesFacing policy challenges with inter- and transdisciplinary soil research focused on the UN Sustainable Development GoalsThe significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsCase studies of soil in artEffects of fresh and aged chars from pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization on nutrient sorption in agricultural soilsSoil properties and pre-Columbian settlement patterns in the Monumental Mounds Region of the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian AmazonAn ecosystem approach to assess soil quality in organically and conventionally managed farms in Iceland and Austria
Sascha Scherer, Benjamin Höpfer, Katleen Deckers, Elske Fischer, Markus Fuchs, Ellen Kandeler, Jutta Lechterbeck, Eva Lehndorff, Johanna Lomax, Sven Marhan, Elena Marinova, Julia Meister, Christian Poll, Humay Rahimova, Manfred Rösch, Kristen Wroth, Julia Zastrow, Thomas Knopf, Thomas Scholten, and Peter Kühn
SOIL, 7, 269–304,Short summary
This paper aims to reconstruct Middle Bronze Age (MBA) land use practices in the northwestern Alpine foreland (SW Germany, Hegau). We used a multi-proxy approach including biogeochemical proxies from colluvial deposits in the surroundings of a MBA settlement, on-site archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data and off-site pollen data. From our data we infer land use practices such as plowing, cereal growth, forest farming and use of fire that marked the beginning of major colluvial deposition.
Bartosz Bartkowski, Stephan Bartke, Nina Hagemann, Bernd Hansjürgens, and Christoph Schröter-Schlaack
Revised manuscript accepted for SOILShort summary
We use a holistic framework to analyze how agricultural policy in Germany affects the sustainability of soil management. We look at the adequacy of policy targets, objects (i.e. drivers of soil degradation), instruments and assumptions about farmers' behaviour, and the coherence among these four dimensions. We find deficits in each dimension, particularly object and instrument adequacy. Agricultural soil policy in Germany lacks depth and coherence, and the role of biomass demand is neglected.
Collin J. Weber, Alexander Santowski, and Peter Chifflard
SOIL, 7, 15–31,Short summary
Pavement joints, defined as the joint between paving stones and filled with different materials, in the inner city area of Marburg (Hesse, Germany) show moderate to high pollution with different heavy metals. Enrichment of heavy metals in pavement joints is related to surface run-off accumulation. As the pollution of pavement joints poses direct risks to the environment and humans in urban areas, the inconspicuous joints should be considered in urban water management strategies.
Frederick Büks and Martin Kaupenjohann
SOIL, 6, 649–662,Short summary
Laboratory experiments that assess microplastic (MP) impact on the terrestrial environment require information on common soil MP concentrations. We reviewed item numbers and mass concentrations recorded in 23 studies, with 223 sampling sites in total with respect to the underlying entry pathways, land uses and vicinities. Common values included amounts of up to 13 000 items kg−1 and 4.5 mg kg−1 dry soil. Based on the collected data, we identified problems in past field studies.
Maha Deeb, Peter M. Groffman, Manuel Blouin, Sara Perl Egendorf, Alan Vergnes, Viacheslav Vasenev, Donna L. Cao, Daniel Walsh, Tatiana Morin, and Geoffroy Séré
SOIL, 6, 413–434,Short summary
The goal of this study was to discuss current methods to create soils adapted for various green infrastructure (GI) designs. Investigating these new soils for several design categories of GI will provide technical information for management and design agencies. Moreover, these studies can serve as pioneer experiments to prevent recurring errors and, thus, provide improved plant growth practices. Results show that these constructed soils have a high potential to provide multiple soil functions.
Katja Wiedner and Steven Polifka
SOIL, 6, 315–324,Short summary
Microplastics and microglass are used in a wide range of everyday and industrial applications acting as abrasives, filler and binding agents, which could enter aquatic and terrestrial environments with unexpected consequences for ecosystems. Our study suggests that different types of microparticles seem to have contrary effects on soil microorganisms, depending on the origin and properties of microparticles. This study should be seen as basis for further research, which is urgently needed.
Nicolette Tamara Regina Johanna Maria Jonkman, Esmee Daniëlle Kooijman, Karsten Kalbitz, Nicky Rosa Maria Pouw, and Boris Jansen
SOIL, 5, 303–313,Short summary
In the urban gardens of Kisumu we interviewed female farmers to determine the sources and scope of their agricultural knowledge. We assessed the impact of the knowledge by comparing the influence of two types of management on soil nutrients. While one type of management was more effective in terms of preserving soil nutrients, the other management type had socioeconomic benefits. Both environmental and socioeconomic effects have to be considered in agricultural training to increase their impact.
Matthew T. Streeter and Keith E. Schilling
SOIL, 4, 93–100,Short summary
Iowa golf courses provide an ideal location to evaluate whether golf course management is affecting the quality of soils at depth. Our study evaluated how soil properties relating to soil health and resiliency varied with depth at golf courses across Iowa and interpreted relationships of these properties to current golf course management and inherent soil properties. Systematic variation in soil properties including sand content, NO3, and SOM was observed with depth.
SOIL, 3, 153–159,Short summary
Alexander von Humboldt was an inspiring scientist in the early 1800s, traveling widely, making many measurements, and linking different scientific disciplines while keeping an eye open to the needs of society. This is particularly relevant today in our information society, and researchers in developing countries are advised to follow the von Humboldt example when planning their future research.
Martina I. Gocke, Fabian Kessler, Jan M. van Mourik, Boris Jansen, and Guido L. B. Wiesenberg
SOIL, 2, 537–549,Short summary
Investigation of a Dutch sandy profile demonstrated that buried soils provide beneficial growth conditions for plant roots in terms of nutrients. The intense exploitation of deep parts of the soil profile, including subsoil and soil parent material, by roots of the modern vegetation is often underestimated by traditional approaches. Potential consequences of deep rooting for terrestrial carbon stocks, located to a relevant part in buried soils, remain largely unknown and require further studies.
Leonor Rodrigues, Umberto Lombardo, Mareike Trauerstein, Perrine Huber, Sandra Mohr, and Heinz Veit
SOIL, 2, 367–389,Short summary
Our study examines pre-Columbian agricultural raised fields in the Bolivian Amazon. It provides a new interpretation for pre-Columbian management of raised fields. The results show that differences in field size and height are the result of an adaptation to a site where soil properties vary significantly on a scale of tens to hundreds of meters. The analysis and dating of the raised fields sediments point towards an extensive and rather brief use of the raised fields, for about 100–200 years.
Marieke Doorenbosch and Jan M. van Mourik
SOIL, 2, 311–324,Short summary
Soil records provide information about 5 millennia of heath management in cultural landscapes on sandy soils. Deforestations and the introduction of the deep, stable economy in the 18th century resulted in sand drifting and heath degradation. After the introduction of chemical fertilizers more than 90 % of the heaths were transformed into productive arable field or forests. Currently the last heaths are preserved as part of the cultural heritage.
Sjoerd Kluiving, Tim de Ridder, Marcel van Dasselaar, Stan Roozen, and Maarten Prins
SOIL, 2, 271–285,Short summary
In medieval times the city of Vlaardingen (the Netherlands) was strategically located on the confluence of three rivers, the Maas, the Merwede, and the Vlaarding. Combined research on the history and soil of this city was initiated by an archaeological research question, following Dutch legislation. The start of fluvial system 2 in AD 600 correlates with evidence of the church that was present at least in AD 726/727. Results record the period before and after the flooding in AD 1170.
C. Poeplau, H. Marstorp, K. Thored, and T. Kätterer
SOIL, 2, 175–184,Short summary
We compared two long-term contrasting systems of urban lawn management (frequently cut utility lawn vs. seldomly cut meadow-like lawn) regarding their effect on soil carbon in three Swedish cities. Biomass production was also measured during 1 year. The utility lawns had a significantly higher biomass production, which resulted in a higher soil carbon storage, since clippings were not removed. Soil carbon sequestration outweighed the higher management-related CO2 emissions of the utility lawns.
Johan Bouma and Luca Montanarella
SOIL, 2, 135–145,Short summary
The recently accepted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a major challenge to the research community, including soil science. SDGs require a interdisciplinary research approach that forces every discipline to critically evaluate its core messages. Effective communication with the policy arena requires use of common policy concepts such as policy phases and distinction of drivers, pressures, and responses to change. To accomodate such needs, research practices will have to change.
Saskia D. Keesstra, Johan Bouma, Jakob Wallinga, Pablo Tittonell, Pete Smith, Artemi Cerdà, Luca Montanarella, John N. Quinton, Yakov Pachepsky, Wim H. van der Putten, Richard D. Bardgett, Simon Moolenaar, Gerben Mol, Boris Jansen, and Louise O. Fresco
SOIL, 2, 111–128,Short summary
Soil science, as a land-related discipline, has links to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which are demonstrated through the functions of soils and related ecosystem services. We discuss how soil scientists can rise to the challenge both internally and externally in terms of our relations with colleagues in other disciplines, diverse groups of stakeholders and the policy arena. To meet these goals we recommend the set of steps to be taken by the soil science community as a whole.
C. Feller, E. R. Landa, A. Toland, and G. Wessolek
SOIL, 1, 543–559,Short summary
Case studies of artworks focused on painting, installation, and film are presented, with the view of encouraging further exploration of art about, in, and with soil, as a contribution to raising soil awareness.
M. Gronwald, A. Don, B. Tiemeyer, and M. Helfrich
SOIL, 1, 475–489,
U. Lombardo, S. Denier, and H. Veit
SOIL, 1, 65–81,Short summary
In the present paper we explore to what degree soil properties might have influenced pre-Columbian settlement patterns in the Monumental Mounds Region (MMR) of the Llanos de Moxos (LM), Bolivian Amazon. This study provides new data on the soil properties of the south-eastern Bolivian Amazon and reinforces the hypothesis that environmental constraints and opportunities exerted an important role on pre-Columbian occupation patterns and the population density reached in the Bolivian Amazon.
J. P. van Leeuwen, T. Lehtinen, G. J. Lair, J. Bloem, L. Hemerik, K. V. Ragnarsdóttir, G. Gísladóttir, J. S. Newton, and P. C. de Ruiter
SOIL, 1, 83–101,
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Soil degradation is a major threat for farmers of semi-arid north-central Namibia. Having tools to assess soil quality is important to evaluate soil conditions and helps targeting important issues. We developed a soil evaluation toolbox that integrates farmers' field experiences and technical knowledge. The combination of local soil descriptions, field soil texture evaluation and soil colour provides locally meaningful information that reveals soil quality improvement potentials.
Soil degradation is a major threat for farmers of semi-arid north-central Namibia. Having tools...