Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Forum article 31 Jan 2020
Forum article | 31 Jan 2020
Identification of new microbial functional standards for soil quality assessment
Sören Thiele-Bruhn et al.
Björn Klaes, Rolf Kilian, Gerhard Wörner, Sören Thiele-Bruhn, and Helge W. Arz
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 67, 1–6,
Björn Klaes, Rolf Kilian, Gerhard Wörner, Sören Thiele-Bruhn, and Helge W. Arz
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 67, 1–6,
Related subject area
Soil and methodsThe influence of training sample size on the accuracy of deep learning models for the prediction of soil properties with near-infrared spectroscopy dataGame theory interpretation of digital soil mapping convolutional neural networksComparing three approaches of spatial disaggregation of legacy soil maps based on the Disaggregation and Harmonisation of Soil Map Units Through Resampled Classification Trees (DSMART) algorithmOblique geographic coordinates as covariates for digital soil mappingDevelopment of pedotransfer functions for water retention in tropical mountain soil landscapes: spotlight on parameter tuning in machine learningThe 15N gas-flux method to determine N2 flux: a comparison of different tracer addition approachesA new model for intra- and inter-institutional soil data sharingMachine learning and soil sciences: a review aided by machine learning toolsIdentifying and quantifying geogenic organic carbon in soils – the case of graphiteError propagation in spectrometric functions of soil organic carbonWord embeddings for application in geosciences: development, evaluation, and examples of soil-related conceptsSoil lacquer peel do-it-yourself: simply capturing beautyMulti-source data integration for soil mapping using deep learningUsing deep learning for digital soil mappingNo silver bullet for digital soil mapping: country-specific soil organic carbon estimates across Latin AmericaSeparation of soil respiration: a site-specific comparison of partition methodsProximal sensing for soil carbon accountingEvaluation of digital soil mapping approaches with large sets of environmental covariatesPlanning spatial sampling of the soil from an uncertain reconnaissance variogramMapping of soil properties at high resolution in Switzerland using boosted geoadditive modelsQuantitative imaging of the 3-D distribution of cation adsorption sites in undisturbed soilDecision support for the selection of reference sites using 137Cs as a soil erosion tracerSoil organic carbon stocks are systematically overestimated by misuse of the parameters bulk density and rock fragment contentThe added value of biomarker analysis to the genesis of plaggic Anthrosols; the identification of stable fillings used for the production of plaggic manureSynchrotron microtomographic quantification of geometrical soil pore characteristics affected by compactionPedotransfer functions for Irish soils – estimation of bulk density (ρb) per horizon typeAssessing the performance of a plastic optical fibre turbidity sensor for measuring post-fire erosion from plot to catchment scalePassive soil heating using an inexpensive infrared mirror design – a proof of conceptThe application of terrestrial laser scanner and SfM photogrammetry in measuring erosion and deposition processes in two opposite slopes in a humid badlands area (central Spanish Pyrenees)Soil surface roughness: comparing old and new measuring methods and application in a soil erosion modelComparison of spatial association approaches for landscape mapping of soil organic carbon stocksEddy covariance for quantifying trace gas fluxes from soils
Wartini Ng, Budiman Minasny, Wanderson de Sousa Mendes, and José Alexandre Melo Demattê
SOIL, 6, 565–578,Short summary
The number of samples utilised to create predictive models affected model performance. This research compares the number of samples needed by a deep learning model to outperform the traditional machine learning models using visible near-infrared spectroscopy data for soil properties predictions. The deep learning model was found to outperform machine learning models when the sample size was above 2000.
José Padarian, Alex B. McBratney, and Budiman Minasny
SOIL, 6, 389–397,Short summary
In this paper we introduce the use of game theory to interpret a digital soil mapping (DSM) model to understand the contribution of environmental factors to the prediction of soil organic carbon (SOC) in Chile. The analysis corroborated that the SOC model is capturing sensible relationships between SOC and climatic and topographical factors. We were able to represent them spatially (map) addressing the limitations of the current interpretation of models in DSM.
Yosra Ellili-Bargaoui, Brendan Philip Malone, Didier Michot, Budiman Minasny, Sébastien Vincent, Christian Walter, and Blandine Lemercier
SOIL, 6, 371–388,
Anders Bjørn Møller, Amélie Marie Beucher, Nastaran Pouladi, and Mogens Humlekrog Greve
SOIL, 6, 269–289,Short summary
Decision trees have become a widely adapted tool for mapping soil properties in geographic space. However, it is problematic to implement spatial relationships in the models. We present a new method which uses geographic coordinates along several axes tilted at oblique angles in the models. We test this method on four spatial datasets. The results show that the new method is at least as accurate as other proposed alternatives, has a computational advantage and is flexible and interpretable.
Anika Gebauer, Monja Ellinger, Victor M. Brito Gomez, and Mareike Ließ
SOIL, 6, 215–229,Short summary
Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) for soil water retention were developed for two tropical soil landscapes using machine learning. The models corresponding to these PTFs had to be adjusted by tuning their parameters. The standard tuning approach was compared to mathematical optimization. The latter resulted in much better model performance. The PTFs derived are of particular importance for soil process and hydrological models.
Dominika Lewicka-Szczebak and Reinhard Well
SOIL, 6, 145–152,Short summary
This study aimed at comparison of various experimental strategies for incubating soil samples to determine the N2 flux. Such experiments require addition of isotope tracer, i.e. nitrogen fertilizer enriched in heavy nitrogen isotopes (15N). Here we compared the impact of soil homogenization and mixing with the tracer and tracer injection to the intact soil cores. The results are well comparable: both techniques would provide similar conclusions on the magnitude of N2 flux.
José Padarian and Alex B. McBratney
SOIL, 6, 89–94,Short summary
Data sharing and collaboration are critical to solving large-scale problems. The prevailing soil data-sharing model is of a centralized nature and, consequently, results in the participants ceding control and governance over their data to the lead party. Here we explore the use of a distributed ledger (blockchain) to solve the aforementioned issues. We also describe the potential use case of developing a global soil spectral library between multiple, international institutions.
José Padarian, Budiman Minasny, and Alex B. McBratney
SOIL, 6, 35–52,Short summary
The application of machine learning (ML) has shown an accelerated adoption in soil sciences. It is a difficult task to manually review all papers on the application of ML. This paper aims to provide a review of the application of ML aided by topic modelling in order to find patterns in a large collection of publications. The objective is to gain insight into the applications and to discuss research gaps. We found 12 main topics and that ML methods usually perform better than traditional ones.
Jeroen H. T. Zethof, Martin Leue, Cordula Vogel, Shane W. Stoner, and Karsten Kalbitz
SOIL, 5, 383–398,Short summary
A widely overlooked source of carbon (C) in the soil environment is organic C of geogenic origin, e.g. graphite. Appropriate methods are not available to quantify graphite and to differentiate it from other organic and inorganic C sources in soils. Therefore, we examined Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and the smart combustion method for their ability to identify and quantify graphitic C in soils. The smart combustion method showed the most promising results.
Monja Ellinger, Ines Merbach, Ulrike Werban, and Mareike Ließ
SOIL, 5, 275–288,Short summary
Vis–NIR spectrometry is often applied to capture soil organic carbon (SOC). This study addresses the impact of the involved data and modelling aspects on SOC precision with a focus on the propagation of input data uncertainties. It emphasizes the necessity of transparent documentation of the measurement protocol and the model building and validation procedure. Particularly, when Vis–NIR spectrometry is used for soil monitoring, the aspect of uncertainty propagation becomes essential.
José Padarian and Ignacio Fuentes
SOIL, 5, 177–187,Short summary
A large amount of descriptive information is available in geosciences. Considering the advances in natural language it is possible to
rescuethis information and transform it into a numerical form (embeddings). We used 280764 full-text scientific articles to train a language model capable of generating such embeddings. Our domain-specific embeddings (GeoVec) outperformed general domain embedding tasks such as analogies, relatedness, and categorisation, and can be used in novel applications.
Cathelijne R. Stoof, Jasper H. J. Candel, Laszlo A. G. M. van der Wal, and Gert Peek
SOIL, 5, 159–175,Short summary
Teaching and outreach of soils is often done with real-life snapshots of soils and sediments in lacquer or glue peels. While it may seem hard, anyone can make such a peel. Illustrated with handmade drawings and an instructional video, we explain how to capture soils in peels using readily available materials. A new twist to old methods makes this safer, simpler, and more successful, and thus a true DIY (do-it-yourself) activity, highlighting the value and beauty of the ground below our feet.
Alexandre M. J.-C. Wadoux, José Padarian, and Budiman Minasny
SOIL, 5, 107–119,
José Padarian, Budiman Minasny, and Alex B. McBratney
SOIL, 5, 79–89,Short summary
Digital soil mapping has been widely used as a cost-effective method for generating soil maps. DSM models are usually calibrated using point observations and rarely incorporate contextual information of the landscape. Here, we use convolutional neural networks to incorporate spatial context. We used as input a 3-D stack of covariate images to simultaneously predict organic carbon content at multiple depths. In this study, our model reduced the error by 30 % compared with conventional techniques.
Mario Guevara, Guillermo Federico Olmedo, Emma Stell, Yusuf Yigini, Yameli Aguilar Duarte, Carlos Arellano Hernández, Gloria E. Arévalo, Carlos Eduardo Arroyo-Cruz, Adriana Bolivar, Sally Bunning, Nelson Bustamante Cañas, Carlos Omar Cruz-Gaistardo, Fabian Davila, Martin Dell Acqua, Arnulfo Encina, Hernán Figueredo Tacona, Fernando Fontes, José Antonio Hernández Herrera, Alejandro Roberto Ibelles Navarro, Veronica Loayza, Alexandra M. Manueles, Fernando Mendoza Jara, Carolina Olivera, Rodrigo Osorio Hermosilla, Gonzalo Pereira, Pablo Prieto, Iván Alexis Ramos, Juan Carlos Rey Brina, Rafael Rivera, Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Ronald Roopnarine, Albán Rosales Ibarra, Kenset Amaury Rosales Riveiro, Guillermo Andrés Schulz, Adrian Spence, Gustavo M. Vasques, Ronald R. Vargas, and Rodrigo Vargas
SOIL, 4, 173–193,Short summary
We provide a reproducible multi-modeling approach for SOC mapping across Latin America on a country-specific basis as required by the Global Soil Partnership of the United Nations. We identify key prediction factors for SOC across each country. We compare and test different methods to generate spatially explicit predictions of SOC and conclude that there is no best method on a quantifiable basis.
Louis-Pierre Comeau, Derrick Y. F. Lai, Jane Jinglan Cui, and Jenny Farmer
SOIL, 4, 141–152,Short summary
To date, there are still many uncertainties and unknowns regarding the soil respiration partitioning procedures. This study compared the suitability and accuracy of five different respiration partitioning methods. A qualitative evaluation table of the partition methods with five performance parameters was produced. Overall, no systematically superior or inferior partition method was found and the combination of two or more methods optimizes assessment reliability.
Jacqueline R. England and Raphael A. Viscarra Rossel
SOIL, 4, 101–122,Short summary
Proximal sensing can be used for soil C accounting, but the methods need to be standardized and procedural guidelines developed to ensure proficient measurement and accurate reporting. This is particularly important if there are financial incentives for landholders to adopt practices to sequester C. We review sensing for C accounting and discuss the requirements for the development of new soil C accounting methods based on sensing, including requirements for reporting, auditing and verification.
Madlene Nussbaum, Kay Spiess, Andri Baltensweiler, Urs Grob, Armin Keller, Lucie Greiner, Michael E. Schaepman, and Andreas Papritz
SOIL, 4, 1–22,Short summary
This paper presents an extensive evaluation of digital soil mapping (DSM) tools. Recently, large sets of environmental covariates (e.g. from analysis of terrain on multiple scales) have become more common for DSM. Many DSM studies, however, only compared DSM methods using less than 30 covariates or tested approaches on few responses. We built DSM models from 300–500 covariates using six approaches that are either popular in DSM or promising for large covariate sets.
R. Murray Lark, Elliott M. Hamilton, Belinda Kaninga, Kakoma K. Maseka, Moola Mutondo, Godfrey M. Sakala, and Michael J. Watts
SOIL, 3, 235–244,Short summary
An advantage of geostatistics for mapping soil properties is that, given a statistical model of the variable of interest, we can make a rational decision about how densely to sample so that the map is sufficiently precise. However, uncertainty about the statistical model affects this process. In this paper we show how Bayesian methods can be used to support decision making on sampling with an uncertain model, ensuring that the probability of meeting certain levels of precision is high enough.
Madlene Nussbaum, Lorenz Walthert, Marielle Fraefel, Lucie Greiner, and Andreas Papritz
SOIL, 3, 191–210,Short summary
Digital soil mapping (DSM) relates soil property data to environmental data that describe soil-forming factors. With imagery sampled from satellites or terrain analysed at multiple scales, large sets of possible input to DSM are available. We propose a new statistical framework (geoGAM) that selects parsimonious models for DSM and illustrate the application of geoGAM to two study regions. Straightforward interpretation of the modelled effects likely improves end-user acceptance of DSM products.
Hannes Keck, Bjarne W. Strobel, Jon Petter Gustafsson, and John Koestel
SOIL, 3, 177–189,Short summary
Several studies have shown that the cation adsorption sites in soils are heterogeneously distributed in space. In many soil system models this knowledge is not included yet. In our study we proposed a new method to map the 3-D distribution of cation adsorption sites in undisturbed soils. The method is based on three-dimensional X-ray scanning with a contrast agent and image analysis. We are convinced that this approach will strongly aid the development of more realistic soil system models.
Laura Arata, Katrin Meusburger, Alexandra Bürge, Markus Zehringer, Michael E. Ketterer, Lionel Mabit, and Christine Alewell
SOIL, 3, 113–122,
Christopher Poeplau, Cora Vos, and Axel Don
SOIL, 3, 61–66,Short summary
This paper shows that three out of four frequently used methods to calculate soil organic carbon stocks lead to systematic overestimation of those stocks. Stones, which can be assumed to be free of carbon, have to be corrected for in both bulk density and layer thickness. We used data of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory to illustrate the potential bias and suggest a unified and unbiased calculation method for stocks of soil organic carbon, which is the largest terrestrial carbon pool.
Jan M. van Mourik, Thomas V. Wagner, J. Geert de Boer, and Boris Jansen
SOIL, 2, 299–310,
Ranjith P. Udawatta, Clark J. Gantzer, Stephen H. Anderson, and Shmuel Assouline
SOIL, 2, 211–220,Short summary
Soil compaction degrades soil structure and affects water, heat, and gas exchange as well as root penetration and crop production. The objective of this study was to use X-ray computed microtomography (CMT) techniques to compare differences in geometrical soil pore parameters as influenced by compaction of two different aggregate size classes.
B. Reidy, I. Simo, P. Sills, and R. E. Creamer
SOIL, 2, 25–39,Short summary
This study reviews pedotransfer functions from the literature for different soil and horizon types. It uses these formulae to predict bulk density (ρb) per horizon using measured data of other soil properties. These data were compared to known pb per horizon and recalibrated. These calculations were used to fill missing horizon data in the Irish soil database. This allowed the generation of a pb map to 50 cm. These pb data are at horizon level allowing more accurate estimation of C with depth.
J. J. Keizer, M. A. S. Martins, S. A. Prats, L. F. Santos, D. C. S. Vieira, R. Nogueira, and L. Bilro
SOIL, 1, 641–650,Short summary
In this study, a novel plastic optical fibre turbidity sensor was exhaustively tested with a large set of runoff samples, mainly from a recently burnt area. The different types of samples from the distinct study sites revealed without exception an increase in normalized light loss with increasing sediment concentrations that agreed (reasonably) well with a power function. Nevertheless, sensor-based predictions of sediment concentration should ideally involve site-specific calibrations.
C. Rasmussen, R. E. Gallery, and J. S. Fehmi
SOIL, 1, 631–639,Short summary
There is a need to understand the response of soil systems to predicted climate warming for modeling soil processes. Current experimental methods for soil warming include expensive and difficult to implement active and passive techniques. Here we test a simple, inexpensive in situ passive soil heating approach, based on easy to construct infrared mirrors that do not require automation or enclosures. Results indicated that the infrared mirrors yielded significant heating and drying of soils.
E. Nadal-Romero, J. Revuelto, P. Errea, and J. I. López-Moreno
SOIL, 1, 561–573,Short summary
Geomatic techniques have been routinely applied in erosion studies, providing the opportunity to build high-resolution topographic models.The aim of this study is to assess and compare the functioning of terrestrial laser scanner and close range photogrammetry techniques to evaluate erosion and deposition processes in a humid badlands area. Our results demonstrated that north slopes experienced more intense and faster dynamics than south slopes as well as the highest erosion rates.
L. M. Thomsen, J. E. M. Baartman, R. J. Barneveld, T. Starkloff, and J. Stolte
SOIL, 1, 399–410,
B. A. Miller, S. Koszinski, M. Wehrhan, and M. Sommer
SOIL, 1, 217–233,Short summary
There are many different strategies for mapping SOC, among which is to model the variables needed to calculate the SOC stock indirectly or to model the SOC stock directly. The purpose of this research was to compare these two approaches for mapping SOC stocks from multiple linear regression models applied at the landscape scale via spatial association. Although the indirect approach had greater spatial variation and higher R2 values, the direct approach had a lower total estimated error.
W. Eugster and L. Merbold
SOIL, 1, 187–205,Short summary
The eddy covariance (EC) method has become increasingly popular in soil science. The basic concept of this method and its use in different types of experimental designs in the field are given, and we indicate where progress in advancing and extending the field of applications is made. The greatest strengths of EC measurements in soil science are (1) their uninterrupted continuous measurement of gas concentrations and fluxes and (2) spatial integration over small-scale heterogeneity in the soil.
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Soil quality depends on the functioning of soil microbiota. Only a few standardized methods are available to assess this as well as adverse effects of human activities. So we need to identify promising additional methods that target soil microbial function. Discussed are (i) molecular methods using qPCR for new endpoints, e.g. in N and P cycling and greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) techniques for fungal enzyme activities, and (iii) field methods on carbon turnover such as the litter bag test.
Soil quality depends on the functioning of soil microbiota. Only a few standardized methods are...