Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Switch of fungal to bacterial degradation in natural, drained and rewetted oligotrophic peatlands reflected in δ15N and fatty acid composition
Pascal von Sengbusch
Office for Ecological Reports and Peatology, 79400 Kandern, Germany
Jan Paul Krüger
UDATA GmbH – Environment and Education, 67433 Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany
Environmental Geoscience Research Group, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Environmental Geoscience Research Group, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
No articles found.
Katrin Meusburger, Paolo Porto, Judith Kobler Waldis, and Christine Alewell
SOIL, 9, 399–409,Short summary
Quantifying soil redistribution rates is a global challenge. Radiogenic tracers such as plutonium, namely 239+240Pu, released to the atmosphere by atmospheric bomb testing in the 1960s are promising tools to quantify soil redistribution. Direct validation of 239+240Pu as soil redistribution is, however, still missing. Here, we used a unique sediment yield time series in southern Italy, reaching back to the initial fallout of 239+240Pu to verify 239+240Pu as a soil redistribution tracer.
Pedro V. G. Batista, Peter Fiener, Simon Scheper, and Christine Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 3753–3770,Short summary
Patchy agricultural landscapes have a large number of small fields, which are separated by linear features such as roads and field borders. When eroded sediments are transported out of the agricultural fields by surface runoff, these features can influence sediment connectivity. By use of measured data and a simulation model, we demonstrate how a dense road network (and its drainage system) facilitates sediment transport from fields to water courses in a patchy Swiss agricultural catchment.
Brieuc Hardy, Nils Borchard, and Jens Leifeld
SOIL, 8, 451–466,Short summary
Soil amendment with artificial black carbon (BC; biomass transformed by incomplete combustion) has the potential to mitigate climate change. Nevertheless, the accurate quantification of BC in soil remains a critical issue. Here, we successfully used dynamic thermal analysis (DTA) to quantify centennial BC in soil. We demonstrate that DTA is largely under-exploited despite providing rapid and low-cost quantitative information over the range of soil organic matter.
Lena Wohlgemuth, Pasi Rautio, Bernd Ahrends, Alexander Russ, Lars Vesterdal, Peter Waldner, Volkmar Timmermann, Nadine Eickenscheidt, Alfred Fürst, Martin Greve, Peter Roskams, Anne Thimonier, Manuel Nicolas, Anna Kowalska, Morten Ingerslev, Päivi Merilä, Sue Benham, Carmen Iacoban, Günter Hoch, Christine Alewell, and Martin Jiskra
Biogeosciences, 19, 1335–1353,Short summary
Gaseous mercury is present in the atmosphere all over the globe. During the growing season, plants take up mercury from the air in a similar way as CO2. We investigated which factors impact this vegetational mercury uptake by analyzing a large dataset of leaf mercury uptake rates of trees in Europe. As a result, we conclude that mercury uptake is foremost controlled by tree-intrinsic traits like physiological activity but also by climatic factors like dry conditions in the air and in soils.
Lauren Zweifel, Maxim Samarin, Katrin Meusburger, and Christine Alewell
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3421–3437,Short summary
Mountainous grassland areas can be severely affected by soil erosion, such as by shallow landslides. With an automated mapping approach we are able to locate shallow-landslide sites on aerial images for 10 different study sites across Swiss mountain regions covering a total of 315 km2. Using a statistical model we identify important explanatory variables for shallow-landslide occurrence for the individual sites as well as across all regions, which highlight slope, aspect and terrain roughness.
Maral Khodadadi, Christine Alewell, Mohammad Mirzaei, Ehssan Ehssan-Malahat, Farrokh Asadzadeh, Peter Strauss, and Katrin Meusburger
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Forest soils store carbon and therefore play an important role in mitigating climate change impacts. Yet again, deforestation for farming and grazing purposes has grown rapidly over the last decades. Thus, its impacts on soil erosion and soil quality should be understood in order to adopt sustainable management measures. The results of this study indicated that deforestation can prompt soil loss by multiple orders of magnitude and deteriorate the soil quality in both topsoil and subsoil.
Claudia Mignani, Jörg Wieder, Michael A. Sprenger, Zamin A. Kanji, Jan Henneberger, Christine Alewell, and Franz Conen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 657–664,Short summary
Most precipitation above land starts with ice in clouds. It is promoted by extremely rare particles. Some ice-nucleating particles (INPs) cause cloud droplets to already freeze above −15°C, a temperature at which many clouds begin to snow. We found that the abundance of such INPs among other particles of similar size is highest in precipitating air masses and lowest when air carries desert dust. This brings us closer to understanding the interactions between land, clouds, and precipitation.
Lena Wohlgemuth, Stefan Osterwalder, Carl Joseph, Ansgar Kahmen, Günter Hoch, Christine Alewell, and Martin Jiskra
Biogeosciences, 17, 6441–6456,Short summary
Mercury uptake by trees from the air represents an important but poorly quantified pathway in the global mercury cycle. We determined mercury uptake fluxes by leaves and needles at 10 European forests which were 4 times larger than mercury deposition via rainfall. The amount of mercury taken up by leaves and needles depends on their age and growing height on the tree. Scaling up our measurements to the forest area of Europe, we estimate that each year 20 t of mercury is taken up by trees.
Pranav Hirave, Guido L. B. Wiesenberg, Axel Birkholz, and Christine Alewell
Biogeosciences, 17, 2169–2180,Short summary
Sediment input into water bodies is a prominent threat to freshwater ecosystems. We tested the stability of tracers employed in freshwater sediment tracing based on compound-specific isotope analysis during early degradation in soil. While bulk δ13C values showed no stability, δ13C values of plant-derived fatty acids and n-alkanes were stably transferred to the soil without soil particle size dependency after an early degradation in organic horizons, thus indicating their suitability as tracers.
Marlène Lavrieux, Axel Birkholz, Katrin Meusburger, Guido L. B. Wiesenberg, Adrian Gilli, Christian Stamm, and Christine Alewell
Biogeosciences, 16, 2131–2146,Short summary
A fingerprinting approach using compound-specific stable isotopes was applied to a lake sediment core to reconstruct erosion processes over the past 150 years in a Swiss catchment. Even though the reconstruction of land use and eutrophication history was successful, the observation of comparatively low δ13C values of plant-derived fatty acids in the sediment suggests their alteration within the lake. Thus, their use as a tool for source attribution in sediment cores needs further investigation.
Claudia Mignani, Jessie M. Creamean, Lukas Zimmermann, Christine Alewell, and Franz Conen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 877–886,Short summary
A snow crystal can be generated from an ice nucleating particle or from an ice splinter. In this study we made use of the fact that snow crystals with a particular shape (dendrites) grow within a narrow temperature range (−12 to −17 °C) and can be analysed individually for the presence of an ice nucleating particle. Our direct approach revealed that only one in eight crystals contained such a particle and was of primary origin. The other crystals must have grown from ice splinters.
Cédric Bader, Moritz Müller, Rainer Schulin, and Jens Leifeld
Biogeosciences, 15, 703–719,Short summary
When drained, peatlands degrade and release large quantities of CO2, thereby contributing to global warming. Do land use or the chemical composition of peat control the rate of that release? We studied 21 sites from the temperate climate zone managed as croplands, grasslands, or forests and found that the CO2 release was high, but only slightly influenced by land use or peat composition. Hence, only keeping peatlands in their natural state prevents them from becoming strong CO2 sources.
Laura Arata, Katrin Meusburger, Alexandra Bürge, Markus Zehringer, Michael E. Ketterer, Lionel Mabit, and Christine Alewell
SOIL, 3, 113–122,
Emiliano Stopelli, Franz Conen, Caroline Guilbaud, Jakob Zopfi, Christine Alewell, and Cindy E. Morris
Biogeosciences, 14, 1189–1196,Short summary
Based on the analysis of precipitation collected at high altitude, this study provides a relevant advancement in the assessment of the major factors responsible for the abundance and variability of airborne bacterial cells and Pseudomonas syringae in relation to ice nucleators. This is of prime importance to obtain a better understanding of the impact of ice-nucleation-active organisms on the development of precipitation and to determine the dispersal potential of airborne microorganisms.
Simon Schmidt, Christine Alewell, Panos Panagos, and Katrin Meusburger
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4359–4373,Short summary
We present novel research on the seasonal dynamics of the impact of rainfall (R-factor) on the mobilization of topsoil as soil erosion by water for Switzerland. A modeling approach was chosen that enables the dynamical mapping of the R-factor. Based on the maps and modeling results, we could investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of that factor, which is high for Switzerland. With these results, agronomists can introduce selective erosion control measures.
Emiliano Stopelli, Franz Conen, Cindy E. Morris, Erik Herrmann, Stephan Henne, Martin Steinbacher, and Christine Alewell
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 8341–8351,Short summary
Knowing the variability of ice nucleating particles (INPs) helps determining their role in the formation of precipitation. Here we describe and predict the concentrations of INPs active at −8 °C in precipitation samples collected at Jungfraujoch (CH, 3580 m a.s.l.). A high abundance of these INPs can be expected whenever a coincidence of high wind speed and first precipitation from an air mass occurs. This expands the set of conditions where such INPs could affect the onset of precipitation.
Lorenzo Menichetti, Thomas Kätterer, and Jens Leifeld
Biogeosciences, 13, 3003–3019,Short summary
Soil organic carbon dynamics are crucial for the global greenhouse gas balance, but their complexity is difficult to model and understand. We therefore often rely on radiocarbon measurements for calibrating models, but their effect on our understanding of the processes is still unclear. We calibrated five model structures on data from a long-term Swiss field experiment in a Bayesian framework to assess the effect of radiocarbon on the parameter and structural uncertainty of a soil carbon model.
Christine Alewell, Axel Birkholz, Katrin Meusburger, Yael Schindler Wildhaber, and Lionel Mabit
Biogeosciences, 13, 1587–1596,Short summary
Origin of suspended sediments in rivers is of crucial importance for optimization of catchment management. Sediment source attribution to a lowland river in central Switzerland with compound specific stable isotopes analysis (CSIA) indicated that 65 % of the suspended sediments originated from agricultural land during base flow, while forest was the dominant source during high flow. We achieved significant differences in CSIA signature from land uses dominated by C3 plant cultivation.
S. Osterwalder, J. Fritsche, C. Alewell, M. Schmutz, M. B. Nilsson, G. Jocher, J. Sommar, J. Rinne, and K. Bishop
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 509–524,Short summary
Human activities have increased mercury (Hg) cycling between land and atmosphere. To define landscapes as sinks or sources of Hg we have developed an advanced REA system for long-term measurements of gaseous elemental Hg exchange. It was tested in two contrasting environments: above Basel, Switzerland, and a peatland in Sweden. Both landscapes showed net Hg emission (15 and 3 ng m−2 h−1, respectively). The novel system will help to advance our understanding of Hg exchange on an ecosystem scale.
R. Hüppi, R. Felber, A. Neftel, J. Six, and J. Leifeld
SOIL, 1, 707–717,Short summary
Biochar is considered an opportunity to tackle major environmental issues in agriculture. Adding pyrolised organic residues to soil may sequester carbon, increase yields and reduce nitrous oxide emissions from soil. It is unknown, whether the latter is induced by changes in soil pH. We show that biochar application substantially reduces nitrous oxide emissions from a temperate maize cropping system. However, the reduction was only achieved with biochar but not with liming.
J. Leifeld and J. Mayer
SOIL, 1, 537–542,Short summary
We present 14C data for field replicates of a controlled agricultural long-term experiment. We show that 14C variability is, on average, 12 times that of the analytical precision of the 14C measurement. Experimental 14C variability is related to neither management nor soil depth. Application of a simple carbon turnover model reveals that experimental variability of radiocarbon results in higher absolute uncertainties of estimated carbon turnover time for deeper soil layers.
J. P. Krüger, J. Leifeld, S. Glatzel, S. Szidat, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 12, 2861–2871,Short summary
Biogeochemical soil parameters are studied to detect peatland degradation along a land use gradient (intensive, extensive, near-natural). Stable carbon isotopes, radiocarbon ages and ash content confirm peat growth in the near-natural bog but also indicate previous degradation. When the bog is managed extensively or intensively as grassland, all parameters indicate degradation and substantial C loss of the order of 18.8 to 42.9 kg C m-2.
K. Meusburger, G. Leitinger, L. Mabit, M. H. Mueller, A. Walter, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3763–3775,
J. Leifeld, C. Bader, E. Borraz, M. Hoffmann, M. Giebels, M. Sommer, and J. Augustin
Revised manuscript not accepted
S. Stanchi, M. Freppaz, E. Ceaglio, M. Maggioni, K. Meusburger, C. Alewell, and E. Zanini
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1761–1771,
J. P. Krüger, J. Leifeld, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 11, 3369–3380,
E. Stopelli, F. Conen, L. Zimmermann, C. Alewell, and C. E. Morris
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 129–134,
K. Meusburger, L. Mabit, J.-H. Park, T. Sandor, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 10, 5627–5638,
K. Meusburger, G. Leitinger, L. Mabit, M. H. Mueller, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
M. H. Mueller, R. Weingartner, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1661–1679,
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Lauren M. Gillespie, Nathalie Y. Triches, Diego Abalos, Peter Finke, Sophie Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Stephan Glatzel, and Eugenio Díaz-Pinés
SOIL, 9, 517–531,Short summary
Forest soil is potentially an important source or sink of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O, and CH4), but this is affected by soil conditions. We studied how land inclination and soil/litter properties influence the flux of these gases. CO2 and N2O were more affected by inclination than CH4; all were affected by soil/litter properties. This study underlines the importance of inclination and soil/litter properties in predicting greenhouse gas fluxes from forest soil and potential source–sink balance.
Sastrika Anindita, Peter Finke, and Steven Sleutel
SOIL, 9, 443–459,Short summary
This study investigated how land use, through its impact on soil geochemistry, might indirectly control soil organic carbon (SOC) content in tropical volcanic soils in Indonesia. We analyzed SOC fractions, substrate-specific mineralization, and net priming of SOC. Our results indicated that the enhanced formation of aluminum (hydr)oxides promoted aggregation and physical occlusion of OC, which is consistent with the lesser degradability of SOC in agricultural soils.
Tatjana Carina Speckert, Jeannine Suremann, Konstantin Gavazov, Maria Joao Santos, Frank Hagedorn, and Guido Lars Bruno Wiesenberg
Afforestation on former pastures affects soil organic carbon (SOC) by alteration of quality and quantity of root and aboveground biomass litter input. Compared with pasture organic matter (OM), forest OM is less decomposable and characterized by increased C:N ratios. It could be expected that long-term afforestation on a centennial scale may have a severe impact on SOC dynamics, an aspect that remains so far unknown as most of the earlier studies focused on successions between 30 and 50 years.
Amicie A. Delahaie, Pierre Barré, François Baudin, Dominique Arrouays, Antonio Bispo, Line Boulonne, Claire Chenu, Claudy Jolivet, Manuel P. Martin, Céline Ratié, Nicolas P. A. Saby, Florence Savignac, and Lauric Cécillon
SOIL, 9, 209–229,Short summary
We characterized organic matter in French soils by analysing samples from the French RMQS network using Rock-Eval thermal analysis. We found that thermal analysis is appropriate to characterize large set of samples (ca. 2000) and provides interpretation references for Rock-Eval parameter values. This shows that organic matter in managed soils is on average more oxidized and more thermally stable and that some Rock-Eval parameters are good proxies for organic matter biogeochemical stability.
Britta Greenshields, Barbara von der Lühe, Harold J. Hughes, Christian Stiegler, Suria Tarigan, Aiyen Tjoa, and Daniela Sauer
SOIL, 9, 169–188,Short summary
Silicon (Si) research could provide complementary measures in sustainably cultivating oil-palm monocultures. Our study shows that current oil-palm management practices and topsoil erosion on oil-palm plantations in Indonesia have caused a spatial distribution of essential Si pools in soil. A lack of well-balanced Si levels in topsoil could negatively affect crop yield and soil fertility for future replanting at the same plantation site. Potential measures are suggested to maintain Si cycling.
Kenji Fujisaki, Tiphaine Chevallier, Antonio Bispo, Jean-Baptiste Laurent, François Thevenin, Lydie Chapuis-Lardy, Rémi Cardinael, Christine Le Bas, Vincent Freycon, Fabrice Bénédet, Vincent Blanfort, Michel Brossard, Marie Tella, and Julien Demenois
SOIL, 9, 89–100,Short summary
This paper presents a first comprehensive thesaurus for management practices driving soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. So far, a comprehensive thesaurus of management practices in agriculture and forestry has been lacking. It will help to merge datasets, a promising way to evaluate the impacts of management practices in agriculture and forestry on SOC. Identifying the drivers of SOC stock changes is of utmost importance to contribute to global challenges (climate change, food security).
Oliver van Straaten, Larissa Kulp, Guntars O. Martinson, Dan Paul Zederer, and Ulrike Talkner
SOIL, 9, 39–54,Short summary
Across northern Europe, millions of hectares of forest have been limed to counteract soil acidification and restore forest ecosystems. In this study, we investigated how restorative liming affects the forest soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and correspondingly ecosystem greenhouse gas fluxes. We found that the magnitude and direction of SOC stock changes hinge on the inherent site characteristics, namely, forest type, soil texture, initial soil pH, and initial soil SOC stocks (before liming).
Junxiao Pan, Jinsong Wang, Dashuan Tian, Ruiyang Zhang, Yang Li, Lei Song, Jiaming Yang, Chunxue Wei, and Shuli Niu
SOIL, 8, 687–698,Short summary
We found that climatic, edaphic, plant and microbial variables jointly affect soil inorganic carbon (SIC) stock in Tibetan grasslands, and biotic factors have a larger contribution than abiotic factors to the variation in SIC stock. The effects of microbial and plant variables on SIC stock weakened with soil depth, while the effects of edaphic variables strengthened. The contrasting responses and drivers of SIC stock highlight differential mechanisms underlying SIC preservation with soil depth.
Yifeng Zhang, Sen Dou, Batande Sinovuyo Ndzelu, Rui Ma, Dandan Zhang, Xiaowei Zhang, Shufen Ye, and Hongrui Wang
SOIL, 8, 605–619,Short summary
How to effectively convert corn straw into humic substances and return them to the soil in a relatively stable form is a concerning topic. Through a 360 d field experiment under equal carbon (C) mass, we found that return of the fermented corn straw treated with Trichoderma reesei to the field is more valuable and conducive to increasing easily oxidizable organic C, humus C content, and carbon pool management index than the direct application of corn straw.
Ling Mao, Shaoming Ye, and Shengqiang Wang
SOIL, 8, 487–505,Short summary
Soil ecological stoichiometry offers a tool to explore the distribution, cycling, limitation, and balance of chemical elements. This study improved the understanding of soil organic carbon and nutrient dynamics in tea plantation ecosystems and also provided supplementary information for soil ecological stoichiometry in global terrestrial ecosystems.
Steffen Schlüter, Tim Roussety, Lena Rohe, Vusal Guliyev, Evgenia Blagodatskaya, and Thomas Reitz
SOIL, 8, 253–267,Short summary
We combined microstructure analysis via X-ray CT with carbon mineralization analysis via respirometry of intact soil cores from different land uses. We found that the amount of particulate organic matter (POM) exerted a dominant control on carbon mineralization in well-aerated topsoils, whereas soil moisture and macroporosity did not play role. This is because carbon mineralization mainly occurs in microbial hotspots around degrading POM, where it is decoupled from conditions of the bulk soil.
Roberta Pulcher, Enrico Balugani, Maurizio Ventura, Nicolas Greggio, and Diego Marazza
SOIL, 8, 199–211,Short summary
Biochar, a solid product from the thermal conversion of biomass, can be used as a climate change mitigation strategy, since it can sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. The aim of this study is to assess the potential of biochar as a mitigation strategy in the long term, by modelling the results obtained from an 8-year field experiment. As far as we know, this is the first time that a model for biochar degradation has been validated with long-term field data.
Daniel Rath, Nathaniel Bogie, Leonardo Deiss, Sanjai J. Parikh, Daoyuan Wang, Samantha Ying, Nicole Tautges, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Teamrat A. Ghezzehei, and Kate M. Scow
SOIL, 8, 59–83,Short summary
Storing C in subsoils can help mitigate climate change, but this requires a better understanding of subsoil C dynamics. We investigated changes in subsoil C storage under a combination of compost, cover crops (WCC), and mineral fertilizer and found that systems with compost + WCC had ~19 Mg/ha more C after 25 years. This increase was attributed to increased transport of soluble C and nutrients via WCC root pores and demonstrates the potential for subsoil C storage in tilled agricultural systems.
Zuzana Frkova, Chiara Pistocchi, Yuliya Vystavna, Katerina Capkova, Jiri Dolezal, and Federica Tamburini
SOIL, 8, 1–15,Short summary
Phosphorus (P) is essential for life. We studied microbial processes driving the P cycle in soils developed on the same rock but with different ages (0–100 years) in a cold desert. Compared to previous studies under cold climate, we found much slower weathering of P-containing minerals of soil development, likely due to aridity. However, microbes dominate short-term dynamics and progressively redistribute P from the rock into more available forms, making it available for plants at later stages.
Carrie L. Thomas, Boris Jansen, E. Emiel van Loon, and Guido L. B. Wiesenberg
SOIL, 7, 785–809,Short summary
Plant organs, such as leaves, contain a variety of chemicals that are eventually deposited into soil and can be useful for studying organic carbon cycling. We performed a systematic review of available data of one type of plant-derived chemical, n-alkanes, to determine patterns of degradation or preservation from the source plant to the soil. We found that while there was degradation in the amount of n-alkanes from plant to soil, some aspects of the chemical signature were preserved.
Benjamin Bukombe, Peter Fiener, Alison M. Hoyt, Laurent K. Kidinda, and Sebastian Doetterl
SOIL, 7, 639–659,Short summary
Through a laboratory incubation experiment, we investigated the spatial patterns of specific maximum heterotrophic respiration in tropical African mountain forest soils developed from contrasting parent material along slope gradients. We found distinct differences in soil respiration between soil depths and geochemical regions related to soil fertility and the chemistry of the soil solution. The topographic origin of our samples was not a major determinant of the observed rates of respiration.
Patricia Merdy, Yves Lucas, Bruno Coulomb, Adolpho J. Melfi, and Célia R. Montes
SOIL, 7, 585–594,Short summary
Transfer of organic C from topsoil to deeper horizons and the water table is little documented, especially in equatorial environments, despite high primary productivity in the evergreen forest. Using column experiments with podzol soil and a percolating solution sampled in an Amazonian podzol area, we show how the C-rich Bh horizon plays a role in natural organic matter transfer and Si, Fe and Al mobility after a kaolinitic layer transition, thus giving insight to the genesis of tropical podzol.
Jörg Schnecker, D. Boone Meeden, Francisco Calderon, Michel Cavigelli, R. Michael Lehman, Lisa K. Tiemann, and A. Stuart Grandy
SOIL, 7, 547–561,Short summary
Drought and flooding challenge agricultural systems and their management globally. Here we investigated the response of soils from long-term agricultural field sites with simple and diverse crop rotations to either drought or flooding. We found that irrespective of crop rotation complexity, soil and microbial properties were more resistant to flooding than to drought and highly resilient to drought and flooding during single or repeated stress pulses.
Mario Reichenbach, Peter Fiener, Gina Garland, Marco Griepentrog, Johan Six, and Sebastian Doetterl
SOIL, 7, 453–475,Short summary
In deeply weathered tropical rainforest soils of Africa, we found that patterns of soil organic carbon stocks differ between soils developed from geochemically contrasting parent material due to differences in the abundance of organo-mineral complexes, the presence/absence of chemical stabilization mechanisms of carbon with minerals and the presence of fossil organic carbon from sedimentary rocks. Physical stabilization mechanisms by aggregation provide additional protection of soil carbon.
Fabian Kalks, Gabriel Noren, Carsten W. Mueller, Mirjam Helfrich, Janet Rethemeyer, and Axel Don
SOIL, 7, 347–362,Short summary
Sedimentary rocks contain organic carbon that may end up as soil carbon. However, this source of soil carbon is overlooked and has not been quantified sufficiently. We analysed 10 m long sediment cores with three different sedimentary rocks. All sediments contain considerable amounts of geogenic carbon contributing 3 %–12 % to the total soil carbon below 30 cm depth. The low 14C content of geogenic carbon can result in underestimations of soil carbon turnover derived from 14C data.
Maximilian Kirsten, Robert Mikutta, Didas N. Kimaro, Karl-Heinz Feger, and Karsten Kalbitz
SOIL, 7, 363–375,Short summary
Mineralogical combinations of aluminous clay and pedogenic Fe oxides revealed significant effects on soil structure and related organic carbon (OC) storage. The mineralogical combination resulting in the largest aggregate stability does not better preserve OC during conversion of forests into croplands. Structural changes in the direction of smaller mean weight diameters do not cancel out the stabilizing effect of soil minerals.
Sophie F. von Fromm, Alison M. Hoyt, Markus Lange, Gifty E. Acquah, Ermias Aynekulu, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Stephan M. Haefele, Steve P. McGrath, Keith D. Shepherd, Andrew M. Sila, Johan Six, Erick K. Towett, Susan E. Trumbore, Tor-G. Vågen, Elvis Weullow, Leigh A. Winowiecki, and Sebastian Doetterl
SOIL, 7, 305–332,Short summary
We investigated various soil and climate properties that influence soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations in sub-Saharan Africa. Our findings indicate that climate and geochemistry are equally important for explaining SOC variations. The key SOC-controlling factors are broadly similar to those for temperate regions, despite differences in soil development history between the two regions.
Claudia Cagnarini, Stephen Lofts, Luigi Paolo D'Acqui, Jochen Mayer, Roman Grüter, Susan Tandy, Rainer Schulin, Benjamin Costerousse, Simone Orlandini, and Giancarlo Renella
SOIL, 7, 107–123,Short summary
Application of organic amendments, although considered a sustainable form of soil fertilisation, may cause an accumulation of trace elements (TEs) in the topsoil. In this research, we analysed the concentration of zinc, copper, lead and cadmium in a > 60-year experiment in Switzerland and showed that the dynamic model IDMM adequately predicted the historical TE concentrations in plots amended with farmyard manure, sewage sludge and compost and produced reasonable concentration trends up to 2100.
Simon Baumgartner, Marijn Bauters, Matti Barthel, Travis W. Drake, Landry C. Ntaboba, Basile M. Bazirake, Johan Six, Pascal Boeckx, and Kristof Van Oost
SOIL, 7, 83–94,Short summary
We compared stable isotope signatures of soil profiles in different forest ecosystems within the Congo Basin to assess ecosystem-level differences in N cycling, and we examined the local effect of topography on the isotopic signature of soil N. Soil δ15N profiles indicated that the N cycling in in the montane forest is more closed, whereas the lowland forest and Miombo woodland experienced a more open N cycle. Topography only alters soil δ15N values in forests with high erosional forces.
Rota Wagai, Masako Kajiura, and Maki Asano
SOIL, 6, 597–627,Short summary
Global significance of metals (extractable Fe and Al phases) to control organic matter (OM) in recognized. Next key questions include the identification of their localization and mechanism behind OM–metal relationships. Across 23 soils of contrasting mineralogy, Fe and Al phases were mainly associated with microbially processed OM as meso-density microaggregates. OM- and metal-rich nanocomposites with a narrow OM : metal ratio likely acted as binding agents. A new conceptual model was proposed.
Marco Panettieri, Denis Courtier-Murias, Cornelia Rumpel, Marie-France Dignac, Gonzalo Almendros, and Abad Chabbi
SOIL, 6, 435–451,Short summary
In the context of global change, soil has been identified as a potential C sink, depending on land-use strategies. This work is devoted to identifying the processes affecting labile soil C pools resulting from changes in land use. We show that the land-use change in ley grassland provoked a decoupling of the storage and degradation processes after the grassland phase. Overall, the study enables us to develop a sufficient understanding of fine-scale C dynamics to refine soil C prediction models.
Martin Erlandsson Lampa, Harald U. Sverdrup, Kevin H. Bishop, Salim Belyazid, Ali Ameli, and Stephan J. Köhler
SOIL, 6, 231–244,Short summary
In this study, we demonstrate how new equations describing base cation release from mineral weathering can reproduce patterns in observations from stream and soil water. This is a major step towards modeling base cation cycling on the catchment scale, which would be valuable for defining the highest sustainable rates of forest harvest and levels of acidifying deposition.
Benjamin Andrieux, David Paré, Julien Beguin, Pierre Grondin, and Yves Bergeron
SOIL, 6, 195–213,Short summary
Our study aimed to disentangle the contribution of several drivers to explaining the proportion of soil carbon that can be released to CO2 through microbial respiration. We found that boreal-forest soil chemistry is an important driver of the amount of carbon that microbes can process. Our results emphasize the need to include the effects of soil chemistry into models of carbon cycling to better anticipate the role played by boreal-forest soils in carbon-cycle–climate feedbacks.
Jonathan Sanderman and A. Stuart Grandy
SOIL, 6, 131–144,Short summary
Soils contain one of the largest and most dynamic pools of carbon on Earth, yet scientists still struggle to understand the reactivity and fate of soil organic matter upon disturbance. In this study, we found that with increasing thermal stability, the turnover time of organic matter increased from decades to centuries with a concurrent shift in chemical composition. In this proof-of-concept study, we found that ramped thermal analyses can provide new insights for understanding soil carbon.
Carlos Alberto Quesada, Claudia Paz, Erick Oblitas Mendoza, Oliver Lawrence Phillips, Gustavo Saiz, and Jon Lloyd
SOIL, 6, 53–88,Short summary
Amazon soils hold as much carbon (C) as is contained in the vegetation. In this work we sampled soils across 8 different Amazonian countries to try to understand which soil properties control current Amazonian soil C concentrations. We confirm previous knowledge that highly developed soils hold C through clay content interactions but also show a previously unreported mechanism of soil C stabilization in the younger Amazonian soil types which hold C through aluminium organic matter interactions.
Songyu Yang, Boris Jansen, Samira Absalah, Rutger L. van Hall, Karsten Kalbitz, and Erik L. H. Cammeraat
SOIL, 6, 1–15,Short summary
Soils store large carbon and are important for global warming. We do not know what factors are important for soil carbon storage in the alpine Andes or how they work. We studied how rainfall affects soil carbon storage related to soil structure. We found soil structure is not important, but soil carbon storage and stability controlled by rainfall is dependent on rocks under the soils. The results indicate that we should pay attention to the rocks when we study soil carbon storage in the Andes.
Samuel Bouchoms, Zhengang Wang, Veerle Vanacker, and Kristof Van Oost
SOIL, 5, 367–382,Short summary
Soil erosion has detrimental effects on soil fertility which can reduce carbon inputs coming from crops to soils. Our study integrated this effect into a model linking soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics to erosion and crop productivity. When compared to observations, the inclusion of productivity improved SOC loss predictions. Over centuries, ignoring crop productivity evolution in models could result in underestimating SOC loss and overestimating C exchanged with the atmosphere.
Nicholas P. Rosenstock, Johan Stendahl, Gregory van der Heijden, Lars Lundin, Eric McGivney, Kevin Bishop, and Stefan Löfgren
SOIL, 5, 351–366,Short summary
Biofuel harvests from forests involve large removals of available nutrients, necessitating accurate measurements of soil nutrient stocks. We found that dilute hydrochloric acid extractions from soils released far more Ca, Na, and K than classical salt–extracted exchangeable nutrient pools. The size of these acid–extractable pools may indicate that forest ecosystems could sustain greater biomass extractions of Ca, Mg, and K than are predicted from salt–extracted exchangeable base cation pools.
Tiphaine Chevallier, Kenji Fujisaki, Olivier Roupsard, Florian Guidat, Rintaro Kinoshita, Elias de Melo Viginio Filho, Peter Lehner, and Alain Albrecht
SOIL, 5, 315–332,Short summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is the largest terrestrial C stock. Andosols of volcanic areas hold particularly large stocks (e.g. from 24 to 72 kgC m−2 in the upper 2 m of soil) as determined via MIR spectrometry at our Costa Rican study site: a 1 km2 basin covered by coffee agroforestry. Andic soil properties explained this high variability, which did not correlate with stocks in the upper 20 cm of soil. Topography and pedogenesis are needed to understand the SOC stocks at landscape scales.
Katelyn A. Congreves, Trang Phan, and Richard E. Farrell
SOIL, 5, 265–274,Short summary
There are surprising grey areas in the precise quantification of pathways that produce nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, as influenced by soil moisture. Here, we take a new look at a classic study but use isotopomers as a powerful tool to determine the source pathways of nitrous oxide as regulated by soil moisture. Our results support earlier research, but we contribute scientific advancements by providing models that enable quantifying source partitioning rather than just inferencing.
Eric McGivney, Jon Petter Gustafsson, Salim Belyazid, Therese Zetterberg, and Stefan Löfgren
SOIL, 5, 63–77,Short summary
Forest management may lead to long-term soil acidification due to the removal of base cations during harvest. By means of the HD-MINTEQ model, we compared the acidification effects of harvesting with the effects of historical acid rain at three forested sites in Sweden. The effects of harvesting on pH were predicted to be much smaller than those resulting from acid deposition during the 20th century. There were only very small changes in predicted weathering rates due to acid rain or harvest.
Veronika Kronnäs, Cecilia Akselsson, and Salim Belyazid
SOIL, 5, 33–47,Short summary
Weathering rates in forest soils are important for sustainable forestry but cannot be measured. In this paper, we have modelled weathering with the commonly used PROFILE model as well as with the dynamic model ForSAFE, better suited to a changing climate with changing human activities but never before tested for weathering calculations. We show that ForSAFE gives comparable weathering rates to PROFILE and that it shows the variation in weathering with time and works well for scenario modelling.
Jon Petter Gustafsson, Salim Belyazid, Eric McGivney, and Stefan Löfgren
SOIL, 4, 237–250,Short summary
This paper investigates how different dynamic soil chemistry models describe the processes governing aluminium and base cations in acid soil waters. We find that traditional cation-exchange equations, which are still used in many models, diverge from state-of-the-art complexation submodels such as WHAM, SHM, and NICA-Donnan when large fluctuations in pH or ionic strength occur. In conclusion, the complexation models provide a better basis for the modelling of chemical dynamics in acid soils.
Talal Darwish, Thérèse Atallah, and Ali Fadel
SOIL, 4, 225–235,Short summary
This paper is part of the GSP-ITPS effort to produce a global SOC map and update information on C stocks using old and new soil information to assess the potential for enhanced C sequestration in dry land areas of the NENA region. We used the DSMW from FAO-UNESCO (2007), focusing on organic and inorganic content in 0.3 m of topsoil and 0.7 m of subsoil, to discuss the human factors affecting the accumulation of organic C and the fate of inorganic C.
Juhwan Lee, Gina M. Garland, and Raphael A. Viscarra Rossel
SOIL, 4, 213–224,Short summary
Soil nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant growth, but its plant-available forms are subject to loss from the environment by leaching and gaseous emissions. Still, factors controlling soil mineral N concentrations at large spatial scales are not well understood. We determined and discussed primary soil controls over the concentrations of NH4+ and NO3− at the continental scale of Australia while considering specific dominant land use patterns on a regional basis.
Eleanor Ursula Hobley, Brian Murphy, and Aaron Simmons
SOIL, 4, 169–171,Short summary
This research evaluates equations to calculate soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. Although various equations exist for SOC stock calculations, we recommend using the simplest equation with THE lowest associated errors. Adjusting SOC stock calculations for rock content is essential. Using the mass proportion of rocks to do so minimizes error.
Cora Vos, Angélica Jaconi, Anna Jacobs, and Axel Don
SOIL, 4, 153–167,Short summary
Soil organic carbon sequestration can be facilitated by agricultural management, but its influence is not the same on all soil carbon pools. We assessed how soil organic carbon is distributed among C pools in Germany, identified factors influencing this distribution and identified regions with high vulnerability to C losses. Explanatory variables were soil texture, C / N ratio, soil C content and pH. For some regions, the drivers were linked to the land-use history as heathlands or peatlands.
Sebastian Rainer Fiedler, Jürgen Augustin, Nicole Wrage-Mönnig, Gerald Jurasinski, Bertram Gusovius, and Stephan Glatzel
SOIL, 3, 161–176,Short summary
Injection of biogas digestates (BDs) is suspected to increase losses of N2O and thus to counterbalance prevented NH3 emissions. We determined N2O and N2 losses after mixing high concentrations of BD into two soils by an incubation under an artificial helium–oxygen atmosphere. Emissions did not increase with the application rate of BD, probably due to an inhibitory effect of the high NH4+ content in BD on nitrification. However, cumulated gaseous N losses may effectively offset NH3 reductions.
Ranae Dietzel, Matt Liebman, and Sotirios Archontoulis
SOIL, 3, 139–152,Short summary
Roots deeper in the soil are made up of more carbon and less nitrogen compared to roots at shallower depths, which may help explain deep-carbon origin. A comparison of prairie and maize rooting systems showed that in moving from prairie to maize, a large, structural-tissue-dominated root carbon pool with slow turnover concentrated at shallow depths was replaced by a small, nonstructural-tissue-dominated root carbon pool with fast turnover evenly distributed in the soil profile.
Julie N. Weitzman and Jason P. Kaye
SOIL, 3, 95–112,Short summary
Prior research found nitrate losses in mid-Atlantic streams following drought but no mechanistic explanation. We aim to understand how legacy sediments influence soil–stream nitrate transfer. We found that surface legacy sediments do not retain excess nitrate inputs well; once exposed, previously buried soils experience the largest drought-induced nitrate losses; and, restoration that reconnects stream and floodplain via legacy sediment removal may initially cause high losses of nitrate.
Florian Wilken, Michael Sommer, Kristof Van Oost, Oliver Bens, and Peter Fiener
SOIL, 3, 83–94,Short summary
Model-based analyses of the effect of soil erosion on carbon (C) dynamics are associated with large uncertainties partly resulting from oversimplifications of erosion processes. This study evaluates the need for process-oriented modelling to analyse erosion-induced C fluxes in different catchments. The results underline the importance of a detailed representation of tillage and water erosion processes. For water erosion, grain-size-specific transport is essential to simulate lateral C fluxes.
Samuel N. Araya, Marilyn L. Fogel, and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
SOIL, 3, 31–44,Short summary
This research investigates how fires of different intensities affect soil organic matter properties. This study identifies critical temperature thresholds of significant soil organic matter changes. Findings from this study will contribute towards estimating the amount and rate of changes in soil carbon, nitrogen, and other essential soil properties that can be expected from fires of different intensities under anticipated climate change scenarios.
Lesego Khomo, Susan Trumbore, Carleton R. Bern, and Oliver A. Chadwick
SOIL, 3, 17–30,Short summary
We evaluated mineral control of organic carbon dynamics by relating the content and age of carbon stored in soils of varied mineralogical composition found in the landscapes of Kruger National Park, South Africa. Carbon associated with smectite clay minerals, which have stronger surface–organic matter interactions, averaged about a thousand years old, while most soil carbon was only decades to centuries old and was associated with iron and aluminum oxide minerals.
Jonathan Sanderman, Courtney Creamer, W. Troy Baisden, Mark Farrell, and Stewart Fallon
SOIL, 3, 1–16,Short summary
Knowledge of how soil carbon stocks and flows change in response to agronomic management decisions is a critical step in devising management strategies that best promote food security while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we present 40 years of data demonstrating that increasing productivity both leads to greater carbon stocks and accelerates the decomposition of soil organic matter, thus providing more nutrients back to the crop.
Barry G. Rawlins, Joanna Wragg, Christina Reinhard, Robert C. Atwood, Alasdair Houston, R. Murray Lark, and Sebastian Rudolph
SOIL, 2, 659–671,Short summary
We do not understand processes by which soil bacteria and fungi feed on soil organic matter (SOM). Previous research suggests the location of SOM in aggregates may influence whether bacteria can feed on it more easily. We did an experiment to identify the distribution of SOM on very small scales within nine soil aggregates. There was no clear evidence that the distribution of organic matter influenced how easily the organic matter was fed upon by bacteria.
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Degradation turns peatlands into a source of CO2. There is no cost- or time-efficient method available for indicating peatland hydrology or the success of restoration. We found that 15N values have a clear link to microbial communities and degradation. We identified trends in natural, drained and rewetted conditions and concluded that 15N depth profiles can act as a reliable and efficient tool for obtaining information on current hydrology, restoration success and drainage history.
Degradation turns peatlands into a source of CO2. There is no cost- or time-efficient method...