Applied and Environmental Soil Science
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Acceptance rate21%
Submission to final decision86 days
Acceptance to publication26 days
CiteScore3.500
Journal Citation Indicator0.520
Impact Factor-

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 Journal profile

Applied and Environmental Soil Science publishes research in the field of soil science. Its focus reflects the multidisciplinary nature of soil science, especially the dynamics and spatial heterogeneity of processes in soil.

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Review Article

State-of-the-Art Graphene Synthesis Methods and Environmental Concerns

Graphene, a 2D sp2 hybridized carbon sheet consisting of a honeycomb network, is the building block of graphite. Since its discovery in 2004, graphene’s exceptional electronic and mechanical properties have peaked interest in various applications. However, the inability to mass produce high-quality graphene affordably currently limits the practical application of the material. Researchers are continuously working on advancing graphene synthesis methods to alleviate these limitations. Therefore, this review looks at the overview of established graphene synthesis methods and characterization techniques, and then highlights an in-depth review of graphene production through flash joule heating. The environmental concerns related to graphene synthesis are also presented in this review paper.

Research Article

The Response of Sensitive LULC Changes to Runoff and Sediment Yield in a Semihumid Urban Watershed of the Upper Awash Subbasin Using the SWAT+ Model, Oromia, Ethiopia

Land use and land cover (LULC) changes in many parts of river basins have caused water shortages, flood risks, land degradation, soil loss, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem deterioration. LULC change and topography are the main factors that cause land degradation and soil erosion in the Ethiopian highlands. The aim was to evaluate the rate of the LULC change and its effects on runoff and sediment yield in the semihumid subtropical Awash watershed using the SWAT + model. The land use maps of 2000, 2010, and 2020, along with constant climate data from 1992 to 2020, were used to investigate the effects of LULC dynamics on runoff and sediment yields. Agriculture and urbanization both increased at 7.1% and 7.95%, respectively. In contrast, the forest area decreased by 8.8% and shrubland by 3.25% from 2000 to 2020. Bare soil and urban areas covered the majority of the landscape units that were labeled as potential runoff generators. The majority of the soil erosion-prone areas that were classified as severe in the second and third scenarios covered a sizable area of urban, agricultural, and shrubland. These soil erosion hotspots covered an area of 3,777.3 ha (3.18%) and 13,413.1 ha (11.3%), with a total annual sediment yield of 361.93 m/ton and 1239.24 m/ton, respectively. In general, the change in LULC results in the annual sediment yield, with mean annual amounts of 241.8 tons/ha, 408.7 tons/ha, and 732.4 tons/ha for each scenario in the sequence. The model performance was tested using R2 = 0.88, NSE = 0.9, and PBIAS = −2.36, which indicate good agreement between simulated and observed flow, and R2 = 0.82, NSE = 0.86, and PBIAS = 4.38 for the simulated against recorded sediment yield. The increases in sediment yields have serious implications for reservoir siltation downstream of the watershed and warn land use managers to take action.

Research Article

Genesis and Classification of Termite-Mediated Soils along Toposequences in a Semiarid Area of Southeast Ethiopia

Despite the ecosystem functioning they provide, termite pedoturbation along toposequence is overlooked in the genesis of semiarid soils. Therefore, we aimed to describe morphological and physicochemical properties that lead to the classification of termite-mediated soils. In this study, representative pedons, one on each slope class, were described and classified for five different topographical positions, and the soil properties of genetic horizons were compared to those obtained from respective mounds. The result showed that the soils were heavily manipulated by termites except for the pedon at the toe slope. Cambisols were formed on the summit and back slope and resulted from slow pedogenic processes. Luvisols on the toe slope showed redoximorphic features, and gleization and clay synthesis formed the soil, while the upward movement of coarse particles enhanced textural differentiation. Luvisols at the foot of the slope are formed by the partial destruction of iron-bearing minerals accompanied by eluviation-illuviation processes. Accumulation of calcium carbonate following calcification formed Calcisols on the bottom slope. Comparing the mounds and reference pedons, much of the mound’s soil is mined from the subsoil, usually from B horizons. However, their influence on soil properties depended mainly on the topography. Moreover, the morphological and physicochemical properties of the studied pedons exhibited various degrees of variation along topography and clearly showed topographic effects. In conclusion, termites can be a potent mediator of soil genesis across toposequences, and their activities should be considered in the classification and management of semiarid soils. A further retrospective examination of micromorphological evidence is recommended to support this finding.

Research Article

A Spectral Transfer Function to Harmonize Existing Soil Spectral Libraries Generated by Different Protocols

Soil spectral libraries (SSLs) are important big-data archives (spectra associated with soil properties) that are analyzed via machine-learning algorithms to estimate soil attributes. Since different spectral measurement protocols are applied when constructing SSLs, it is necessary to examine harmonization techniques to merge the data. In recent years, several techniques for harmonization have been proposed, among which the internal soil standard (ISS) protocol is the most largely applied and has demonstrated its capacity to rectify systematic effects during spectral measurements. Here, we postulate that a spectral transfer function (TF) can be extracted between existing (old) SSLs if a subset of samples from two (or more) different SSLs are remeasured using the ISS protocol. A machine-learning TF strategy was developed, assembling random forest (RF) spectral-based models to predict the ISS spectral condition using soil samples from two existing SSLs. These SSLs had already been measured using different protocols without any ISS treatment the Brazilian (BSSL, generated in 2019) and the European (LUCAS, generated in 2009–2012) SSLs. To verify the TF’s ability to improve the spectral assessment of soil attributes after harmonizing the different SSLs’ protocols, RF spectral-based models for estimating organic carbon (OC) in soil were developed. The results showed high spectral similarities between the ISS and the ISS–TF spectral observations, indicating that post-ISS rectification is possible. Furthermore, after merging the SSLs with the TFs, the spectral-based assessment of OC was considerably improved, from R2 = 0.61, RMSE (g/kg) = 12.46 to R2 = 0.69, RMSE (g/kg) = 11.13. Given our results, this paper enhances the importance of soil spectroscopy by contributing to analyses in remote sensing, soil surveys, and digital soil mapping.

Research Article

Determination of Land Suitability Criteria for Maize Hybrid in Boalemo Regency Based on Optimum Yield and Selected Land Quality

The significant effect of land quality on maize production has not been fully considered in the existing land suitability criteria. Therefore, this study aims to determine land suitability criteria for hybrid maize in Boalemo Regency based on the optimum yield and land quality. It was carried out in Boalemo Regency, Indonesia, where the land unit of 67 units was surveyed to obtain land characteristics data. A partial least square of structural equation model (PLS-SEM) with SmartPLS 8.0 was used to select a robust land quality controlling hybrid maize yield, while the boundary line method was used to determine optimum yield and differentiating of land suitability criteria. The result showed that land qualities that define the optimum yield of hybrid maize were root conditions, nutrient availability, nutrient retentions, land preparation, and erosion hazard. The soil characteristics were effective depth, coarse material, organic C, total N, K exchangeable, slopes, soil erosion, rock outcrops, and surface rocks. Furthermore, the highest optimum yield of 8.54 ton/ha was achieved by the total N and slopes for a very suitable class (S1), while the lowest of 5.58 ton/ha was obtained by exchangeable K for class S1. This showed that the combination of PLS-SEM and boundary line analysis was a better approach to developing new land suitability criteria for hybrid maize.

Research Article

Assessment of Physicochemical and Bacteriological Parameters in the Angads Aquifer (Northeast Morocco): Application of Principal Component Analysis and Piper and Schoeller–Berkaloff Diagrams

Groundwater is a vital resource and a development lever for many countries, including Morocco. To develop these resources, mineralogical and hydrogeochemical studies as well as a bacteriological study were carried out on the groundwater of the Angads aquifer, which is located in the northeast of Morocco to highlight the processes at the origin of mineralization, their quality for human consumption and irrigation, as well as the hydrogeochemical facies of these waters. To do this, a multivariate statistical analysis using principal component analysis, varimax rotation of factors, and hierarchical ascending classification were conducted for all the groundwater samples of the Angads aquifer in Oujda. The main results revealed that these waters present faecal contamination by faecal and total coliforms and faecal streptococci. And another one by nitrates due to the high values of NO3, as well as the mineralization of these waters is controlled by the nature of the geological formations crossed and the residence time in the aquifer, which is confirmed by the presence of ions such as Cond, HCO3, Ca2+, Mg2+, and SO42−. Concerning the quality of the groundwater, according to Moroccan standards and the World Health Organization, the results show that they are generally unsuitable for human consumption and irrigation. Two diagrams were used to study the facies: Piper and Schoeller–Berkaloff. The results show that these waters are highly mineralized, with the chloride and sulphate calcic and magnesian facies dominating with 89.47%. To protect this vital resource, sustainable management actions must be implemented, in particular, to reduce the use of pesticides, control the use of fertilizers, and clean up and purify the groundwater.

Applied and Environmental Soil Science
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate21%
Submission to final decision86 days
Acceptance to publication26 days
CiteScore3.500
Journal Citation Indicator0.520
Impact Factor-
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.