Applied and Environmental Soil Science The latest articles from Hindawi © 2018 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Nursery Growing Media: Agronomic and Environmental Quality Assessment of Sewage Sludge-Based Compost” Sun, 31 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Barbara De Lucia, Giuseppe Cristiano, Lorenzo Vecchietti, Elvira Rea, and Giovanni Russo Copyright © 2017 Barbara De Lucia et al. All rights reserved. Contamination of Soil with Pb and Sb at a Lead-Acid Battery Dumpsite and Their Potential Early Uptake by Phragmites australis Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:45:06 +0000 Recycling of spent Lead-Acid Batteries (LABs) and disposal of process slag potentially contaminate soil with Pb and Sb. Total and available concentrations of Pb and Sb in three soil treatments and parts of Phragmites australis were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Soil with nonrecycled slag (NR) had higher total metal concentrations than that with recycled slag (RS). Low available fractions of Pb and Sb were found in the soil treatments before planting P. australis. After 16 weeks of growth of P. australis, the available fractions of Pb had no statistical difference from initial values () while available Sb fractions were significantly lower when compared with their initial values (). Metal transfer factors showed that P. australis poorly accumulate Pb and Sb in roots and very poorly translocate them to leaves after growing for 8 and 16 weeks. It may be a poor phytoextractor of Pb and Sb in metal-contaminated soil at least for the 16 weeks of its initial growth. However, the plant established itself on the metalliferous site where all vegetation had been destroyed. This could be useful for potential ecological restoration. The long-term phytoextraction potential of P. australis in such environments as LABs may need further investigation. Abraham Jera, France Ncube, and Artwell Kanda Copyright © 2017 Abraham Jera et al. All rights reserved. Interaction between Soil Physicochemical Parameters and Earthworm Communities in Irrigated Areas with Natural Water and Wastewaters Wed, 11 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Our objective is to study interaction between physical and chemical properties of soils and their earthworm community characteristics in different areas irrigated by wastewaters and well waters. The fields have different topography and agricultural practices conditions and are located in two regions of Batna department (Eastern Algeria). Both regions are characterized by a semiarid climate with cold winters and Calcisol soils. Nine fields were subject of this study. Three of these fields are located in Ouled Si Slimane region whose irrigation is effectuated by natural waters of Kochbi effluent. The other six fields are located at edges of Wed El Gourzi, effluent from Batna city, and partially treated through water treatment station. The best rates of water saturation and infiltration as well as abundance of earthworms were recorded at sites characterized by irrigation with wastewaters downstream of El Gourzi effluent. PCA characterizes two major groups: a group of hydrodynamic infiltration parameters and structural index stability of soil, explained by fields irrigated with wastewaters downstream of El Gourzi effluent. This group includes chemical characteristics: pH and electric conductivity. The second group is the characteristics of earthworms and includes organic matter content, active limestone levels, and Shannon Biodiversity Index. Kourtel Ghanem Nadra, Kribaa Mohammed, and El Hadef El Okki Mohammed Copyright © 2017 Kourtel Ghanem Nadra et al. All rights reserved. Quantification of Uncertainty in Mathematical Models: The Statistical Relationship between Field and Laboratory pH Measurements Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The measurement of soil pH using a field portable test kit represents a fast and inexpensive method to assess pH. Field based pH methods have been used extensively for agricultural advisory services and soil survey and now for citizen soil science projects. In the absence of laboratory measurements, there is a practical need to model the laboratory pH as a function of the field pH to increase the density of data for soil research studies and Digital Soil Mapping. The accuracy and uncertainty in pH field measurements were investigated for soil samples from regional Victoria in Australia using both linear and sigmoidal models. For samples in water and CaCl2 at 1 : 5 dilutions, sigmoidal models provided improved accuracy over the full range of field pH values in comparison to linear models (i.e., pH < 5 or pH > 9). The uncertainty in the field results was quantified by the 95% confidence interval (CI) and 95% prediction interval (PI) for the models, with 95% CI < 0.25 pH units and 95% PI = pH units, respectively. It was found that the Pearson criterion for robust regression analysis can be considered as an alternative to the orthodox least-squares modelling approach because it is more effective in addressing outliers in legacy data. Kurt K. Benke and Nathan J. Robinson Copyright © 2017 Kurt K. Benke and Nathan J. Robinson. All rights reserved. Diazotrophic Bacterial Community of Degraded Pastures Sun, 06 Aug 2017 09:10:45 +0000 Pasture degradation can cause changes in diazotrophic bacterial communities. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the culturable and total diazotrophic bacterial community, associated with regions of the rhizosphere and roots of Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. pastures in different stages of degradation. Samples of roots and rhizospheric soil were collected from slightly, partially, and highly degraded pastures. McCrady’s table was used to obtain the Most Probable Number (MPN) of bacteria per gram of sample, in order to determine population density and calculate the Shannon-Weaver diversity index. The diversity of total diazotrophic bacterial community was determined by the technique of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of the nifH gene, while the diversity of the culturable diazotrophic bacteria was determined by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (BOX-PCR) technique. The increase in the degradation stage of the B. decumbens Stapf. pasture did not reduce the population density of the cultivated diazotrophic bacterial community, suggesting that the degradation at any degree of severity was highly harmful to the bacteria. The structure of the total diazotrophic bacterial community associated with B. decumbens Stapf. was altered by the pasture degradation stage, suggesting a high adaptive capacity of the bacteria to altered environments. João Tiago Correia Oliveira, Everthon Fernandes Figueredo, Williane Patrícia da Silva Diniz, Lucianne Ferreira Paes de Oliveira, Pedro Avelino Maia de Andrade, Fernando Dini Andreote, Júlia Kuklinsky-Sobral, Danúbia Ramos de Lima, and Fernando José Freire Copyright © 2017 João Tiago Correia Oliveira et al. All rights reserved. Pesticides Usage in the Soil Quality Degradation Potential in Wanasari Subdistrict, Brebes, Indonesia Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Uncontrolled application of pesticides can contaminate soil and may kill other nontarget organisms. This study aims to determine the usage pattern of pesticides by farmers in Wanasari Subdistrict and study the soil quality degradation potential. This study was a quantitative and qualitative research. Sources of data were collected from observation, questionnaire, and in-depth interview methods. The respondents were shallot farmers who planted shallot during 2013–2016 (). In-depth interview was done with three respondents from the local agricultural extension center (BPP). This study found that there were some different types of insecticides and fungicides that were used in every planting season. The farmers applied pesticides in large amount once every three or four days. They mixed minimally three insecticides and fungicides types about 30–40 ml for each type. Organophosphate residues that were found in soil samples were methidathion residue about 0.014 mg/kg, malathion residue ranging around 0.1370–0.3630 mg/kg, and chlorpyrifos residue in the range of 0.0110–0.0630 mg/kg. The excessive application of pesticides showed the land degradation potential. Soil quality laboratory testing is recommended to ensure the agricultural land condition. Routine assessment of soil quality and pesticide usage control is recommended to keep sustainable ecosystem. Tri Joko, Sutrisno Anggoro, Henna Rya Sunoko, and Savitri Rachmawati Copyright © 2017 Tri Joko et al. All rights reserved. Integrated Crop-Livestock Management Effects on Soil Quality Dynamics in a Semiarid Region: A Typology of Soil Change Over Time Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Integrated crop-livestock systems can have subtle effects on soil quality over time, particularly in semiarid regions where soil responses to management occur slowly. We tested if analyzing temporal trajectories of soils could detect trends in soil quality data which were not detected using traditional statistical and index approaches. Principal component and cluster analyses were used to assess the evolution in ten soil properties at three sampling times within two production systems (annually cropped, perennial grass). Principal component 1 explained 33% of the total variance of the complete dataset and corresponded to gradients in extractable N, available P, and C : N ratio. Principal component 2 explained 25.4% of the variability and corresponded to gradients of soil pH, soil organic C, and total N. While previous analyses found no differences in Soil Quality Index (SQI) scores between production systems, annually cropped treatments and perennial grasslands were clearly distinguished by cluster analysis. Cluster analysis also identified greater dispersion between plots over time, suggesting an evolution in soil condition in response to management. Accordingly, multivariate statistical techniques serve as a valuable tool for analyzing data where responses to management are subtle or anticipated to occur slowly. J. Ryschawy, M. A. Liebig, S. L. Kronberg, D. W. Archer, and J. R. Hendrickson Copyright © 2017 J. Ryschawy et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Nanolime and Curing Period on Unconfined Compressive Strength of Soil Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This paper presents the improvement of the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of soil by mixing different percentages of nanolime and 5% lime with soil. The UCS of treated soil increased significantly over curing time with increasing percentage of nanolime. The optimum results were reached at only 0.5% nanolime admixtures which were much higher than 5% lime admixture. This may be due to higher ability of nanolime to flocculate and agglomerate the soil particles compared with the lime. In addition, the lime could fill only the micropores while nanolime could fill the micro- and nanopores as well. The strength gain is inversely proportional to the remolded moisture content and curing period. However, when the content of nanolime used is larger than 0.5%, nanolime particles are not uniformly dispersed. Therefore, a weak area in the form of voids is created, consequently the homogeneous hydrated microstructure cannot be formed, and finally the strength will decrease. Panbarasi Govindasamy, Mohd Raihan Taha, Jamal Alsharef, and Kowstubaa Ramalingam Copyright © 2017 Panbarasi Govindasamy et al. All rights reserved. Sustainable Management of Calcareous Saline-Sodic Soil in Arid Environments: The Leaching Process in the Jordan Valley Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:44:44 +0000 A leaching experiment of calcareous saline-sodic soil was conducted in Jordan Valley and aimed to reduce the soil salinity ≤ 4.0 dS m−1. The quantification of salt removal from the effective root zone was done using three treatment scenarios. Treatment A contained soil amended with gypsum leaching with fresh water (EC = 1.1 dS m−1). Treatments B and C contained nonamended soil, but B was leached with fresh water only while treatment C’s soil was washed with saline agricultural drainage water (EC = 8 dS m−1) at the start of the experiment and continued with fresh water to reach the desired soil salinity. All treatments were able to reduce the soil salinity to the desired level at the end of the experiment; however, there were clear differences in the salt removal efficiencies among the treatments which were attributed to the presence of direct source of calcium ion. The soil amended with gypsum caused a substantial decline in soil salinity and drainage water’s electrical conductivity and drained the water twice as fast as the nonamended soil. It was found that utilizing agricultural drainage water and gypsum as a soil amendment for calcareous saline-sodic soil reclamation can beneficially contribute to sustainable agricultural management in the Jordan Valley. Mufeed Batarseh Copyright © 2017 Mufeed Batarseh. All rights reserved. Geotechnologies and Soil Mapping for Delimitation of Management Zones as an Approach to Precision Viticulture Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:18:54 +0000 Data of the physical and chemical properties of soils from three vineyards located in Vale dos Vinhedos, Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil, were processed. Soil mapping was performed by means of four profiles and the digital elevation model in detailed scale. Then, superficial soils (0–20 cm) were sampled according to a grid pattern. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), kriging, and unsupervised classification methods were applied on physical and chemical data of superficial soils sampled according to grid pattern. This study aimed to compare both methods, the conventional soil mapping and the map produced with superficial soil sampling, about their potential for definition of the management zones, as an approach for precision agriculture. Maps elaborated by conventional soil mapping overlapped partially with the maps derived from superficial sampling, probably due to the specific methodological differences of each case. Anyway, both methods are complementary because of the focus on vertical variability and horizontal variability, respectively. In that sense, slope appears as significant edaphic parameter, due to its control on water circulation in the profile of soil. José Maria Filippini Alba, Carlos Alberto Flores, and Alberto Miele Copyright © 2017 José Maria Filippini Alba et al. All rights reserved. Spatial Variability and Relationship of Mangrove Soil Organic Matter to Organic Carbon Sun, 29 Jan 2017 07:58:04 +0000 Degradation and destruction of mangrove forests in many regions have resulted in the alteration of carbon cycling. Objectives of this study were established to answer the question regarding how much soil organic carbon (SOC) is stored in wetland soils in part of the upper northeastern Gulf of Thailand and to what extent SOC is related to organic matter (OM). A total of 29 soil samples were collected in October 2015. Soil physiochemical analyses followed the standard protocol. Spatial distributions were estimated by a kriging method. Linear regression and coefficient were used to determine the suitable conversion factor for mangrove soils. The results showed that surface soil (0–5 cm) contained higher SOC content as compared to subsurface soil (5–10 cm). Considering a depth of 10 cm, this area had a high potential to sequester carbon with a mean ± standard deviation of %. The spatial variability of OM and SOC revealed that organic matter and carbon decreased with the distance from upstream areas toward the gulf. Based on the assumption that OM is 50% SOC, the conversion factor of 2 is recommended for more accuracy rather than the conventional factor of 1.724. Pasicha Chaikaew and Suchana Chavanich Copyright © 2017 Pasicha Chaikaew and Suchana Chavanich. All rights reserved. Long and Midterm Effect of Conservation Agriculture on Soil Properties in Dry Areas of Morocco Thu, 22 Dec 2016 07:41:42 +0000 In Morocco, conservation agriculture, particularly no tillage systems, has become an alternative strategy to mitigate land degradation caused by conventional tillage in semiarid to arid regions. This paper is based on behaviour to tillage treatments of two Vertisols in Morocco. After 11 years of testing, soil organic matter content results showed a significant difference () only at soil surface (0–10 cm) in favour of no tillage and a variation of 30% at this depth. The results obtained after 32 years of testing showed a significant soil profile difference (), up to 40 cm under no tillage compared to conventional tillage, and a variation of 54% at 5–10 cm. For total nitrogen, there was no significant effect between no tillage and conventional tillage at the soil surface after 11 years unlike the result obtained after 32 years. There are no significant differences in bulk density between tillage treatments at soil surface for both sites. The measurement of soil structural stability showed a significant effect () for all three tests and for both sites. This means that no tillage helped Vertisols to resist different climatic constraints, preserving environmental soil quality. Malika Laghrour, Rachid Moussadek, Rachid Mrabet, Rachid Dahan, Mohammed El-Mourid, Abdelmajid Zouahri, and Mohamed Mekkaoui Copyright © 2016 Malika Laghrour et al. All rights reserved. Characterization and Classification of Soils of Abobo Area, Western Ethiopia Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:39:49 +0000 Knowledge of the kinds and properties of soils is critical for making decisions with respect to crop production and other land use types. A field survey and soil morphological description and laboratory analysis were carried out to describe, characterize, and classify the soils of Abobo area, western Ethiopia. Seven representative pedons (A-1 to A-7) were opened and described across the study area. The results revealed variation in morphological, physical, and chemical properties of the soils. The soils are clay loam to clayey in texture with bulk density values ranging from 1.12 to 1.32 g cm−3 and basic infiltration rate varying from slow to moderate (0.4 to 3.3 cm hr−1). They were moderately acidic to neutral in pH (5.5 to 7.1) and had very low to medium organic carbon (OC) (0.27 to 2.98%). Four soil types, Haplic Cambisols, Vertic Luvisols, Mollic Leptosols, and Mollic Vertisols, were identified in the area based on World Reference Base. Generally, the properties of the soils differed along the transect indicating their variation in productive potential and management requirements for specific agricultural use. Teshome Yitbarek, Shelem Beyene, and Kibebew Kibret Copyright © 2016 Teshome Yitbarek et al. All rights reserved. Assessing Land Suitability for Rainwater Harvesting Using Geospatial Techniques: A Case Study of Njoro Catchment, Kenya Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:12:45 +0000 Water demand increases as population increases leading to overexploitation of water resource. Consequently, there is need for improved water resources management complemented with rain water harvesting within the catchments. This study sought to assess land suitability for surface runoff harvesting using geospatial techniques. Land use/land cover maps of the area were derived from Landsat image. Land use and soils data were used in generating curve number map of the catchment. Lineaments greatly affect the storage depending on whether runoff is for surface storage or ground water recharge purposes. As a result, ArcGIS was used in delineating the lineaments from Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the catchment. Further, using weighted overlay the catchment was grouped into categories of restricted, not suitable, moderately suitable, suitable, or highly suitable. The study found that forest, agriculture, and built-up areas occupied about 39.42%, 36.32%, and 1.35% of catchment area, respectively. A large part of catchment was found to have curve number range of 82–89. About 50% of the catchment was found to fall within suitable and highly suitable categories. This implied that a great potential exists for rain water harvesting within the catchment. C. W. Maina and J. M. Raude Copyright © 2016 C. W. Maina and J. M. Raude. All rights reserved. Potential of Using Nanocarbons to Stabilize Weak Soils Thu, 17 Nov 2016 11:20:36 +0000 Soil stabilization, using a variety of stabilizers, is a common method used by engineers and designers to enhance the properties of soil. The use of nanomaterials for soil stabilization is one of the most active research areas that also encompass a number of disciplines, including civil engineering and construction materials. Soils improved by nanomaterials could provide a novel, smart, and eco- and environment-friendly construction material for sustainability. In this case, carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) have become candidates for numerous applications in civil engineering. The main objective of this paper is to explore improvements in the physical properties of UKM residual soil using small amounts (0.05, 0.075, 0.1, and 0.2%) of nanocarbons, that is, carbon nanotube (multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNTs)) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The parameters investigated in this study include Atterberg’s limits, optimum water content, maximum dry density, specific gravity, pH, and hydraulic conductivity. Nanocarbons increased the pH values from 3.93 to 4.16. Furthermore, the hydraulic conductivity values of the stabilized fine-grained soil samples containing MWCNTs decreased from  m/s to  m/s and, in the reinforcement sample by CNFs, the hydraulic conductivity value decreased to  m/s. Small amount of nanocarbons (MWCNTs and CNFs) decreased the optimum moisture content, increased maximum dry density, reduced the plasticity index, and also had a significant effect on its hydraulic conductivity. Jamal M. A. Alsharef, Mohd Raihan Taha, Ali Akbar Firoozi, and Panbarasi Govindasamy Copyright © 2016 Jamal M. A. Alsharef et al. All rights reserved. Vertical Phosphorus Migration in a Biosolids-Amended Sandy Loam Soil in Laboratory Settings: Concentrations in Soils and Leachates Wed, 16 Nov 2016 11:13:04 +0000 The impacts of biosolids land application on soil phosphorus and subsequent vertical migration to tile drainage were assessed in a laboratory setup. Soil, representing typical “nonresponse” Ontario soil as specified by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), was amended with anaerobically digested biosolids at a rate of 8 Mg ha−1 (dry weight). Over five months, these amended soil samples from two different depths were sequentially fractionated to determine various inorganic and organic phosphorus pools in order to evaluate phosphorus vertical migration within a soil profile. Soil leachate was analyzed for soluble reactive phosphorus. The results indicated that biosolids application did not significantly affect phosphorus concentrations in soil and did not cause phosphorus vertical migration. The concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus also were not significantly affected by biosolids. Yulia Markunas, Vadim Bostan, Andrew Laursen, Michael Payne, and Lynda McCarthy Copyright © 2016 Yulia Markunas et al. All rights reserved. Composition of Trace Metals in Dust Samples Collected from Selected High Schools in Pretoria, South Africa Wed, 16 Nov 2016 09:11:32 +0000 Potential health risks associated with trace metal pollution have necessitated the importance of monitoring their levels in the environment. The present study investigated the concentrations and compositions of trace metals in dust samples collected from classrooms and playing ground from the selected high schools In Pretoria. Schools were selected from Pretoria based on factors such as proximity to high traffic ways, industrial areas, and residential areas. Thirty-two dust samples were collected from inside and outside the classrooms, where learners often stay during recess period. The dust samples were analysed for trace metal concentrations using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The composition of the elements showed that the concentrations of Zn were more than all other elements except from one of the schools. There were significant differences in the concentrations of trace metals from the schools (). Regular cleaning, proximity to busy road, and well maintained gardens seem to have positive effects on the concentrations of trace metals recorded from the classrooms dust. The result further revealed a positive correlation for elements such as Pb, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Sb, indicating that the dust might have a common source. J. O. Olowoyo, L. L. Mugivhisa, and Z. G. Magoloi Copyright © 2016 J. O. Olowoyo et al. All rights reserved. Trace Metal Contamination Characteristics and Health Risks Assessment of Commelina africana L. and Psammitic Sandflats in the Niger Delta, Nigeria Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:28:10 +0000 The purpose of this study was to investigate and quantify trace metal concentrations in Commelina africana L. and psammitic sandflats from an intertidal coastal ecosystem in Niger Delta, Nigeria, and to evaluate their spatial distribution, degree of contamination, and source apportionment. The environmental risks associated with soil contamination were elaborately assessed using potential ecological risk index, sediment quality guidelines, and enrichment relative to background levels. The mean concentrations of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in sandflat soil samples are , , , , and  mg/kg, respectively. Metal levels indicate strong variability with sampling sites. The order of trace metal concentrations in the Commelina africana L. samples is . The concentrations varied with the sample locations; and the levels of Pb (0.05 to 0.08 mg/kg) at all locations are found to be significantly below permissible level of 0.3 mg/kg. Potential sources of metal loadings may be associated with localised or diffused anthropogenic activities. The average carcinogenic risks are below threshold values, and the sandflat soils are not considered to pose significant health effects to children and adult males and females. However, the carcinogenicity and noncarcinogenicity risks ranking decrease following the order . Comparatively, the hazard quotient and hazard index indicate that the psammitic sandflats might pose a health risk to children in future. Nsikak U. Benson, Paul A. Enyong, and Omowunmi H. Fred-Ahmadu Copyright © 2016 Nsikak U. Benson et al. All rights reserved. Manganese Fractionation in Soils after Application of Municipal Solid Wastes Compost in Two Consecutive Years Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:33:49 +0000 In order to study the effect of Tehran municipal solid wastes compost on manganese accumulation in soil and to determine its concentration in any readily available plant forms (exchangeable and carbonates-bonded), Mn-oxides bonded fraction, organic matter bonded fraction, and residual fraction in a calcareous soil, a factorial experiment based on completely randomized block design (RCBD) was conducted in research field of Shahed university at different levels of municipal solid wastes compost (0, 15, 30, and 60 ton/ha) as first factor and application times (one- or two-year compost application) as second factor in three replications. Results showed that, by increasing compost level, total Mn concentration, DTPA-extractable concentration, and amounts existing in all five fractions were increased, so lowest and highest amounts of Mn were observed in control and 60 ton/ha compost application. Based on results from Mn fractionation using Tessier consecutive extraction method, Mn fractions in all samples were in the following order: residual > Fe-Mn oxides > carbonates-bonded > organic matter-bonded ≫ exchangeable fractions in which residual fraction (RE) at first and second year was dominant rather than other fractions by 34.28–43.04 and 34.28–49.48 percent, respectively. Mn concentration in Fe-Mn oxides-bonded fraction at both years was considerable. Mn amounts in Fe-Mn oxides- bonded, application times were decreased. Molod Samiei and Abdolamir Bostani Copyright © 2016 Molod Samiei and Abdolamir Bostani. All rights reserved. Potential for Lead Release from Lead-Immobilized Animal Manure Compost in Rhizosphere Soil of Shooting Range Thu, 08 Sep 2016 07:25:43 +0000 This study aimed to clarify the magnitude of lead release from lead-sorbed animal manure compost (AMC) in rhizosphere soil compared with nonplanted soil of shooting range. The presence of buckwheat caused reduction in rhizosphere soil pH and enhancement in the level of water-soluble organic carbon compared with those of nonplanted soil. In addition, the presence of buckwheat altered the lead phases and increased the relative amount of the soluble exchangeable fraction, resulting in increase in the CaCl2-soluble lead level. In contrast, the presence of Guinea grass did not change the lead bioavailability or phases compared with nonplanted soil. Lead release tests in solution showed that between solution pH 5 and solution pH 7 the amount of lead released from the compost was higher in the rhizosphere soil of buckwheat than in nonplanted soil, whereas there was no significant difference between the rhizosphere soil of Guinea grass and nonplanted soil. These results suggest that the increase in the quantity of exchangeable lead resulting from the rhizosphere effect induces lead immobilized by the AMC to be remobilized. Therefore, AMC should be applied to soils that contain plants that are unable to alter the lead phases in the shooting range soil. Efforts should be particularly made to ensure that lead cannot be transformed to the exchangeable phase. Masahiko Katoh, Wei Lu, and Takeshi Sato Copyright © 2016 Masahiko Katoh et al. All rights reserved. Variability of Soil Micronutrients Concentration along the Slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:57:29 +0000 Soil micronutrients are important elements for plant growth despite being required in small quantities. Deficiency of micronutrients can result in severe crop failure while excess levels can lead to health hazards; therefore, investigating their status in agricultural land is crucial. Fifty plots were established along an altitudinal gradient from 680 to 1696 m a.s.l. on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Soils were sampled at the top- (0–20 cm) and subsoils (21–50 cm) in four locations within each plot. Fourier Transform Mid-Infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy and wet chemistry were used for soil analysis. Results indicated that the mean concentrations of the micronutrients in the topsoil were Fe (mgkg−1), Mn (mgkg−1), Zn ( mgkg−1), B (mgkg−1), and Cu (mgkg−1). Variations of the micronutrients were not statistically different by elevation (df = 41, ) and by soil depth (df = 49, ). Correlations among micronutrients were significant for Fe versus Mn (, ), B versus Zn (, ), B versus Cu (, ), and Cu versus Zn (, ). The correlated micronutrients implied that they were affected by similar factors. Soil pH correlated positively with B, Fe, and Mn and negatively with Cu and Zn, hence probably influencing their availability. Therefore, the need for sustaining micronutrient at sufficient levels is crucial. Management interventions may include moderating soil pH by reducing acidity through liming in the higher elevations and incorporation of organic matter in the lowlands. Mathayo Mpanda Mathew, Amos E. Majule, Robert Marchant, and Fergus Sinclair Copyright © 2016 Mathayo Mpanda Mathew et al. All rights reserved. Assessing the Suitability and Availability of Land for Agriculture in Tuban Regency, East Java, Indonesia Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:17:28 +0000 Indonesian food production depends highly on Java Island, which holds the most fertile soils in the country but had limited area. The objective of the research was to analyse the availability of suitable land for agriculture in Tuban Regency, an agricultural regency in Java Island. Land suitability was evaluated with spatial multicriteria analysis, integrating soil order, land capability, elevation, slope, slope direction, land use/land cover, accessibility, and climate. Land availability was analysed, integrating the forest area status designation and the spatial pattern of regional official land use plan. The results indicated that suitable land for agriculture corresponds to 91% of the total study area, confirming the high soil fertility. Analysis of land availability then indicated that 18% of the area was both suitable and available for agriculture. Considering the actual land utilization, the future development of agriculture in the region has less than 7% of the land area left for agricultural expansion. The overall results showed the importance of looking for land allocated for agriculture outside Java Island to anticipate the need for food of a country with a high population growth rate and also developing planning for food production. Widiatmaka, Wiwin Ambarwulan, Yudi Setiawan, and Christian Walter Copyright © 2016 Widiatmaka et al. All rights reserved. Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation Sun, 17 Jul 2016 06:38:28 +0000 Ezio Ranieri, Fabian Bombardelli, Petros Gikas, and Bernardino Chiaia Copyright © 2016 Ezio Ranieri et al. All rights reserved. Integrated Approaches to Soil Contamination Monitoring Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:35:10 +0000 Pantelis Soupios, Victor Kavvadias, Katherine Huddersman, Francesco Sdao, and Dimitrios Ntarlagiannis Copyright © 2016 Pantelis Soupios et al. All rights reserved. Chemical and Physical Characteristics in Uncultivated Soils with Different Lithology in Semiarid Mediterranean Clima Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:58:46 +0000 The aim of this study is to identify the chemical and physical characteristics in uncultivated soils derived from different parent materials under semiarid Mediterranean climatic conditions which favoured the formation of fragile soils. The current work is of great interest in the agriculture and environmental stakeholders for providing a “benchmark” of undisturbed soil quality regarding organic content and nutrients availability. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used as the primary tool to demonstrate the soil quality stage, regarding nutrient availability. The statistical analysis revealed that one of the major physicochemical characteristics such as cation exchange capacity (CEC) is controlled exclusively from mineralogy and not from organic matter. Mineralogy and bulk chemical analysis is directly related to soil parent material lithology. The availability of inorganic nutrients (macro- and micronutrients) is low and relatively identical to most of the soils. PCA shows the unusual correlation of K+ with not only illite content but also the OM in soils. The development of soils which are already of low quality in respect of organic content and nutrients is evident in Crete in most of the 54 samples investigated. Daniel Moraetis, Nikolaos Lydakis-Simantiris, Despina Pentari, Emmanouil Manoutsoglou, Chryssa Apostolaki, and Vasilios Perdikatsis Copyright © 2016 Daniel Moraetis et al. All rights reserved. Previous Crop and Cultivar Effects on Methane Emissions from Drill-Seeded, Delayed-Flood Rice Grown on a Clay Soil Sun, 05 Jun 2016 08:44:49 +0000 Due to anaerobic conditions that develop in soils under flooded-rice (Oryza sativa L.) production, along with the global extent of rice production, it is estimated that rice cultivation is responsible for 11% of global anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions. In order to adequately estimate CH4 emissions, it is important to include data representing the range of environmental, climatic, and cultural factors occurring in rice production, particularly from Arkansas, the leading rice-producing state in the US, and from clay soils. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of previous crop (i.e., rice or soybean (Glycine max L.)) and cultivar (i.e., Cheniere (pure-line, semidwarf), CLXL745 (hybrid), and Taggart (pure-line, standard-stature)) on CH4 fluxes and emissions from rice grown on a Sharkey clay (very-fine, smectitic, thermic Chromic Epiaquerts) in eastern Arkansas. Rice following rice as a previous crop generally had greater () fluxes than rice following soybean, resulting in growing season emissions () of 19.6 and 7.0 kg CH4-C ha−1, respectively. The resulting emissions from CLXL745 (10.2 kg CH4-C ha−1) were less () than those from Cheniere or Taggart (15.5 and 14.2 kg CH4-C ha−1, resp.), which did not differ. Results of this study indicate that common Arkansas practices, such as growing rice in rotation with soybean and planting hybrid cultivars, may result in reduced CH4 emissions relative to continuous rice rotations and pure-line cultivars, respectively. Alden D. Smartt, Kristofor R. Brye, Christopher W. Rogers, Richard J. Norman, Edward E. Gbur, Jarrod T. Hardke, and Trenton L. Roberts Copyright © 2016 Alden D. Smartt et al. All rights reserved. Integrated Nanozero Valent Iron and Biosurfactant-Aided Remediation of PCB-Contaminated Soil Thu, 19 May 2016 16:33:22 +0000 Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) have been identified as environmental hazards for years. Due to historical issues, a considerable amount of PCBs was released deep underground in Canada. In this research, a nanoscale zero valent iron- (nZVI-) aided dechlorination followed by biosurfactant enhanced soil washing method was developed to remove PCBs from soil. During nZVI-aided dechlorination, the effects of nZVI dosage, initial pH level, and temperature were evaluated, respectively. Five levels of nZVI dosage and two levels of initial pH were experimented to evaluate the PCB dechlorination rate. Additionally, the temperature changes could positively influence the dechlorination process. In soil washing, the presence of nanoiron particles played a key role in PCB removal. The crude biosurfactant was produced using a bacterial stain isolated from the Atlantic Ocean and was applied for soil washing. The study has led to a promising technology for PCB-contaminated soil remediation. He Zhang, Baiyu Zhang, and Bo Liu Copyright © 2016 He Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Diurnal Variation of Soil Heat Flux at an Antarctic Local Area during Warmer Months Wed, 18 May 2016 07:02:33 +0000 Soil heat flux () is one term in the energy balance equation, and it can be particularly important in regions with arid, bare, or thinly vegetated soil surfaces. However, in remote areas such as the Antarctic, this measurement is not routinely performed. The analysis of observational data collected by the ETA Project at the Brazilian Antarctic Station from December 2013 to March 2014 showed that, for the total daily energy flux, the surface soil flux heats the deeper soil layers during December and January and acts as a heat source to the outer soil layers during February and March. With regard to daytime energy flux, acts as a source of heat to the deeper layers. During the night-time, the soil is a heat source to the shallower soil layers and represents at least 29% of the net night-time radiation. A relatively simple method—the objective hysteresis method (OHM)—was successfully applied to determine the surface soil heat flux using net radiation observations. A priori, the OHM coefficients obtained in this study may only be used for short-time parameterizations and for filling data gaps at this specific site. Marco Alves and Jacyra Soares Copyright © 2016 Marco Alves and Jacyra Soares. All rights reserved. Nutrients Release from a Novel Gel-Based Slow/Controlled Release Fertilizer Tue, 17 May 2016 06:40:08 +0000 A novel gel-based slow/controlled release fertilizer (G-CRF) was developed, which was produced by combining various natural, seminatural, and/or synthetic organic macromolecule materials and natural inorganic mineral with conventional NPK fertilizers. Its nutrient release characteristics were studied to compare with conventional fertilizers through the soil column leaching method. The influences of soil factors, including temperature, pH, water, and nutrient contents in the G-CRF on nutrient release, were also investigated through soil-water incubation method. These results indicated that the G-CRF had better effect on controlling release of N, P, and K nutrients, and the effect was more efficient when soil-water content was lower than 45% (w/w), temperature was below 35°C, and soil pH was in the range from weak acid to neutral. In addition, considering the effect of controlling nutrient release and cost of the materials in the G-CRF, it is recommended that the most feasible NPK nutrient contents in the G-CRF ranged from 30 to 35%. H. Ding, Y. S. Zhang, W. H. Li, X. Z. Zheng, M. K. Wang, L. N. Tang, and D. L. Chen Copyright © 2016 H. Ding et al. All rights reserved. Phytoremediation of Gold Mine Tailings Amended with Iron-Coated and Uncoated Rice Husk Ash by Vetiver Grass (Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn.) Nash) Tue, 10 May 2016 06:56:12 +0000 This study was undertaken to determine the effects of rice husk ash (RHA) and iron-coated rice husk ash (Fe-RHA) on phytoavailability of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn to vetiver grass grown in gold mine tailings amended with either RHA or Fe-RHA at 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% (w/w). The results showed that the RHA amended tailings recorded higher concentration of As in the shoot and the root and higher concentration of Cr and Mn in the root compared to the untreated tailings which was used as a control. The biological accumulation coefficient (BAC) and bioconcentration factor (BCF) values of the vetiver grass for As and Zn increased with RHA application rate but the biological transfer coefficient (BTC) values of As and Zn were decreased. In Fe-RHA amended samples, As concentration in the shoot and root concentrations of Cd and Zn were significantly higher compared to the control. The Fe-RHA treated samples had lower BAC and BTC values for As and Zn than the control. However, the BCF values for those elements were higher than the control. The concentration of Pb was not detected in any of the samples. F. S. Tariq, A. W. Samsuri, D. S. Karam, and A. Z. Aris Copyright © 2016 F. S. Tariq et al. All rights reserved.