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Soil physics

Natalia Lifshitz, Colleen Cassady St Clair
Growth in human populations causes habitat degradation for other species, which is usually gauged by physical changes to landscapes. Corresponding habitat degradation to air and water is also common, but its effects on individuals can be difficult to detect until they result in the decline or disappearance of populations. More proactive measures of pollution usually combine abiotic samples of soil, water or air with invasive sampling of expendable species, but this approach sometimes creates ethical dilemmas and has limited application for threatened species...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Stephen A Wood, Noah Sokol, Colin W Bell, Mark A Bradford, Shahid Naeem, Matthew D Wallenstein, Cheryl A Palm
Soil organic matter is critical to sustainable agriculture because it provides nutrients to crops as it decomposes and increases nutrient- and water-holding capacity when built up. Fast- and slow-cycling fractions of soil organic matter can have different impacts on crop production because fast-cycling fractions rapidly release nutrients for short-term plant growth and slow-cycling fractions bind nutrients that mineralize slowly and build up water-holding capacity. We explored the controls on these fractions in a tropical agroecosystem and their relationship to crop yields...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
M'hamed Seklaoui, Abdelhak Boutaleb, Hanafi Benali, Fadila Alligui, Walter Prochaska
To date, there have been few detailed studies regarding the impact of mining and metallogenic activities on solid fractions in the Azzaba mercurial district (northeast Algeria) despite its importance and global similarity with large Hg mines. To assess the degree, distribution, and sources of pollution, a physical inventory of apparent pollution was developed, and several samples of mining waste, process waste, sediment, and soil were collected on regional and local scales to determine the concentration of Hg and other metals according to their existing mineralogical association...
November 2016: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Habteab Habtom, Sandrine Demanèche, Lorna Dawson, Chen Azulay, Ofra Matan, Patrick Robe, Ron Gafny, Pascal Simonet, Edouard Jurkevitch, Zohar Pasternak
The ubiquity and transferability of soil makes it a resource for the forensic investigator, as it can provide a link between agents and scenes. However, the information contained in soils, such as chemical compounds, physical particles or biological entities, is seldom used in forensic investigations; due mainly to the associated costs, lack of available expertise, and the lack of soil databases. The microbial DNA in soil is relatively easy to access and analyse, having thus the potential to provide a powerful means for discriminating soil samples or linking them to a common origin...
October 6, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Barbara Nussbaumer-Streit, Berlinda Yeoh, Ursula Griebler, Lisa M Pfadenhauer, Laura K Busert, Stefan K Lhachimi, Szimonetta Lohner, Gerald Gartlehner
BACKGROUND: Lead poisoning is associated with physical, cognitive and neurobehavioural impairment in children, and trials have tested many household interventions to prevent lead exposure. This is an update of the original review, first published in 2008. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of household interventions for preventing or reducing lead exposure in children, as measured by improvements in cognitive and neurobehavioural development, reductions in blood lead levels and reductions in household dust lead levels...
October 16, 2016: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Yukihisa Sanada, Tadashi Orita, Tatsuo Torii
Aerial radiological survey using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was applied to measurement surface contamination around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS). An unmanned helicopter monitoring system (UHMS) was developed to survey the environmental effect of radioactive cesium scattered as a result of the FDNPS accident. The UHMS was used to monitor the area surrounding the FDNPS six times from 2012 to 2015. Quantitative changes in the radioactivity distribution trend were revealed from the results of these monitoring runs...
October 3, 2016: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
Hemmat Khattab, Zeinab El Marid
Now days, production of fuels and petrochemicals from renewable lignocellulosic biomass is an indispensable issue to meet the growing energy demand. Meanwhile, the changes in the climate and soil topography influence the growth and development as well as canopy level of the lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, Zilla spinosa Turr (Zilla) plants with similar age and size were collected from three main sectors (upstream, midstream, and downstream) of Wadi Hagul during spring (April) and summer (July) seasons...
October 14, 2016: Zeitschrift Für Naturforschung. C, A Journal of Biosciences
Luiz Guilherme Medeiros Pessoa, Maria Betânia Galvão Dos Santos Freire, Bradford Paul Wilcox, Colleen Heather Machado Green, Rômulo José Tolêdo De Araújo, José Coelho De Araújo Filho
In northeastern Brazil, large swaths of once-productive soils have been severely degraded by soil salinization, but the true extent of the damage has not been assessed. Emerging remote sensing technology based on hyperspectral analysis offers one possibility for large-scale assessment, but it has been unclear to what extent the spectral properties of soils are related to salinity characteristics. The purpose of this study was to characterize the spectral properties of degraded (saline) and non-degraded agricultural soils in northeastern Brazil and determine the extent to which these properties correspond to soil salinity...
November 2016: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Zenebe Adimassu, Simon Langan, Robyn Johnston, Wolde Mekuria, Tilahun Amede
Research results published regarding the impact of soil and water conservation practices in the highland areas of Ethiopia have been inconsistent and scattered. In this paper, a detailed review and synthesis is reported that was conducted to identify the impacts of soil and water conservation practices on crop yield, surface run-off, soil loss, nutrient loss, and the economic viability, as well as to discuss the implications for an integrated approach and ecosystem services. The review and synthesis showed that most physical soil and water conservation practices such as soil bunds and stone bunds were very effective in reducing run-off, soil erosion and nutrient depletion...
October 13, 2016: Environmental Management
Amelia Virginia González-Porto, Tomás Martín Arroyo, Carmen Bartolomé Esteban
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The objective of this work was to determine the influence of the soil substrate on the characteristics and properties of a specific type of honey. As such, we analysed the features of a typical single-flower honey, thyme honey, produced in a specific Mediterranean region. Thymus is a genus of aromatic perennial plants that are native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. METHODS: A total of 70 honey samples from hives situated on limestone (38 samples) or gypsum soils (32 samples) were studied...
2016: SpringerPlus
Tasha M Santiago-Rodriguez, Raúl J Cano
Soil microbial forensics can be defined as the study of how microorganisms can be applied to forensic investigations. The field of soil microbial forensics is of increasing interest and applies techniques commonly used in diverse disciplines in order to identify microbes and determine their abundances, complexities, and interactions with soil and surrounding objects. Emerging new techniques are also providing insights into the complexity of microbes in soil. Soil may harbor unique microbes that may reflect specific physical and chemical characteristics indicating site specificity...
August 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Manan Sharma, Russell Reynnells
Biological soil amendments (BSAs) such as manure and compost are frequently used as organic fertilizers to improve the physical and chemical properties of soils. However, BSAs have been known to be a reservoir for enteric bacterial pathogens such as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), Salmonella spp., and Listeria spp. There are numerous mechanisms by which manure may transfer pathogens to growing fruits and vegetables, and several outbreaks of infections have been linked to manure-related contamination of leafy greens...
August 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Stefano Mammola, Pier Mauro Giachino, Elena Piano, Alexandra Jones, Marcel Barberis, Giovanni Badino, Marco Isaia
The term Milieu Souterrain Superficiel (MSS) has been used since the early 1980s in subterranean biology to categorize an array of different hypogean habitats. In general terms, a MSS habitat represents the underground network of empty air-filled voids and cracks developing within multiple layers of rock fragments. Its origins can be diverse and is generally covered by topsoil. The MSS habitat is often connected both with the deep hypogean domain-caves and deep rock cracks-and the superficial soil horizon. A MSS is usually characterized by peculiar microclimatic conditions, and it can harbor specialized hypogean, endogean, and surface-dwelling species...
December 2016: Die Naturwissenschaften
Tino Colombi, Serge Braun, Thomas Keller, Achim Walter
The structure of compacted soils is characterised by decreased (macro-)porosity, which leads to increased mechanical impedance and decreased fluid transport rates, resulting in reduced root growth and crop productivity. Particularly in soils with high mechanical impedance, macropores can be used by roots as pathways of least resistance. This study investigated how different soil physical states relate to whole plant growth and whether roots grow towards spots with favourable soil physical conditions. Experiments were conducted under controlled and field conditions...
October 3, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Guangping Fan, Yu Wang, Guodong Fang, Xiangdong Zhu, Dongmei Zhou
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are manmade organic compounds, and pollution due to PCBs has been a global environmental problem because of their persistence, long-range atmospheric transport and bioaccumulation. Many physical, chemical and biological technologies have been utilized to remediate PCBs contaminated soils and sediments, and there are some emerging new technologies and combined methods that may provide cost-effective alternatives to the existing remediation practice. This review provides a general overview on the recent developments in chemical treatment and electrokinetic remediation (EK) technologies related to PCBs remediation...
September 14, 2016: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
P E Teodoro, B G Laviola, L D Martins, J F T Amaral, W N Rodrigues
The aim of this study was to screen physic nut (Jatropha curcas) genotypes that differ in their phosphorous (P) use, using mixed models. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse located in the experimental area of the Centro de Ciências Agrárias of the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, in Alegre, ES, Brazil. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design, using a 10 x 3-factorial scheme, including ten physic nut genotypes and two environments that differed in their levels of soil P availability (10 and 60 mg/dm(3)), each with four replications...
August 19, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR
Javier Marcello, Francisco Eugenio, Ulises Perdomo, Anabella Medina
The precise mapping of vegetation covers in semi-arid areas is a complex task as this type of environment consists of sparse vegetation mainly composed of small shrubs. The launch of high resolution satellites, with additional spectral bands and the ability to alter the viewing angle, offers a useful technology to focus on this objective. In this context, atmospheric correction is a fundamental step in the pre-processing of such remote sensing imagery and, consequently, different algorithms have been developed for this purpose over the years...
September 30, 2016: Sensors
Jovana Bavaresco, Jessé R Fink, Maria Lucia K Rodrigues, Clesio Gianello, Vidal Barrón, José Torrent
Prolonged use of biosolids with high metal content may result in diffuse pollution across large regions, especially if such ions can move freely through the soil profile and reach underground water sources. The objective of this study was to verify whether Cr added to the soil surface in the form of hydrolysed leather or a soluble salt would migrate over significant distances in four subtropical soils differing in physical, chemical and mineralogical properties. Horizontal and vertical mobility were assessed in Petri dishes and small pots, respectively, using low (12 mg kg(-1) soil) and high Cr levels (150 mg kg(-1) soil) added to the soil surface...
October 4, 2016: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
J McL Bennett, A Marchuk, S R Raine, S A Dalzell, D C Macfarlane
Coal seam (CS) gas operations coproduce water with gas from confined CS aquifers. This CS water represents a potential agricultural resource if the water is able to be chemically amended to comply with management guidelines. Stoichiometric quantities of sulphur and gypsum amendments can be used to neutralise the alkalinity and reduce the sodicity of CS water respectively. These amendments can either be mixed in-line at a water treatment plant or applied directly to land prior to the application of CS water (a practice termed land amendment irrigation - LAI)...
September 30, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
Hong Wang, Yuanfang Huang, Chongyang Shen, Junxue Wu, An Yan, Hongyan Zhang
The role of biochar as a soil amendment on the transport of acetamiprid, a widely used neonicotinoid pesticide, is little known. We conducted saturated column experiments to examine cotransport of acetamiprid and silica nanoparticles (NPs) in pure and biochar-amended sands. Retention of acetamiprid was minor in the pure sand, whereas application of biochar in the sand significantly increased retention. Retention was greater at lower ionic strengths and near neutral pH values and was attributed to biodegradation and sorption through π-π interaction and pore filling...
September 2016: Journal of Environmental Quality
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