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Soil Science

Karen D Bradham, Gary L Diamond, Michele Burgess, Albert Juhasz, Julie M Klotzbach, Mark Maddaloni, Clay Nelson, Kirk Scheckel, Sophia M Serda, Marc Stifelman, David J Thomas
Arsenic (As) is the most frequently occurring contaminant on the priority list of hazardous substances, which lists substances of greatest public health concern to people living at or near U.S. National Priorities List site. Accurate assessment of human health risks from exposure to As-contaminated soils depends on estimating its bioavailability, defined as the fraction of ingested As absorbed across the gastrointestinal barrier and available for systemic distribution and metabolism. Arsenic bioavailability varies among soils and is influenced by site-specific soil physical and chemical characteristics and internal biological factors...
2018: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B, Critical Reviews
Jonathan Sanderman
Delgado-Baquerizo et al . ( Science Advances , 12 April 2017, e1602008) use statistical correlations to infer that paleoclimate (6000 to 22,000 years ago) is a more important driver of current soil organic carbon stocks than the current-day climate. On the other hand, a wealth of radiocarbon measurements indicates that the organic carbon in most topsoils is only a few decades to perhaps a few centuries old. These seemingly incongruous results can perhaps be reconciled by considering that the long-term pedogenic development of a soil strongly influences the physiochemical properties, which lead to stabilization of new carbon entering that soil regardless of current climate...
March 2018: Science Advances
R S Corrêa, V F Melo, G G F Abreu, M H Sousa, J A Chaker, J A Gomes
Soil traces are useful as forensic evidences because they frequently adhere to individuals and objects associated with crimes and can place or discard a suspect at/from a crime scene. Soil is a mixture of organic and inorganic components and among them soil clay contains signatures that make it reliable as forensic evidence. In this study, we hypothesized that soils can be forensically distinguished through the analysis of their clay fraction alone, and that samples of the same soil type can be consistently distinguished according to the distance they were collected from each other...
March 2018: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
David Goodwin, Adeyemi S Adeleye, Lipiin Sung, Kay T Ho, Robert M Burgess, Elijah J Petersen
An increase in production of commercial products containing graphene-family nanomaterials (GFNs) has led to concern over their release into the environment. The fate and potential ecotoxicological effects of GFNs in the environment are currently unclear, partially due to the limited analytical methods for GFN measurements. In this review, the unique properties of GFNs that are useful for their detection and quantification are discussed. The capacity of several classes of techniques to identify and/or quantify GFNs in different environmental matrices (water, soil, sediment, and organisms), after environmental transformations, and after release from a polymer matrix of a product is evaluated...
March 5, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Aleksandra Koźmińska, Alina Wiszniewska, Ewa Hanus-Fajerska, Ewa Muszyńska
Avoidance and reduction of soil contamination with heavy metals is one of the most serious global challenges. Nowadays, science offers us new opportunities of utilizing plants to extract toxic elements from the soil by means of phytoremediation. Plant abilities to uptake, translocate, and transform heavy metals, as well as to limit their toxicity, may be significantly enhanced via genetic engineering. This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent strategies aimed at the improvement of plant phytoremediation potential using plant transformation and employing current achievements in nuclear and cytoplasmic genome transformation...
2018: Plant Biotechnology Reports
Qing Liao, Yaping Deng, Xiaoqing Shi, Yuanyuan Sun, Weidong Duan, Jichun Wu
Precise delineation of contaminant plume distribution is essential for effective remediation of contaminated sites. Traditional in situ investigation methods like direct-push (DP) sampling are accurate, but are usually intrusive and costly. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) method, as a non-invasive geophysical technique to map spatiotemporal changes in resistivity of the subsurface, is becoming increasingly popular in environmental science. However, the resolution of ERT for delineation of contaminant plumes still remains controversial...
March 3, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
S Taheri, S James, V Roy, T Decaëns, B W Williams, F Anderson, R Rougerie, C-H Chang, G Brown, L Cunha, D W G Stanton, E Da Silva, J-H Chen, A R Lemmon, E Moriarty Lemmon, M Bartz, D Baretta, I Barois, E Lapied, M Coulis, L Dupont
Pontoscolex corethrurus is the most widespread earthworm species in tropical and sub-tropical zones and one of the most studied in soil science. Although, ecological interactions of P. corethrurus with its environment are well documented, the taxonomic status of the species remains unclear. In this study, we investigated phylogenetic relationships within the genus Pontoscolex, in particular focusing on morphologically indistinguishable (i.e., cryptic) lineages. A total of 792 specimens collected from 25 different countries and islands all over the world were analyzed using two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rDNA) and two nuclear (internal transcribed spacers 2 and 28S rDNA) markers, and a total of 11 morphological characters both internal and external were investigated in all genetically characterized lineages...
February 28, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
B L Ehlmann, K S Edgett, B Sutter, C N Achilles, M L Litvak, M G A Lapotre, R Sullivan, A A Fraeman, R E Arvidson, D F Blake, N T Bridges, P G Conrad, A Cousin, R T Downs, T S J Gabriel, R Gellert, V E Hamilton, C Hardgrove, J R Johnson, S Kuhn, P R Mahaffy, S Maurice, M McHenry, P-Y Meslin, D W Ming, M E Minitti, J M Morookian, R V Morris, C D O'Connell-Cooper, P C Pinet, S K Rowland, S Schröder, K L Siebach, N T Stein, L M Thompson, D T Vaniman, A R Vasavada, D F Wellington, R C Wiens, A S Yen
The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45-500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion...
December 2017: Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets
Ruoyu Wang, Latif Kalin
This study investigated potential changes in flow, total suspended solid (TSS) and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) loadings under future climate change, land use/cover (LULC) change and combined change scenarios in the Wolf Bay watershed, southern Alabama, USA. Four Global Circulation Models (GCMs) under three Special Report Emission Scenarios (SRES) of greenhouse gas were used to assess the future climate change (2016-2040). Three projected LULC maps (2030) were employed to reflect different extents of urbanization in future...
February 2018: Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Tan Bao, Garrett W Melenka, Megan K Ljubotina, Jason P Carey, James F Cahill
Rapidly determining root growth patterns is biologically important and technically challenging. Current methods focus on direct observation of roots and require destructive excavations or time-consuming root tracing. We developed a novel methodology based on analyzing soil particle displacement, rather than direct observation of roots. This inferred root growth method uses digital image correlation (DIC) analysis, an established and high-throughput method used in many engineering and science disciplines. By applying DIC analyses to repeated images of plants grown in clear window boxes, we produced visually intuitive and quantifiable strain maps, indicating the magnitude and direction of soil movement...
February 17, 2018: New Phytologist
M Tighe, N Forster, C Guppy, D Savage, P Grave, I M Young
The provenance or origin of a soil sample is of interest in soil forensics, archaeology, and biosecurity. In all of these fields, highly specialized and often expensive analysis is usually combined with expert interpretation to estimate sample origin. In this proof of concept study we apply rapid and non-destructive spectral analysis to the question of direct soil provenancing. This approach is based on one of the underlying tenets of soil science - that soil pedogenesis is spatially unique, and thus digital spectral signatures of soil can be related directly, rather than via individual soil properties, to a georeferenced location...
February 16, 2018: Scientific Reports
Andrea Schnepf, Daniel Leitner, Magdalena Landl, Guillaume Lobet, Trung Hieu Mai, Shehan Morandage, Cheng Sheng, Mirjam Zörner, Jan Vanderborght, Harry Vereecken
Background and Aims: Root architecture development determines the sites in soil where roots provide input of carbon and take up water and solutes. However, root architecture is difficult to determine experimentally when grown in opaque soil. Thus, root architecture models have been widely used and been further developed into functional-structural models that simulate the fate of water and solutes in the soil-root system. The root architecture model CRootBox presented here is a flexible framework to model root architecture and its interactions with static and dynamic soil environments...
February 8, 2018: Annals of Botany
J J Steffan, E C Brevik, L C Burgess, A Cerdà
Soil has a considerable effect on human health, whether those effects are positive or negative, direct or indirect. Soil is an important source of nutrients in our food supply and medicines such as antibiotics. However, nutrient imbalances and the presence of human pathogens in the soil biological community can cause negative effects on health. There are also many locations where various elements or chemical compounds are found in soil at toxic levels, because of either natural conditions or anthropogenic activities...
January 2018: European Journal of Soil Science
Jun Kikuchi, Kengo Ito, Yasuhiro Date
A natural ecosystem can be viewed as the interconnections between complex metabolic reactions and environments. Humans, a part of these ecosystems, and their activities strongly affect the environments. To account for human effects within ecosystems, understanding what benefits humans receive by facilitating the maintenance of environmental homeostasis is important. This review describes recent applications of several NMR approaches to the evaluation of environmental homeostasis by metabolic profiling and data science...
February 2018: Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
W R Teague
To ensure long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of agro-ecosystems, agricultural production should be guided by policies to ensure regenerative cropping and grazing management protocols. Changing current unsustainable high-input agricultural practices to low-input practices that regenerate ecosystem function will be necessary for sustainable, resilient agro-ecosystems. Effective soil management provides the greatest potential for achieving sustainable use of agricultural land with rapidly changing, uncertain and variable climate...
February 1, 2018: Journal of Animal Science
Mónica J B Amorim, Sijie Lin, Karsten Schlich, José M Navas, Andrea Brunelli, Nicole Neubauer, Klaus Vilsmeier, Anna L Costa, Andreas Gondikas, Tian Xia, Liliana Galbis, Elena Badetti, Antonio Marcomini, Danail Hristozov, Frank von der Kammer, Kerstin Hund-Rinke, Janeck J Scott-Fordsmand, André Nel, Wendel Wohlleben
Nanoenabled products (NEPs) have numerous outdoor uses in construction, transportation or consumer scenarios, and there is evidence that their fragments are released in the environment at low rates. We hypothesized that the lower surface availability of NEPs fragment reduced their environmental effects with respect to pristine nanomaterials. This hypothesis was explored by testing fragments generated by intentional micronisation ("the SUN approach"; Nowack et al. Meeting the Needs for Released Nanomaterials Required for Further Testing: The SUN Approach...
January 27, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Natalie Damaso, Julian Mendel, Maria Mendoza, Eric J von Wettberg, Giri Narasimhan, DeEtta Mills
Soil DNA profiling has potential as a forensic tool to establish a link between soil collected at a crime scene and soil recovered from a suspect. However, a quantitative measure is needed to investigate the spatial/temporal variability across multiple scales prior to their application in forensic science. In this study, soil DNA profiles across Miami-Dade, FL, were generated using length heterogeneity PCR to target four taxa. The objectives of this study were to (i) assess the biogeographical patterns of soils to determine whether soil biota is spatially correlated with geographic location and (ii) evaluate five machine learning algorithms for their predictive ability to recognize biotic patterns which could accurately classify soils at different spatial scales regardless of seasonal collection...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Ulrike Wernecke, Kerstin Schütte, Julia Schwanewedel, Ute Harms
Energy is an important concept in all natural sciences, and a challenging one for school science education. Students' conceptual knowledge of energy is often low, and they entertain misconceptions. Educational research in science and mathematics suggests that learning through depictive representations and learning from errors, based on the theory of negative knowledge, can potentially foster students' knowledge of abstract concepts such as energy. Thus, we propose here an instructional approach that combines these two strategies to foster conceptual knowledge of energy...
2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Arianna Rubin Means, Sitara S R Ajjampur, Robin Bailey, Katya Galactionova, Marie-Claire Gwayi-Chore, Katherine Halliday, Moudachirou Ibikounle, Sanjay Juvekar, Khumbo Kalua, Gagandeep Kang, Pallavi Lele, Adrian J F Luty, Rachel Pullan, Rajiv Sarkar, Fabian Schär, Fabrizio Tediosi, Bryan J Weiner, Elodie Yard, Judd Walson
Hybrid trials that include both clinical and implementation science outcomes are increasingly relevant for public health researchers that aim to rapidly translate study findings into evidence-based practice. The DeWorm3 Project is a series of hybrid trials testing the feasibility of interrupting the transmission of soil transmitted helminths (STH), while conducting implementation science research that contextualizes clinical research findings and provides guidance on opportunities to optimize delivery of STH interventions...
January 2018: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Noel Pabalan, Eloisa Singian, Lani Tabangay, Hamdi Jarjanazi, Michael J Boivin, Amara E Ezeamama
BACKGROUND: Evidence of an adverse influence of soil transmitted helminth (STH) infections on cognitive function and educational loss is equivocal. Prior meta-analyses have focused on randomized controlled trials only and have not sufficiently explored the potential for disparate influence of STH infection by cognitive domain. We re-examine the hypothesis that STH infection is associated with cognitive deficit and educational loss using data from all primary epidemiologic studies published between 1992 and 2016...
January 2018: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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