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Cultivated lands in the U.S. Midwest have been affected by soil erosion, causing soil organic carbon (SOC) redistribution in the landscape and other environmental and agricultural problems. The importance of SOC redistribution on soil productivity and crop yield, however, is still uncertain. In this study, we used a model framework, which includes the Unit Stream Power-based Erosion Deposition (USPED) and the Tillage Erosion Prediction (TEP) models, to understand the soil and SOC redistribution caused by water and tillage erosion in two agricultural fields in the U.S. Midwest. This model framework was evaluated for different digital elevation model (DEM) spatial resolutions (10-m, 24-m, 30-m, and 56-m) and topographic...
Water erosion results in the mobilization and depletion of soil organic carbon (SOC), but studies providing direct experimental evidence of eroded C mineralization and its linkage to the global C cycle are lacking. A study was conducted to determine the mineralization of SOC in runoff from a southwestern Ohio Crosby soil (fine, mixed, mesic Aeric Ochraqualf) that had been under no-till (NT), chisel till (CT) and moldboard plow (MP) for 38 years. To simulate present and future soil erosion conditions, the 0–3 and 5–8 cm soil layers from triplicate soil blocks extracted from each tillage practice were used. Soil layers were transferred to runoff trays and simulated rainfall (30±5 mm h−1) was applied for 1 h. Runoff...
Soil surface roughness may significantly impact runoff and erosion under rainfall. A common perception is that runoff and erosion are decreased as a function of roughness because of surface ponding and increased hydraulic roughness that reduces effective flow shear stress. The objective of this study was to measure the effects of initial surface roughness on runoff and erosion under controlled laboratory conditions. Initially, rough and smooth surfaces were exposed to five simulated rainfall applications at 5% and 20% slopes. In all cases, runoff was delayed for the case of the initially rough surface; however, this effect was temporary. Overall, no statistical differences in either total runoff or erosion were...
Soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN) contents play a crucial role in sustaining agricultural production systems. Short-term (≤10-year) management effects on SOC and TN dynamics are often complex and variable. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate short-term tillage and cropping system effects on SOC and TN within the 0–30 cm soil depth across Iowa. The first experiment with no-tillage and chisel plowing treatments was established in 1994 on Clarion-Nicollet-Webster (CNW), Galva-Primghar-Sac (GPS), Kenyon-Floyd-Clyde (KFC), Marshall (M), and Otley-Mahaska-Taintor (OMT) soil associations under a corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation. The second experiment with no-tillage, strip-tillage,...
Summary P concentrations at several soil profile depths and for various plant parts were monitored over most of one year in adjacent native semidesert shrub and cultivated crested wheatgrass ecosystems. When multiplied by appropriate soil bulk densities and phytomass values, it was possible to calculate P mineralomasses in these two ecotessera. Knowledge of new to old growth ratios allowed estimation of P turnover. Although there was greater P in the vegetation of the native stand, the tissues lived longer and decomposed less rapidly than those in the grass stand that has been established in a portion of the original shrub dominated semidesert. The grass stand showed higher net primary productivity and had a much...
Agricultural system models are tools to represent and understand major processes and their interactions in agricultural systems. We used the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) with 26 years of data from a study near Nashua, IA to evaluate year to year crop yield, water, and N balances. The model was calibrated using data from one 0.4 ha plot and evaluated by comparing simulated values with data from 29 of the 36 plots at the same research site (six were excluded). The dataset contains measured tile flow that varied considerably from plot to plot so we calibrated total tile flow amount by adjusting a lateral hydraulic gradient term for subsurface lateral flow below tiles for each plot. Keeping all other soil and...
The objective of this study was to explore if more crop-specific plant growth modules can improve simulations of crop yields, and N in tile flow under different management practices compared with a generic plant growth module. We calibrated and evaluated the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) with the Decision Support for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT v3.5) plant growth modules (RZWQM–DSSAT) for simulating tillage (NT — no till, RT — ridge till, CP — chisel plow, and MP — moldboard plow), crop rotation {CC — continuous corn, and CS — corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]}, and nitrogen (N) (SA — single application at preplant, and LSNT — late spring soil N test based application) and manure (SM...
* 1 Abandoned agricultural (AA) fields are often invaded by exotic plants. This observation has been difficult to explain because agricultural practices change nearly every aspect of an ecosystem. Restoring native plants to AA fields is likely to require a prioritized understanding of the many mechanisms through which agriculture encourages exotic and discourages native plant growth. * 2 Using 660 experimental plots in three sites in Methow Valley, Washington, USA, we determined the relative role of neighbour removal, propagule addition, plant?soil feedback, soil disturbance and fungal restriction to explain why exotics cover 38% of the ground in AA fields and 3% of the ground in non-agricultural (NA) fields. *...