Open Journal of Soil Science
ISSN / EISSN : 2162-5360 / 2162-5379
Current Publisher: Scientific Research Publishing, Inc. (10.4236)
Total articles ≅ 312
Latest articles in this journal
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 39-57; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.111003
Erratic rainfall and temperature regimes, strongly affect agricultural productivity. To address the reduction in production, this study assessed the effect of Zai pit depths on selected soil properties and cowpea growth and grain yield. Zai pit technology was tested in two locations falling under Agroecological Zone IV (relatively dry areas) i.e. Machakos in Machakos County and Naivasha in Nakuru County, Kenya, aiming to determine the combined effect of four Zai pit depths and two levels of manure (plots with manure and plots without manure) on selected soil properties, growth and yield of cowpea. Experiment was laid out in split plot arrangement, with manure levels as the main plot factor and Zai pit depths (Flat: Z0, 30 cm: Z30, 45 cm: Z45 and 60 cm: Z60) as subplot factor, replicated four times. Cowpea (M66 variety) was used as the test crop. Inorganic nitrogen (Nin) and extractable phosphorus (Pex) were significantly (P ·kg−1 for Nin and 80.4 mg·kg−1 for Pex in Zai pits compared to flat plots which were at 0.91 mg·kg−1 for Nin and 47.1 mg·kg−1 for Pex. The values of Nin and Pex also varied depending on depths, with Z45 having highest Nin at 1.17 against the least, at 0.89 in the Z0, while Pex was highest in Z30 at 102.3 mg·kg−1 while Z0 having the least Pex of 89.7 mg·kg−1. Generally, crops in Zai pitted plots were larger in diameter (0.46 cm) and height (34.20 cm) than crops in flat plots at (0.42 cm) and (18.11 cm) diameter and height respectively. Better performance was observed in yield, with Z45 yielding 853.33 kg·Ha−1 against 685.0 kg·Ha−1 in Flat plots in Machakos while 931.66 kg·Ha−1 in Z45 against 563.33 kg·Ha−1 from Flat plots in Naivasha. This study demonstrated great potential of Zai pit technology on crop production, as reflected on improved growth and yield of cowpeas. Combining Zai pits with manure increases soil Nin, Pex and is a guarantee of great crop performance in terms of high final yields.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 59-71; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.112004
Uncertainties remain as to the ability of certain carbonate rocks to form the red soils covering them. These doubts, which have been the subject of debate for several decades, become real when carbonate rocks are pure and low in insoluble residues. In the carbonate rocks of the Taoudeni basin in Burkina Faso, brown-red to red soils develop, at the top of hillsides and in karstic cavities. No study in the region has yet shown the existence in these carbonate rocks of sufficient insolubles to form soils after decalcification. The objective of this study was therefore to identify and quantify the minerals of carbonate rocks in order to identify the origin of red soils. Petrographic, chemical (XRF) and mineralogical (XRD) investigations on dominant carbonate rocks features in the study area show that the rocks studied are mainly magnesian dolomites (Dolomite > 50% of carbonate minerals and Ca/Mg ratio 12%) in other dolomitic features. These insoluble silicates formed of quartz, potassium feldspar (orthoclase), clays (talc, phlogopite and kaolinite) and iron oxides constitute the main original material of reddened soils in karstic cavities.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 1-12; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.111001
Okra is one of the most popular vegetables in Côte d’Ivoire which is produced by heavy use of inorganic fertilizers. Vermicompost can be an alternative to inorganic fertilizers. This field study investigated the effect of vermicompost on growth and productivity of okra as compared to inorganic fertilizers. The respective treatments were arranged in a complete randomized block design, each at three replications, during three-season cycles on a ferralitic soil. Results showed that the highest rate of germination was obtained with the vermicompost. The tallest plants of Abelmoschus esculentus (1.88 m) and Abelmoschus caillei (1.78 m) were observed with inorganic fertilizer. The number of leaves per plant registered when using vermicompost was 34.5 and 30.74 with Abelmoschus esculentus and Abelmoschus cailli, respectively. With inorganic fertilizer, the number of leaves per plant was 34.21 (Abelmoschus esculentus) and 32.32 (Abelmoschus cailli). Plants took about 60 days to flower in the control plots and about 46 days in the plots fertilized with the vermicompost and the inorganic fertilizer. The highest pod yields of Abelmoschus esculentus and Abelmoschus cailli were 8.7 t⋅ha−1 and 10.58 t⋅ha−1 with vermicompost and 8.85 t⋅ha−1 and 10.7 t⋅ha−1 with inorganic fertilizer, respectively. Vermicompost could be recommended as an alternative to inorganic fertilizer to produce okra on ferralitic soil in Côte d’Ivoire.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 13-38; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.111002
The Upper Mississippi River flows approximately 2000 km from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to Cairo, Illinois where it is confluences with the Ohio River to form the Lower Mississippi River. North of the confluence, numerous snags, sand bars, rapids, and other obstructions made the Upper Mississippi River travel difficult. This paper highlights how the geological and landscape resources of the Upper Mississippi River and tributary watershed were responsible for the successful economic development of this historically rich region of North America. Environmental challenges include an attempt to keep invasive species such as the Asian carp out of the rivers and lakes north of the Twin Cities. In an attempt to protect the Mississippi River resource, Environmental and Conservation groups have opposed continued navigation through Minneapolis and St. Paul and the planned Upper Mississippi River navigation infrastructure restoration by the United States Corps of Engineers including the upper and lower St. Anthony locks and dams. These Environmental, Conservation and Save the River groups are attempting to mitigate the historic highest and best use of the Mississippi River and adjacent watershed, navigation, and economic development, by having the urban river restored to the natural state.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 122-138; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.112007
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the food wastes compost (FWC) and its non-aerated fermented extract (NFCE) effects on seed germination and growth of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), watercress (Nasturtium officinale), chili pepper (Capsicum annuum), peas (Pisum sativum L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and beans (Vicia faba) under greenhouse conditions. The FWC and NFCE were physico-chemically and microbiologically characterized. The NFCE effect was evaluated on tomato, watercress, and chili pepper seeds germination and seedling growth. However, for leguminous, pea, chickpea and bean seedlings, the FWC amended soils and irrigated with NFCE were tested for plants growth. The results of FWC analyses revealed that FWC has neutral pH, low EC and C/N ratio, with fertilizing elements (N, P, K and Mg) and lack of phytotoxic effect. The NFCE was characterized by low EC and relatively high carbon content (COD = 9700 mg/l), and intense microbial activity, notably mesophilic bacteria. Therefore, in fermented compost extract, mesophilic bacteria were increased by 225, yeasts by 25 and molds by 10 times compared to those of the investigated compost. In greenhouse, the diluted NFCE increased significantly (p< 0.05) germination and growth of the tested seedlings. Used alone, the FWC amended soil or the NFCE irrigated soil, improved the growth of tested seedlings. The use of soil amended with compost and irrigated by fermented compost extract decreased significantly the growth of the same experimented seedlings. Therefore, the FWC and its fermented extract were a suitable substrate for germination and growth of the studied seeds.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 72-92; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.112005
This study aims to determine the optimal N, P, K, Mg and Zn rates for groundnut production on Ferric and Plintic Luvisol in the Sudano-Guinean and Sudanian zones of Benin Republic. Two years (2018 and 2019) experiment was carried out in the municipality of Ouessè in the Sudano-Guinean zone and Bembèrèkè in the Sudanian zone. The tested nutrient doses were N (0, 20 and 40 kg⋅ha−1), P (0, 25 and 50 kg⋅ha−1), K (0, 20 and 40 kg⋅ha−1), Mg (0, 15 and 30 kg⋅ha−1) and Zn (0, 4 and 8 kg⋅ha−1). The Box and Behnken rotating design is used to define the N, P, K, Mg and Zn rate combinations leading to 46 combinations. A completely randomized bloc design was setting up considering farmers as replication. In total, four farmers’ fields were selected. A one-way analysis of variance is carried out on yield data, using the linear mixed-effect model. Response surface analyses were used to determine the optimal doses for each N, P, K, Mg and Zn. Nodule production (6.5 times higher than the control), number of gynophores (2.8 times higher than the control) and root length (19.2 ± 0.2 cm) of groundnut plants were significantly (p = 0.0001) improved with nutrient application. The response surface analysis shows that treatments N-P-K-Mg-Zn of 16.01-20.18-6.70-5.65-2.47 (in the Sudano-Guinean zone) and 13.1-25.07-11.47-0-1.82 (in the Sudanian zone) are the optimal rates that have induced optimal yield of 2.1 t⋅ha−1 (i.e. 2.5 times the yield in the farmers’ field) pod yield and the best return on investment per hectare. Nevertheless, for a sustainable groundnut producproduction, treatment 13.1-25.07-11.47-20-1.82 is suggested as regular K input is required for the respect of the fertilization laws.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 11, pp 93-121; doi:10.4236/ojss.2021.112006
The world needs around 150 Pg of negative carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. Global soils may provide a stable, sizeable reservoir to help achieve this goal by sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide as soil organic carbon (SOC). In turn, SOC can support healthy soils and provide a multitude of ecosystem benefits. To support SOC sequestration, researchers and policy makers must be able to precisely measure the amount of SOC in a given plot of land. SOC measurement is typically accomplished by taking soil cores selected at random from the plot under study, mixing (compositing) some of them together, and analyzing (assaying) the composited samples in a laboratory. Compositing reduces assay costs, which can be substantial. Taking samples is also costly. Given uncertainties and costs in both sampling and assay along with a desired estimation precision, there is an optimal composite size that will minimize the budget required to achieve that precision. Conversely, given a fixed budget, there is a composite size that minimizes uncertainty. In this paper, we describe and formalize sampling and assay for SOC and derive the optima for three commonly used assay methods: dry combustion in an elemental analyzer, loss-on-ignition, and mid-infrared spectroscopy. We demonstrate the utility of this approach using data from a soil survey conducted in California. We give recommendations for practice and provide software to implement our framework.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 10, pp 459-485; doi:10.4236/ojss.2020.1010024
Land use change and cropping patterns are important factors for controlling carbon sequestration in soils and they may also change the relative importance of different mechanisms of soil organic matter stabilization. The study was conducted to investigate the state of carbon sequestration in soil aggregates under different cropping patterns of Khulna, Jessore and Chapainawabganj districts in Bangladesh. Thirty-six soil samples were collected from (0 - 100 cm depth) above mentioned regions of three physiographic regions: Ganges Meander Floodplain, Ganges Tidal Floodplain and High Barind Tract. The texture of the samples varied within three soil texture groups, Silt Loam, Silty Clay Loam and Silty Clay. The highest NSI value (0.89) was found under Wheat-Fallow-T. Aman cropping pattern in Silty Clay soils (sample No 15) and lowest value (0.59) was found Vegetables/Mustard-Fallow-T. Aman cropping pattern in Silt Loam soils (sample No 17). The highest value (735.20 mg•kg−1) of active C was observed under Chickpea/mustard-T. Aman (Sample No 31) and the lowest value (619.23 mg•kg−1) was found in case of Wheat-Fallow-T. Aman cropping pattern (Sample No 30). The highest SOC stock (1.62 Kg C m−2) was found in Silty Clay Loam soil under Mungbean/Ash gourd-T. Aman cropping pattern (Sample no 4) and the lowest SOC stock (0.35 Kg C m−2) was found in Silt Loam soil under Cauliflower/Pumkin/Spinach-T. Aman Cropping pattern (Sample No 2). Soil organic carbon associated with different size aggregates was the highest (3.14%) under Mungbean/Ash gourd-T. Aman (Sample No 20) and was the lowest (0.36%) under Cauliflower/Pumkin/Spinach-T. Aman cropping pattern (Sample No 2). Organic carbon content in aggregate size ranges > 2000 μm (SOC1), 2000 - 250 μm (SOC2), 250-53 μm (SOC3), and 2000 μm, 2000 - 250 μm and 250 - 53 μm, aggregates. Significant positive correlations were found between SOC stock and SOC1, SOC stock and SOC2, SOC stock and SOC3, SOC stock and SOC4.
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 10, pp 58-89; doi:10.4236/ojss.2020.102004
The soils of the semi-arid Sudano-Sahelian region of West Africa have been identified as being highly vulnerable to soil degradation with impacts on their capacity to provide goods and services in which soil microorganisms participate. Unfortunately, soil microbial diversity from this semi-arid region with high rainfall variability remains largely unexplored. The aim of the present study was to characterize the diversity and composition of the soil bacterial communities and to identify factors involved in their spatial distribution along an environmental gradient in Senegal. Samples were collected from non-anthropogenic sites across four pedoclimatic zones. Bacterial communities were characterized using next-generation sequencing and soil physico-chemical parameters were determined. Our results showed that Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia phyla were predominant in the soils of the region. Bacterial α-diversity was stable along the environmental gradient whereas β-diversity highlighted significant changes in the composition of the soil bacterial community. Changes were driven by shifts in the relative abundance of OTUs belonging mainly to the genus Bacillus, Conexibacter, Kaistobacter, Solirubrobacter, Ktedonobacter, Sphingomonas, Microvirga, Rubrobacter and Pelobacter. Soil properties like pH, soil moisture and clay content were the environmental parameters identified as drivers of the composition of the bacterial communities in the semi-arid Sudano-Sahelian region of Senegal (West Africa).
Open Journal of Soil Science, Volume 10, pp 257-273; doi:10.4236/ojss.2020.107014
Declining yields in oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) have been recorded over the past years in the coastal lowlands of southwest Cameroon and current actual yields are very low (−1•yr−1) compared to the potential yields (25 t FFB ha−1•yr−1). One of the problems limiting optimum oil palm production is lack of detailed pedological information to guide plantation establishment and management. A land suitability evaluation was carried out for some major oil palm producing areas of southwest Cameroon to identify land qualities limiting optimal production. Thirteen sites (9 with sedimentary parent materials and 4 with volcanic parent material) were evaluated using a parametric method. Results indicate that climate was not a major limiting factor for oil palm production in coastal plains of southwest Cameroon. However, soil physical characteristics (mainly clayey texture and poor drainage) and soil fertility constitute limitations to oil palm production. Specifically, limitations in cation exchange capacity (CEC), base saturation (BS), organic carbon (OC) and pH were slight to moderate while K mole fraction was the most severe and the most limiting in all the sites. The fertility limitations were more pronounced in soils derived from sedimentary parent materials where 33% had limitations caused by soil pH and OC compared to none for volcanic soils. In addition, 77.8% of sedimentary soils had limitations caused by CEC compared to 25% for volcanic soils. Considering the overall suitability, soils derived from volcanic parent materials were potentially more suitable for oil palm cultivation ((S3)—50%, (S2)—50%) compared to sedimentary soils ((N)—11%, (S3)—78% and (S2)—11%). Based on the suitability classes of the different soils derived from dissimilar parent materials, appropriate site-specific soil management is needed to improve oil palm yields, especially with emphasis on K fertilization and improved soil water management. Plantation management in coastal plains of South West Cameroon therefore should factor in differences in soil parent material.