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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Lipids As Biological Indicators of Soil

Authors
item Kennedy, Ann
item Ibekwe, Abasiofiok
item Frohne, Pamela

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Water and air quality problems resulting from displaced soil cost the U.S. over one billion dollars annually. In order to implement control measures to reduce nonpoint dust emissions, it is necessary to distinguish among the relative contributions from specific regions. The biological component of soil may aid in identifying the source of displaced particles. Fatty acid methyl ester fingerprints of soils were found to be unique and reproducible. Fingerprints from samples taken from road sites were dissimilar to those from agricultural sites. Agricultural soils exhibited unique patterns depending on their origin. The identifiers of these profiles were compared with a library of profiles from known materials and the origin of the unknown material was determined. This analysis can be used on particulate matter from the air and in water or sediments to identify sources of displaced soil. Biological assessment of soil particles is a powerful tool that will not only assist in source identification, but will help verify modeling efforts of wind and sediment movement to ensure success in efforts to curb wind and water erosion.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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