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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332281

Title: Enhancing soil begins with soil biology and a stable soil microclimate

item Hatfield, Jerry
item WACHA, KENNETH - Orise Fellow
item DOLD, CHRISTIAN - Orise Fellow
item Cambardella, Cynthia
item Olk, Daniel - Dan
item Trabue, Steven - Steve

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2016
Publication Date: 2/24/2017
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Wacha, K.M., Dold, C., Cambardella, C.A., Olk, D.C., Trabue, S.L. 2017. Enhancing soil begins with soil biology and a stable soil microclimate. In: International Erosion Control Association Annual Meeting, February 21-24, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Protection of the soil resource from erosion requires reducing the surface impact from raindrop energy and maintaining soil structure and stability to allow more efficient infiltration of water into the soil column. These two processes are linked with practices associated with enhancing and maintaining soil biological activity. The purpose of our study is to evaluate how soil responds to different types of soil amendments under controlled environment conditions. A combination of continuous and discrete measurements collected within intact soil core columns revealed rapid changes in soils when amendments were applied. Soil carbon dioxide concentrations were amplified when amendments with higher organic composition were added due to enhanced biological activity. Soil microclimate was also shown to be influenced through amendments that enhance biology, indicated by greater soil water holding capacity. Reduction of soil erosion will require these factors to be considered in implementing management practices.