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SOIL- international scientific open access journal

SOIL is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of high-quality research in the field of soil system sciences.
SOIL is at the interface between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. SOIL publishes scientific research that contributes to understanding the soil system and its interaction with humans and the entire Earth system. The scope of the journal includes all topics that fall within the study of soil science as a discipline, with an emphasis on studies that integrate soil science with other sciences (hydrology, agronomy, socio-economics, health sciences, atmospheric sciences, etc.).

Volumes and issues

Volume 3, issue 1

Announcement by EGU and Copernicus

04 Jan 2017

Greater soil carbon stocks and faster turnover rates with increasing agricultural productivity

Jonathan Sanderman, Courtney Creamer, W. Troy Baisden, Mark Farrell, and Stewart Fallon

SOIL, 3, 1-16, doi:10.5194/soil-3-1-2017, 2017

Short summary

Knowledge of how soil carbon stocks and flows change in response to agronomic management decisions is a critical step in devising management strategies that best promote food security while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we present 40 years of data demonstrating that increasing productivity both leads to greater carbon stocks and accelerates the decomposition of soil organic matter, thus providing more nutrients back to the crop. Hide

05 Jan 2017

Timescales of carbon turnover in soils with mixed crystalline mineralogies

Lesego Khomo, Susan Trumbore, Carleton R. Bern, and Oliver A. Chadwick

SOIL, 3, 17-30, doi:10.5194/soil-3-17-2017, 2017

Short summary

We evaluated mineral control of organic carbon dynamics by relating the content and age of carbon stored in soils of varied mineralogical composition found in the landscapes of Kruger National Park, South Africa. Carbon associated with smectite clay minerals, which have stronger surface–organic matter interactions, averaged about a thousand years old, while most soil carbon was only decades to centuries old and was associated with iron and aluminum oxide minerals. Hide

06 Feb 2017

Thermal alteration of soil organic matter properties: a systematic study to infer response of Sierra Nevada climosequence soils to forest fires

Samuel N. Araya, Marilyn L. Fogel, and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

SOIL, 3, 31-44, doi:10.5194/soil-3-31-2017, 2017

Short summary

This research investigates how fires of different intensities affect soil organic matter properties. This study identifies critical temperature thresholds of significant soil organic matter changes. Findings from this study will contribute towards estimating the amount and rate of changes in soil carbon, nitrogen, and other essential soil properties that can be expected from fires of different intensities under anticipated climate change scenarios. Hide

01 Mar 2017

Soil conservation in the 21st century: why we need smart agricultural intensification

Gerard Govers, Roel Merckx, Bas van Wesemael, and Kristof Van Oost

SOIL, 3, 45-59, doi:10.5194/soil-3-45-2017, 2017

Short summary

We discuss pathways towards better soil protection in the 21st century. The efficacy of soil conservation technology is not a fundamental barrier for a more sustainable soil management. However, soil conservation is generally not directly beneficial to the farmer. We believe that the solution of this conundrum is a rapid, smart intensification of agriculture in the Global South. This will reduce the financial burden and will, at the same time, allow more effective conservation. Hide

13 Mar 2017

Soil organic carbon stocks are systematically overestimated by misuse of the parameters bulk density and rock fragment content

Christopher Poeplau, Cora Vos, and Axel Don

SOIL, 3, 61-66, doi:10.5194/soil-3-61-2017, 2017

Short summary

This paper shows that three out of four frequently used methods to calculate soil organic carbon stocks lead to systematic overestimation of those stocks. Stones, which can be assumed to be free of carbon, have to be corrected for in both bulk density and layer thickness. We used data of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory to illustrate the potential bias and suggest a unified and unbiased calculation method for stocks of soil organic carbon, which is the largest terrestrial carbon pool. Hide

30 Mar 2017

A probabilistic approach to quantifying soil physical properties via time-integrated energy and mass input

Christopher Shepard, Marcel G. Schaap, Jon D. Pelletier, and Craig Rasmussen

SOIL, 3, 67-82, doi:10.5194/soil-3-67-2017, 2017

20 Apr 2017

Opportunities and limitations related to the application of plant-derived lipid molecular proxies in soil science

Boris Jansen and Guido L. B. Wiesenberg

SOIL Discuss., doi:10.5194/soil-2017-9, 2017

Manuscript under review for SOIL (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Short summary

The application of lipids in soils as molecular proxies, also often referred to as biomarkers, has dramatically increased in the last decades. Applications range from inferring changes in past vegetation composition to unraveling turnover of soil organic matter. However, the application of soil lipids as molecular proxies comes with several constraining factors. Here we provide a critical review of the current state of knowledge on the applicability of molecular proxies in soil science. Hide

19 Apr 2017

Mapping of soil properties at high resolution in Switzerland using boosted geoadditive models

Madlene Nussbaum, Lorenz Walthert, Marielle Fraefel, Lucie Greiner, and Andreas Papritz

SOIL Discuss., doi:10.5194/soil-2017-13, 2017

Manuscript under review for SOIL (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Short summary

Digital soil mapping (DSM) relates soil property data to environmental data that describe soil forming factors. With imagery sampled from satellites or terrain analysed at multiple scales large sets of possible input to DSM is available. We propose a new statistical framework (geoGAM) that selects parsimonious models for DSM and illustrate geoGAM for 2 study regions. Straightforward interpretation of the modelled effects likely improves end-users’ acceptance for DSM products. Hide

03 Apr 2017

Quantitative imaging of the 3-D distribution of cation adsorption sites in undisturbed soil

Hannes Keck, Bjarne W. Strobel, Jon Petter Gustafsson, and John Koestel

SOIL Discuss., doi:10.5194/soil-2017-11, 2017

Manuscript under review for SOIL (discussion: open, 0 comments)

Short summary

Several studies have shown that the cation adsorption sites in soils are heterogeneously distributed in space. However, in many soil system models this knowledge is not included yet. In our study we proposed a new method to map the 3-D distribution of cation adsorption sites in undisturbed. The method is based on three dimensional X-ray scanning with a contrast agent and image analysis. We are convinced that this approach will strongly aid the development of more realistic soil system models. Hide

30 Mar 2017

A probabilistic approach to quantifying soil physical properties via time-integrated energy and mass input

Christopher Shepard, Marcel G. Schaap, Jon D. Pelletier, and Craig Rasmussen

SOIL, 3, 67-82, doi:10.5194/soil-3-67-2017, 2017

Short summary

Here we demonstrate the use of a probabilistic approach for quantifying soil physical properties and variability using time and environmental input. We applied this approach to a synthesis of soil chronosequences, i.e., soils that change with time. The model effectively predicted clay content across the soil chronosequences and for soils in complex terrain using soil depth as a proxy for hill slope. This model represents the first attempt to model soils from a probabilistic viewpoint. Hide

13 Mar 2017

Soil organic carbon stocks are systematically overestimated by misuse of the parameters bulk density and rock fragment content

Christopher Poeplau, Cora Vos, and Axel Don

SOIL, 3, 61-66, doi:10.5194/soil-3-61-2017, 2017