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Soils

Soils

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    This guide dives into topics such as:
    - Overview of Soil Conservation: Threats, Land overuse, Slash and burn
    - The Importance of Soil Conservation for Sustainability
    - A List of Soil Conservation Resources
    - Soil’s Essential Roles and their Influence in the Carbon Cycle
    - Benefits of soil conservation: Optimizes Water Infiltration, Minimize Erosion
    - 9 Soil conservation practices: No-till Farming, Terrace Farming, Crop Rotation
    - Tips for addressing anxiety in students
    - How Soil Conservation Reduces Climate Change’s Impact
    - And much more!
     
     
  • This document lists various laboratories in the western United States that perform soil testing. 

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    What Constitutes Healthy Soil in Riparian Ecosystems? Contrasting and Relating Soil Properties Between Riparian and Upland Zones
     
    Charles Peacock1
     
    1USDA-NRCS, MLRA Soil Survey Office, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA; charles.peacock@co.usda.gov
     
    The explosion of interest in soil health (quality) in the agriculture sector in recent years has prompted questions about how these concepts apply to soils in riparian ecosystems. What makes healthy riparian soil and how does that compare to healthy soil properties in an agriculture setting? Do the same management principles apply (such as the 5 NRCS principles)? From a watershed perspective - What are the relationships between uplands and riparian lands in regard to soil properties and management? The purpose of this presentation and poster is not to provide succinct or definitive answers to these questions specifically but rather a call to encourage continued thinking and discussion to address them. The basics of agricultural soil health will be presented but the bulk of the presentation will be formatted towards a question and answer discussion versus a lecture regarding soil health in riparian systems.
     
     
     
  • Working with managers, Rocky Moutain Research Station researchers have evaluated the available treatments for short-term rehabilitation of both smaller, hand-built and larger, machine-built burn piles. For the smaller piles, they found that both soil nitrogen and plant cover recovered to a level similar to that of the surrounding forest within two years, indicating that these scars may not need rehabilitation unless in a sensitive area. Seeding with native mountain brome was an effective option for the larger piles, whereas mechanical treatment either alone or with seeding did not increase plant cover. The root causes behind the long-term lack of trees are not yet clear, and the next step is to conduct field and lab studies to evaluate whether soil factors, competition with grasses, and/or herbivory are possible explanations.
  • Statwick and Sher 2017

    Abstract:

    Seleniferous soils are host to a diverse and unique community of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Often, studies of these organisms, if they report selenium at all, only report the total selenium content of the soil. We conducted a field survey of soils to determine a) whether total selenium is a reliable proxy for bioavailable selenium, and b) the general characteristics of typical seleniferous soils. We analyzed soils from 32 seleniferous and nearby non-seleniferous habitats across western Colorado. In normal, low selenium soils, the relationship between total and bioavailable selenium is roughly linear. In seleniferous soils however (total Se > 2 mg/kg), there is no relationship between total and bioavailable selenium. Also, these soils can be broadly characterized by two principal axes: a metals-rich axis likely explained by the mineralogy and depositional environment of the parent rock, and a soluble, salt-rich axis likely explained by soil weathering and hydrology. There is considerably more variation along the former axis, which also appears to predict primary productivity, but selenium content, particularly bioavailable selenium, is influenced by the latter. Researchers in seleniferous environments must recognize that seleniferous soils are heterogeneous, and may be shaped by current environmental factors as much as by the geological past.

  • This Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Note provides information on: characterization of saline and sodic soils;effect of salinity on plants; management of salinity problems; planting in saline-sodic soils;and species selection for salt affected areas.
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    https://www.custommycos.com/resources/

    Lisa Markovchick and Zsuzsi Kovacs created this resource page to help land managers apply basic mycorrhizal science in context-specific programs to boost management outcomes. 

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    What Constitutes Healthy Soil in Riparian Ecosystems? Contrasting and Relating Soil Properties Between Riparian and Upland Zones
     
    Charles Peacock1
     
    1USDA-NRCS, MLRA Soil Survey Office, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA; charles.peacock@co.usda.gov
     
     
    The explosion of interest in soil health (quality) in the agriculture sector in recent years has prompted questions about how these concepts apply to soils in riparian ecosystems. What makes healthy riparian soil and how does that compare to healthy soil properties in an agriculture setting? Do the same management principles apply (such as the 5 NRCS principles)? From a watershed perspective - What are the relationships between uplands and riparian lands in regard to soil properties and management? The purpose of this presentation and poster is not to provide succinct or definitive answers to these questions specifically but rather a call to encourage continued thinking and discussion to address them. The basics of agricultural soil health will be presented but the bulk of the presentation will be formatted towards a question and answer discussion versus a lecture regarding soil health in riparian systems.
     
     
     
  • Statwick et al. 2016

    Abstract:

    The relationships between selenium dosage and tissue concentrations matched only some model predictions. Under these conditions, the bioconcentration factor was a better delimiter between species than the absolute tissue concentration. We provide evidence that despite the apparent cost of uptake, selenium can enhance the growth of hyperaccumulators even when herbivory is not a significant factor. We propose the term "elemental stimulation" for this phenomenon.

     

  • An Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service publication, this Extension Fact Sheet describes soil reclamation options. 

  • Gonzalez et al. 2018

    Human activities on floodplains have severely disrupted the regeneration of foundation riparian shrub and tree species of the Salicaceae family (Populus and Salix spp.) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Restoration ecologists initially tackled this problem from a terrestrial perspective that emphasized planting. More recently, floodplain restoration activities have embraced an aquatic perspective, inspired by the expanding practice of managing river flows to improve river health (environmental flows). However, riparian Salicaceae species occupy floodplain and riparian areas, which lie at the interface of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along watercourses. Thus, their regeneration depends on a complex interaction of hydrologic and geomorphic processes that have shaped key life-cycle requirements for seedling establishment. Ultimately, restoration needs to integrate these concepts to succeed. However, while regeneration of Salicaceae is now reasonably well-understood, the literature reporting restoration actions on Salicaceae regeneration is sparse, and a specific theoretical framework is still missing. Here, we have reviewed 105 peer-reviewed published experiences in restoration of Salicaceae forests, including 91 projects in 10 world regions, to construct a decision tree to inform restoration planning through explicit links between the well-studied biophysical requirements of Salicaceae regeneration and 17 specific restoration actions, the most popular being planting (in 55% of the projects), land contouring (30%), removal of competing vegetation (30%), site selection (26%), and irrigation (24%). We also identified research gaps related to Salicaceae forest restoration and discuss alternative, innovative and feasible approaches that incorporate the human component.

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mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.

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