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Open access

Jan Gliński, Józef Horabik and Jerzy Lipiec

Abstract

Agrophysics is one of the branches of natural sciences dealing with the application of physics in agriculture and environment. It plays an important role in the limitation of hazards to agricultural objects (soils, plants, agricultural products and foods) and to the environment. Soil physical degradation, gas production in soils and emission to the atmosphere, physical properties of plant materials influencing their technological and nutritional values and crop losses are examples of such hazards. Agrophysical knowledge can be helpful in evaluating and improving the quality of soils and agricultural products as well as the technological processes.

Open access

Christoph Haas, Dörthe Holthusen, Anneka Mordhorst, Jerzy Lipiec and Rainer Horn

Abstract

Soil management alters physical, chemical and biological soil properties. Stress application affects microbiological activity and habitats for microorganisms in the root zone and causes soil degradation. We hypothesized that stress application results in altered greenhouse gas emissions if soil strength is exceeded. In the experiments, soil management dependent greenhouse gas emissions of intact soil cores (no, reduced, conventional tillages) were determined using two experimental setups; CO2 emissions were determined with: a dynamic measurement system, and a static chamber method before and after a vertical soil stress had been applied. For the latter CH4 and N2O emissions were analyzed additionally. Stress dependent effects can be summed as follows: In the elastic deformation range microbiological activity increased in conventional tillage soil and decreased in reduced tillage and no tillage. Beyond the precompression stress a release of formerly protected soil organic carbon and an almost total loss of CH4 oxidizability occurred. Only swelling and shrinkage of no tillage and reduced tillage regenerated their microhabitat function. Thus, the direct link between soil strength and microbial activity can be applied as a marker for soil rigidity and the transition to new disequilibria concerning microbial activity and composition.

Open access

Lech W. Szajdak, Jerzy Lipiec, Anna Siczek, Artur Nosalewicz and Urszula Majewska

Abstract

The aim of this study was to verify first-order kinetic reaction rate model performance in predicting of leaching of atrazine and inorganic compounds (K+1, Fe+3, Mg+2, Mn+2, NH4 +, NO3 - and PO4 -3) from tilled and orchard silty loam soils. This model provided an excellent fit to the experimental concentration changes of the compounds vs. time data during leaching. Calculated values of the first-order reaction rate constants for the changes of all chemicals were from 3.8 to 19.0 times higher in orchard than in tilled soil. Higher first-order reaction constants for orchard than tilled soil correspond with both higher total porosity and contribution of biological pores in the former. The first order reaction constants for the leaching of chemical compounds enables prediction of the actual compound concentration and the interactions between compound and soil as affected by management system. The study demonstrates the effectiveness of simultaneous chemical and physical analyses as a tool for the understanding of leaching in variously managed soils.

Open access

Bogusław Usowicz, Wojciech Marczewski, Jerzy B. Usowicz, Mateusz I. Lukowski and Jerzy Lipiec

Abstract

Soil moisture datasets at various scales are needed for sustainable land use and water management. The aim of this study was to compare soil moisture ocean salinity satellite and in situ soil moisture data for the Podlasie and Polesie regions in Eastern Poland. Both regions have similar climatic and topographic conditions but are different in land use, vegetation, and soil cover. The test sites were located on agricultural fields on sandy soils and natural vegetation on marshy soils that prevail in the Podlasie and Polesie regions, respectively. The soil moisture ocean salinity soil moisture data were obtained from radiometric measurements (1.4 GHz) and the ground soil moisture from sensors at a depth of 5 cm during the years 2010-2011. In general, temporal patterns of soil moisture from both satellite and ground measurements followed the rainfall trend. The regression coefficients, Bland-Altman analysis, concordance correlation coefficient, and total deviation index showed that the agreement between ground and soil moisture ocean salinity derived soil moisture data is better for the Podlasie than the Polesie region. The lower agreement in Polesie was attributed mostly to the presence of the widespread natural vegetation on the wetter marsh soil along with minor contribution of agriculturally used drier coarse-textured soils.