Environmental Monitoring and Research Division

Cicero, IL, United States

Environmental Monitoring and Research Division

Cicero, IL, United States
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Tian G.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division | Chiu C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Forests | Year: 2017

Forest management often results in changes in soil microbial communities. To understand how forest management can change microbial communities, we studied soil microbial abundance and community structure in a natural Chamaecyparis (NCP) forest, a disturbed Chamaecyparis (DCP) forest, a secondary (regenerated) Chamaecyparis (SCP) forest and a secondary (reforested) Cryptomeria (SCD) forest. We analyzed soil microbial abundance by measuring phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and microbial community structure by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in the studied forest soils. The content of the soil PLFA fungal biomarker decreased from NCP to SCP, DCP and SCD forest soils, associated with the degree of disturbance of forest management. The ratio of soil Gram positive-to-negative bacteria and the stress index (16:1ω7t to 16:1ω7c) increased from NCP to SCP and DCP soils; thus, disturbed forests except for SCD showed increased soil microbial stress. Principal component analysis of soil microbial groups by PLFAs separated the four forest soils into three clusters: NCP, DCP and SCP, and SCD soil. The DGGE analysis showed no difference in the microbial community structure for NCP, DCP and SCP soils, but the community structure differed between SCD and the three other forest soils. In cloud montane forests, disturbance due to forest management had only a slight influence on the soil microbial community, whereas reforestation with different species largely changed the soil microbial community structure. © 2017 by the authors.


PubMed | National Taiwan University, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Studying the influence of climatic and/or site-specific factors on soil organic matter (SOM) along an elevation gradient is important for understanding the response of SOM to global warming. We evaluated the composition of SOM and structure of humic acids along an altitudinal gradient from 600 to 1400 m in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) plantations in central Taiwan using NMR spectroscopy and photometric analysis. Total organic C and total nitrogen (N) content increased with increasing elevation. Aromaticity decreased and logK (the logarithm of the absorbance ratio of humic acids at 400 and 600 nm) increased with increasing elevation, which suggests that SOM humification decreased with increasing elevation. High temperature at low elevations seemed to enhance the decomposition (less accumulation of total organic C and N) and humification (high aromaticity and low logK). The alkyl-C/O-alkyl-C (A/O-A) ratio of humic acids increased with increasing elevation, which suggests that SOM humification increased with increasing elevation; this finding was contrary to the trend observed for logK and aromaticity. Such a discrepancy might be due to the relatively greater remaining of SOM derived from high alkyl-C broadleaf litter of previous forest at high elevations. The ratio of recalcitrant C to total organic C was low at low elevations, possibly because of enhanced decomposition of recalcitrant SOM from the previous broadleaf forest during long-term intensive cultivation and high temperature. Overall, the change in SOM pools and in the rate of humification with elevation was primarily affected by changes in climatic conditions along the elevation gradient in these bamboo plantations. However, when the composition of SOM, as assessed by NMR spectroscopy and photometric analysis was considered, site-specific factors such as residual SOM from previous forest and intensive cultivation history could also have an important effect on the humic acid composition and humification of SOM.


PubMed | Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida and Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Type: | Journal: Journal of environmental management | Year: 2016

A field experiment was conducted from 2005 to 2008 in Fulton County, Western Illinois with biosolids from conventional wastewater treatment applied as corn fertilizer in a series of P rates (0, 163, 325, 488, 650 kg P ha(-1)) along with commercial P fertilizer - triple superphosphate P (TSP) as reference to assess biosolids-P plant availability and potential loss to waterbodies through runoff. Air-dried biosolids and TSP were incorporated into surface soil at end of 2005, and corn (Zea mays) was planted for three consecutive years (2006-2008). Concentrations of soil extractable P except for Mehlich-3 P were always lower in the biosolids than TSP treatments at the same P rates. The soil potentially available P in water extractable P (WEP) and Olsen P derived from biosolids-P estimated by the exponential depletion model was 2-4% and 15-24% of total P in the applied biosolids, respectively. The residence time of biosolids-induced WEP and Olsen P in Midwest soil under annual corn cropping was 5 and 2 years, respectively. Corn tissue analysis showed lower increase in P concentration by biosolids-P than TSP. The elevation rate of soluble reactive P (SRP) concentration in simulated runoff was less by biosolids than TSP. Based on the data in this study, the plant availability and environmental risk of biosolids-P are lower than those of TSP in the Midwest soil, thus use of biosolids as P nutrient for corn would not cause a major impairment to water sources even P applied through biosolids was not completely used by annual crop.


Huang C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Jien S.-H.,National Pingtung University of Science and Technology | Chen T.-H.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute | Tian G.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division | Chiu C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Journal of Soils and Sediments | Year: 2014

Purpose: Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), an important economic crop, is distributed from low- to medium-elevation mountains in Taiwan. Bamboo is a fast-growing herbaceous species with an extensive rhizome structure. With the hypothesis that the characteristics of soil organic matter and microbes might change after long-term bamboo plantation, we investigated different fractions of organic C and N as well as soil microbial biomass and activities in five moso bamboo plantations along an elevation gradient in Central Taiwan. Materials and methods: Five soil samples (top 10 cm of soil) were collected from each bamboo plantation (600, 800, 1,000, 1,200, and 1,400 m above sea level (asl)) in January 2011. Soil was processed and analyzed for soil total C and N contents, biologically available C, potentially mineralizable N, soil microbial biomass and soil respiration (CO2). Two extraction methods (2 M KCl and hot-water extraction) were used to estimate soil soluble organic C and N (SbOC and SbON) and soil inorganic N (NH4 + and NO3 -) concentrations to evaluate the relationship with soil organic matter and microbe characteristics in bamboo plantations. Results and discussion: Soil total C and N contents as well as soil microbial biomass and soil respiration (CO2) of the bamboo plantations increased along the elevation gradient. Temperature changes along elevation contributed to such variations observed among the selected bamboo plantations. The SbON in hot-water extracts was highest in the 1,200-m plantation, then in the 1,400-m plantation, and lowest in the low-elevation plantations (600, 800, and 1,000 m). However, SbON in 2 M KCl extracts did not differ by elevation. The SbON was strongly correlated with soil total N in both 2 M KCl and hot-water extracts, but only SbON in hot-water extracts was strongly correlated with microbial biomass N and potentially mineralizable N. SbOC was strongly correlated with soil total C content, microbial biomass C, and biologically available C in both 2 M KCl and hot-water extracts. Conclusions: Soil total C and N, SbOC and SbON, and microbial biomass characteristics increased in the moso bamboo plantations with increasing elevation. No altitudinal difference in specific soil respiration (CO2) rate suggested that the enhanced potentially mineralizable N and soil respiration (CO2) in the high-elevation plantations were associated with increased microbial biomass rather than microbial activities. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Chung T.-L.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Chen J.-S.,Yung Ta Institute of Technology and Commerce | Chiu C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Tian G.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2012

We investigated soil organic matter in a forest of natural Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) under perhumid weather conditions in north central Taiwan. Humic substances along the transect from the summit and footslope to lakeshore were characterized by use of solid-state cross-polarization, magic-angle-spinning 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (CP/MAS 13C-NMR). The major components of soil organic carbon in whole soil and humic substances were alkyl-C, O-alkyl-C, and di-O-alkyl-C, ranging from 60.6% to 80.7%, then aromatic-C, 7.5% to 9.8%. The degree of humification of soil organic matter, both O-alkyl-C/alkyl-C ratio and aromaticity, decreased slightly from the summit to lakeshore. The content of functional groups of polar and acidic groups, including O-alkyl-C, di-O-alkyl-C, and carboxyl-C, corresponded with the topographical effect, increasing slightly from the summit to lakeshore. However, the relatively low degree of humification in soils of this perhumid forest and low aromaticity were due to high precipitation and acidity, which appeared to hinder organic matter decomposition with topography change. © 2011 The Japanese Forest Society and Springer.


Chiu C.Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Tian G.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Applied Soil Ecology | Year: 2011

We used NMR spectroscopy to characterize humid acids extracted from soils that had received long-term application of 2 levels of biosolids to evaluate the soil organic matter (SOM) stability in biosolids-amended soils. The study also quantified fulvic acids (FAs), humic acids (HAs) and Fe/Al oxides. The soils were collected in 2004 from 7 fields, in Fulton County, southwestern Illinois, which received biosolids at a cumulative rate of 0 (control), 554 (low biosolids) and 1,066 (high biosolids)Mgha-1. The application of biosolids increased both FA and HA contents, but biosolids-amended soil and control soil did not differ in FA/HA ratio. Biosolids application had no effect on water-soluble organic carbon content. Biosolids application increased the presence of Fe/Al in the SOM complex and lowered its C/Fe and C/Al ratios. 13C NMR spectra showed increased alkyl C and decreased aromatic C content in soil HAs with the application of biosolids, and the extent of such changes was higher with high than low biosolids treatment. Under biosolids application, the soil HAs' C structure shifts from O-alkyl-dominant to alkyl-dominant. Biosolids application does not decrease SOM stability but rather increases the stability of soil humic substances. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2017

Badland soils-which have high silt and clay contents, bulk density, and soil electric conductivity- cover a large area of Southern Taiwan. This study evaluated the amelioration of these poor soils by thorny bamboo, one of the few plant species that grows in badland soils. Soil physiochemical and biological parameters were measured from three thorny bamboo plantations and nearby bare lands. Results show that bamboo increased microbial C and N, soil acid-hydrolysable C, recalcitrant C, and soluble organic C of badland soils. High microbial biomass C to total organic C ratio indicates that soil organic matter was used more efficiently by microbes colonizing bamboo plantations than in bare land soils. High microbial respiration to biomass C ratio in bare land soils confirmed environmentally induced stress. Soil microbes in bare land soils also faced soil organic matter with the high ratio of recalcitrant C to total organic C. The high soil acid-hydrolysable C to total organic C ratio at bamboo plantations supported the hypothesis that decomposition of bamboo litter increased soil C in labile fractions. Overall, thorny bamboo improved soil quality, thus, this study demonstrates that planting thorny bamboo is a successful practice for the amelioration of badland soils.


PubMed | Academia Sinica, Taiwan and Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Bamboo, which has dense culms and root rhizome systems, can alter soil properties when it invades adjacent forests. Therefore, this study investigated whether bamboo invasions can cause changes in soil organic matter (SOM) composition and soil humification. We combined solid-state (13)C NMR spectroscopy and chemical analysis to examine the SOM in a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and adjacent bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) plantation. Bamboo reduced soil organic C (SOC) content, compared to the cedar plantation. The value of logK (ratio of absorbance of humic acids at 400 and 600nm) was cedar>transition zone>bamboo soils. Our results indicated that bamboo increased SOM humification, which could be due to the fast decomposition of bamboo litter with the high labile C. Furthermore, intensive management in the bamboo plantation could enhance the humification as well. Overall, litter type can control an ecosystems SOC nature, as reflected by the finding that higher labile C in bamboo litter contributed the higher ratios of labile C to SOC and lower ratios of recalcitrant C to SOC in bamboo soils compared with cedar soils. The invasion of bamboo into the Japanese cedar plantation accelerated the degradation of SOM.


Tian G.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division | Franzluebbers A.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Granato T.C.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division | Cox A.E.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division | O'Connor C.,Environmental Monitoring and Research Division
Applied Soil Ecology | Year: 2013

Little is know on the impact of biosolids application on soil organic matter (SOM) stability, which contributes to soil C sequestration. Soil samples were collected in 2006 at plow layer from fields that received liquid and dry municipal biosolids application from 1972 to 2004 at the cumulative rate of 1416Mgha-1 in mined soil and 1072Mgha-1 in nonmined soil and control fields that received chemical fertilizer at Fulton County, western Illinois. The biosolids application increased the soil microbial biomass C (SMBC) by 5-fold in mined soil and 4-fold in nonmined soil. The biosolids-amended soils showed a high amount of basal respiration and N mineralization, but low metabolic quotient, and low rate of organic C and organic N mineralization. There was a remarkable increase in mineral-associated organic C from 6.9gkg-1 (fertilizer control) to 26.6gkg-1 (biosolids-amended) in mined soil and from 8.9gkg-1 (fertilizer control) to 23.1gkg-1 (biosolids-amended) in nonmined soil. The amorphous Fe and Al, which can improve SOM stability, were increased by 2-7 folds by the long-term biosolids application. It is evident from this study that the biosolids-modified SOM resists to decomposition more than that in the fertilizer treatment, thus long-term biosolids application could increase SOM stability. © 2012 .


Thangarajan R.,University of South Australia | Thangarajan R.,Cooperative Research Center for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment | Bolan N.S.,University of South Australia | Bolan N.S.,Cooperative Research Center for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Globally, substantial quantities of organic amendments (OAs) such as plant residues (3.8×109Mg/yr), biosolids (10×107Mg/yr), and animal manures (7×109Mg/yr) are produced. Recycling these OAs in agriculture possesses several advantages such as improving plant growth, yield, soil carbon content, and microbial biomass and activity. Nevertheless, OA applications hold some disadvantages such as nutrient eutrophication and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Agriculture sector plays a vital role in GHG emission (carbon dioxide- CO2, methane- CH4, and nitrous oxide- N2O). Though CH4 and N2O are emitted in less quantity than CO2, they are 21 and 310 times more powerful in global warming potential, respectively. Although there have been reviews on the role of mineral fertilizer application on GHG emission, there has been no comprehensive review on the effect of OA application on GHG emission in agricultural soils. The review starts with the quantification of various OAs used in agriculture that include manures, biosolids, and crop residues along with their role in improving soil health. Then, it discusses four major OA induced-GHG emission processes (i.e., priming effect, methanogenesis, nitrification, and denitrification) by highlighting the impact of OA application on GHG emission from soil. For example, globally 10×107Mg biosolids are produced annually which can result in the potential emission of 530Gg of CH4 and 60Gg of N2O. The article then aims to highlight the soil, climatic, and OA factors affecting OA induced-GHG emission and the management practices to mitigate the emission. This review emphasizes the future research needs in relation to nitrogen and carbon dynamics in soil to broaden the use of OAs in agriculture to maintain soil health with minimum impact on GHG emission from agriculture. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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