Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute

Bratislava, Slovakia

Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute

Bratislava, Slovakia
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Barancikova G.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute | Litavec T.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute
Agriculture | Year: 2016

The different origin of alginite and soil organic matter may be the reason of differences in their humic acids (HA) chemical structure. One of the aims of this article is to compare the chemical composition of alginite HA and HA isolated from different soil types. Another aim of this article is to compare the chemical structure of humic acids of alginite isolated with two different procedures: modified IHSS (International Humic Substances Society) method and simplified extraction method. The modified IHSS method was applied for the isolation of alginite and soil HA. To obtain sufficient amount of alginate HA for biological experiments, simplified extraction method suited for large volumes of HA was applied. The differences in elemental analysis and ash proportion in HA extracted by modified IHSS method (C = 35.4, H = 43 atomic%, ash content = 0.08%) and simplified extraction method (C = 31, H = 31 atomic%, ash content = 7.42%) can be caused by different concentration of extraction solution and also differences in purification of HA. The differences in chemical structure between alginate HA and HA isolated from different soil types according to the data of elemental analysis (C content of alginite HA = 35.4 atomic%, C content in soils HA = 38.2-49.1 atomic%) and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra (degree of aromaticity of alginite HA = 24.4% and soil HA= 35.9-53%) were found. Results of 13C NMR show that the content of aromatic carbon was decreasing in the following order: Haplic Chernozem HA > Andic Cambisol HA > Haplic Cambisol HA > alginite HA. Based on the obtained results, it can be concluded that the differences in the chemical structure of alginite and soil HA can be explained by the difference in the origin of organic matter in alginite and soil samples. The source of organic matter in alginite is mainly type II kerogen from algae and that of soil is lignin and cellulose (type III kerogen) of higher plants. © 2016 Gabriela Barančíková et al., published by De Gruyter Open 2016.

Havlik P.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Schneider U.A.,University of Hamburg | Schmid E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Bottcher H.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | And 11 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Recently, an active debate has emerged around greenhouse gas emissions due to indirect land use change (iLUC) of expanding agricultural areas dedicated to biofuel production. In this paper we provide a detailed analysis of the iLUC effect, and further address the issues of deforestation, irrigation water use, and crop price increases due to expanding biofuel acreage. We use GLOBIOM - an economic partial equilibrium model of the global forest, agriculture, and biomass sectors with a bottom-up representation of agricultural and forestry management practices. The results indicate that second generation biofuel production fed by wood from sustainably managed existing forests would lead to a negative iLUC factor, meaning that overall emissions are 27% lower compared to the "No biofuel" scenario by 2030. The iLUC factor of first generation biofuels global expansion is generally positive, requiring some 25 years to be paid back by the GHG savings from the substitution of biofuels for conventional fuels. Second generation biofuels perform better also with respect to the other investigated criteria; on the condition that they are not sourced from dedicated plantations directly competing for agricultural land. If so, then efficient first generation systems are preferable. Since no clear technology champion for all situations exists, we would recommend targeting policy instruments directly at the positive and negative effects of biofuel production rather than at the production itself. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Van Wesemael B.,Catholic University of Louvain | Paustian K.,Colorado State University | Meersmans J.,Catholic University of Louvain | Goidts E.,Soil Protection Direction | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks.

Thorenz U.R.,Geographic Institute | Musa Bandowe B.A.,Geographic Institute | Sobocka J.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute | Wilcke W.,University of Bern
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

We modified an analytical method to determine polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in urban soils of Bratislava (Slovakia). Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) introduced as a clean-up step for soil extracts substantially reduced matrix enhancements when PBDEs were measured with gas chromatography-negative chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (GC-NCI-MS). The resulting method proved to be accurate, precise, and showed low detection limits. The sum of 15 PBDE concentrations in surface horizons of Bratislava soils ranged from 87 to 627 pg g-1. PBDE concentrations were mostly higher in surface than deeper horizons probably because of atmospheric deposition and lack of substantial vertical transport. Lower brominated PBDEs undergo more soil-atmosphere exchanges or are more scavenged and transferred with litter fall to the soil organic matter than higher brominated ones as suggested by the correlation between lower brominated PBDEs and soil organic C (Corg) concentrations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dotterweich M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Dotterweich M.,University of Cologne | Stankoviansky M.,Comenius University | Minar J.,Comenius University | And 4 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2013

In humid climate zones, like Central Europe, past soil erosion and gullying are strongly connected with agricultural expansion, and extreme soil erosion events often play an important role in land abandonment. This paper provides a case study to demonstrate the interaction between land use, soil erosion, floodplain development, and land use changes in a 0-order catchment in the Babikovce catchment, Myjava Hill Land, situated in western Slovakia. Sedimentological, pedological, geoarchaeological and historical data indicate two main periods of intensive hillslope erosion and gullying since the High Middle Ages. In particular, a few extreme precipitation events (or rapid snowmelts) caused intensive runoff events and gullying on cleared land. The formation of the gully system and fan deposits in the Babikovce catchment and other areas also forced the occurrence of intensive muddy floods and caused floodplain aggradation and meander changes along rivers in the Myjava Hill Land. As a result, the development of the dense network of permanent gullies in the Myjava Hill Land can be associated with the transformation of woodland into farmland and later land abandonment. Today, the area is highly truncated by soil erosion and very difficult to farm. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Balkovic J.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Balkovic J.,Comenius University | van der Velde M.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Schmid E.,University of Economic Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2013

Justifiable usage of large-scale crop model simulations requires transparent, comprehensive and spatially extensive evaluations of their performance and associated accuracy. Simulated crop yields of a Pan-European implementation of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model were satisfactorily evaluated with reported regional yield data from EUROSTAT for four major crops, including winter wheat, rainfed and irrigated maize, spring barley and winter rye. European-wide land use, elevation, soil and daily meteorological gridded data were integrated in GIS and coupled with EPIC. Default EPIC crop and biophysical process parameter values were used with some minor adjustments according to suggestions from scientific literature. The model performance was improved by spatial calculations of crop sowing densities, potential heat units, operation schedules, and nutrient application rates. EPIC performed reasonable in the simulation of regional crop yields, with long-term averages predicted better than inter-annual variability: linear regression R2 ranged from 0.58 (maize) to 0.91 (spring barley) and relative estimation errors were between ±30% for most of the European regions. The modelled and reported crop yields demonstrated similar responses to driving meteorological variables. However, EPIC performed better in dry compared to wet years. A yield sensitivity analysis of crop nutrient and irrigation management factors and cultivar specific characteristics for contrasting regions in Europe revealed a range in model response and attainable yields. We also show that modelled crop yield is strongly dependent on the chosen PET method. The simulated crop yield variability was lower compared to reported crop yields. This assessment should contribute to the availability of harmonised and transparently evaluated agricultural modelling tools in the EU as well as the establishment of modelling benchmarks as a requirement for sound and ongoing policy evaluations in the agricultural and environmental domains. © 2013 The Authors.

Musa Bandowe B.A.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Sobocka J.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute | Wilcke W.,University of Bern
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2011

We determined concentrations, sources, and vertical distribution of OPAHs and PAHs in soils of Bratislava. The ∑14 OPAHs concentrations in surface soil horizons ranged 88-2692 ng g-1 and those of ∑34 PAHs 842-244,870 ng g-1. The concentrations of the ∑9 carbonyl-OPAHs (r = 0.92, p = 0.0001) and the ∑5 hydroxyl-OPAHs (r = 0.73, p = 0.01) correlated significantly with ∑34 PAHs concentrations indicating the close association of OPAHs with parent-PAHs. OPAHs were quantitatively dominated by 9-fluorenone, 9,10-anthraquinone, 1-indanone and benzo[a]anthracene-7,12-dione. At several sites, individual carbonyl-OPAHs had higher concentrations than parent PAHs. The concentration ratios of several OPAHs to their parent-PAHs and contribution of the more soluble OPAHs (1-indanone and 9-fluorenone) to ∑14 OPAHs concentrations increased with soil depth suggesting that OPAHs were faster vertically transported in the study soils by leaching than PAHs which was supported by the correlation of subsoil:surface soil ratios of OPAH concentrations at several sites with KOW. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bigalke M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Bigalke M.,University of Bern | Weyer S.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Kobza J.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute | Wilcke W.,University of Bern
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta | Year: 2010

Copper and Zn metals are produced in large quantities for different applications. During Cu production, large amounts of Cu and Zn can be released to the environment. Therefore, the surroundings of Cu smelters are frequently metal-polluted. We determined Cu and Zn concentrations and Cu and Zn stable isotope ratios (δ65Cu, δ66Zn) in three soils at distances of 1.1, 3.8, and 5.3km from a Slovak Cu smelter and in smelter wastes (slag, sludge, ash) to trace sources and transport of Cu and Zn in soils. Stable isotope ratios were measured by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) in total digests. Soils were heavily contaminated with concentrations up to 8087μgg-1 Cu and 2084μgg-1 Zn in the organic horizons. The δ65Cu values varied little (-0.12‰ to 0.36‰) in soils and most wastes and therefore no source identification was possible. In soils, Cu became isotopically lighter with increasing depth down to 0.4m, likely because of equilibrium reactions between dissolved and adsorbed Cu species during transport of smelter-derived Cu through the soil. The δ66ZnIRMM values were isotopically lighter in ash (-0.41‰) and organic horizons (-0.85‰ to -0.47‰) than in bedrock (-0.28‰) and slag (0.18‰) likely mainly because of kinetic fractionation during evaporation and thus allowed for separation of smelter-Zn from native Zn in soil. In particular in the organic horizons large variations in δ66Zn values occur, probably caused by biogeochemical fractionation in the soil-plant system. In the mineral horizons, Zn isotopes showed only minor shifts to heavier δ66Zn values with depth mainly because of the mixing of smelter-derived Zn and native Zn in the soils. In contrast to Cu, Zn isotope fractionation between dissolved and adsorbed species was probably only a minor driver in producing the observed variations in δ66Zn values. Our results demonstrate that metal stable isotope ratios may serve as tracer of sources, vertical dislocation, and biogeochemical behavior in contaminated soil. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Vilcek J.,University of Prešov | Vilcek J.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2013

Knowledge of the energy potential of an agricultural soil and the potential production of biomass, together with economic parameters, can help pinpoint more effective sites for growing plants for traditional purposes and for fuel production. There is approximately 10206PJ of potential energy accumulated in Slovakia's agricultural soils. The lowest utilisation was found in the Cambisols soil type (0.7-1.8%) and the highest in Regosols (3.1-7.0%). The bioenergy production potential of agricultural soils in Slovakia was determined for chosen soil parameters according to the production of the plants grown. With regard to energy, the most productive are soils of the Chernozem type (25.1MJm-2) and Mollic Fluvisols (22.5MJm-2). Gleysols, Histosols, Solonetz and Leptosols (3.0-5.0MJm-2) produce the lowest bioenergy levels. The highest energy production precondition (22.2MJm-2) occurs in soils in the very warm, very dry lowland climatic region. According to the granularity, the most energy (14.0-15.0MJm-2) is produced by deep clayey soils (18.0MJm-2) in a slope to 3° (18.3MJm-2) that are not or sporadically gravelly (19.2MJm-2). The highest energy yields can be expected from the biomass of plants grown in arable land (approximately 11.0MJm-2). Regarding the efficiency of economic and financial inputs, plants growing in Chernozem, Mollic Fluvisols, Fluvisols and Haplic Luvisols soil types in very warm, very dry, lowlands to warm, very dry, basin-like, continental climatic regions appear to be profitable in slopes to 7°, with no or only a sporadic gravel content. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Takac J.,Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute
Agriculture | Year: 2013

Assessment of agronomic drought occurrence and severity in agricultural regions of Slovakia is presented in the paper. Drought severity assessment is based on the soil water dynamics simulation by agroecological model Daisy. Daily meteorological data from the years 1961-2012 from 31 localities were used in simulations. Criteria for the drought occurrence were 1) available soil water content below 50% of available water capacity, 2) soil water content below long-term average soil water content and 3) duration of continuous drought for fifteen or more days. Standardized index of daily available soil water content was used for drought severity classification. According to the index the drought is categorized into four degrees of severity from mild to extreme drought. Cumulative sum of available soil water index was used to drought quantification throughout its duration. Normal climate period 1961- 1990 was chosen as reference period to enable historical comparison of drought severity as well as climate change impacts. Extreme drought of the largest spatial extent was identified in 1990. Extreme drought occurred regionally in the southwest Slovakia in 1978 and in the southeast Slovakia in 1986, respectively.

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