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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Soil News

Soil Current Events and Soil News from Brightsurf

Soil Current Events and Soil News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Corn with straw mulch builds yield, soil carbon

Wed, 25 Apr 18 00:07:40 -0700

How do you boost soil water content and soil health without irrigating? Best cover it with a layer of straw, a new study concludes.

MSU scientists found the seeds of domestic plants in the burial sites of ancient nomads

Wed, 25 Apr 18 00:15:20 -0700

An international team of scientists including a professor of the Faculty of Soil Science, MSU studied burial sites dated back to the Bronze Age at the border between Kalmykia and Stavropol Territory and found traces of domestic barley on the walls of vessels. Local residents did not have agriculture at that time, so the barley was likely received from the peoples of leaving at the foothill of Caucasus in exchange for other goods.

New study: What happens when sea levels rise and coastal land gets flooded?

Wed, 25 Apr 18 00:08:30 -0700

Don't just expect a disaster: coastal land has a strong potential to develop into well-functional marine ecosystems, if it gets flooded with seawater.

Trees with grassy areas soften summer heat

Mon, 23 Apr 18 00:00:50 -0700

Trees cool their environment and 'heat islands' like Munich benefit from it. However, the degree of cooling depends greatly on the tree species and the local conditions. In a recent study, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) compared two species of urban trees.

Antibiotic resistance can be caused by small amounts of antibiotics

Mon, 23 Apr 18 00:02:40 -0700

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a global and growing problem in health care. To be able to prevent further development of resistance developing, it is important to understand where and how antibiotic resistance in bacteria arises. New research from Uppsala University shows that low concentrations of antibiotics, too, can cause high antibiotic resistance to develop in bacteria.

New research modernizes rammed earth construction

Mon, 23 Apr 18 00:04:00 -0700

A building method as old as dirt is being re-examined as a 'new' and viable modern construction material. Compressed soil, also known as rammed earth, is a method of construction that dates back centuries. UBC Okanagan engineering professor Sumi Siddiqua, who has been researching the resurgence in rammed earth, says conventional cement is still the go-to for modern engineers.

Climate change intensifies droughts in Europe

Mon, 23 Apr 18 00:11:00 -0700

Global warming will exacerbate soil droughts in Europe - droughts will last longer, affect greater areas, and have an impact on more people. If the earth warms by three degrees Celsius, extreme events could become the normal state in the future. This scenario was described by an international team of scientists coordinated by the UFZ.

UNC scientists create better laboratory tools to study cancer's spread

Mon, 23 Apr 18 00:02:20 -0700

In the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Andrew Wang, MD, and colleagues report they have developed tissue-engineered models for cancer metastases that reflect the microenvironment around tumors that promotes their growth.

Multiple sclerosis may be linked to sheep disease toxin

Sun, 22 Apr 18 00:04:30 -0700

Exposure to a toxin primarily found in sheep could be linked to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans, new research suggests.

A study links soil metals with cancer mortality

Fri, 20 Apr 18 00:07:10 -0700

Spanish epidemiologists and geologists have found associations between esophageal cancer and soils where lead is abundant, lung cancer and terrains with increased copper content, brain tumor with areas rich in arsenic, and bladder cancer with high cadmium levels. These statistical links do not indicate that there is a cause-effect relationship between soil type and cancer, but they suggest that the influence of metals from the earth's surface on the geographical distribution of tumors should be analyzed.

Policy driver of soil organic carbon accumulation in Chinese croplands identified

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:00:00 -0700

Scientists from the Institute of Soil Science and collaborators conducted a comprehensive study that determined changes in SOC over the last three decades and identified the dominant agronomic, economic and policy drivers behind these changes and their implications for future carbon sequestration in Chinese croplands.

'Rip Van Winkle' plants hide underground for up to 20 years

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:10:10 -0700

Scores of plant species are capable of living dormant under the soil for up to 20 years, enabling them to survive through difficult times, a new study has found.

Using the right plants can reduce indoor pollution and save energy

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:15:10 -0700

In a Review published April 19 in Trends in Plant Science, Frederico Brilli, a plant physiologist at the National Research Council of Italy - Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, and colleagues conclude that a better knowledge of plant physiology, along with integration of smart-sensor-controlled air cleaning technologies, could improve indoor air quality in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

Root exudates affect soil stability, water repellency

Wed, 18 Apr 18 00:10:30 -0700

We might think of roots as necessary, but uninteresting, parts of the crop production process. New research, however, focuses on what's going on in the soil with the plant's roots and the chemicals they produce.

Tennessee scientist works to increase crops' water saving potential

Wed, 18 Apr 18 00:06:30 -0700

Studies at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are identifying plant physiological traits that could minimize the effect of drought in row crops.

The microbiome of a native plant is much more resilient than expected

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:07:40 -0700

The microbiome, which consists of all microorganisms that live on or in plants, animals and also humans, is important for the health and development of these organisms. In a new study published in eLife, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, investigated how a plant responds to manipulations of its microbial associations. The results indicate that the enormous bacterial diversity residing in natural soils may account for the stability of the plant-microbiome relationship.

Alpine grassland productivity not sensitive to climate warming on third pole

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:13:40 -0700

HE Jinsheng's research team at the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, collaborating with scientists from Peking University, established a warming-by-precipitation manipulative experiment at the Haibei National Field Research Station of Alpine Grassland Ecosystem. By combining the field manipulative experiment, 32 years of field monitoring and a meta-analysis from nine sites across the plateau, the impact of climate change on species composition and net primary productivity in Tibetan alpine grasslands was investigated.

Scientists reveal trends in carbon storage and sequestration across Chinese ecosystems

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:13:30 -0700

Led by Professor FANG Jingyun from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with collaborators, the ecosystem carbon sequestration project team was set up, the team aims to quantify the magnitude and distribution of ecosystem carbon pools and sequestration in China's terrestrial ecosystems.

Logging in tropical forests jeopardizing drinking water

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:01:20 -0700

A team of researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and other groups have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands-even with best management strategies in place -- will lead to unsustainable levels of soil erosion and significant impacts to downstream water quality.

Warming climate could speed forest regrowth in eastern US

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:05:50 -0700

Warming climate could speed the natural regrowth of forests on undeveloped or abandoned land in the eastern United States, according to a new study. Previous research has shown that the succession from field to forest can happen decades sooner in the southeastern US than in the Northeast. But it wasn't obvious why. A new study points to temperature as the major factor influencing the pace of reforestation.

Sensor strategy a boon for synthetic biology

Fri, 13 Apr 18 00:09:50 -0700

Rice University synthetic biologists have invented a technology to dial up or down the sensitivity of bacterial biosensors. Researchers say the technique could enable the engineering of tailor-made biosensors for diagnostic gut bacteria, detection of environmental pollutants or automated control of nutrient levels in soil.

Tiny microbes make a surprisingly big contribution to carbon release

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:02:10 -0700

As erosion eats away at Earth's surface, some types of rocks release carbon they contain back into the atmosphere -- and now a new study suggests that microbes play a substantial role in this release.

Mountain erosion may add CO2 to the atmosphere

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:01:10 -0700

Scientists have long known that steep mountain ranges can draw carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere -- as erosion exposes new rock, it also starts a chemical reaction between minerals on hill slopes and CO2 in the air, 'weathering' the rock and using CO2 to produce carbonate minerals like calcite.

Healthy soil lifts animal weight

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:05:00 -0700

Individual pastures on livestock farms yield surprisingly dissimilar benefits to a farm's overall agricultural income, and those differences are most likely attributable to the varying levels of 'soil health' provided by its grazing livestock. A research team has now opened up the possibility of using field-scale metrics as indicators of animal performance and agricultural productivity.

Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:14:40 -0700

Researchers have good news for growers. Farmers raising a nitrogen-hungry crop like sweet corn may save up to half of their nitrogen fertilizer cost. The key: using a faba bean cover crop.

Synchrotron science could give soybeans a boost

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:05:00 -0700

Scientists at the University of Liverpool, together with Japanese colleagues, have gained new insight into how soil bacteria sense and adapt to the levels of oxygen in their environment. The findings could be used to help develop new treatments to promote crop growth and tackle disease.

Cactus roots inspire creation of water-retaining material

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:04:10 -0700

During rare desert rainfalls, cacti waste no time sopping up and storing a storm's precious precipitation. Inspired by this natural phenomenon, scientists report in a study appearing ACS Macro Letters that they have developed a material that mimics cactus roots' ability to rapidly absorb and retain vast amounts of water with a minimal amount of evaporation. They say this unique material could lead to new and improved cosmetics, medical devices and other everyday products.

Road salt pollutes drinking water wells in suburban New York state

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:10:50 -0700

Road salt applied during the winter lingers in the environment, where it can pollute drinking water supplies. In a recent study in the Journal of Environmental Quality, researchers identify landscape and geological characteristics linked to elevated well water salinity in a suburban township in Southeastern New York.

Swamp microbe has pollution-munching power

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:14:50 -0700

Sewage treatment may be an unglamorous job, but bacteria are happy to do it. Sewage plants rely on bacteria to remove environmental toxins from waste so that the processed water can be safely discharged into oceans and rivers. Now, a bacterium discovered by Princeton researchers in a New Jersey swamp may offer a more efficient method for treating toxins found in sewage, fertilizer runoff and other forms of water pollution.

An oil-eating bacterium that can help clean up pollution and spills

Mon, 09 Apr 18 00:09:30 -0700

Oil spills occur on a regular basis, leading to messy decontamination challenges. But however widespread and serious the damage may be, the solution could be microscopic -- Alcanivorax borkumensis -- a bacterium that feeds on hydrocarbons. A research team at INRS show the effectiveness of enzymes produced by the bacterium in degrading petroleum products in soil and water. Their results offer hope for a simple, effective, and eco-friendly method of decontaminating water and soil at oil sites.

Species hitch a ride on birds and the wind to join green roof communities

Fri, 06 Apr 18 00:05:40 -0700

New research suggests that species that live on green roofs arrived by hitching lifts on birds or by riding air currents.

How will environmental changes affect western Greenland?

Fri, 06 Apr 18 00:07:30 -0700

Thirty-one miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. It is one of the most studied regions in the Arctic. To highlight environmental change and impacts in the Kangerlussuaq area, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research (AAAR),'has released a special issue, to examine how past, present and future climate impacts may affect this landscape. Three of the 10 articles feature lead authors, who are alumni of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) at Dartmouth.

A study by the University of Tartu scientists: Drained peatlands emit laughing gas

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:15:50 -0700

A global study lead by geographers at the University of Tartu has revealed that drained nitrogen-rich peatlands produce laughing gas, which degrades the ozone layer and warms the climate. To avoid this, swamp forests, fens and bogs need to be conserved.

Microplastics litter the ocean, but what about freshwater and land?

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:16:10 -0700

Hundreds of scientific publications now show that microplastics contaminate the world's oceans, yet scientists have only just begun to document and study microplastics in freshwater and terrestrial systems.

New study shows vegetation controls the future of the water cycle

Mon, 02 Apr 18 00:10:40 -0700

Columbia Engineering researchers have found that vegetation plays a dominant role in Earth's water cycle, that plants will regulate and dominate the increasing stress placed on continental water resources in the future. 'This could be a real game-changer for understanding changes in continental water stress going into the future,' says Professor Pierre Gentine. In this paper, he demonstrates vegetation's key role in responding to rising CO2 levels and shows how plants will regulate future dryness.

Predicting water storage beyond 2-5 years over global semiarid regions

Mon, 02 Apr 18 00:16:30 -0700

Scientists from Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences made skillful prediction for terrestrial water storage over one-third of land areas (excluding Antarctic, Greenland, and desert regions) beyond two to five years, especially for semiarid regions where deep soil water and aquifer have a long memory and a non-negligible variability. The hindcast skill can be further enhanced by incorporating low-frequency climate information, including the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

Plants, fungi and bacteria work together to clean polluted land

Wed, 28 Mar 18 00:03:30 -0700

Highly complex interactions among roots, fungi and bacteria underlie the ability of some trees to clean polluted land, according to a novel study by bioinformatics and plant-biology experts from McGill University and Université de Montréal.

Draining peatlands gives global rise to greenhouse laughing-gas emissions

Wed, 28 Mar 18 00:05:10 -0700

Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas - a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, a new study shows.

Study links climate policy, carbon emissions from permafrost

Mon, 26 Mar 18 00:12:10 -0700

Controlling greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades could substantially reduce the consequences of carbon releases from thawing permafrost during the next 300 years, according to a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Team discovers a significant role for nitrate in the Arctic landscape

Fri, 23 Mar 18 00:04:50 -0700

Because of the very low nitrate levels found in arctic tundra soil, scientists had assumed that plants in this biome do not use nitrate. But a new study co-authored by four Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Ecosystems Center scientists challenges this notion. The study has important implications for predicting which arctic plant species will dominate as the climate warms, as well as how much carbon tundra ecosystems can store.

Gene boosts rice growth and yield in salty soil

Fri, 23 Mar 18 00:07:10 -0700

Soil salinity poses a major threat to food security, greatly reducing the yield of agricultural crops. Rising global temperatures are expected to accelerate the buildup of salt in soil, placing an increasing burden on agricultural production. In a new study published in The Plant Cell, a team of researchers identified a gene that limits yield losses in rice plants exposed to salt stress and deciphered the underlying mechanism.

Plants really do feed their friends

Thu, 22 Mar 18 00:12:30 -0700

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity.

Because of agriculture, the Gulf of Mexico will suffocate for decades longer

Thu, 22 Mar 18 00:10:10 -0700

Nitrogen runoff has created a massive oxygen-deprived 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico, but even if the runoff was completely eliminated, it would still take at least 30 years for the area to recover, a new study estimates.

How trees coexist. New findings from biodiversity research published in Nature Communications

Wed, 21 Mar 18 00:13:10 -0700

One of the most fascinating topics in ecology is the exploration of interactions between plants, specifically in long-lived organisms, such as trees. In this context, it is generally assumed that tree-tree interactions are dominated by competition for resources such as light, water or nutrients.

Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds
The recent Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in in California's modern history. Now, researchers report that wildfires in forested watersheds can have a variable but predictable impact on the substances that are released from soils and flow into drinking water sources. The research provides important insights for water utilities evaluating treatment options after severe wildfires. The scientists will present their results today at the 255th National Meeting