Current Soil News and Events

Current Soil News and Events, Soil News Articles.
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OU research delineates the impacts of climate warming on microbial network interactions
A new study by University of Oklahoma researchers from the Institute for Environmental Genomics explores the impacts of climate warming on microbial network complexity and stability, providing critical insights to ecosystem management and for projecting ecological consequences of future climate warming. (2021-02-22)

Study: Effects of past ice ages more widespread than previously thought
A study by University of Arkansas researchers suggests that cold temperatures in unglaciated North America during the last ice age shaped past and modern landscape as far south as Texas and Arkansas. (2021-02-22)

Time-lapse reveals the hidden dance of roots
New time-lapse videos capture something that's too slow for our eyes to see: the growing tips of plant roots make corkscrew-like motions, waggling and winding in a helical path as they burrow into the soil. By using time-lapse footage, along with a root-like robot to test ideas, researchers have gained new insights into how and why rice root tips twirl as they grow. (2021-02-19)

Waste into wealth: Harvesting useful products from microbial growth
Anca Delgado, a researcher in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University, has been exploring how bacteria can convert organic waste into useful products. In a new study, she describes for the first time how the chain elongation processes are carried out by microorganisms under normal conditions in soil. (2021-02-17)

How bacteria hunt bacteria
The research team led by Dr. Christine Kaimer from the Microbial Biology department at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has taken a close look at predatory bacteria, which feed on other bacteria. Through microscopic examinations and protein analyses, they characterized the strategies used by the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus: It combines several mechanisms to kill structurally different prey bacteria, and also works in groups where necessary. (2021-02-16)

Plant as superhero during nuclear power plant accidents
A collaborative study by a group of scientists from Iwate University, The University of Tokyo and Shimane University, Japan demonstrated for the first time that two ATP binding cassette proteins ABCG33 and ABCG37 function as potassium-independent cesium uptake carriers. (2021-02-16)

New dataset opens Estonian soil information for versatile use
A comprehensive database of Estonian soils and a map application has been completed in cooperation with researchers of the University of Tartu and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. The database makes Estonian soil information easily accessible and can be used from local farm-scale to national-level big data statistical analysis and machine-learning models. (2021-02-16)

Application of potassium to grass used as cover crop guarantees higher-quality cotton
In an article, Brazilian researchers show that besides simplifying operational logistics and improving production, fertilization of the grass used as a cover crop can reduce fertilizer use in the long run. (2021-02-16)

RUDN University biologists studied the effect of jungles on global warming
Biologists from RUDN University described the role of tropical rainforests in the production of methane, the second most harmful greenhouse gas after CO2. It turned out that some areas of rainforests not only consumed methane but also emitted it. (2021-02-16)

In predicting shallow but dangerous landslides, size matters
Scientific understanding of landslides has improved immensely in the last few decades, but models that predict which areas could slide during specific storm events overpredict, forcing government agencies to evacuate unnecessarily large areas. UC Berkeley geoscientists have created improved models that more narrowly pinpoint the most hazardous areas, but they've run up against a wall: they need data about what lies between the soil surface and bedrock, something current techniques like LiDAR cannot adequately provide. (2021-02-15)

Corn belt farmland has lost a third of its carbon-rich soil
More than one-third of the Corn Belt in the Midwest - nearly 100 million acres - has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research that indicates the U.S. Department of Agricultural has significantly underestimated the true magnitude of farmland erosion. (2021-02-15)

Scientists developed a novel method of automatic soil mapping
A team of soil scientists developed a new approach to the automatic generation and updating of soil maps. Having applied machine learning technologies to a set of rules traditionally used by experts in manual mapping, the team obtained a highly accurate model that provides easy-to-interpret results. (2021-02-15)

Shrubs and soils: A hot topic in the cool tundra
As the climate warms in the Arctic, shrubs expand towards higher latitudes and altitudes. Researchers investigated the impacts of dwarf shrubs on tundra soils in the sub-Arctic Fennoscandia. (2021-02-15)

'See through soil' could help farmers deal with future droughts
In research that may eventually help crops survive drought, scientists at Princeton University have uncovered a key reason that mixing material called hydrogels with soil has sometimes proven disappointing for farmers. (2021-02-12)

Rebuilding soil microbiomes in high-tunnel agricultural systems focus of study
The presence of high salt and nitrogen concentrations in high- tunnel soils may make it more challenging to rebuild a healthy soil microbiome following a soil-clearing event, according to microbial ecologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2021-02-11)

Facts on the ground: How microplastics in the soil contribute to environmental pollution
Plastic is a major threat to the environment. Of particular ecological risk is its manifestation as microplastics (<5 mm in size) in the agricultural environment. Scientists from Korea addressed this issue in their latest study, looking into the levels, shapes, and sizes of microplastics in Korean agricultural soils. They reported new insights on the agricultural sources of microplastics, contributing to a better understanding on their role in environmental pollution. (2021-02-11)

Scientists propose three-step method to reverse significant reforestation side effect
Reforestation efforts using a monoculture of a fast-growing tree species, while effective, significantly impact the soil water content of humid, tropical regions and threatens global freshwater supplies. Scientists have now found that the transpiration rate and transpiration-related trait values are up to 10 times greater in the fast-growing species than nearby, dominant slow-growing species. The team has proposed a three-step method for ensuring reforestation efforts in tropical regions don't harm the surrounding soil water content. (2021-02-10)

Arctic permafrost releases more CO2 than once believed
There may be greater CO2 emissions associated with thawing Arctic permafrost than ever imagined. An international team of researchers, including one from the University of Copenhagen, has discovered that soil bacteria release CO2 previously thought to be trapped by iron. The finding presents a large new carbon footprint that is unaccounted for in current climate models. (2021-02-09)

Changing cropping systems in impaired watersheds can produce water quality gains
Growing the right crop in the right place within an impaired watershed can achieve significant water quality improvements, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a novel study in the drainage of a Susquehanna River tributary in an agricultural area in southeastern Pennsylvania. (2021-02-09)

Ancient Amazonian farmers fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it
Ancient Amazonian communities fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it from conflict, excavations show. (2021-02-09)

Variable weather makes weeds harder to whack
From flooded spring fields to summer hailstorms and drought, farmers are well aware the weather is changing. It often means spring planting can't happen on time or has to happen twice to make up for catastrophic losses of young seedlings. According to a joint study between University of Illinois and USDA-ARS, it also means common pre-emergence herbicides are less effective. (2021-02-08)

Fingerprint for the formation of nitrous oxide emissions
Scientists led by Eliza Harris and Michael Bahn from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck have succeeded in studying emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O under the influence of environmental impacts in an unprecedented level of detail. The study, which has now been published in Science Advances, is thus also a starting point for the creation of models that could predict future trends in the greenhouse gas emission dynamics of ecosystems under global climate change. (2021-02-05)

Some food contamination starts in the soil
Rice husk residue can prevent uptake of harmful elements in rice. (2021-02-03)

Soil bacteria hormone discovery provides fertile ground for new antibiotics
The discovery of how hormone-like molecules turn on antibiotic production in soil bacteria could unlock the untapped opportunities for medicines that are under our very feet. An international team of scientists working at the University of Warwick, UK, and Monash University, Australia, have determined the molecular basis of a biological mechanism that could enable more efficient and cost-effective production of existing antibiotics, and also allow scientists to uncover new antibiotics in soil bacteria. (2021-02-03)

Soldiers, snakes and marathon runners in the hidden world of fungi
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered the individual traits of fungi, and how their hyphae - that is, the fungal threads that grow in soil - behave very differently as they navigate through the earth's microscopic labyrinths. (2021-02-02)

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils
A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate. (2021-02-01)

Increasing snow depth prevented wintertime soils from cooling during the warming hiatus
Scientists investigated snow cover along with other direct and indirect soil temperature influences in northeastern China. The research further showed that the increasing snow depth in northeastern China may be the main reason for the continued warming trend in soil temperatures. In addition to the thermal insulation effect of snow cover, the ability for soil to record human changes and environmental influences, or ''soil memory'' is also important, especially at greater depths. (2021-01-31)

Scientists look to soils to learn how forests affect air quality, climate change
Two studies shed light on the complex relationships between tree types, forest soil nutrients and microbes, and their effect of affect air quality and climate change. (2021-01-29)

Ecologists conducted a novel study on vegetation transpiration from a global network of 251 sites
An ecologist from RUDN University together with colleagues from 14 countries compared three methods for estimating ecosystem transpiration in a study. In the first ever research with such a comprehensive data-set, the team used land-atmosphere water vapor flux data of collected at 251 locations all over the planet, from Australia to Greenland. The outcome of the research help to understand the role of plants in the global water and carbon cycles in the current predicament of global warming. (2021-01-28)

Carbon-chomping soil bacteria may pose hidden climate risk
Much of the earth's carbon is trapped in soil, and scientists have assumed that potential climate-warming compounds would safely stay there for centuries. But new research from Princeton University shows that carbon molecules can potentially escape the soil much faster than previously thought. The findings suggest a key role for some types of soil bacteria, which can produce enzymes that break down large carbon-based molecules and allow carbon dioxide to escape into the air. (2021-01-27)

Soil health is as environmentally important as air and water quality, say microbiologists
Healthy, sustainably managed soil is a critical ecosystem for continuous sustenance of plants, animals and humans globally. While the concept of 'soil health' still continues to evolve, the versatility of the concept allows its adoption by many stakeholders. (2021-01-26)

Integrated disease management saves olive trees from Verticillium wilt
The University of Cordobas's Agronomy Department (abbreviated to DAUCO in Spanish) reduced the occurrence of Verticillium wilt in a commercial olive plantation by applying an Integrated Disease Management strategy. (2021-01-25)

New clues help explain why PFAS chemicals resist remediation
Chemicals used in firefighting foam and other products can last for decades in the environment, resisting efforts to remove them. New research suggest why that happens and new avenues for remediation. (2021-01-19)

Large mammals make soil more fertile in tropical forests
A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University demonstrates that animals like peccaries and tapirs boost soil levels of nitrogen, an essential element to plant growth. (2021-01-15)

Lead poisoning of children
A remediation and public education effort at an abandoned battery recycling facility in Bangladesh eliminated most lead soil contamination, but levels of the toxic metal in children living near the site did not decrease nearly as much. The discrepancy reveals the scope of other lead exposure sources and the challenge they present to public health. (2021-01-14)

Researchers show Irish soil can offer more hope in fight against antibiotic resistance
Scientists who highlighted the bug-busting properties of bacteria in Northern Irish soil have made another exciting discovery in the quest to discover new antibiotics. (2021-01-14)

Plant roots sense compacted soil through gaseous hormone signals
The volatile plant hormone ethylene allows plant roots to sense and avoid compacted soils, researchers report. (2021-01-14)

Hard to crack research reveals how crop roots penetrate hard soils
Scientists have discovered a signal that causes roots to stop growing in hard soils which can be 'switched off' to allow them to punch through compacted soil - a discovery that could help plants to grow in even the most damaged soils. (2021-01-14)

Measuring the belowground world
Life above ground depends on the soil and its countless inhabitants. Yet, global strategies to protect biodiversity have so far paid little attention to this habitat. Researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University (UL) and Colorado State University call for greater consideration of soils in international biodiversity strategies, far beyond agriculture. The researchers explain their plan for systematic recording to enable comprehensive policy advisory. (2021-01-14)

Framework sheds light on nitrogen loss of producing common food items
Differences in nitrogen loss intensity between livestock and crops confirm the need for change. (2021-01-13)

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