Latest News on Soil Degradation Research: Dec – 2019

Soil degradation by erosion

Soil degradation by accelerated erosion may be a significant issue and can remain so during the 21st century, especially in developing countries of the tropics and subtropics. Yet, its extent, severity, and economic and environmental impacts are debatable. Estimates of worldwide and regional acreage affected are tentative and subjective. Results of field measurements are often technique‐dependent. Considerable progress has been made in modeling erosion, yet field validation of those models remains to be finished principal soils and ecoregions. almost like the acreage affected, estimates of erosional impacts on crop yield, productivity and soil quality are tentative and subjective. Further, erosion‐induced losses on crop yield are scale‐dependent due to the compensatory beneficial effects on yields from depositional sites, and technology‐dependent due to the masking effects of input like fertilizers and irrigation. [1]

Tillage effects on soil degradation, soil resilience, soil quality, and sustainability

Soil degradation, decrease in soil’s actual and potential productivity due to land misuse, may be a major threat to agricultural sustainability and environmental quality. the matter is especially severe within the tropics and sub-tropics as a results of high demographic pressure, shortage of prime agricultural land, harsh environments, and resource poor farmers who presumably cannot afford science based recommended inputs. Tillage methods and soil surface management affect sustainable use of soil resources through their influence on soil stability, soil resilience, and soil quality. Soil stability refers to the susceptibility of soil to vary under natural or anthropogenic perturbations. as compared, soil resilience refers to soil’s ability to revive its life support processes after being stressed. The term soil quality refers to the soil’s capacity to perform its three principal functions e.g. [2]

Catastrophic vegetation shifts and soil degradation in terrestrial grazing systems

It has long been recognized that alternative vegetation states may occur in terrestrial grazing systems. This phenomenon could also be of great importance as small environmental fluctuations may cause relatively sudden and irreversible jumps between vegetation states. Early theoretical studies emphasized saturation of herbivore feeding to elucidate multiple stable states and catastrophic behaviour. Recent studies on semi-arid grasslands and arctic salt marshes, however, relate catastrophic events in these systems to plant-soil interactions. [3]

Microbial taxa and functional genes shift in degraded soil with bacterial wilt

Soil degradation may be a serious global problem, but little is understood about how soil microbial communities answer soil degradation also as their feedback to ecosystem functioning. during this study, we found the microbial community composition, structure and functional potential significantly altered within the degraded soils with bacterial wilt (termed as degraded soils). Compared with healthy soils, OTU richness of beneficial microorganisms were significantly decreased, but OTU richness of pathogenic microorganisms were significantly increased within the degraded soils. Functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) analysis showed the functional metabolic potential of genes involved in stress, virulence, sulfur cycle, metal resistance, degradation of plant cell membrane was significantly increased within the degraded soils. Increased functional metabolic potential of those genes could also be associated with the acidification and severe disease of degraded soils. [4]

Use of Agricultural Extension Information for Mitigation of Soil Degradation in Ondo State, Nigeria

Aims: This research work examined the utilization of agricultural extension information to mitigate soil degradation in Ondo Central senatorial district of Ondo state, Nigeria. The study identified significant sources of soil degradation within the study area, determine how often the farmers used the available information on soil degradation mitigation and identified observed changes that occurred on the soil within the past five years.

Methodology: A multi-stage sampling technique was utilized in selecting respondents. Data were collected with the utilization of a structured questionnaire and interview schedule from 180 registered farmers across six communities in Ondo East and Ifedore government Areas in Ondo Central senatorial district of the state. [5]

Reference

[1] Lal, R.A.T.T.A.N., 2001. Soil degradation by erosion. Land degradation & development, 12(6), (Web Link)

[2] Lal, R., 1993. Tillage effects on soil degradation, soil resilience, soil quality, and sustainability. Soil and tillage Research, 27(1-4), (Web Link)

[3] van de Koppel, J., Rietkerk, M. and Weissing, F.J., 1997. Catastrophic vegetation shifts and soil degradation in terrestrial grazing systems. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 12(9), (Web Link)

[4] Microbial taxa and functional genes shift in degraded soil with bacterial wilt
Hongchun Zhang, Rui Wang, Shu Chen, Gaofu Qi, Zhili He & Xiuyun Zhao
Scientific Reports volume 7, (Web Link)

[5] Olalekan, O., Tobiloba, A. and Oluwaseun, O. (2018) “Use of Agricultural Extension Information for Mitigation of Soil Degradation in Ondo State, Nigeria”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 25(4), (Web Link)

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