Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Options to model the effects of tillage on N2O emissions at the global scale
    Lutz, Femke ; Stoorvogel, Jetse J. ; Müller, Christoph - \ 2019
    Ecological Modelling 392 (2019). - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 212 - 225.
    Agriculture - GHG emissions - Global ecosystem models - Mitigation - Soil management

    Strategies on agricultural management can help to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the potential of agricultural management to reduce GHG emissions at the global scale is unclear. Global ecosystem models often lack sufficient detail in their representation of management, such as tillage. This paper explores whether and how tillage can be incorporated in global ecosystem models for the analysis of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. We identify the most important nitrogen processes in soils and their response to tillage. We review how these processes and tillage effects are described in field-scale models and evaluate whether they can be incorporated in the global-scale models while considering the data requirements for a global application. The most important processes are described in field-scale models and the basic data requirements can be met at the global scale. We therefore conclude that there is potential to incorporate tillage in global ecosystem models for the analysis of N2O emissions. There are several options for how the relevant processes can be incorporated into global ecosystem models, so that generally there is potential to study the effects of tillage on N2O emissions globally. Given the many interactions with other processes, modelers need to identify the modelling approaches that are consistent with their modelling framework and test these.

    Quantitative land evaluation implemented in Dutch water management
    Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D. ; Mulder, H.M. ; Bartholomeus, R.P. ; Dam, J.C. van; Holshof, G. ; Hoving, I.E. ; Walvoort, D.J.J. ; Heinen, M. ; Kroes, J.G. ; Bakel, P.J.T. van; Supit, I. ; Wit, A.J.W. de; Ruijtenberg, R. - \ 2019
    Geoderma 338 (2019). - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 536 - 545.
    Agro-hydrology - Crop yield assessment - Land use - Meta-model - Simulation modelling - Soil management

    Both in land evaluation and in water management quantitative methods, GIS and simulation modelling are well-known techniques for quantifying the effects of changes, such as land use or climate change. For hydrological management decisions information is often required on the effect of those decisions on agricultural production. To serve the needs of different types of users, like water authorities, provinces, drinking water companies and the National Department of Infrastructure and Water Management we developed a toolbox named WaterVision Agriculture as an instrument that can determine effects on crop yield and the farm economy as a result of drought, too wet or too saline conditions for both current and future climatic conditions. WaterVision Agriculture is based on the hydrological simulation model SWAP, the crop growth model WOFOST and farm management and economic assessments such as DairyWise for dairy farming. The WaterVision Agriculture (WVA) project resulted in two products, namely i) an easily applicable tool (also called the WVA-table) and ii) the operational models for hydrology and crop growth SWAP and WOFOST for calculating effects on field scale combined with calculating farm economic results and indirect effects. SWAP simulates water transport in the unsaturated zone using meteorological data, boundary conditions (like groundwater level or drainage) and soil parameters. WOFOST simulates crop growth as a function of meteorological conditions and crop parameters. Using the combination of these process-based models and methods for describing crop management and economic value we derived a meta-model, i.e. a set of easily applicable simplified relations for assessing crop growth as a function of soil type and groundwater level. These relations are based on multiple model runs for at least 72 soil units and the possible groundwater regimes in the Netherlands. The easily applicable tool (WVA-table) uses this meta-model. Applying the meta-model of WaterVision Agriculture should allow for better decisions on land use or soil and water management because the instrument can help to quantify the effects of changes in climate, land use, hydrological conditions or combinations of these effects on agricultural production.

    The birth of a new cropping system : towards sustainability in the sub-tropical lowland agriculture
    Theisen, G. ; Silva, J.J.C. da; Silva-Dias, J. ; Andres, A. ; Anten, N.P.R. ; Bastiaans, L. - \ 2017
    Field Crops Research 212 (2017). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 82 - 94.
    Crop rotation - Farming system - Soil management - Sustainability indicators - Wetland

    Developing cropping systems that meet multiple demands of high production, resource-use efficiency and low ecological footprint is a major global challenge. In Southern Brazilian lowlands, irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) in combination with fallow for beef production is the dominant cropping system. This system is key to Brazilian food security but faces problems of resource use efficiency, soil preservation and greenhouse gas emissions typically associated to rice irrigation. In this research, a multi-criteria analysis of the usual rice-fallow system, and a number of alternative production Schemes – i.e., the more recent rice-soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotations and the newly developed systems based on large ridges, was made. The latter is based on the construction of large ridges (8 m width) on which rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean, conducted in no-tillage, are integrated with either beef-livestock production or cover crops in winter. This study was done in an experiment that lasted for nine years. The five cropping systems were managed as independent fields and a range of indicators related to crop management, productivity and sustainability was measured. The Rice-Fallow system required the lowest amount of energy, but it had the lowest energy use efficiency and highest carbon-based environmental footprints, when expressed as greenhouse gasses emitted per kg of food produced. The rice-soybean rotation system presented an improved performance for the carbon-based footprints in comparison to the rice-fallow system. Within rice-soybean rotation, using minimum-tillage instead conventional tillage increased the overall carbon balance and the carbon sequestered into the soil as organic matter. Most strikingly, the new ridge-based systems exhibited the most favourable values for many of the indicators. The more diverse rotation system, and particularly the extension of the growing season to winter, resulted in improvements in soil quality, biomass production and carbon sequestration into the soil. Water- and light- use efficiency were increased, whereas greenhouse gas emissions reduced. The ridge-based crop-livestock integration offered the best balance between food production and environmental preservation. This cropping system is potentially one of best alternatives to increase agricultural diversification and sustainability in the sub-tropical lowlands such as in southern Brazil. This shows that modifications of cropping systems can result in major simultaneous improvements in yield, resource-use efficiency and ecological sustainability.

    Priorities for research in soil ecology
    Eisenhauer, Nico ; Antunes, Pedro M. ; Bennett, Alison E. ; Birkhofer, Klaus ; Bissett, Andrew ; Bowker, Matthew A. ; Caruso, Tancredi ; Chen, Baodong ; Coleman, David C. ; Boer, Wietse de; Ruiter, Peter de; DeLuca, Thomas H. ; Frati, Francesco ; Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Hart, Miranda M. ; Hättenschwiler, Stephan ; Haimi, Jari ; Heethoff, Michael ; Kaneko, Nobuhiro ; Kelly, Laura C. ; Leinaas, Hans Petter ; Lindo, Zoë ; Macdonald, Catriona ; Rillig, Matthias C. ; Ruess, Liliane ; Scheu, Stefan ; Schmidt, Olaf ; Seastedt, Timothy R. ; Straalen, Nico M. van; Tiunov, Alexei V. ; Zimmer, Martin ; Powell, Jeff R. - \ 2017
    Pedobiologia 63 (2017). - ISSN 0031-4056 - p. 1 - 7.
    Aboveground-belowground interactions - Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning - Biogeography - Chemical ecology - Climate change - Ecosystem services - Global change - Microbial ecology - Novel environments - Plant-microbe interactions - Soil biodiversity - Soil food web - Soil management - Soil processes
    The ecological interactions that occur in and with soil are of consequence in many ecosystems on the planet. These interactions provide numerous essential ecosystem services, and the sustainable management of soils has attracted increasing scientific and public attention. Although soil ecology emerged as an independent field of research many decades ago, and we have gained important insights into the functioning of soils, there still are fundamental aspects that need to be better understood to ensure that the ecosystem services that soils provide are not lost and that soils can be used in a sustainable way. In this perspectives paper, we highlight some of the major knowledge gaps that should be prioritized in soil ecological research. These research priorities were compiled based on an online survey of 32 editors of Pedobiologia – Journal of Soil Ecology. These editors work at universities and research centers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The questions were categorized into four themes: (1) soil biodiversity and biogeography, (2) interactions and the functioning of ecosystems, (3) global change and soil management, and (4) new directions. The respondents identified priorities that may be achievable in the near future, as well as several that are currently achievable but remain open. While some of the identified barriers to progress were technological in nature, many respondents cited a need for substantial leadership and goodwill among members of the soil ecology research community, including the need for multi-institutional partnerships, and had substantial concerns regarding the loss of taxonomic expertise.
    Nitrogen losses in vineyards under different types of soil groundcover. A field runoff simulator approach in central Spain
    García-Díaz, Andrés ; Bienes, Ramón ; Sastre, Blanca ; Novara, Agata ; Gristina, Luciano ; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio - \ 2017
    Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 236 (2017). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 256 - 267.
    Groundcover - Nutrient loss - Runoff simulation - Soil management - Vineyards
    The soils of Mediterranean vineyards are usually managed with continuous tillage, resulting in bare soil, low infiltration and high soil erosion rates. Soil nutrients, such as nitrogen, could be lost dissolved in the runoff, causing a decrease in soil fertility on such degraded soils and producing eutrophication downstream. The influences of groundcover on the soil erosion processes and sediment yields in Mediterranean vineyards have been widely addressed. However, the runoff process itself, excluding the effect of raindrop impacts, has barely been studied. Thus, a field runoff simulator was built to assess runoff and nutrient losses under different soil management strategies in Central Spain. In the winter of the 2012–2013, four vineyards were selected, and two types of groundcover were established to compare with conventional tillage (T): spontaneous vegetation (CS) and seeded Brachypodium distachyon (CB). In 2014 and 2015, 72 runoff simulations were performed to assess the influence of the two different types of groundcover on the dissolved mineral nitrogen losses in runoff. The results showed that spontaneous vegetation cover was the most effective management choice to reduce runoff and nitrogen loss by producing 3 times less runoff than conventional tillage and 6 times less nitrate loss. Conventional tillage resulted in higher mineral nitrogen loss because it produced more runoff and higher runoff nitrate concentrations. The vegetation cover had a strong influence on runoff and nitrogen losses, while the slope angle and rock fragment cover showed a negligible impact.
    Long-term effects of soil management on ecosystem services and soil loss estimation in olive grove top soils
    Parras-Alcántara, Luis ; Lozano-García, Beatriz ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Cerdà, Artemi ; Brevik, Eric C. - \ 2016
    Science of the Total Environment 571 (2016). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 498 - 506.
    Amendments - Andalucía - Conventional tillage - Olive leaves - Olive mill pomace - Soil erosion - Soil management

    Soil management has important effects on soil properties, runoff, soil losses and soil quality. Traditional olive grove (OG) management is based on reduced tree density, canopy size shaped by pruning and weed control by ploughing. In addition, over the last several decades, herbicide use has been introduced into conventional OG management. These management strategies cause the soil surface to be almost bare and subsequently high erosion rates take place. To avoid these high erosion rates several soil management strategies can be applied. In this study, three strategies were assessed in OG with conventional tillage in three plots of 1. ha each. Soil properties were measured and soil erosion rates were estimated by means of the RUSLE model. One plot was managed with no amendments (control), and the other two were treated with olive leaves mulch and oil mill pomace applied yearly from 2003 until 2013. The control plot experienced the greatest soil loss while the use of olive leaves as mulch and olive mill pomace as an amendment resulted in a soil loss reduction of 89.4% and 65.4% respectively (assuming a 5% slope). In addition, the chemical and physical soil properties were improved with the amendments. This combined effect will created a higher quality soil over the long term that it is more resilient to erosion and can provide better ecosystem services, as its functions are improved.

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