U of A College of Agriculture & Life Sciences - Soil, Water and Enviro Services - Mitigating Wind Erosion

Joey Blankinship
2018-08-10
University of Arizona

Potential for Mitigating Wind Erosion in the Sonoran Desert Using Organic Amendments and Microbes to Build Soil Aggregates

Joseph Blankinship

University of Arizona

jblankinship@email.arizona.edu

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

Soil, Water and Environmental Services

(Presentation)

continue reading...

 Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder

 

Why should we all care about barren lands?

 

  1. They are expanding in arid and semi-arid regions
  2. Little or no forage production (no agricultural uses)
  3. Low-quality habitat for wildlife
  4. Poor aesthetics
  5. Likely hot spots of dust production

 

Soil Aerosols

 Picture Placeholder

Malm et al. (1994) Journal of Geophysical Research

 

 

We can’t not talk about water erosion


Picture Placeholder 


Belnap et al. (2011) Ecohydrology

Picture Placeholder

Arizona Department of Public Safety

 

 Picture Placeholder

Field et al. (2012) The ecology of dust. Frontiers in Ecology Environment

 

 

Picture Placeholder

 

New solutions are needed!

Picture Placeholder

 

Currently available BMPs for barren lands

q    Mechanical treatment (e.g., berms)


Picture PlaceholderPicture Placeholder

Underlying soil structural instability is not fixed

 


 Currently available BMPs for barren lands

 

q    Synthetic polymers (e.g., Soil Sement, Gorilla-Snot®)

 

Picture PlaceholderPicture Placeholder

 

 

 

Not guaranteed beyond 3 years;

Do not promote plant growth


 Picture PlaceholderPicture Placeholder

Soil Sement applied next to Interstate-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ

 

 Currently available BMPs for barren lands

q    Critical area planting

Picture PlaceholderPicture PlaceholderPicture Placeholder

 

Limited success with “plant-centric” practices in arid regions,

likely because soil health is not improved

 

Motivating Research Question for the Remainder fo My Talk

  • Can we improve the long-term success of stabilizing and

revegetating barren arid soils by explicitly considering

organic matter and the soil microbiome?

 

  • Are organic matter and soil biology missing ingredients for

“jump starting” barren systems in the Desert Southwest?

 

 

 

Ground zero for needing soil "probiotics?"

Picture PlaceholderPicture Placeholder

 

 

Water-Stable Soil Aggregate

Picture Placeholder 

Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder

Macroaggregate separation by wet sieving                                                               

 

Barren lands are aggregate-poor

Blankinship et al. (In prep)

 Picture Placeholder

Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS)

Picture Placeholder

 

 Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder

  Enmeshment by Fungi 


Obligatory Box & Arrow Diagram

Picture Placeholder

Obligatory Box & Arrow Diagram

Picture Placeholder

 

Benefits of Using Organic Amendments in Dust Mitigation Projects 

q  Promotes soil structure directly

 

q  Improves microclimate by covering soil and slowing H2O

q  Carbon source for carbon-starved soil microbes

 

q  Nutrient source for potentially nutrient-starved plants

 

 Picture Placeholder

Wood Mulch

Compost + Mulch

Picture Placeholder

Compost + Biochar

Picture Placeholder

 

Augmenting the Soil Microbiome Directly

 

  • Managing existing soil microbes
  • Boosting with probiotics

 Picture Placeholder

Managing Existing Soil Microbes for Water-Stable Aggregate Formation

 

Picture Placeholder

 

 

Chloroform Sterilization

Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder


 

Boosting the Soil Microbiome with Probiotics

  • Inoculation with commercially available products

Picture Placeholder 

 

Boosting the Soil Microbiome with Probiotics

Inoculation with commercially available products

  • Which ones work best for “bioengineering” soil aggregates?
  • Which ones promote plant growth in barren ecosystems?
  • Which products are economically viable?
  • How much/often to apply?
  • What time of year to apply?

 

Boosting the Soil Microbiome with Probiotics

  • Inoculation with commercially available products
  • Bio-crust “farming"

Picture Placeholder

Picture Placeholder

 

Connections to Wind Erosion Handbook

Chapter 5. Controlling wind erosion

  1. A.     Farmland
    1. Abandoned cropland
      1. Long-term abandonment
      2. Short-term drought mitigation
      3. B.     Rangeland and Natural Areas
        1. Revegetation
          1. Bio-crusts

 

Complete the form below to download this document now.
Fill out the form to get access to the complete article.