Title: Myakka
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Title: Myakka
Series Title: Myakka
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Creator: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida.
Publisher: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida.
Publication Date: Summer 2001
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089449
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Myakka

A Soil and Water Science Department Publication


'IFAS


Vo e 1 N r 3 I e o Ag a S e S r 2


Featuring
SWSD Thrust Area:

Soil Quality/
Ecological Indicators


Mycorrhizal infection of pine roots


Students in Microbial Ecology lab


Phosphate mineral 'vivianite'in
Okeechobee Basin soils

Editors:
Pam Marlin
Darryl Palmer
Dr. Rao Mylavarapu Extension
Dr. Vimala Nair Research
Dr. John White Teaching

Visit the SWS website:
http://soils.ifas.ufl.edu

UNIVERSITY OF
SFLORIDA


From the chalr...

Origin and History of the Department


Today the Soil and
Water Science De-
partment's (SWSD)
research and
education programs
are well situated to
address critical soil
and water quality issues in a wide range of
ecosystems, including agricultural lands,
forested lands, range lands, urban lands, and
wetlands. It is important to reflect on how we
got to this stage. Let us go back in time and
review the origin and history of our department,
learning from past experiences as we chart our
future course.

Soils-related research in Florida was first
published in 1888 by the newly established
Experiment Station of the State Agricultural
College of Lake City, Florida. Early soil survey
maps developed in 1904 included soils of
Alachua, Levi, and Marion counties and
showed Alachua Lake (Paynes Prairie) filled
with water.

In 1907, the Experiment Station was moved
from Lake City to Gainesville. The present
Newell Hall, then called the Experiment
Station, was built in 1908. A.W. Blair (1899-
1910), chemist, probably should be considered
as a pioneer in Florida soils' research. His
experiments included the use of lysimeters to
study nutrient leaching. This research was
followed by S.E. Collison (1910-1920), who
conducted detailed studies on nutrient leaching
in Florida sandy soils.

Soil Science research reached new levels of
sophistication in 1925, when Dr. R.M. Barnette
was hired as soil chemist. By the end of the
1920s, several sub-disciplines of soil science
were recognized, including physics, chemistry,
mineralogy, and microbiology. Two examples
of M.S. theses were: (1) An attempt at the
isolation of an organic toxicant in an Everglade
soil (1925, J.B. Hazard), and (2) The factors
affecting the formation of the organic hardpan
in the Florida Flatwood soils (1929, L.A.
Richardson). Scientists in the early part of the
20th Century recognized the importance


of two major soil types in Florida, organic
soil (Histosols) and flatwood soils
(Spodosols).

In 1933, the Department of Chemistry
and Soil was established, with R.W.
Ruprecht (1920-37) as head of the
department. In 1937, the department was
re-organized with Dr. R.V. Allison (1937-
1944) as the new head. In 1939, the
name was changed to the Soils
Department. Faculty included C.E.
Bell, H.W. Winsor, F.B. Smith, J.R.
Henderson, L.K. Rogers, and R.A.
Carrigan. Dr. Allison was instrumental in
the establishment of the Soil Science
Society of Florida and the Society's high-
level publication has proven to be of
inestimable value for state-wide
distribution of technical information. A
major publication that year was Bulletin
334, The Soils of Florida by J.R.
Henderson.





A'


Newell Hall, Experiment Station 1909

The Department expanded with several
post-war appointments in 1946. F.B.
Smith became head (1945-65) with new
faculty added: G.M. Volk (1939-75), Soil
Chemist; J.R. Neller (1944-62), Soil
Chemist; G.T. Sims (1944-46), Chemist;
G.D. Thorton (1944-56), Soil
Microbiologist; R.E. Caldwell (1941-82),
Pedologist; O.C. Olson (1941-46), Soil
See Origin and History of the Department p2


DrK Ra es Redy Chair Soi an Wate Scec Deatet 106 Neel Hall Bo 150 nvest fFoidGievle









Teachinvg


NEW GRADUATE STUDENTS
Summer 2001
Gina Ierluli PhD Ad ior L C r.la

CarIa Sperry t1 S "a isor D0 Graelz

GRADUATES Summer 2001
Melina Far e .1 S aj.. isjr VV G Harris

DerDibe Irons r .1S a isor vv F
DeBiusk

Jaon Kriu e P.1 S ad..ij r J B Sarlain

Carrie Miner M S Ad- iur VV F
DeBLIus

Tr3 is Sn3aco- .1 S "a isor J B
Sarlain



NEW UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Summer 2001
Martin Anderon ad..ior D Graetz

Po.-er Mc,:lillan mo.isor D M Comer

GRADUATES Summer 2001
Janmes Cromer EMa-L\IM aj..ior
D Graetz


Survey of a Land System
SOS 6932 3 credits

This new course was offered during
Summer B by John White and
Extension agent Stan Bronson (Palm
Beach County). The curriculum was
based on five modules: Survey of South
Florida, Natural Systems, Role of
Agriculture in South Florida, Water, and
Restoration. The course began in
Gainesville with one week of lectures
given from 9am 5pm by a number of
managers, scientists, and faculty. This
lecture series was also open to the
public. The final day of lectures was
highlighted by a lunchtime meeting with
the State of Florida's Commissioner of
Agriculture Charlie Bronson, Vice
President of IFAS Mike Martin, and
Deans Luzar, Cheek, Brown, and
Waddill. The class next convened in
West Palm Beach for a tour of South
Florida. Over the next five days,
they visited the South Florida Water
Management District, the Everglades
Nutrient Removal Project, Loxahatchee
Wildlife Refuge, an airboat tour of Water
Conservation Area 2A, Everglades


Origin and History of the department Con't from pl

Surveyor, and L.E. Ensinger (1942-44) Soil Chemist. The passing of legislation for the State Soil Survey in 1941 opened a new
era of land classification and evaluation. During the 1950s a series of studies showed the significance of various soil physico-
chemical properties on soil fertility and plant nutrition. Some significant contributions included: rhizobium usage in Florida's
agriculture, boron nutrition, and nitrogen and phosphorus requirements of several crops. Nutrient losses through leaching
were measured in many cropping systems. Emphasis on research was slowly shifting from traditional soil fertility to
environmentally sound practices. The first Ph.D. degree in soils was awarded in 1955 (since then, over 130 doctorate degrees
have been awarded).

During the 1960s some of the active research programs included: phosphorus chemistry, biological nitrogen fixation, and
forest soil fertility. Dr. F.B. Smith retired in 1965, followed by the appointment of Dr. C.F. Eno as department head in 1966.
The expansion of citrus to the interior flatwoods created several new problems in soils management. The SWAP
(Soil Water Atmosphere Plant) project established in 1968 at the Ft. Pierce Agricultural Research and Education Center, gained
high scientific visibility as a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to the problem of water control and citrus growth.

The name of the department was changed to Soil Science in 1971. During the 1970s the department's research emphasis focused
on the fate and transport of nutrients, pesticides, and waste constituents. Much of the work during this period laid a strong foundation
for environmental research in the later part of the century. Dr. Eno retired in 1983 and Dr. Brian McNeal became the new
department chairman. Dr. McNeal remained in this position until 1989, followed by Dr. Jerry Kidder as interim chair (1989-90).
He in turn was followed by Dr. George O'Connor (1990-94) and Dr. Randy Brown (1994-2000) as department chairs. Each of
these modern-era chairs contributed significantly to the development of this department. To reflect its many new programs, in
1992 the department was renamed Soil and Water Science; under this new name the departmental programs were organized into
six thrust areas. In almost 100 years, numbers of SWS faculty, staff and students have made significant contributions to
improving the productivity of Florida's agriculture and contributed to soil and water science at national and international levels. In
the past three decades, the research and educational focus of the department has been on environmental issues related to soil
and water quality. As we move into the 21st century, we need to reflect on many of our past experiences and accomplishments,
and build upon them to address the challenges of the soil and water quality issues of the future.



"We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present" Adlai E. Stevenson


National Park, Southwest Florida
Research and Education Center, US
Sugar operations, Lake Okee-
chobee, and a boat tour of the
Kissimmee River. This format used
the South Florida Ecosystem as a
living laboratory, allowing
participants to learn about the
tenuous balance between natural
resource issues, politics, ecosystem
restoration and fresh water supply.
The course met with such interest
and success that it will be offered
annually and has been assigned a
course number and a permanent
home in the Soil and Water Science
Department.


U










R-esect wclk


Soil Quality/Ecological Indicators


Agncultural
lands
Range
Forested lands
Ian s

Urban Wetlands
lands z#
w ..... .. 0


Management
practices in
Agricultural
lands, forested
lands, range
lands, and
wetlands play an
integral part in
influencing soil


and water quality within a watershed.
Non-point source pollution of our
streams, rivers, groundwater, lakes,
wetlands, and estuaries is now linked to
the practices used in these ecosystems.
Understanding the nature of soil quality
(which we define as the ability of the soil
resource to produce and maintain
ecosystem production of plant, animal,
and microbial biomass and to buffer or
improve water quality) is fundamental to
meeting future demands on agriculture
and natural resources. An holistic,
integrated approach to research and
education is needed to develop alternate
practices that will maintain environ-


mentally sound management of these
ecosystems. Since soil is the primary
driver regulating ecosystem
processes and functions, its quality
has a direct influence on water quality
and ecosystem productivity. The
task of defining soil quality and its link
to sustainable biological productivity
and water quality is complex.
Nevertheless, it is a task that lies at
the core of the mission of several
state and federal agencies. The most
comprehensive way to address this
task is through intensive, long-term
research that describes the detailed
structure and function of ecosystems
within a watershed. Unfortunately,
there is often insufficient time and/or
resources to accomplish such an
effort, particularly given the rapid rate
of anthropogenically-driven changes
occurring in many watersheds. In
these articles we describe two
examples of SWSD efforts in the
development of soil quality/
ecological indicators in forested
lands and wetlands.


Soil Quality Indicators for Forested Lands at Ft. Benning, GA


Sampling sites at Ft. Benning


A multidisciplinary research team at the
University of Florida and Purdue
University is conducting research to
develop ecological indicators to be used
as resource management tools for
military lands. The 5-year, $2 million
study, conducted at the Ft. Benning
(GA) military reservation, is funded by
the Department of Defense SERDP
program as part of their recently initiated
Ecosystem Management Project
(SEMP). Bill DeBusk is the lead
investigator for the team which includes
Ramesh Reddy, Andy Ogram and Joe
Prenger from the SWS faculty. Other
UF faculty involved in the project include
Debbie Miller and George Tanner,
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation


Department; Wendy Graham,
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Department; and Jennifer Jacobs,
Civil Engineering Department. The
Purdue research group is led by
Suresh Rao, who is also Professor
Emeritus at UF. The project team is
evaluating a group of parameters
related to soil biogeochemistry,
hydrology, understory vegetation, and
watershed hydrology as potentially
sensitive indicators of ecosystem
integrity and ecological response to
natural and anthropogenic factors. In
general, the soil quality indicators to be
examined relate to changes in soil
See Ft. Benning p4


Microbial Community
Composition as Soil Quality
Indicators


HecltO Cashio sainplng in me E ergiades


The use of bacteria as indicators of human
impacts on ec.s) stems is currently being
in..estigated b Andy Ogram's group
Bacteria respond much more r3pidly Ic
changes in their en.. ronmenl than do more
compile. organisms suC'h as plans Bt
sluding changes in the composition and
act,.. lies of bacteria in soils impacted bd
anthr.po&genic a:ctl' ties students Weiwei
Chen and Heclor Castro and post-doctoral
research associate Milind Chavan hope l.
idenhil, aspects o microbiai commnluni
n'mposition tha iiill prci ide sensiti e earl
i.arning ndicaltor or impending ec.ss ltenm
change

Weiwei Chen is ring,'rkig '..ith a team or
scientlsls seeking to icentlif inaic3tlors of
eco.sstemn integrity at the FI Benning
training faciiitl) \eiiete s approach has
been 10 characterize s.-il microbial
communl.ines 31 FI Benning tD 3 D"rl
1ingerprining tecnninque T-PFLP This
eChnilque allow *s r3pi-d comparison of Ime
conposition of different groups of bacterial
genes in different samples Vvei...el has
chosen to focus on the di ersit fcr a gene
important in nitrification Iammon.i
monoo.ngenasel 3na a gene cnhracteristic
of melhanorophic bacteria

Heclor Casiro and Milind Chavan are
using similar approaches to sltud the
distribution and acti. sites of bacterial strains
in.oi. e in carbon clcilng along nutrient
gr3dients in euirophic m3rshes suich as the
E. erglades Hector is particularly Inlerested
in the distribution and acti..tlies of suiiate
reducing bacteria and Milnd is currently
de'.eloping methods for sliding the
act,..lies of se era1 bacterial groups in
these marshes it mat be tsht the aci lies
and not merely presence of some sbclerial
strains may pro- ide the most senstll..e
indicators of eco.s' system change


Erosion impacts upland and wetland water
quality










ExteVsionv


ANNOUNCING
First Annual Soil and Water Science Institute:
PRINCIPLES OF ARSENIC BEHAVIOR IN FLORIDA'S SOILS
March 4 5, 2002, Gainesville, Florida
University of Florida Double Tree Hotel and Conference Center

Arsenic has found its way into the news and into land-use decision-
making in the last several years. Decision-makers, be they individual
citizens, public policy makers, or land managers, need to be provided
with in-depth, scientific information about the nature and behavior of
arsenic in the soil environment. This Institute is intended to provide
decision-makers and their advisors/consultants with up-to-date,
factual, scientific information that they can use in appropriate
combination with individual and societal values to make informed
choices with respect to the occurrence and behavior of arsenic in the
soil environment.

This conference will impart a fundamental understanding of the forms
in which arsenic occurs in soils; analysis of soils for levels and forms
of arsenic; processes involved in transformations and movement of
arsenic in soils; occurrence of arsenic in and across the soils and
landscapes of Florida; soil-to-human exposure to arsenic; appropriate
statistical techniques for understanding arsenic occurrence and
behavior in soils/landscapes; interaction between CCA-treated wood
and the soil; risks to humans from soil-borne arsenic; and
remediation of arsenic-contaminated soils.

For Details contact: Dr. Randy Brown-- Institute Organizer,
SWSD, University of Florida, Box 110510, Gainesville, FL 32611, Ph:
352-392-1803 x344; Fax 352-392-3399; SUNCOM 622-1803 x344
Email: rbb@mail.ifas.ufl.edu http://soils.ifas.ufl.edu/institute


Jim Jawitz joined the SWSD in September as Sabine Grunwald joined the SWSD in August as
Assistant Professor of Soil Physics/Hydrology. Assistant Professor of Land Resources. Sabine
Jim comes from the University of Illinois at comes from the Water Quality Laboratory at
Chicago. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1999 from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. She conducted
the University of Florida, under the guidance her post- doctoral work at the University of
of Drs. P.S. Rao and M. Annable. Wisconsin, Madison. Sabine obtained her Ph.D.
in 1996 from Giessen University, Germany.


At the Florida Turfgrass Association Conference, SWS student Travis Shaddox received the Max McQuade Scholarship in the
amount of $1000. Other SWS students, Raymond Snyder and Eric Brown, won first and third place, respectively, in the graduate
student paper presentation contest. Jerry Sartain, Professor of Soil Fertility, is the graduate advisor of these students.

Nick Comerford, Professor of Forest Soils, was elected as a 2001 Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.

David Sylvia, Professor of Soil Microbiology, was elected as a 2001 Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

P.K. Nair, Distinguished Professor of Agroforestry, was elected as a 2001 Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America. He is
also the recipient of the 2001 International Soil Science Award, presented by the Soil Science Society of America. Nair is an
Affiliate Professor of the SWSD.

Ramesh Reddy, Graduate Research Professor of Wetland Biogeochemistry, is the recipient of the 2001 Soil Science Applied
Research Award, presented by the Soil Science of Society of America.

ALUMNI & FRIENDS
Donor gifts from alumni and friends are a boost to our teaching, research, and extension programs and without their support we would not be able to
maintain a high level of academic excellence. We sincerely thank our alumni and friends for their generous support of SWSD programs. Gifts can be
mailed to SWSD or to the UF Foundation Inc SHARE University of Florida PO Box 110170 Gainesville Florida 32611-0170


Cm n/gso peee t Newsletter, Bo1050,UnvesiyfloiaGanevi


Ft. Benning Cont'd from p3

physical and chemical characteristics, and the response of
soil microbial and plant communities. The concept of
ecosystem integrity or "health" in the context of the military
installation encompasses not only the sustainability of the
natural biota in the system, but also the sustainability of
human activities at the installation namely the military
mission. Thus, changes in ecological condition are of great
concern to both resource managers and military trainers.
Relationships among ecological indicators and land condition
are being evaluated following low-intensity soil and vegetation
sampling at 300 sites over a broad area encompassing a
range of military and non-military land use and anthropogenic
disturbance. From this analysis, a short list of promising
indicators will be selected for further evaluation. Concurrently,
a watershed scale evaluation of hydrologic response to
intensive military land use has been ongoing in paired 2nd-
order watersheds. Preliminary results have revealed a strong
relationship between type and intensity of anthropogenic
disturbance and soil organic matter and plant-available
nutrients.

Results of this study will enhance the ability to minimize,
mitigate or reverse major negative environmental impacts on
the DOD's ability to conduct the military mission. Early
indications of change, and an understanding of the likely
causes, will improve installation managers' ability to manage
activities that are shown to be damaging, and prevent long-
term, negative effects.


PAGE 4




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