Title: Myakka
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089449/00024
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Title: Myakka
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Publisher: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Spring 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089449
Volume ID: VID00024
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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A New Approach to Predicting Safe
Phosphorus Loading in Soils 2


Modeling of Ecological Processes
in the Everglades
Nutrient Management in Florida's
Ranchlands
Solid Oxygen Fertilizer
Irrigation & Nitrogen Management
for Sustainable Potato Production
Measurement of Denitrification
using MIMS
Florida Soil Carbon Mapping
Passive Surface Water Flux Meter


2 Research Innovation in Soil, Water,

3 and Environmental Sciences
3 From the Chair...


4

4
5
6


Nutrient Management in Vegetable
& Sugarcane Copping Systems 6
Faculty, Staff, & Student News 7
Distinguished Speakers 8

EDITORS:
Susan Curry
scurry@ufl.edu

Dr. Vimala Nair
vdn@ufl.edu

UF UNIVERSITY of
UFFLORIDA

IFAS

http://soils.ifas.ufl.edu


The Soil and Water Science Department
(SWSD) developed a Research Roadmap
to address critical soil, water, and
environmental issues related to
sustainable production (food, fiber, and
fuel), water quality, water
conservation, soil quality, carbon
sequestration, greenhouse gas
emissions, and public health. The plan
was developed with input from state-
wide faculty and students, and will be
presented to our clientele groups for
further discussion and input. The road
map functions as a guide to accomplish
the Department's future goals and
includes goals and strategies aimed to
achieve preeminence. A successful plan
requires faculty creativity, innovation,
and flexibility to capture unexpected
opportunities and to address future
challenges. The plan is adaptive in
nature, and will continuously change to
ensure that the department's vision,
core values, and goals remain relevant
to meet the changing needs of our
clientele.

The faculty in SWSD are actively
involved in addressing various emerging
issues including: (1) developing best
management practices to protect water
quality and maintain sustainable crop


productivity; (2) remediating
contaminated soils, aquifers and
waters; (3) addressing urban issues
including water-borne pathogens and
emerging contaminants; (4) evaluating
the capacity of stormwater treatment
systems to retain contaminants; (5)
determining carbon sequestration under
various land-use activities, and (6)
protecting and restoring natural
systems such as wetlands, takes, and
other aquatic systems. The statewide
network of SWSD faculty are currently
involved in several aspects of soil,
water, and environmental issues and
are working closely with other
disciplines and state agencies, through
teaching, research, and extension
programs.

To address these complex inter-related
issues, the SWSD research programs are
developed in an interdisciplinary format
by maintaining disciplinary strength.
The SWSD faculty actively collaborate
with researchers in other UF
departments and other universities and
state and federal agencies, by offering
complementary programs. In this
newsletter we present a few examples
of research innovation by the SWSD


faculty.


WhRw _










A New Approach to Predicting Safe

Phosphorus Loading in Soils

Researchers at the Soil and Water Science Department have
developed a new approach, the "Safe" Soil P Storage
Capacity (SPSC) based on a threshold phosphorus (P)
saturation ratio (PSR) that was developed recently for
S Florida soils. This concept has applicability in sandy soils of
Sthe US as well as in other parts of the world. The SPSC
Sg provides a quantitative measure of the amount of Pa soil
can receive before that soil becomes an environmental risk.
Calculations of SPSC can be made using easily obtainable
e values of P, iron and aluminum from either Mehlich 1 or
Mehlich 3 solutions that are the commonly used soil tests for
P. The concept, originally developed for surface soils has
been expanded to included subsurface horizon soils.
Currently we are evaluating the use of PSR and SPSC for
.t wetland soils. The SPSC concept has recently been
Graduate student Jeremy Paris extracts a soil sample introduced as a parameter in the Florida P-Index to evaluate
from an isolated wetland in Conecuh National Forest P transport potential from a site. For additional information,
near Andalusia, Alabama (image by Eric Jorczak). contact Vimala Nair at: vdn@ufl.edu.



Modeling of Ecological Processes

in the Everglades


The landscape ecology program at the Ft. Lauderdale REC Simulation of surface-water TP concentration
is integrating hydrologic, biogeochemical, and biological ELM V2.8 Performanc Asment 1994-2000, Loxahatchee NWR:
median seasonal Bias in marshes= 0 ppb; in canals= -11 ppb
processes within ecological models of a variety of
systems. Put into a spatially explicit simulation Site res inred are analysis
framework for analysis of large landscapes, we developed
a couple of new model applications for evaluating Bimulate'soal bsd
Everglades ecology over decadal time scales. One o- 151ppb
> 151 & = I101 ppb
involves the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge > ,o0 &,1251ppb
in the northern Everglades, where there exists a LOX3 2e >Simulte
detrimental north-south hydrologic gradient, in addition
Simulated data:
to eutrophication problems along its boundaries. Working LO5 7-yrdailymean
with South Florida Water Management District scientists, shgrdcels
LOX9 anid canal
we simulated a variety of ecological restoration OXi LOX9 LOX 8 LOX7 rec veors
scenarios, evaluating the tradeoffs between hydrologic 20 (ppb)
benefits and water quality constraints. Ultimately, our X4
recommended restoration plan significantly improved the 3 Canal output data only
shown for canals exchanging
+Y LOXtt ntmarsh. Canal widths
hydrologic gradient, increased water flows, and had very Y4 LOX11 w arsh. egreaCyexaggeratelwidths
2 aregreatly exaggerated,
minimal water quality concerns. For a separate th loation offset relative to
collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, we LOX12 LOX13 Redcontouris
developed a fine-scale model of the regional, greater E W,.
Everglades system. The outputs from this model will be LOX14
used to "drive" other ecological models, and to ox,,
synthesize our understanding of the interactions among
soil, plant, nutrient, and hydrological processes across 0 S1 A
different ecosystems of the Everglades. For additional
information, contact Carl Fitz at: cfitz@ufl.edu.











Nutrient Management in Florida's

Ranchlands

Beef cattle ranchers can significantly contribute to
maintaining and restoring Florida's unique ecosystems.
However, because of the extensive acreage occupied by beef
cattle in Florida, pasture fertilization can play a major role
in non-point source pollution. Nevertheless, sustainability of
productive forage systems depends, to a major extent, on
pasture fertilization. The fate of fertilizers applied to
grassland systems is extremely complex and is affected by
several factors including application rate, timing, fertilizer
source and soil and environmental characteristics. The
factors that affect nutrient use efficiency take on greater
importance in Florida, where unique hydraulic conditions
and soil characteristics can favor nutrient losses. Our
research showed that when properly managed, bahiagrass
fertilization may not constitute an environmental concern. Tissue testing used in combination with soil analysis
represents a valuable tool to effectively predict P needs in bahiagrass pastures. Our data also indicated that
fluctuations in water table levels can play a major role in bahiagrass P nutrition. For additional information,
contact Maria Silviera at: mlas@ufl.edu.



Solid Oxygen Fertilizer


Lack of soil oxygen, or hypoxia, is an environmental challenge that can negatively impact seed germination and plant
growth. Hypoxia commonly occurs when soil becomes flooded, often leading to acute oxygen deprivation of plant
roots by saturating pores in the soil. Currently, there is no product available that can be used to reduce the negative
effects of hypoxia due to waterlogged soil. However, our research group discovered that solid oxygen fertilizers pro-
vide a means to infuse the soil with an oxygen source that promotes plant survival and growth. Furthermore, this
technology can be used to apply an oxygen-releasing fertilizer as a seed coating, providing a controlled release of oxy-
gen as the seed germinates and develops. The solid oxygen fertilizer also improves tolerance of plants to salinity and
may enhance resistance of plants to soil-borne diseases. For additional information, contact Yuncong Li at:
yunli@ufl.edu.



Welcome... Incoming Students

Spring 2009

Mica Franklin, PhD (John Cisar) Matthew Jablonski, MS (Gurpal Toor)
Wade Ross, MS (Sabine Grunwald) John Derek Sain, MS (John Thomas)
Ruben Koch, MS (Chris Wilson) Michael Atkin, MS (Samira Daroub)
Raymond Powe, MS (Gurpal Toor) Timothy Hull, MS (Todd Osborne)










Irrigation and Nitrogen Management for

Sustainable Potato Production

Potato is a high economical crop in northeast
Florida due to the seasonal advantages compared to
other parts of the US. Application of nitrogen
fertilizers on sandy soils and the conventional
seepage irrigation can simultaneously have
deleterious effects on both quantity and quality of
water in the lower St. Johns River Basin. Studies
were conducted in the Nutrient Management
program to determine the water and N- use
efficiencies from 2005-2008 under potato
production systems. Nearly 87% of the water
received was lost during the potato season,
rendering the seepage irrigation highly inefficient.
An alternate 12 h/day seepage irrigation method
was designed and implemented which showed savings of approximately 50% of irrigation water while
sustaining optimum potato yields in two out of the three study years. The study further demonstrated that
reduced seepage irrigation potentially minimized nitrate leaching and conclusively proved that use of
"Controlled Release Fertilizers" for potato production could potentially reduce nitrate leaching compared
to soluble urea as N- source. These findings are being considered for potential BMP development and
adoption by the agricultural producers in the Tri-County Agricultural Area to help reduce nitrate loading
into the lower St. Johns Rivers Basin. For additional information, contact Rao Mylavarapu at: raom@uft.edu.



Measurement of Denitrification using

Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer (MIMS)


Patrick Inglett recently completed the setup and testing
of a new Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer (MIMS)
system in the Aquatic Biogeochemistry Laboratory. The
MIMS system is used to measure dissolved gases such as
N2, Ar, and 02 directly from water samples without
degassing steps required in previous methods (e.g., gas
chromatography, traditional mass spectrometry). The
MIMS system is particularly useful for measurement of
denitrification (microbial production of N2 from reactive
N) using recent techniques such as the isotope pairing
method which traces added 15N03- into the production
N2 with specific masses of 28, 29, and 30, and the N2:Ar
approach to determining net N2 production relative to a
conservative background of argon gas. Both approaches
overcome many of the difficulties and errors of traditional incubation or mass balance methods resulting in more
precise and accurate, in situ measurements of denitrification. Inglett plans to use the MIMS system in his
studies of denitrification in various southeastern aquatic systems such as springs, wetlands, and lakes and
reservoirs. For additional information contact Patrick Inglett at: pinglett@uft.edu.











Florida Soil Carbon Mapping

The GIS Laboratory team are involved in carbon science research across the State of Florida. Several
approaches are used to assess the spatial distribution of soil carbon stocks and pools and associated ecosystem
processes. These include: (1) A soil carbon spectral library (based on visible/near-infrared spectroscopy) has
been built for the State of Florida that allows rapid and cost-effective predictions of soil carbon. The spectral
library facilitates (i) accurate soil carbon assessment in various ecosystem types including agroecosystems,
forest, urban, and wetlands; (ii) cost-effective assessment of soil carbon to receive monetary rewards through
carbon trading; and (iii) assessment of ecosystem services. (2) The project 'Rapid Assessment and Modeling of
Soil Carbon Pools across Florida' is a Core Project (USDA-funded) of the U.S. North American Carbon Program
(NACP). The project involves upscaling of site-specific soil carbon and carbon pools (labile and recalcitrant)
using advanced geostatistical
methods, GIS, and remote sensing.
The response of land use shifts and '" 4. "
global climate warming on Florida's
soil carbon budgets is assessed, which
facilitates to develop land use
management recommendations to Fractal dimension
enhance soil carbon sequestration. thatdescribes
(3) The multi-scaling behavior of scaling
soil carbon across various expanding behaviorof
soil carbon -
and contracting spatial and temporal soilc
scales is investigated to analyze if
models are scale invariant (i.e., show
self-similar/fractal or multi-fractal
behavior) and identify the key a
environmental drivers (natural and sPect \
anthropogenic) that modulate soil 77 So. o
carbon spatial patterns under d
subtropical conditions. Scaling v edwJo e "
parameters and/or functions are
derived that allow seamless up- and -
down-scaling of soil carbon patterns.
For additional information, contact
Sabine Grunwald at: sabgru@ufl.edu.



Join us at...
The 1 Oh Annual Soil and Water Science Research Forum

The 10th Annual Soil and Water Science Research Forum is scheduled for September 11, 2009, in Gainesville, Florida.
The forum is designed to bring together representatives from state and federal agencies as well as private industry,
faculty, graduate students, and prospective students interested in soil and water science. The forum will provide an
opportunity for all those interested in soil and water science to interact with our students, faculty, and
administrators on campus. This year theme for the forum is on "Research-Extension/Outreach Linkages" in soil,
water, and environmental sciences. This year, Dr. Clifford S. Snyder, PhD, CCA, Nitrogen Program Director,
International Plant Nutrition Institute, Conway, AR is the featured keynote speaker at the forum.

We look forward to your participation in the forum. If you are planning to attend, please register at
http://soils.ifas.ufl.edu/forum/. For additional information, contact Andy Ogram aogram@ufl.edu.






































Nutrient Management in Vegetable and

Sugarcane Copping Systems

Researchers at Southwest Florida REC,
Immokalee have studied the impact of N and P
use efficiency, movement and transformation
at a field scale on vegetable and sugarcane
production in south Florida. Transformation and
movement of NH4-N, N03-N and P within plastic
mulch covered beds with seepage irrigation has
been documented and N and P losses estimated"
for given environmental conditions. Field level
experiments on P use by vegetables have
demonstrated significantly increased green -
bean growth and yield and increased tomato
size in soils with high or very high soil P
indexes. These soils have elevated soil pH and
Ca levels, sequential soil analysis indicates that Grower Vegetable Field Day at SWFREC
P is quickly precipitated and thus unavailable to crop
plants. This work will lead to improved soil test P indexes for these soils. Improvement in nutrient use
efficiency of sugarcane with controlled release fertilizers has been documented at the field level with
savings of 25% or more of applied N with no significant reduction in yield. For additional information
contact Kelly Morgan at: ktm@ifas.ufl.edu.


Passive Surface Water Flux Meter


The Environmental Hydrology Laboratory has
recently developed a novel (US Patent 7,284,448)
device for measuring water and solute fluxes in
flowing surface waters. The device has no moving
parts and is passive, thus requiring no internal or
X external power supply. Two recent papers describe
the passive surface water flux meter (PSFM)
laboratory development (Klammler et at., 2007,
Environmental Science Et Technology) and initial
field testing (Padowski et at., 2009, Journal of
Hydrologic Engineering). We have used the PSFM to
successfully measure nitrate and phosphate fluxes
in laboratory flumes, and Sweetwater Branch,
Gainesville (attached picture). The PSFM has
immense potential for environmental monitoring in
applications such as TMDLs and BMP assessments.
We now seek partners for further field testing and development. For additional information, contact Jim
Jawitz at: jawitz@uft.edu.








Faculty, Staff, and Students
Congratulations to the faculty, students, and staff for their outstanding
achievements in soil and water science.

Jim Jawitz has been recognized with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(CALS) Graduate Teaching/Advising Award for 2008.

Congratulations to Andy Ogram and Zhenli He for their selection as UF Research
Foundation Professors for the period of 2009-2012. Andy and Zhenli join nine
other SWS faculty who were selected for this award during previous years.

Max Teplitski co-edited (with Dr. Anita Wright) a special Food Safety Issue of
Current Opinions in Biotechnology. The theme of the Special Issue is "Thinking
Beyond the HACCP". It focuses on questions of safety of foods such as a produce,
artisan cheeses and shellfish.

Hugh Popenoe received the first Charles B. Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award. Hugh was
selected for this award by the Student Committee of the Society of Economic
Botany. This award was initiated to honor outstanding economic botanists who
have substantially impacted the training and professional development of
economic botany and ethnobotany students. This award, chosen by students,
spotlights dedicated educators who foster the development of the field by
example and through student mentoring.

Sabine Grunwald (UF) and V. Balaji (ICRISAT) organized an outstanding
workshop during May 10-15, 2009 at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India on "Integrated
Education, Research and Extension eTools Et Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs)".
The workshop was part of an US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative project.
The workshop was attended by 25 participants including several high level
officials from various Indian Universities. Other US participants in the workshop
included Dr. Mortimer Neufville (Association of Public Land-grant Universities);
Brandon Hoover, Craig Stanley, and Ramesh Reddy.

Student design team under the advisement of Jim Jawitz won 1st prize for the
student poster competition at the American Water Resources Association Annual
Water Resources Conference, New Orleans, LA, November 17-20, 2008. Team was
part of USEPA P3 (People, Prosperity, Planet) competition and included Jehangir
Bhadha (SWS), David Kaplan (ABE), Aaron Bunch (FAS), and Gordon Brown (EES).
PhD student Jehangir Bhadha selected for 2008 College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences Doris Lowe and Earl and Verna Lowe Scholarship ($1500)

Debolina Chakraborty (Advisor, Vimala Nair) received a third place at the 2009
Environmental Engineering Sciences Symposium, Graduate Student Poster
Competition hosted by the UF Air and Water Management Association and the
Society of Environmental Engineers.

Matt Miller (Advisor, George O'Connor) was selected for the 2008 Excellence in
Graduate Studies-MS Award in Soil and Water Science

Matt C. Vann graduated in the spring semester commencement with Bachelor of
Science, cum laude, in interdisciplinary studies in environmental management in
agriculture and natural resources. Matt was the commencement speaker at the
CALS Spring 2009 commencement event.

Soil and Water Science undergraduates Drew McLean and Katlyn Woodruff and
Environmental Management undergraduates Debra Flinn, Melissa Jabat, and
Matthew Vann received Dean's List recognition for their academic performance
in Spring 2009. CALS Dean's List criteria are 3.70 GPA with a minimum of 12
semester hours of graded credits.











Invited Distinguished Speakers........


Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Professor in Geology at the University of Toronto,
and Director of the Stable Isotope Laboratory, presented 2009 David Hubbell
seminar on February 6, 2009. Topic of her seminar was "Tracing contaminant
source and fate in groundwater using carbon specific isotope analysis". She has
published extensively on geochemistry and environmental science and holds
numerous research awards for her work with international scientists and industrial
collaborators. She was the 1998 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer for the United
States National Ground Water Association, an NSERC E.W.R Steacie Fellow (1999-
2001) and currently holds a Canada Council Killam Research Fellowship (2004-2006).
In 2000 she was profiled as one of TIME Magazine's "Leaders for the 21st Century"
based on her research on innovative techniques for tracking organic contaminants in
groundwater. Additional information about Dr. Lollar can be found at
http://www.chem.utoronto.ca/peoples/faculty profile. php?id=60



Dr. Alex B. McBratney, Pro-Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural
Resources; Professor of Soil Science; Director of the Australian Centre for
Precision Agriculture; University of Sydney, Australia was visiting with
S- faculty, students and staff in the Soil and Water Science Department (May 20
-22, 2009). Dr. McBratney presented the Soil and Water Science Distinguished
Seminar on digital soil mapping techniques transitioning into advanced
monitoring schemes to accurately access spatial and temporal patterns of
soil resources in Australia and around the globe. GIS, remote and soil sensing
along with quantitative modeling across multiple scales (field to landscape
scale) offer exciting opportunities for soil science research in the future.
Dr. McBratney is an internationally known leading scientist in digital soil
S mapping / pedometrics ("quantitative soil science"). He received his PhD in
soil science from the University in Aberdeen, Scotland. His research
interests include quantitative modeling of spatial and temporal patterns of
soil properties and processes and how they relate to environmental factors using geostatistical and statistical
methods and mechanistic approaches. Additional information about Alex McBratney can be found at:
http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/agric/acpa/people/alex/AlexMcB.htm
http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/agric/acpal; http://www.agric.usyd.edu.aul




On April 9, 2009, SWSD co-sponsored a visit by Dr. Jared Diamond
with the UF Office of Sustainability. Dr. Diamond, Professor of
Geography at UCLA, presented a lecture on his most recent book,
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed to a full house at
the Phillip's Center for the Performing Arts. In Collapse, the Pulitzer-
Prize winning author builds a strong case for environmental
stewardship, particularly with respect to the soil. Collapse is used as
a textbook in SOS 2008 Land and Life.


http://www.spotlieht. ucla.edu/impact/more-impact/april-2008/




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