Spring 2019 Resources and Publications

Lessons learned from using a decision-support tool for precision placement of conservation practices in six agricultural watersheds in the US midwest
Ranjana, P., A. S. Singh, M. D. Tomer, A.M. Lewandowski and L. S.Prokopya
Journal of Environmental Management June 2019

While conservation of natural resources on agricultural landscapes has been a priority for public agencies for more than 80 years, the ability of conservation planners to place conservation practices for enhanced environmental benefits remains elusive. To increase both adoption of conservation practices and efficient use of conservation funding, conservation planners are turning to decision support tools (DSTs), such as the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF). 

Description of soil micro‐topography and fractional wetted area under runoff using fractal dimensions
García‐Serrana, M.,  J.S. Gulliver  and J. L. Nieber
Earth Surface  Processes and Landforms 2018

Understanding the connections between the micro‐topography of a surface and the patterns of shallow overland flow is important to the study of runoff and infiltration processes. In slopes with micro‐topographic features parallel to the flow, water tends to concentrate in channels and only a fraction of the slope contributes to the overland flow. This study aimed to formulate the relevance of the fractal approach for understanding the relation of surface roughness to overland flow patterns.

Cultivar and phosphorus effects on switchgrass yield and rhizosphere microbial diversity
Sawyer, A., C. Staley, J. Lamb, C. Sheaffer,T. Kaiser, J. Gutknecht, M.J. Sadowsky and C. Rosen
Bioenergy and biofuels  December 2018

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a native perennial grass identified as a promising biofuel crop for production on marginal agricultural lands. As such, research into switchgrass fertility and the switchgrass rhizosphere microbiome has been ongoing in an effort to increase production sustainability. We examined the effects of cultivar and phosphorus (P) fertilization on biomass yield, P removal, and rhizosphere bacterial and fungal community structure in three switchgrass cultivars: Sunburst, Shawnee, and Liberty.

Predicting geogenic Arsenic in Drinking Water Wells in Glacial Aquifers, North‐Central USA: Accounting for Depth‐Dependent Features
Erickson, M. L., S. M. Elliott, C. A. Christenson and A. L. Krall
Water Resources Research November 2018

Chronic exposure to arsenic (As) via drinking groundwater is a human health concern worldwide. Probabilities of elevated geogenic As concentrations in groundwater were predicted in complex, glacial aquifers in Minnesota, north‐central USA, a region that commonly has elevated As concentrations in well water.

Association between submerged aquatic vegetation and elevated levels of Escherichia coli and potential bacterial pathogens in freshwater lakes
Mathaia, P. P., H.M. Dunn, P. Magnonea, Q. Zhang, S. Ishii, C. L. Chun and M. J. Sadowsky
Science of The Total Environment  Volume 657, March 2019

Fecal indicator bacteria such as Escherichia coli have been reported to persist and potentially grow in a wide variety of secondary habitats, such as water, beach sand, sediment, periphyton and some algae. However, little is known about their association with submerged macrophytes and how this may influence water quality. 

Intermittent flooding of organic-rich soil promotes the formation of denitrification hot moments and hot spots
Tomasek, A. A., M. Hondzo, J. L. Kozarek, C. Staley, P. Wang, N. Lurndahl and M. J. Sadowsky
Ecosphere January 2019

Anthropogenic activities have altered the nitrogen cycle, necessitating management on the landscape level. Isolated time periods and areas, termed hot moments and hot spots, respectively, frequently account for a large percentage of nitrate removal in aquatic ecosystems. A series of experiments were conducted to determine the effect of hydrologic connectivity on denitrification rates, gene abundances, and nitrous oxide fluxes.

Wastewater indicators, hormones, sterols, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals in soil at an agricultural field irrigated with domestic septage, central Minnesota, September 2014
Elliott, S.M., M.L. Erickson, A.L.,Krall and B.A. Adams
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018

Treated domestic septage can be used to irrigate agricultural fields as a disposal method or as a means to reuse water. Because traditional on-site treatment systems are not designed to remove wastewater indicators, hormones, sterols, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals, land application of septage potentially results in soil contamination.