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Journal of Environmental Quality : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research in the Journal of Environmental Quality. Articles are compiled into bimonthly issues at,, and, which include the complete archive. Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Maguire, R.O., P.J. A. Kleinman, C.J. Dell, D.B. Beegle, R.C. Brandt, J.M. McGrath, and Q.M. Ketterings. 2011. Manure application technology in reduced tillage and forage systems: A review. J. Environ. Qual. doi: 10.2134/jeq2009.0228

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Current issue: J. Environ. Qual. 44(2)


    • Javed Iqbal, David C. Mitchell, Daniel W. Barker, Fernando Miguez, John E. Sawyer, Jose Pantoja and Michael J. Castellano
      Does Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Rate to Corn Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from the Rotated Soybean Crop?

      Little information exists on the potential for N fertilizer application to corn (Zea mays L.) to affect N2O emissions during subsequent unfertilized crops in a rotation. To determine if N fertilizer application to corn affects N2O emissions during subsequent crops in rotation, we measured N2O emissions for 3 yr (2011–2013) in an Iowa, corn–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation with three N fertilizer rates applied to corn (0 kg N ha−1, the recommended rate of 135 kg N ha−1, and a high rate of 225 kg N ha−1); soybean received no N fertilizer. We further investigated the potential for a winter cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop to interact with N fertilizer rate to affect N2O emissions from both crops. The cover crop did not consistently affect N2O emissions. (continued)

      Published: February 27, 2015


    • Atsushi Nakao, Akira Takeda, Sho Ogasawara, Junta Yanai, Oki Sano and Toyoaki Ito
      Relationships between Paddy Soil Radiocesium Interception Potentials and Physicochemical Properties in Fukushima, Japan

      The radiocesium interception potential (RIP) of bulk soil (RIPsoil) can reliably be used to predict the magnitude of soil-to-plant radiocesium transfer. There has been some controversy about which soil properties control the RIPsoil, although the RIP is theoretically proportional to the amount of frayed edge sites in micaceous clay minerals. The RIPsoil was determined for 97 paddy soils in three regions (Hama-dori, Naka-dori, and Aizu) in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, and the relationships between selected physicochemical properties and the RIP were analyzed. The mean (± standard deviation) of the RIPsoil for the 97 soils was 1.67 (±0.87) mol kg−1, and the range was 0.34 to 5.36 mol kg−1. (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015


    • Lois Wright Morton, Jonathan Hobbs, J. Gordon Arbuckle and Adam Loy
      Upper Midwest Climate Variations: Farmer Responses to Excess Water Risks

      Persistent above average precipitation and runoff and associated increased sediment transfers from cultivated ecosystems to rivers and oceans are due to changes in climate and human action. The US Upper Midwest has experienced a 37% increase in precipitation (1958–2012), leading to increased crop damage from excess water and off-farm loss of soil and nutrients. Farmer adaptive management responses to changing weather patterns have potential to reduce crop losses and address degrading soil and water resources. This research used farmer survey (n = 4778) and climate data (1971–2011) to model influences of geophysical context, past weather, on-farm flood and saturated soils experiences, and risk and vulnerability perceptions on management practices. (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015

    • X. C. (John) Zhang, G. H. Zhang, X. Wei and Y. H. Guan
      Evaluation of Cesium-137 Conversion Models and Parameter Sensitivity for Erosion Estimation

      The 137Cs technique has been widely used to provide soil redistribution estimates since the 1970s. However, most 137Cs-conversion models remain theoretical and largely unvalidated. Our objectives were to validate the four widely used conversion models, examine model parameter sensitivity, and evaluate the potential of using kriging to improve soil redistribution estimation. Soil loss was measured from a 1.6-ha plot since 1978. (continued)

      Published: February 20, 2015


    • Seok-Young Oh and Yong-Deuk Seo
      Factors Affecting Sorption of Nitro Explosives to Biochar: Pyrolysis Temperature, Surface Treatment, Competition, and Dissolved Metals

      The application of rice straw–derived biochar for removing nitro explosives, including 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), from contaminated water was investigated through batch experiments. An increase in the pyrolysis temperature from 250 to 900°C in general led to higher pH, surface area, cation exchange capacity (CEC), point of zero charge, and C:O ratio of biochar. The maximum sorption capacity estimated by a mixed sorption–partition model increased when pyrolysis temperatures were elevated from 250 to 900°C, indicating that C content and aromaticity of biochar were strongly related to the sorption of nitro explosives to biochar. Surface treatment with acid or oxidant increased the sorption capacity of biochar for the two strong π-acceptor compounds (DNT and TNT) but not for RDX. (continued)

      Published: March 20, 2015

    • Yunjia Lai, Xinghui Xia, Jianwei Dong, Wenting Lin, Xinli Mou, Pujun Zhao, Xiaoman Jiang, Zhihuang Li, Yali Tong and Yunling Zhao
      Equilibrium State of PAHs in Bottom Sediment–Water–Suspended Sediment System of a Large River Considering Freely Dissolved Concentrations

      In natural waters, the equilibrium state of hydrophobic organic compounds among bottom sediment (BS), suspended sediment (SPS), and water is fundamental to infer their transfer flux and aqueous bioavailability. However, this type of information remains scarce and fragmented. This study systematically evaluated the equilibrium state of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Yangtze River. Total and freely dissolved concentrations of the 16 priority PAHs in pore water and overlying water (including surface and near-bottom) of the Yangtze middle reaches were investigated, as were the concentrations of attached PAHs in SPS and BS. (continued)

      Published: February 20, 2015


    • Lin Guo and Teresa J. Cutright
      Metal Plaque on Reeds from an Acid Mine Drainage Site

      Studies were conducted to investigate the interactions among rhizosphere microorganisms, plaque formation, and metal accumulation in reeds [Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.] grown in an acid mine drainage–contaminated field. We found that Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria (Fe(II)OB] played a key role in Fe plaque formation and pH decrease. The kinetics of Fe plaque formation were related to the abundance of rhizosphere Fe(II)OB, which mediated 66.0 to 93.3% Fe(II) oxidation. (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015


    • Arjun K. Venkatesan, Abdul-Hakeem M. Hamdan, Vanessa M. Chavez, Jasmine D. Brown and Rolf U. Halden
      Mass Balance Model for Sustainable Phosphorus Recovery in a US Wastewater Treatment Plant

      In response to limited phosphorus (P) reserves worldwide, several countries have demonstrated the prospect of recovering significant amounts of P from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This technique uses enhanced biological P removal (EBPR) to concentrate P in sludge followed by chemical precipitation of P as struvite, a usable phosphate mineral. The present study models the feasibility of this enhanced removal and recovery technique in a WWTP in Arizona with design parameters typical of infrastructure in the United States. A mass balance was performed for existing treatment processes and modifications proposed to estimate the quantity of P that could be recovered under current and future flow conditions. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015


    • Altingul Ozaslan Parlak, Mehmet Parlak, Humberto Blanco-Canqui, Walter H. Schacht, John A. Guretzky and Martha Mamo
      Patch Burning: Implications on Water Erosion and Soil Properties

      Patch burning can be a potential management tool to create grassland heterogeneity and enhance forage productivity and plant biodiversity, but its impacts on soil and environment have not been widely documented. In summer 2013, we studied the effect of time after patch burning (4 mo after burning [recently burned patches], 16 mo after burning [older burned patches], and unburned patches [control]) on vegetative cover, water erosion, and soil properties on a patch-burn experiment established in 2011 on a Yutan silty clay loam near Mead, NE. The recently burned patches had 29 ± 8.0% (mean ± SD) more bare ground, 21 ± 1.4% less canopy cover, and 40 ± 11% less litter cover than older burned and unburned patches. Bare ground and canopy cover did not differ between the older burned and unburned patches, indicating that vegetation recovered. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015

    • David E. Clay, Graig Reicks, C. Gregg Carlson, Janet Moriles-Miller, James J. Stone and Sharon A. Clay
      Tillage and Corn Residue Harvesting Impact Surface and Subsurface Carbon Sequestration

      Corn stover harvesting is a common practice in the western U.S. Corn Belt. This 5-yr study used isotopic source tracking to quantify the influence of two tillage systems, two corn (Zea mays L.) surface residue removal rates, and two yield zones on soil organic C (SOC) gains and losses at three soil depths. Soil samples collected in 2008 and 2012 were used to determine 13C enrichment during SOC mineralization, the amount of initial SOC mineralized (SOClost), and plant C retained in the soil (PCRincorp) and sequestered C (PCRincorp − SOClost). (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015

    • Bhavneet Soni, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt, Daniel D. Snow, John E. Gilley, Bryan L. Woodbury, David B. Marx and Xu Li
      Narrow Grass Hedges Reduce Tylosin and Associated Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Agricultural Runoff

      Agricultural runoff from areas receiving livestock manure can potentially contaminate surface water with antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs). The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of narrow grass hedges (NGHs) on reducing the transport of antimicrobials and ARGs in runoff after land application of swine manure slurry. Plot-scale rainfall simulation tests were conducted on 0.75 m by 4.0 m plots designed to test three treatment factors: manure amendment (control plots receiving no manure vs. amended plots receiving manure based on 3 times N requirement), NGH (plots with a NGH vs. (continued)

      Published: March 6, 2015

    • Courtney D. Giles, Lydia G. Lee, Barbara J. Cade-Menun, Jane E. Hill, Peter D. F. Isles, Andrew W. Schroth and Gregory K. Druschel
      Characterization of Organic Phosphorus Form and Bioavailability in Lake Sediments using 31 P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Enzymatic Hydrolysis

      Lake sediments are known to be a significant source of phosphorus (P) to plankton populations under certain biogeochemical conditions; however, the contribution of sediment organic P (Porg) to internal P loads remains poorly understood. We investigated Porg speciation and bioavailability in sediments collected over multiple months from a shallow, eutrophic bay in Lake Champlain (Missisquoi Bay, VT) using solution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and enzymatic hydrolysis (EH) analysis of sediments collected during years with (2008) and without (2007) algal blooms. Sediments collected during bloom onset (July) and peak bloom (August) months contained the largest proportion of enzyme-labile P, whereas pre- and postbloom sediments were primarily composed of nonlabile P. Monoester P to diester P ratios changed with respect to depth, particularly during bloom periods. (continued)

      Published: February 27, 2015


    • Jennifer A. Cooper, George W. Loomis, David V. Kalen and Jose A. Amador
      Evaluation of Water Quality Functions of Conventional and Advanced Soil-Based Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

      Shallow narrow drainfields are assumed to provide better wastewater renovation than conventional drainfields and are used for protection of surface and ground water. To test this assumption, we evaluated the water quality functions of two advanced onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) drainfields—shallow narrow (SND) and Geomat (GEO)—and a conventional pipe and stone (P&S) drainfield over 12 mo using replicated (n = 3) intact soil mesocosms. The SND and GEO mesocosms received effluent from a single-pass sand filter, whereas the P&S received septic tank effluent. Between 97.1 and 100% of 5-d biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), fecal coliform bacteria, and total phosphorus (P) were removed in all drainfield types. (continued)

      Published: February 27, 2015

    • Nicolas Perdrial, Aaron Thompson, Kelsie LaSharr, Mary Kay Amistadi and Jon Chorover
      Quantifying Particulate and Colloidal Release of Radionuclides in Waste-Weathered Hanford Sediments

      At the Hanford Site in the state of Washington, leakage of hyperalkaline, high ionic strength wastewater from underground storage tanks into the vadose zone has induced mineral transformations and changes in radionuclide speciation. Remediation of this wastewater will decrease the ionic strength of water infiltrating to the vadose zone and could affect the fate of the radionuclides. Although it was shown that radionuclide host phases are thermodynamically stable in the presence of waste fluids, a decrease in solution ionic strength and pH could alter aggregate stability and remobilize radionuclide-bearing colloids and particulate matter. We quantified the release of particulate, colloidal, and truly dissolved Sr, Cs, and I from hyperalkaline-weathered Hanford sediments during a low ionic strength pore water leach and characterized the released particles and colloids using electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. (continued)

      Published: February 20, 2015


    • Lori A. Duncan, John S. Tyner, John R. Buchanan, Shawn A. Hawkins and Jaehoon Lee
      Fate and Transport of 17β-Estradiol beneath Animal Waste Holding Ponds

      Concentrated animal feeding operations typically store livestock waste in clay-lined ponds. Although these ponds are regulated to include a liner with a small hydraulic conductivity to limit leaching, previous studies have traced surface and groundwater contamination from such regulated animal waste ponds. This research examined the transport of 17β-estradiol (E2) and its primary metabolite, estrone (E1), through soil liners using field- and laboratory-based studies. Additionally, a potential engineering solution to limit hormone transport—applying biochar to new pond liners to act as a retardant—was studied. (continued)

      Published: March 20, 2015

    • Hupenyu A. Mupambwa and Pearson N. S. Mnkeni
      Optimization of Fly Ash Incorporation into Cow Dung–Waste Paper Mixtures for Enhanced Vermidegradation and Nutrient Release

      This study was conducted to establish an appropriate mixture ratio of fly ash (F) to optimized cow dung–waste paper mixtures (CP) to develop a high-quality vermicompost using earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Fly ash was mixed with cow dung–waste paper mixtures at ratios of (F:CP) 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:1, and 3:1 or CP alone and composted for 14 wk. Olsen P, inorganic N (NO3, NO2, and NH4), C:N ratio, ash content, microbial biomass C, and humification parameters were measured together with scanning electron micrograph images to determine compost maturity. Based on C:N ratio, the extent of vermidegradation of the waste mixtures followed the decreasing order (F:CP) of 1:3 > 1:2 > 1:1 > CP alone > 2:1 > 3:1. (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015


    • Tyler A. Groh, Lowell E. Gentry and Mark B. David
      Nitrogen Removal and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Constructed Wetlands Receiving Tile Drainage Water

      Loss of nitrate from agricultural lands to surface waters is an important issue, especially in areas that are extensively tile drained. To reduce these losses, a wide range of in-field and edge-of-field practices have been proposed, including constructed wetlands. We re-evaluated constructed wetlands established in 1994 that were previously studied for their effectiveness in removing nitrate from tile drainage water. Along with this re-evaluation, we measured the production and flux of greenhouse gases (GHGs) (CO2, N2O, and CH4). (continued)

      Published: March 13, 2015

    • Nathan L. Creeper, Paul Shand, Warren Hicks and Rob W. Fitzpatrick
      Porewater Geochemistry of Inland Acid Sulfate Soils with Sulfuric Horizons Following Postdrought Reflooding with Freshwater

      Following the break of a severe drought in the Murray–Darling Basin, rising water levels restored subaqueous conditions to dried inland acid sulfate soils with sulfuric horizons (pH <3.5). Equilibrium dialysis membrane samplers were used to investigate in situ changes to soil acidity and abundance of metals and metalloids following the first 24 mo of restored subaqueous conditions. The rewetted sulfuric horizons remained severely acidified (pH ∼4) or had retained acidity with jarosite visibly present after 5 mo of continuous subaqueous conditions. A further 19 mo of subaqueous conditions resulted in only small additional increases in pH (∼0.5–1 pH units), with the largest increases occurring within the uppermost 10 cm of the soil profile. (continued)

      Published: February 20, 2015

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