Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorMenzies, Erin Grey
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 11050600
dc.description.abstractSoil degradation, desertification, and losses in net-primary production from agricultural land use is a serious and growing problem worldwide. Bringing degraded soils back into production is crucial to stop the cycle of land degradation. To return degraded and desertified landscapes to productivity, sandy soils must first be improved to enhance water and nutrient holding capacity. In this study I examined the ability of incorporated coarse woodchips to alter water and nutrient holding capacity as well as support biomass production in very sandy, degraded soils in field, laboratory, and greenhouse settings. Coarse woodchips incorporated into the soil increased water holding capacity by 16% in the field and 18% in the laboratory through absorption of water by the woodchips. Soluble nutrient losses of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) were smallest when fertilizer was applied in liquid form. Carbon dioxide emissions increased by 200% in the presence of woodchips, likely due to increased respiration by the microbial biomass. In the greenhouse incorporated woodchips increased soil water content by 350% and available water capacity 185%. Soluble N losses were reduced by 90% in the presence of woodchips when the system was not fertilized. Biomass production was reduced by 60% when soils were amended with woodchips. This work suggests incorporating coarse wood chips into soil is a viable strategy for improving soil water content and nutrient retention in very sandy and degraded soils. On-farm data collection is crucial to decision making by farmers of all types when it comes to fertilizer and water management. In the second phase of this study, I examined the types and forms of data collected by farmers with respect to water and nutrient management. Through interviews and focus groups with farmers, I examined two kinds of data collected by farmers: technologically mediated data and sensory data. I assessed the ways these data are distinct and the ways in which they overlap, work together, or even seem to blur together, and find that they fall more on a spectrum than in two separate categories.
dc.subjectwater quality
dc.subjectHydrologic sciences
dc.subjecthuman dimensions
dc.subjectKnowledge generation
dc.subjectSoil degradation
dc.subjectAgriculture engineering
dc.titleCrossing Scales and Fields to Examine Agricultural Land Management and Water Quality: Incorporated Woodchips as a Soil Restoration Strategy and the Ways Farmers Know
dc.typedissertation or thesis and Environmental Engineering University of Philosophy, Biological and Environmental Engineering
dc.contributor.chairWalter, Michael Todd
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSchneider, Rebecca L.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLeonard, Lori

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record