JDJCSET | Sigma Xi Poster Competition

Title

Differences in Soil Characteristics of Urban and Rural Areas

Presenter Information

Gabby BarnesFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Agriculture Education

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Iin Handayani; Dr. Steve Still

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Ecosystems in rural and urban areas create differences in soil characteristics. The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in soil characteristics under different management practices in rural area comparing to urban soils. Soil samples from Kentucky’s rural areas were collected from a woodland plot, a no-till plot, and a tilled plot. Three soil samples were taken from urban plots in Memphis, TN including the yard from an animal shelter, a middle school, and a high school. The soils from the urban area were maintained for landscaping. The soil samples from the rural were taken from the depth of 0-7cm and 7-15cm. Soil samples from A Horizon were taken from the urban area. All soil samples were analyzed for organic carbon (SOC), pH in H2O, soil water holding capacity (SWHC), soil water content at field capacity (FC), and particulate organic matter (POM-C). The results show that soil management practices and urban development significantly affect soil properties, however the magnitude differs. The soil pH in both depths for the rural area ranged from 4.5 to 5.8. However, the urban soil had a large range between 5.3 to 7.8, indicating less variability in agricultural fields. The urban areas had a more basic pH range, while the rural areas tended to be more acidic. The SOC in the woods plot ranged from 4 to 6%, the till plot varied from 4.5 to 4.6%, the no-till ranged from 3 to 3.5%, and the urban area ranged from 1.9 to 4.7%. These show that the urban areas have the highest variability of SOC. The lowest POM-C was observed in the urban soil of 0.9% and the highest was in the rural area of the woods (5.1%). The SWHC ranged from 55 to 75%, while the FC ranged from 30 to 50%.

Keywords: Acidity, organic carbon, particulate organic matter, soil water holding capacity

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Differences in Soil Characteristics of Urban and Rural Areas

Ecosystems in rural and urban areas create differences in soil characteristics. The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in soil characteristics under different management practices in rural area comparing to urban soils. Soil samples from Kentucky’s rural areas were collected from a woodland plot, a no-till plot, and a tilled plot. Three soil samples were taken from urban plots in Memphis, TN including the yard from an animal shelter, a middle school, and a high school. The soils from the urban area were maintained for landscaping. The soil samples from the rural were taken from the depth of 0-7cm and 7-15cm. Soil samples from A Horizon were taken from the urban area. All soil samples were analyzed for organic carbon (SOC), pH in H2O, soil water holding capacity (SWHC), soil water content at field capacity (FC), and particulate organic matter (POM-C). The results show that soil management practices and urban development significantly affect soil properties, however the magnitude differs. The soil pH in both depths for the rural area ranged from 4.5 to 5.8. However, the urban soil had a large range between 5.3 to 7.8, indicating less variability in agricultural fields. The urban areas had a more basic pH range, while the rural areas tended to be more acidic. The SOC in the woods plot ranged from 4 to 6%, the till plot varied from 4.5 to 4.6%, the no-till ranged from 3 to 3.5%, and the urban area ranged from 1.9 to 4.7%. These show that the urban areas have the highest variability of SOC. The lowest POM-C was observed in the urban soil of 0.9% and the highest was in the rural area of the woods (5.1%). The SWHC ranged from 55 to 75%, while the FC ranged from 30 to 50%.

Keywords: Acidity, organic carbon, particulate organic matter, soil water holding capacity