Moisture, Water Holding, Drying and Wetting in Forest Soils

DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2014.45021   PDF   HTML     5,265 Downloads   6,791 Views   Citations


Relationship of soil and water is generally considered as important in soil science. To specify it further we studied two different soils in 2012-2013, three additional soils once and made several series of experiments with drying and wetting of the soils. Principal parameters studied were the gravimetric water content (GWC), water holding capacity (WHC), soil organic matter (SOM), their correlations and rates of change in drying or wetting. The three parameters are significantly inter-correlated. Distribution of GWC in the replicates of soils dried both in nature and in experiments was narrower than that in wet soils, while WHC changed less in drying. The correlations (GWC- WHC) became steeper (the slope coefficient higher) and the coefficient of determination (R2) lower. Attempts to increase WHC in wet soils with a high WHC even further were not successful. Drying may be fast or slow; rates of increase of WHC in wetting were all low, both in field and in the experiments, less than 0.1 g (H2O) g-1 (soil)·day-1. None of the three parameters can be considered as fixed characteristics of forest soils.

Share and Cite:

Blažka, P. and Fischer, Z. (2014) Moisture, Water Holding, Drying and Wetting in Forest Soils. Open Journal of Soil Science, 4, 174-184. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2014.45021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Gardner, W.H. (1986) Water Content. In: Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods— Agronomy Monograph No 9 (2nd Edition) American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Madison.
[2] Reynolds, W.D. and Topp, G.C. (2008) Soil Water. Analyses, Principles and Parameters. In: Carter, M.R. and Gregorich, E.G., Eds., Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton.
[3] Buckingham, E. (1907) Studies on the Movement of Soil Moisture. US Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Soils No. 38.
[4] Gardner, W. (1919) The Movement of Moisture in Soil by Capillarity. Soil Science, 7, 313-317.
[5] Mahe, G., Paturel, J-E., Servat, E., Conway, D. and Dezetter, A. (2005) The Impact of Land Use Change on Soil Water Holding Capacity and River Flow Modeling in the Nakambe River, Burkina-Faso. Journal of Hydrology, 300, 33-43.
[6] Hedley, C.B. and Yule, I.J. (2009) Soil Water Status Mapping and Two Variable-Rate Irrigation Scenarios. Precision Agriculture, 10, 342-355.
[7] Vengadaramana, A., and Jashothan, P.T.J. ( 2012) Effect of Organic Fertilizers on the Water Holding Capacity of Soil in Different Terrains of Jaffna Peninsula in Sri Lanka. Journal of Natural Product & Plant Resources, 2, 500-503.
[8] Joergensen, R.G. and Potthoff, M. (2005) Microbial Reaction in Activity, Biomass, and Community Structure after Long-Term Continuous Mixing of a Grassland Soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 37, 1249-1258.
[9] Lawes, R.A., Olive, Y.M. and Robertson, M.J. (2009) Integrating the Effects of Climate and Plant Available Soil Water Holding Capacity on Wheat Yield. Field Crops Research, 11, 297-305.
[10] Dane, J.H. and Topp, G.C. (2002) Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 4: Physical Methods. Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, USA.
[11] Reynolds, W.D. and Topp, G.C. (2008) Soil Water. Analyses, Principles and Parameters. In: Carter, M.R. and Gregorich, E.G., Eds., Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis (2nd Edition), Canadian Society of Soil Science. CDC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca 206 Raton.
[12] Romano, N. and Santini, A. ( 2002). Water Retention and Storage. Field. In: Dane, J.H. and Topp, G.C., Eds., Methods of Soil Analysis, Soil Science Society of America, Madison.
[13] Ilstedt, U., Nordgren, A. and Malmer, A. (2000) Optimum Soil Water for Soil Respiration before and after Amendment with Glucose in Humid Tropical Acrisols and a Boreal Mor Layer. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 32, 1591-1599.
[14] Stumm, W. and Morgan, J.J. (1996) Aquatic Chemistry. 3rd Edition, Wiley.
[15] Desiraju, G.R. and Steiner, T. (1999) The Weak Hydrogen Bond. In: Structural Chemistry and Biology, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[16] Young, M.H. and Sisson, J.B. (2002) Tensiometry. In: Dane, J.H. and Topp, G.C., Eds., Methods of Soil Analysis Part. 4. Physical Methods. Soil Science Society of America Inc., Madison.
[17] Gardner, W. (1919) Capillary Moisture-Holding Capacity. Soil Science, 7, 319-324.
[18] Gulledge, J. and Schimel, J.P. (1998) Moisture Control over Atmospheric CH4 Consumption and CO2 Production in Diverse Alaskan Soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 30, 1127-1132.
[19] Grace, C., Hart, M. and Brookes P.C. (2006) Laboratory Manual of the Soil Microbial Biomass Group. Rothamsted Research.
[20] Priha, O. and Smolander, A. (2003) Short-Term Uptake of 15NH4 into Soil Microbes and Seedlings of Pine, Spruce and Birch in Potted Soils. Soil Biology and Fertility of Soils, 37, 324-327.
[21] Ryan, T.P. (2009) Modern Regression Methods. 2nd Edition, Wiley Publishing, New Jersey.
[22] Tisdall, J.M. and Oades, J.M. (1982) Organic Matter and Water-Stable Aggregates in Soils. Journal of Soil Science, 33, 141-163.
[23] Wershaw, R.L. (1999) Molecular Aggregation of Humic Substances. Soil Science, 164, 803-813.
[24] Piccolo, A. (2001) Thesupramolecular Structure of Humic Substances. Soil Science, 166, 810-832.
[25] Schaumann, G.E. and Bertmer, M. (2008) Do Water Molecules Bridge Soil Organic Matter Molecule Segments? European Journal of Soil Science, 59, 423-429.
[26] McMurry, J. (2004) Organic Chemistry. 6th Edition, Brooks/Cole, Thomson Learning Company.
[27] Kodícek M., Karpenko V.( 2000) Biophysical Chemistry. 2nd Revised Edition, Academia, Prague (In Czech).
[28] Schaumann, G.E., Hobley, E., Hurrass, J. and Rotard, W. (2005) H-NMR Relaxometry to Monitor Wetting and Swelling Kinetics in High Organic Matter Soils. Plant Soil, 275, 1-20.
[29] Aquino, A.J.A., Tunega, D., Pasalic H., Schaumann, G.E., Haberhauer, G., Gerzabek, M.H. and Lischka, H. (2011) Study of Solvent Effect on the Stability of Water Bridge-Linked Carboxyl Groups in Humic Acid Model. Geoderma, 169, 20-26.
[30] Jager, A., Schaumann, G.E. and Bertmer, M. (2011) Optimized NMR Spectroscopic Strategy to Characterize Water Dynamics in Soil Samples. Organic Geochemistry, 42, 917-925.
[31] Schaumann, G.E., Dorte Diehl, D., Bertmer, M., Jaeger, A., Conte, P., Alonzo, G. and Bachmann, J. (2013) Combined Proton NMR Wideline and NMR Relaxometry to Study SOM-Water Interactions of Cation-Treated Soils. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 61, 50-63.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.