• Agricultural soil properties and crop production on Lithuanian sandy and loamy Cambisols after the application of calcareous sapropel fertilizer

      Bakšienė, Eugenija; Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A. (Taylor & Francis, 2006)
      Lake-derived organic-rich mud (sapropel) is used as a soil fertilizer on sandy loam Haplic Luvisols in Lithuania. Various application rates (50, 100, 150 and 200 t ha-1) were applied to crop rotations (maize, barley, clover, winter rye, potatoes and oats) and their subsequent long-term influences on soil physico-chemical properties and crop production determined. Soil agrochemical properties were evaluated before (1984 – 1985) and after the end of the first (1989 – 1990), second (1995 – 1996) and third (2001 – 2002) crop rotations from seven treatments with four replications. In most cases, after each crop rotation, there were notable increases in pH, total absorbed bases, total nitrogen content, available phosphorus and potassium and soil organic matter content (humus). After three rotations, changes in soil acidity, total nitrogen and humus on all sapropel treatments were significant (p < 0.05), but effects on phosphorus and potassium were not significant. In comparison, for most treatments, manure produced greater improvements in soil properties than sapropel. However, after 18 years of application, sapropel did improve crop productivity almost to the level achieved by applications of manure and fertilizers. Therefore, results demonstrate there are long-term benefits of sapropel applications, namely improvements in soil properties and crop productivity.
    • Field Case Studies of Soil Organic Matter Sequestration in Lithuania and the UK.

      Booth, Colin A.; Fullen, Michael A.; Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Slepetiene, Alvyra (WIT Press, 2008)
      Investigations have assessed the environmental benefits of soil organic matter (SOM) storage at two long-term European experimental research sites: (i) SOM data from a soil conservation (set-aside) site in the UK and (ii) SOM data from a carbon sequestration benchmarking site in Lithuania. The first case study (Hilton, UK) illustrates the environmental benefits of changes in SOM content before and after the adoption of set-aside, a recognized soil conservation technique. Ten run-off plots (7–15° gradients) were put to ley in 1991. Run-off and erosion rates decreased to tolerable levels once ~30% vegetation cover had established and remained low (mean of 69 plot years 0.21 t ha–1 year–1, SD 0.14). Meanwhile, SOM content increased consistently and significantly on the set-aside plots (mean of 2.22% by weight in 14 years) and soil erodibility significantly decreased. Results suggest using grass-leys for set-aside is a viable soil conservation technique, which may also contribute to carbon sequestration. The second case study (Kaltinenai, Lithuania) addresses the issue of comparing international SOM databases to assist carbon modelling and carbon sequestration estimates. Five analytical approaches have been used to calculate SOM. Linear correlation and paired regression equations were used to calculate the various techniques. Correlation coefficients varied between r = 0.83–0.98 (n = 92, P<0.001). Based on the strength and significance of these relationships, it is proposed that simple linear or more complex paired regression equations can be confidently employed to recalculate SOM data between various analytical methodologies. However, it also demonstrates the potential difficulty of international carbon benchmarking, as part of the global policy to ameliorate climate change.
    • Inter-relationships between soil-protecting land use systems, recreation and tourism on agricultural landscapes in Lithuania

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A. (Siauliai University, Lithuania, 2008)
      Soil de­gra­da­tion by soil erosion is evident on the hilly- undula­ting landsca­pe, when com­mon land use systems, containing tilla­ge crops, are practised by land ow­ners. Results of long-term field investigations enab­le the proposal of specific erosion‑resistant land ma­na­ge­ment systems, which enable us to loca­lize and sta­bilize erosion processes on are­as most vulne­rable to soil erosion. It is fe­a­sible to im­ple­ment soil-protecting land use systems (i.e. erosion- re­sistant crop rota­tions and long-term pe­rennial grasses) de­signed for fields of vary­ing size, slope gradient and soil texture. The­se agro- environmental aims can be integrated with rural tourism, thus enabling re­ha­bilita­tion of de­gra­ded land and im­proving the socio- economic situation of rural villages. Matching specific soil tilla­ge ope­ra­tions with intensity of fertiliza­tion permits further re­tarda­tion of soil erosion intensity. The proposed vision of the modern Lithua­nian villa­ge is thus to re­com­mend new activities for local land owners and to promote sustainable and environmentally- friendly economic de­ve­lopment
    • Lithuania

      Fullen, Michael A.; Benediktas, Jankauskas (Wiley InterScience, 2006)
      Provides a unique and comprehensive assessment of soil erosion throughout Europe, an important aspect to control and manage if landscapes are to be sustained for the future. Written in two parts, Soil Erosion in Europe primarily focuses on current issues, area specific soil erosion rates, on and off-site impacts, government responses, soil conservation measures, and soil erosion risk maps. The first part overviews the erosion processes and the problems encountered within each European country, whilst the second section takes a cross-cutting theme approach. Based on an EU-funded project that has been running for four years with erosion scientists from 19 countries Reviews contemporary erosion processes and rates on arable and rangeland in Europe Looks at current issues, such as socio-economic drivers, controlling factors specific to the country and changes in land use
    • Relationships between soil organic matter content and soil erosion severity in Albeluvisols of the Žemaičiai Uplands

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A. (Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, 2007)
      This article analyses relationships between soil erosion severity and soil organic matter (humus) content. The paper describes approaches to assess cumulative soil loss due to the combined action of natural (geological) and accelerated (human induced) soil erosion on Eutric Albeluvisols in Lithuania. Evaluation of soil erosion severity helps us understand which segments of the landscape are susceptible to erosion and therefore require soil conservation. The study also evaluates changes in soil organic matter content in relation to erosion severity. Factors considered in evaluating soil erosion severity included the existing genetic soil horizons remaining after soil erosion processes, the estimated thickness of lost soil and slope inclination. The estimated depth of soil loss due to the combined action of natural and accelerated soil erosion varied from 0.1–0.8 m on the undulating topography of the Žemaičiai Uplands. Erosion rates increased with slope steepness. Therefore, natural soil fertility (as indicated by spring barley yields) decreased by 21.7, 39.7 and 62.4% on slopes of 2–5°, 5–10° and 10–15°, respectively, compared with flat land. Crop yield was strongly negatively correlated (r2 = 0.790, P < 0.001, n = 138) with erosion severity and strongly positively correlated (r = 0.922; P < 0.001, n = 80) with soil organic matter content.
    • Soil erosion and changes in the physical properties of Lithuanian Eutric Albeluvisols under different land use systems

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A. (Taylor & Francis, 2008)
      The investigations aimed to: 1) evaluate water erosion rates on undulating slopes in Lithuania under different land use systems; 2) study changes in soil physical properties on the differently eroded slopes; and 3) better understand relationships between soil physical properties and soil erodibility. Research data were obtained on loamy sand and clay loam Eutric Albeluvisols located on the undulating hilly relief of the Zcaronemaiccaroniai Uplands of Western Lithuania. The results of 18 years of water erosion investigations under different land use systems on slopes of varying steepness are presented. Attention is focused on changes in soil physical properties in relation to soil erosion severity. Measured water erosion rates in the field experiments were: 3.2-8.6 m3 ha-1 yr-1 under winter rye, 9.0-27.1 m3 ha-1 yr-1 under spring barley and 24.2-87.1 m3 ha-1 yr-1 under potatoes. Perennial grasses completely prevented water erosion, while erosion-preventive grass-grain crop rotations (67% grasses, 33% cereal grains) decreased soil losses by 75-80% compared to the field crop rotation, containing 17% tillage crops (potatoes), 33% grasses and 50% cereal grains. The grain-grass crop rotation (33% grasses and 67% cereal grains) decreased soil erosion rates by 23-24%. The percentage of clay-silt and clay fractions of arable soil horizons increased, while the total soil porosity and moisture retention capacity decreased with increased soil erosion. Phytocenoses, including sod-forming perennial grasses and grass-grain crop rotations, led to changes in the physical properties of eroded soils; soil bulk density decreased and percentage total porosity and moisture retention capacity increased. The grass-grain crop rotations increased the water-stable soil structure (measured as water-stable soil aggregates) by 11.03 per cent units and sod-forming perennial grasses increased aggregate stability by 9.86 per cent units compared with the grain-grass crop rotation on the 10-14° slope. Therefore, grass-grain crop rotations and sod-forming perennial grasses decreased soil erodibility and thus could assist both erosion control and the ecological stability of the vulnerable hilly-undulating landscape.
    • Soil Organic Matter Changes in Lithuanian Soils: Experiences and Results

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A.; Slepetiene, Alvyra (Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, 2009)
      Data has been obtained from sandy loam Eutric Albeluvisol-ABe at the Kaltinenai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture on the undulating topography of Western Lithuania. Results from 18 years of investigations show significant increases in soil organic matter (SOM) content under grass-grain crop rotations compared with field and grain-grass crop rotations, which thus provides evidence for carbon sequestration in soil.
    • The Effects of Biogeotextiles on the Stabilization of Roadside Slopes in Lithuania.

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A. (Lithuania: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, 2008)
      Biogeotextiles constructed from the leaves of Borassus aethiopum and Mauritia flexuosa are investigated at the Kaltinėnai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, which is participating in the EU-funded BORASSUS Project. Biogeotextiles are potentially excellent biodegradable and environmentally-friendly materials useful for soil conservation. Field studies on a steep (21–25°) roadside slope in Lithuania suggest biogeotextile mats are an effective and sustainable soil conservation technique. Biogeotextiles have a potential as a biotechnical soil conservation method for slope stabilization and protection from water erosion on steep industrial slopes and may be integrated with the use of perennial grasses to optimize protection from water erosion. The investigations demonstrated that a cover of Borassus and Buriti mats improved the germination and growth of sown perennial grasses. The biomass of perennial grasses increased by 52.0–63.4% under cover of Borassus mats and by 18.6–28.2% under cover of Buriti mats. Over 2 years, the biogeotextiles (Borassus and Buruti, respectively) decreased soil losses from bare fallow soil by 90.8% and 81.5% and from plots covered by perennial grasses by 87.9% and 79.0%, respectively.
    • Utilizing palm-leaf geotextiles to control soil erosion on roadside slopes in Lithuania

      Jankauskas, Benediktas; Jankauskienė, Genovaitė; Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A. (Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, 2008)
      Soil erosion is a global environmental problem. There are many potential soil conservation measures suitable for arable soils in Lithuania. However, specific strategies are required on industrial slopes, where plant cover is often destroyed by machinery, and soil truncation may occur. Problems may arise due to exposure of deeper soils deficient in soil organic matter, which are especially vulnerable to water and wind erosion. Geotextiles are one of the methods identified suitable for soil stabilization on such engineered industrial slopes. Geotextiles are potentially excellent biodegradable and environmentally-friendly materials useful for soil conservation. The application of geotextile mats, constructed from the palm leaves of Borassus aethiopum (Borassus) and Mauritia flexuosa (Buriti), has been investigated at the Kaltinenai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture which is participating in the EU-funded BORASSUS Project. Field studies on a steep (21–25°) roadside slope demonstrate that cover of Borassus and Buriti mats improved the germination and growth of sown perennial grasses. The biomass of perennial grasses significantly increased (by 52–63%) under cover of Borassus mats and by 19–28% under cover of Buriti mats. The geotextiles (Borassus and Buruti, respectively) decreased soil losses from bare fallow soil by 91 and 82% and from plots covered by perennial grasses by 88 and 79%, respectively. This illustrates that geotextiles have a notable potential as a biotechnical soil conservation method for slope stabilization and protection from water erosion on steep industrial slopes and may be integrated with the use of perennial grasses to optimize protection from water erosion