Geogenic and agricultural controls on the geochemical composition of European agricultural soils
- 726 Downloads
Concern about the environmental impact of agriculture caused by intensification is growing as large amounts of nutrients and contaminants are introduced into the environment. The aim of this paper is to identify the geogenic and agricultural controls on the elemental composition of European, grazing and agricultural soils.
Materials and methods
Robust factor analysis was applied to data series for Al, B, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, S, Se, Sr, U, Zn (ICP-MS) and SiO2, K2O, Na2O, Fe2O3, Al2O3 (XRF) based on the European GEMAS dataset. In addition, the following general soil properties were included: clay content, pH, chemical index of alteration (CIA), loss on ignition (LOI), cation exchange capacity (CEC), total organic carbon (TOC) and total carbon and total sulfur. Furthermore, this dataset was coupled to a dataset containing information of historic P2O5 fertilization across Europe. Also, a mass balance was carried out for Cd, Cu and Zn to determine if concentrations of these elements found in the soils have their origin in historic P2O5 fertilization.
Results and discussion
Seven geogenic factors and one agricultural factor were found of which four prominent ones (all geogenic): chemical weathering, reactive iron-aluminum oxide minerals, clay minerals and carbonate minerals. Results for grazing and agricultural soils were near identical, which further proofs the prominence of geogenic controls on the elemental composition. When the cumulative amount of P2O5 fertilization was considered, no extra agriculture-related factors became visible. The mass balance confirms these observations.
Overall, the geological controls are more important for the soil chemistry in agricultural and grazing land soils than the anthropogenic controls.
KeywordsAgricultural impact GEMAS Robust factor analysis Soil geochemistry
The GEMAS project is a cooperation project of the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group with a number of outside organisations (e.g. Alterra in The Netherlands, the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, several Ministries of the Environment and University Departments of Geosciences in a number of European countries, CSIRO Land and Water in Adelaide, Australia) and Eurometaux. The authors thank Clemens Reimann for his advice and support; Lex Bouwman, for providing the data of historic P2O5 fertilization; Peter Filzmoser, for providing the necessary R-scripts; and Cheryl van Kempen and Janneke Klein, for helping with the data analysis.
- Amlinger F (2004) Heavy metals and organic compounds from wastes used as organic fertilisers. Compost-Consulting & Development, PerchtoldsdorfGoogle Scholar
- Birke M, Reimann C, Fabian K (2013) Analytical methods used in the GEMAS project. In: Reimann C, Birke M, Demetriades A, Filzmoser P, O'Connor P (eds) Chemistry of Europe's agricultural soils, Geologisches Jahrbuch (Reihe B), B 102, Chapter 5, Schweitzerbart Science Publishers, Stuttgart, 2013, 39–44 (in press)Google Scholar
- Bouwman L, Klein Goldewijk K, Van der Hoek KW, Beusen AHW, van Vuuren DP, Willems J, Rufino MC, Stehfest E (2011) Exploring global changes in nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in agriculture induced by livestock production over the 1900–2050 period. Proc Nat Acad Sci 1–6Google Scholar
- de Caritat P, Reimann C, Bogatyrev I, Chekushin V, Finne TE, Halleraker JH, Äyräs M (2001) Regional distribution of Al, B, Ba, Ca, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, P, Rb, Si, Sr, Th, U and Y in terrestrial moss within a 188,000 km2 area of the central Barents region: influence of geology, seaspray and human activity. Appl Geochem 16:137–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Deer WA, Howie RA, Zussmann J (1966) An introduction to the rock-forming minerals. Longman, Harlow, 528 ppGoogle Scholar
- EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) Geochemistry Working Group (2008) EuroGeoSurveys Geochemical mapping of agricultural and grazing land soil of Europe (GEMAS)—Field manual. Norway, Trondheim <http://www.ngu.no/upload/Publikasjoner/Rapporter/2008/2008_038.pdf >
- FAO (2012) Current world fertilizer trends and outlook to 2016. Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
- Griffioen J, Klein J, Heerdink R (2011) Nationwide characterisation of buffering capacities and background compositions of groundwater aquifers in the Netherlands. Int Assoc Hydrol Sci 342:318–321Google Scholar
- Groenenberg JE, Römkens PF, Comans RNJ, Luster J, Pampura T, Shotbolt L, Tipping E, de Vries W (2010) Transfer functions for solid-solution partitioning of cadmium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc in soils: derivation of relationships for free metal ion activities and validation with independent data. Eur J Soil Sci 61:58–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hackenberg S, Wegener HR (1999) Schadstoffeinträge in Böden durch Wirtschafts- und Mineraldünger, Komposte und Klärschlamm sowie durch atmosphärische Deposition. Bewertung relevanter Schadstoffeinträge. Abfall-Wirtschaft - Neues aus Forschung und Praxis, WitzenhausenGoogle Scholar
- ISO 10694 (1995) Soil quality—determination of organic and total carbon after dry combustion (elementary analysis). Beuth Verlag, Berlin, (DIN ISO 10694: 1996–08), 1–7Google Scholar
- Nichols G (2009) Sedimentology and stratigraphy. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, New Jersey, pp. 16–17Google Scholar
- Rudnick GL, Gao S (2003) Composition of the continental crust. Treatise on Geochem 1–64Google Scholar
- Salminen R (Chief-editor), Batista MJ, Bidovec M, Demetriades A, De Vivo B, De Vos W, Duris M, Gilucis A, Gregorauskiene V, Halamic J, Heitzmann P, Lima A, Jordan G, Klaver G, Klein P, Lis J, Locutura J, Marsina K, Mazreku A, O'Connor PJ, Olsson SÅ, Ottesen RT, Petersell V, Plant JA, Reeder S, Salpeteur I, Sandström H, Siewers U, Steenfelt A, Tarvainen T (2005) Geochemical Atlas of Europe. Part 1 - Background Information, Methodology and Maps. GTK, FOREGSGoogle Scholar
- Sen S, Chalk PM (1993) Chemical interactions between soil N and alkaline-hydrolysing N Fertilizers. Nutr Cycle Agroecosys 36:239–248Google Scholar
- Smith KS, Huyck HLO (1999) An overview of the abundance, relative mobility, bioavailability, and human toxicity of metals. In: Plumlee GS, Logsdon MJ (eds) The environmental geochemistry of mineral deposits. Part A: Processes, techniques, and health issues. Reviews in Economic Geology, Volume 6a, Soc. Econ. Geol, Inc., Littleton, CO, USA, pp 29–70Google Scholar
- Stumm W, Morgan JJ (1996) Aquatic chemistry. Chemical equilibria and rates in natural waters. Wiley, New York, 3th ed., 1022 ppGoogle Scholar
- Sumner ME, Miller WP (1996) Cation-exchange capacity and exchange coefficients. P.1201-1230. In: Sparks DL (ed) Methods of soil analysis, part 3. Chemical methods. Soil Science Society of America Book Series Number 5, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, XIGoogle Scholar
- Veizer J (1983) Trace elements and isotopes in sedimentary carbonates. In: Reeder RJ (ed) Reviews in mineralogy, vol 11, Carbonates: mineralogy and chemistry. Mineralogical Society of, America, pp 265–300Google Scholar