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New pedotransfer approaches to predict soil bulk density using WoSIS soil data and environmental covariates in Mediterranean agro-ecosystems

Schillaci, C; Perego, A; Valkama, E; Märker, M; Saia, S; Veronesi, F; Lipani, A; ... Acutis, M; + view all (2021) New pedotransfer approaches to predict soil bulk density using WoSIS soil data and environmental covariates in Mediterranean agro-ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment , 780 , Article 146609. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146609.

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Abstract

For the estimation of the soil organic carbon stocks, bulk density (BD) is a fundamental parameter but measured data are usually not available especially when dealing with legacy soil data. It is possible to estimate BD by applying pedotransfer function (PTF). We applied different estimation methods with the aim to define a suitable PTF for BD of arable land for the Mediterranean Basin, which has peculiar climate features that may influence the soil carbon sequestration. To improve the existing BD estimation methods, we used a set of public climatic and topographic data along with the soil texture and organic carbon data. The present work consisted of the following steps: i) development of three PTFs models separately for top (0–0.4 m) and subsoil (0.4–1.2 m), ii) a 10-fold cross-validation, iii) model transferability using an external dataset derived from published data. The development of the new PTFs was based on the training dataset consisting of World Soil Information Service (WoSIS) soil profile data, climatic data from WorldClim at 1 km spatial resolution and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model at 30 m spatial resolution. The three PTFs models were developed using: Multiple Linear Regression stepwise (MLR-S), Multiple Linear Regression backward stepwise (MLR-BS), and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The predictions of the newly developed PTFs were compared with the BD calculated using the PTF proposed by Manrique and Jones (MJ) and the modelled BD derived from the global SoilGrids dataset. For the topsoil training dataset (N = 129), MLR-S, MLR-BS and ANN had a R2 0.35, 0.58 and 0.86, respectively. For the model transferability, the three PTFs applied to the external topsoil dataset (N = 59), achieved R2 values of 0.06, 0.03 and 0.41. For the subsoil training dataset (N = 180), MLR-S, MLR-BS and ANN the R2 values were 0.36, 0.46 and 0.83, respectively. When applied to the external subsoil dataset (N = 29), the R2 values were 0.05, 0.06 and 0.41. The cross-validation for both top and subsoil dataset, resulted in an intermediate performance compared to calibration and validation with the external dataset. The new ANN PTF outperformed MLR-S, MLR-BS, MJ and SoilGrids approaches for estimating BD. Further improvements may be achieved by additionally considering the time of sampling, agricultural soil management and cultivation practices in predictive models.

Type: Article
Title: New pedotransfer approaches to predict soil bulk density using WoSIS soil data and environmental covariates in Mediterranean agro-ecosystems
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146609
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146609
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Agriculture, Bulk density, Pedotransfer functions, PTFs, Soil carbon, Soil texture
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125213
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