Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ole Wendroth

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Coyne


The consequences of land use choices on soil water and gas transport properties are significant for gas and water flux in agricultural environments. Spatial and temporal patterns and associations of soil water and soil gas characteristics and processes in different land uses are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to 1) characterize soil structure under crop and grass systems, 2) quantify spatial patterns and associations of soil physical characteristics in crop and grass systems, and 3) quantify spatial and temporal patterns and associations of CO2 and N2O fluxes. The research was conducted in a 60 by 80 m field divided into grass and crop systems. Sixty sampling points were distributed in four transects with 5- and 1-m spatial intervals between measurement points. Gas fluxes were measured, at two-week time intervals, 22 times during a year. Pore size distribution was more homogeneous and more continuous pores were found in the grass than in the crop system. The spatial variability of most selected soil physical characteristics was more structured in the crop than in the grass system, which reflected the impact of land use and soil structure on their spatial patterns. CO2 flux was dependent for a longer distance in the grass than in the crop system, however, the two land-use systems exhibited similar spatial ranges of N2O flux. Gas fluxes were temporally dependent for a longer period in the grass than in the crop system. The spatial associations between CO2 and N2O fluxes and selected biochemical and physical factors depended on the flux sampling season and land use. Soil temperature was the dominant controlling factor on the temporal variability of CO2 and N2O fluxes but not on the spatial behavior. Considering the spatial and temporal ranges and dependency strength of soil variables helps identify efficient sampling designs that can result in better time and resource management. Spatial and temporal relationships between the selected soil variables also improve understanding soil management and sampling soil variables. This study provides the baseline and recommendations for future investigations specifically for sampling designs, soil management, and predictions of different soil processes related to gas fluxes.

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Agriculture Commons