David A. Robinson

David A. Robinson
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology | CEH · Environment Centre Wales (ECW) (Bangor)

PhD

About

227
Publications
102,198
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Introduction
David A. Robinson currently works at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the Environment Centre Wales (ECW) (Bangor). David does research in Soil Science, focusing on soil physics and interaction with biological systems. Current research focuses on soil physical function, natural capital and national monitoring of soil change.

Publications

Publications (227)
Article
Natural approaches to flood risk management are gaining interest as sustainable flood mitigation options. Targeted tree planting has the potential to reduce local flood risk, however attention is generally focused on the hydrological impacts of catchment afforestation linked to generic tree features, whilst the species-specific impacts of trees on...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy soil is the foundation underpinning global agriculture and food security. Soil erosion is currently the most serious threat to soil health, leading to yield decline, ecosystem degradation and economic impacts. Here, we provide high-resolution (ca. 100 × 100 m) global estimates of soil displacement by water erosion obtained using the Revised...
Preprint
Sulphur deposition through rainfall has led to species loss and ecosystem degradation globally, and across Europe huge reductions in sulphur emissions since the 1970s were expected to promote the recovery of acidified ecosystem. However, the rate and ecological impact of recovery from acidification in terrestrial ecosystems is still unclear as is t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soil moisture is of major relevance in agricultural and environmental monitoring, having a direct impact in crop growth and yield, and playing an important role in soil conservation and landscape management. Several well-known techniques are widely used to determine soil moisture, but dielectric methods are notable for their automation potential an...
Article
Full-text available
The thin layer of soil at the earth’s surface supports life, storing water and nutrients for plant uptake. These processes occur in the soil pore space, often half the soil volume, but our understanding of how this volume responds to environmental change is poor. Convention, has been to predict soil porosity, or its reciprocal bulk density (BD), fr...
Article
Full-text available
The performance of a handheld Vector Network Analyzer (VNA), the nanoVNA, a low-cost, open-source instrument, was evaluated. The instrument measures the complex permittivity of dielectric media from 1-port reflection parameters in the 1 – 900 MHz bandwidth. We manufactured an open-ended coaxial probe using a SMA-N coaxial adapter to perform dielect...
Article
Full-text available
Soil organic carbon (SOC) concentration is the fundamental indicator of soil health, underpinning food production and climate change mitigation. SOC storage is highly sensitive to several dynamic environmental drivers, with approximately one third of soils degraded and losing carbon worldwide. Digital soil mapping illuminates where hotspots of SOC...
Article
Full-text available
The response of soil microbial communities to a changing climate will impact global biogeochemical cycles, potentially leading to positive and negative feedbacks. However, our understanding of how soil microbial communities respond to climate change and the implications of these changes for future soil function is limited. Here, we assess the respo...
Article
Full-text available
Soil organic matter is composed of a variety of carbon (C) forms. However, not all forms are equally accessible to soil microorganisms. Deprivation of C inputs will cause changes in the physical and microbial community structures of soils; yet the trajectories of such changes are not clear. We assessed microbial communities using phospholipid fatty...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a way to synthesize different approaches to globally map land degradation by combining vegetation and soil indicators into a consistent framework for assessing land degradation as an environmental ‘debt’. our combined approach reveals a broader lens for land degradation through global change, in particular, identifying hot-spots for the...
Article
Full-text available
The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) ran from 2013 until 2016 and was probably the most comprehensive programme of ecological study ever undertaken at a national scale in Wales. The programme aimed to (1) set up an evaluation of the environmental effects of the Glastir agri-environment scheme and (2) quantify environmental status...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput sequencing 16S rRNA gene surveys have enabled new insights into the diversity of soil bacteria, and furthered understanding of the ecological drivers of abundances across landscapes. However, current analytical approaches are of limited use in formalizing syntheses of the ecological attributes of taxa discovered, because derived tax...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of soils to society has gained increasing recognition over the past decade, with the potential to contribute to most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With unprecedented and growing demands for food, water and energy, there is an urgent need for a global effort to address the challenges of climate change an...
Article
Time domain reflectometry (TDR) is the most widely used non-destructive method to determine the water content of soils and other porous media. TDR equipment can be automated and multiplexed to acquire accurate and rapid waveforms (return signal) without safety concerns associated with radioactive methods (e.g., neutron probe and Gamma-ray probe). T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many valuable ecosystem services are driven by soil organisms, and earthworms are the key representatives. Earthworm activity underpins several soil properties that directly influence soil hydrological functioning and food production. However, the influence of different earthworm ecotypes and plant-roots they interact with is largely unknown. Labor...
Article
Full-text available
Earthworms directly and indirectly affect soil physico-hydraulic properties. We studied interactions between winter wheat and the common European earthworm Allolobophora chlorotica, testing for impacts upon soil physico-hydraulic properties. Column experiments with three different soil textures and field-relevant earthworm densities were conducted....
Preprint
Full-text available
The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) ran from 2013 until 2016, and was probably the most comprehensive programme of ecological study ever undertaken at a national scale in Wales. The programme aimed to (1) set up an evaluation of the environmental effects of the Glastir agri-environment scheme and (2) quantify environmental status...
Article
Full-text available
The number of sensors, ground-based and remote, exploiting the relationship between soil dielectric response and soil water content continues to grow. Empirical expressions for this relationship generally work well in coarse-textured soils but can break down for high-surface area and intricate materials such as clayey soils. Dielectric mixing model...
Article
Full-text available
Soil phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural systems will limit food and feed production in the future. Here, we combine spatially distributed global soil erosion estimates (only considering sheet and rill erosion by water) with spatially distributed global P content for cropland soils to assess global soil P loss. The world's soils are currently bei...
Article
Full-text available
Sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) represent a key biological component of the global sulphur (S) cycle and are common in soils, where they reduce SO 4 2− to H 2 S during the anaerobic degradation of soil organic matter. The factors that regulate their distribution in soil, however, remain poorly understood. We sought to determine the ecological patt...
Article
Full-text available
Soil erosion is a major global soil degradation threat to land, freshwater, and oceans. Wind and water are the major drivers, with water erosion over land being the focus of this work; excluding gullying and river bank erosion. Improving knowledge of the probable future rates of soil erosion, accelerated by human activity, is important both for pol...
Article
Full-text available
Organic amendments are often reported to improve soil properties, promote plant growth, and improve crop yield. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the biochar and compost produced from sewage sludge and olive pomace on soil hydraulic properties, water flow, and P transport (i.e., sorption) using numerical modeling (HYDRUS-1D) applied to...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in soil science is to monitor and understand the state and change of soils at a national scale, to inform decision making and policy. To address this, there is a need to identify key parameters for soil health and function, and determine how they relate to other parameters including traditional soil surveys. Here we present a nati...
Article
Full-text available
Soils harbour high levels of microbial diversity, underpinning their ability to provide key soil functions and ecosystem services. The extreme variety of soil microbial life is often explained by reference to the physical and chemical heterogeneity of the soil environment. However, detailed understanding of this link is still lacking, particularly...
Article
Full-text available
1. Climate change is a world-wide threat to biodiversity and ecosystem structure, functioning and services. To understand the underlying drivers and mechanisms, and to predict the consequences for nature and people, we urgently need better understanding of the direction and magnitude of climate change impacts across the soil–plant–atmosphere contin...
Article
Full-text available
Effects of earthworms on soil physico-hydraulic properties, herbage production and wheat growth in long-term arable soils following conversion to ley were investigated. Seven intact soil monoliths were collected from each of four arable fields. One monolith per field served as a control. The other six were defaunated by deep-freezing; three were le...
Poster
Full-text available
Numerous dielectric soil moisture sensors are now commercially available and new designs are continuously released. However, the dependence of the permittivity-water content relationship on soil and porous media properties, remains poorly understood with regard to the frequency domain response. Since Topp et al.’s seminal paper1, several studies ha...
Preprint
Full-text available
High-throughput sequencing 16S rRNA gene surveys have enabled new insights into the diversity of soil bacteria, and furthered understanding of the ecological drivers of abundances across landscapes. However, current analytical approaches are of limited use in formalising syntheses of the ecological attributes of taxa discovered, because derived tax...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is a worldwide threat to biodiversity and ecosystem structure, functioning, and services. To understand the underlying drivers and mechanisms, and to predict the consequences for nature and people, we urgently need better understanding of the direction and magnitude of climate‐change impacts across the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum...
Article
Full-text available
The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region is the accepted DNA barcode of fungi. Its use has led to a step-change in the assessment and characterisation of fungal communities from environmental samples by precluding the need to isolate, culture, and identify individuals. However, certain functionally important groups, such as the arbuscular mycor...
Article
Full-text available
A warming climate and expected changes in average and extreme rainfall emphasise the importance of understanding how the land surface routes and stores surface water. The availability and movement of water within an ecosystem is a fundamental control on biological and geophysical activity, and influences many climatic feedbacks. A key phenomenon in...
Article
Soil organic matter (SOM) is an indicator of sustainable land management as stated in the global indicator framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG Indicator 15.3.1). Improved forecasting of future changes in SOM is needed to support the development of more sustainable land management under a changing climate. Current mode...
Conference Paper
We investigated the effect of earthworms on the physico-hydraulic properties of arable soil that was converted to ley. Seven undisturbed monoliths were collected from each of four arable fields which had been cultivated under arable crops for at least 8 years. The soil in each field was a Cambisol, soil texture varied between fields. For each field...
Article
Although only representing 0.05% of global freshwater, or 0.001% of all global water, soil water supports all terrestrial biological life. Soil moisture behaviour in most models is constrained by hydraulic parameters that do not change. Here we argue that biological feedbacks from plants, macro‐fauna and the microbiome influence soil structure, and...
Article
Full-text available
Soil biota accounts for ~25% of global biodiversity and is vital to nutrient cycling and primary production. There is growing momentum to study total belowground biodiversity across large ecological scales to understand how habitat and soil properties shape belowground communities. Microbial and animal components of belowground communities follow d...
Article
Understanding how species richness is distributed across landscapes and which variables may be used as pre- dictors is important for spatially targeting management interventions. This study uses finely resolved data over a large geographical area to explore relationships between land-use intensity, habitat heterogeneity and species richness of mult...
Preprint
Full-text available
Handbook for standardized methods in terrestrial global change experiments
Conference Paper
We studied the combined effect of earthworms and plant roots on soil physical and hydraulic properties. Two different groups of earthworms, L terrestris and A chlorotica which produce vertical and lateral burrows respectively, were studied for 16 weeks in columns under three different soil types. We used a factorial design with presence and absence...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present and analyze a novel global database of soil infiltration measurements, the Soil Water Infiltration Global (SWIG) database. In total, 5023 infiltration curves were collected across all continents in the SWIG database. These data were either provided and quality checked by the scientists who performed the experiments or they...
Article
Full-text available
This study combines two unprecedentedly high resolution (250 × 250 m) maps of soil erosion (inter‐rill and rill processes) and soil organic carbon to calculate a global estimate of erosion‐induced organic carbon (C) displacement. The results indicate a gross C displacement by soil erosion of 2.5 (+0.5/ -0.3) Pg C/year. The greatest share of displac...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present and analyze a global database of soil infiltration measurements, the Soil Water Infiltration Global (SWIG) database, for the first time. In total, 5023 infiltration curves were collected across all continents in the SWIG database. These data were either provided and quality checked by the scientists who performed the exper...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Surface and near-surface soil properties and processes have largely been ignored when it comes to monitoring, owing to the extreme variations in water content, temperature, etc. occurring at and near the soil surface. However, growing interest in a vast array of remote sensing applications warrants improvements in monitoring capability at the soil...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated the combined effect of earthworms and plant roots on soil physical and hydraulic properties. Two different ecotypes of earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris which produce vertical burrows and Allolobophora chlorotica which produce lateral burrows, were studied. Three soils with different textures, loam, silt loam and sandy loam, were rep...
Preprint
Full-text available
Download Abstract In this paper, we present and analyze a global database of soil infiltration measurements, the Soil Water Infiltration Global (SWIG) database, for the first time. In total, 5023 infiltration curves were collected across all continents in the SWIG database. These data were either provided and quality checked by the scientists who...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of high-throughput DNA sequencing methods provides unprecedented opportunities to further unravel bacterial biodiversity and its worldwide role from human health to ecosystem functioning. However, despite the abundance of sequencing studies, combining data from multiple individual studies to address macroecological questions of bacter...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity and related land use change are the primary cause of accelerated soil erosion, which has substantial implications for nutrient and carbon cycling, land productivity and in turn, worldwide socio-economic conditions. Here we present an unprecedentedly high resolution (250×250m) global potential soil erosion model, using a combination o...