Soil Health & Ecosystem Ecology Lab Publications


*denotes Sprunger lab advisee, +denotes student co-author/mentee in collaborative lab



Keiser, A., Palmer, C., C.D. Sprunger. Under Review. Changing the narrative: Applying soil ecological principles to restore soil health. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Sprunger, C.D, A. Lindsey, *A. Lightcap. Under Review. Above and belowground linkages during extreme moisture excess: Leveraging knowledge from natural ecosystems to better understand implications for row-crop agroecosystems. Journal of Experimental Botany.

+Leiva Soto, A. Culman, C., Herms, C., Sprunger, C., Doohan, D. Under Review. Managing soil acidity vs. soil Ca:Mg ratio: what is more important for crop productivity? Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management. 


*Martin, T.K. and C.D. Sprunger. 2022. Sensitive measures of soil health reveal carbon stability across a management intensity and plant biodiversity gradient. Frontiers in Soil Science. Special Issue: Soil Health and Security.

           • Invited paper for special issue on Soil Health and Security 

*Martin, T. and C.D. Sprunger. 2022. Soil food web structure and function in annual row-crop systems: How can nematode communities infer soil health? Applied Soil Ecology.

Wade, J., S.W. Culman, C.K. Gasch, C. Lazcano, G. Maltais-Landry, A. J. Margenot, *T.K. Martin, T. S. Potter, W.R. Roper, M.D. Ruark, C.D. Sprunger, M.D. Wallenstein. 2022. Rigorous, empirical, and quantitative: a proposed pipeline for soil health assessment. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.


*Martin, T., S.W. Culman, and C.D. Sprunger. 2022. Quality or Quantity? Determining the impact of fine root traits on soil health in row-crop agriculture. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. 

*Martin, T., J. Wade., *P. Singh, and C.D. Sprunger. 2022. The integration of nematode communities into the soil biological health framework by factor analysis. Ecological Indicators.

*Martin. T and C.D. Sprunger. 2021. Belowground dynamics influence nitrogen cycling and crop productivity in diversified corn systems. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems5:705577.

           • Invited paper for special issue on Ecological Nutrient Management as a Pathway to Zero Hunger. 

Mestelan, S., N. Smeck, C.D. Sprunger., A. Dyck+, and W. Dick. 2021. Four decades of continuously applied tillage or no-tillage on soil properties and soil morphology​. Agrosystems, Geosciences, & Environment, 4(3), e20195. 


Sprunger, C.D., S.W. Culman, L. Deiss, C. Brock, and D. Jackson-Smith. 2021. Which management practices influence soil health in Midwest organic corn systems? Agronomy Journal, 113:5, 4201-4219.


Chaganti, V.N., S.W. Culman, C. Herms, C.D. Sprunger, C. Brock, A. Leiva Soto+., and D. Doohan. 2021. Base cation saturation ratios, soil health, and yield in organic field crops. Agronomy Journal, 113:5, 4190-4200.


Culman, S.W., C. Brock, D. Doohan, D. Jackson-Smith, V.N. Chaganti, C. Herms, M. Kleinhenz, C.D. Sprunger, and J. Spargo. 2021. Base cation saturation ratios vs. sufficiency level of nutrients: a false dichotomy in practice. Agronomy Journal, 113:6, 5623-5634. 


*Martin, T. and C.D. Sprunger. 2021. A meta-analysis of nematode community composition across soil aggregates: Implications for soil carbon dynamics. Applied Soil Ecology, 168, 104143. 

B.E. O’Neill, C.D. Sprunger and G.P. Robertson. 2021. Do soil health tests match farmer experience? Assessing biological, physical, and chemical indicators in the upper Midwestern United States. Soil Science Society of America, 85, 903-918.

           • Featured in CSA News June 2021 Issue

Lin, E., C.D. Sprunger, and J. Hwang+. 2021. The Farmer’s Battlefield: Traditional ecological knowledge and unexploded ordnances in Cambodia. Agriculture and Human Values, 38, 827-837. 


Sprunger, C.D., T. Martin*, and M. Mann*. 2020. Systems with greater perenniality and crop diversity enhance soil biological health. Agricultural and Environmental Letters, 5, e20030. 

           • Awarded ‘Featured Article’ for issue 

           • Featured in CSA News March 2021 Issue

           • Named 2022 Outstanding Paper of the Year 


Sprunger, C.D., S.W. Culman, Peralta, A.L. DuPont, S.T., Lennon, J.T., and Snapp, S.S. 2019. Perennial grain crop roots and nitrogen management shape soil food webs and soil carbon dynamics. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 137, 107573. 

Sprunger, C.D., S.W. Culman, C.A. Palm, and B. Vanlauwe. 2019. Long-term application of low C:N residues enhances maize yield and soil nutrient pools across Kenya. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 114, 261-276. 

+Pugliese, J.Y., S.W. Culman, and C.D. Sprunger. 2019. Grain and forage harvest of a perennial grain crop, Kernza (Thinopyrum intermedium), increases root biomass and soil nutrient cycling. Plant and Soil, 43, 241-254.

Sprunger, C.D., S.W. Culman, G.P. Robertson, and S.S. Snapp. 2018. How does nitrogen and perenniality influence belowground biomass and nitrogen use efficiency in small grain cereals? Crop Science, 58, 2110-2120.

Sprunger, C.D., S.W. Culman, G.P. Robertson, and S.S. Snapp. 2018. Perennial grain on a Midwest Alfisol shows no sign of early soil carbon gain. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 33, 360-372.


Sprunger, C.D. and G.P. Roberston. 2018. Early accumulation of active fraction soil carbon in newly established cellulosic biofuel systems. Geoderma, 318, 42-51.


Sprunger, C.D., L.G. Oates, R.J. Jackson, and G.P. Robertson. 2017. Plant community composition influences fine root production and biomass allocation in perennial bioenergy cropping systems of the upper Midwest, USA. Biomass and Bioenergy, 105, 248-258.


*Singh, P., N. Kawa., and C.D. Sprunger. Linking soil health indicators to farmer perceptions of soil health. To be submitted to Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (Fall 2022).

Sprunger, C.D., *Martin, T.K., *Mammana, C., *Murray, J. and *Mann, M. Soil protein: a key indicator of soil health and nitrogen management. To be submitted to Soil Science Society of America Journal (Fall 2022).

Sprunger, C.D. and *Martin, T.K. Linking soil biological health indicators to ecosystem function. Invited Chapter. Advances in Agronomy (Due December 31st). 

Sprunger, C.D., *M. Mann, and S.W. Culman. How do tillage intensity and crop rotational diversity influence aggregate stability on organic farms across the Eastern Corn Belt? To be submitted to Organic Agriculture (Fall 2022). 



Sprunger, C.D. *Martin, T.K., and *Singh, P. Integrating perennials into agroecosystems for enhanced soil biodiversity and long-term sustainability. Submitted. Biodiversity and Bioeconomy. K. Singh (Ed.). Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Sprunger, C.D. and G.P. Robertson. 2018. Data from: Early accumulation of active fraction soil carbon in newly established cellulosic biofuel systems. Dryad Digital Repository. 


Culman, S., L. Deiss, B. Fortune, M. Gingery, *M. Mann, C. Sprunger, E. Hawkins, C. Brown, T. Hurriso, A. Fulford, D. Francis, L. Lindsey, B. Bergefurd. 2022. Baseline Assessment of Soil Health in Ohio. The Ohio State University Extension.