Yuncong Li

Title - Professor

Department - Soil and Water Science Department

Specialty - Soil Chemistry/Nutrient Management

Telephone - 305-246-7001 Ext. 282

E-mail -

Web site -


  • Ph.D., 1993: University of Maryland -- Environmental Sciences
  • M.S., 1990: University of Georgia -- Soil Chemistry
  • B.S., 1982: Shandong Agricultural University, China -- Soil Science


  • Professor (2008 to present), Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida
  • Associate Professor (2003 to 2008), Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida
  • Assistant Professor (1997 to 2003), Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida


  • 70% Research
  • 30% Extension

Areas of Expertise

Management practices to improve nutrient use efficiency, plant nutrition and water quality; Nutrient cycling in calcareous soils;and water quality monitoring, assessment and remediation.

Active Projects

1. Influence of Prescribed Fire on Phosphorus Speciation in ash and Redistribution in Water and Sediment. South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). 

2. Sustainable Water Resource Management: U.S.-India Collaborative Research and Education. USDA/AKI (Agricultural Knowledge Initiative)

3. Soil Chemistry Changes Affected by Pine Trees and Exotic Plants in Native and Disturbed Pine Rockland, Everglades National Park.  USGS/NPS .

4. Rare plant monitoring and restoration on long pine key, Everglades National Park.  The Institute of Regional Conservation (IRC).

5. Implementation of BMPs for Florida Vegetable and Row Crops.  EPA319, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), SFWMD, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Suwannee River Water Management District.

6. Soils and hydroperiod analysis in the floodplains of the Loxahatchee River Watershed.  SFWMD.

7. Analysis of salinity and oxygen availability in the floodplains of the Loxahatchee River Watershed. FDEP/State Park Service

8. Developing and field testing a design model for runoff phosphorus filtering with vegetative filter strips.  FDEP.

9. Miccosukee Flow-Proportional Monitoring of water quality. Miccosukee Tribe of Indians.

10. Improving water quality at the watershed level by targeting high-return stakeholders.  USDA/CSREES

11. Chemical analysis for developing midge bioassessment methods for evaluating Everglades marsh water quality.  USGS.

12. Foliar acid application to prevent iron deficiency in tropical fruit crops grown in calcareous soils. USDA/TSTAR.

13. Development of a system approach to organic greenhouse herb production for protected agriculture in a mild weather climate. USDA/TSTAR.

Awards & Recognitions

Research Foundation Professorship, University of Florida, 2007

Junior Faculty Research Award, The University of Florida Chapter of Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering, 2004

Jim App Award for Outstanding Design Team, IFAS, UF, 2002

Outstanding Paper Award, Florida State Horticultural Society, 2001

Member of the Honor Society of Agriculture (Gamma Sigma Delta), 1999-present

Outstanding Research Award, Indian River Research and Education Center, IFAS, 1996

Wilson Popenoe Award, InterAmerican Society for Tropical Horticulture, 1996

Fellowship, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 1987

Book Chapters

Wang, R., Y. C. Li and W. Klassen. 2006. Influence of fly ash and other amendments on leaching of soil nutrients and metals from a calcareous soil. p. 171-176. In K.S. Sajwan, I. Twardowska, T. Punshon and A.K. Alva (Eds.). Coal Combustion Byproducts and Environmental Issues. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc., New York, NY.   

Li, Y.C. and J. Chen. 2006. Leachability of heavy metals from sandy or rocky soils amended with coal fly ash.  p. 105-113. In K.S. Sajwan, I. Twardowska, T. Punshon and A.K. Alva (Eds.). Coal Combustion Byproducts and Environmental Issues. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc., New York, NY.

Chen, J, and Y.C. Li. 2006. Amendment of fly ash to container substrates for ornamental plant production.  p. 177-183. In K.S. Sajwan, I. Twardowska, T. Punshon and A.K. Alva (Eds.). Coal Combustion Byproducts and Environmental Issues. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc., New York, NY.

Li, Y.C., M. Zhou and J. Zhao.  2004. The role of chemical analysis on soil and water characterization. p. 503-558.  In J. Alvarez-Benedi, J. and R. Muñoz-Carpena (eds). Soil-water-solute process characterization: an integrated approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl.

Li, Y.C., M. Zhang, P.J., Stoffella, Z. He, and H.H. Bryan. 2003.  Influence of coal ash/organic waste on distribution of trace metals in soil, plant, and water.  pp. 251-263. In K.S. Sajwan, A.K. Alva, and P.F. Keefer (Eds.) Chemistry of Trace Elements in Fly Ash.  Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.    

Stoffella, P. J., Y. C. Li, N. E. Roe, M. Ozores-Hampton, and D. A. Graetz.  1997.  Utilization of organic composts in vegetable crop production systems, pp. 252-269.  In: R. A. Morris  (Ed.) Managing Soil Fertility for Intensive Vegetable Production Systems.  Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, Shanhua, Taiwan.

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles (last 5 years)

  • Qian, Y., K. W. Migliaccio, Y. Wan, and Y. C. Li. 2007. Multivariate analysis of temporal and spatial variability of water quality in the Southern Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida. Water Resources Research. (in press).

  • Qian, Y., K. W. Migliaccio, Y. Wan, Y. C. Li, and D. Chin. 2007. Seasonality of Selected Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Surface Water in the Indian River Lagoon Area. J. Environ. Qual. (in press).

  • Liu, G.D., Li, Y.C., and A. Alva. 2007. High water regime can reduce ammonia volatilization from soils under potato production. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. (in press)

  • Liu, G.D., Li, Y.C., and A. Alva. 2007. Temperature quotients of ammonia volatilization in four soils from Florida and Washington at three temperatures. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. (in press).

  • Liu, G.D., J. Dunlop, T. Phung, and Y.C. Li. 2007. Some Physiological Responses of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Phosphorus-efficient and -inefficient Genotypes in Field and Effects of Mixing Other Nutrients on Mobilization of Insoluble Phosphates in Hydroponics. Communication in Soil Science and Plant Analysis (in press).

  • Wang, Q., Y. Li, Z. Handoo, and W. Klassen. 2007. Influence of cover crops in rotation on population of soil nematodes. Nematropica (in press)

  • Wang, Q., Y.C.  Li, W. Klassen, and Z. Handoo. 2007. Influence of cover crops and soil organic amendments on okra (Abelmoschul esculentus L.) production and soil nematodes. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. (in press)

  • Wang, Q., Y.C. Li, and W. Klassen. 2007. Microbial biomass of carbon and nitrogen in tomato field with cover crops. Journal of Plant Nutrition. (in press)

  • Liu, G.D., Li, Y.C., and A. Alva. 2007. Moisture quotients for ammonia volatilization from four soils in potato production regions", Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. [Online] available at (posted on March 1, 2007)

  • Chen, J. and Y.C. Li. 2006. Coal fly ash as an amendment to container substrate for Spathiphllum Production. Bioresource Technology, 97:1920-1926.

  • Wang, Q., Y.C. Li, Y., and W. Klassen. 2006. Summer Cover Crops and Soil Amendments to Improve Growth and Nutrient Uptake of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.). HortTechnology. 16:328-338.

  • Wang, Q., Klassen, W., Abdul-Baki, A., Bryan, H., Li, Y. and Codallo, M. 2005, Influence of summer cover crops and irrigation rates on tomato yields and quality in south Florida. HortScience, 40 (7): 2125-2131

  • Wang, Q., Y.C. Li, and W. Klassen. 2005. Influence of summer cover crops on retention of soil nitrogen and phosphorus in a subtropical area. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 60: 58-63. 

  • Wang, Q., Chen, J., Stamps, R. H. & Li, Y. 2005. Correlation of visual quality grading and SPAD reading of green-leafed foliage plants.  Journal of plant nutrition.  28:1215-1225

  • Muñoz-Carpena, R., A. Ritter and Y.C. Li. 2005. Dynamic factor analysis of   groundwater quality trends in an agricultural area adjacent to Everglades National Park. Submitted to Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. 80:49-70.

  • Muñoz-Carpena, R., M.D. Dukes, Y.C. Li and W. Klassen. 2005. Field comparison of tensiometer and granular matrix sensor automatic drip irrigation on tomato. HortTechnology, 15(3):584-590.

  • Zhang, M., Y.C. Li. And P. Stoffella. 2005. Comparison of analytical methods for organic carbon in composts, fly ash, biosolids and calcareous soils.  Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal.36:2587-2599.

  • Reed, S.T. F. R D'Ambrosio, Y.C. Li, R. Rao. 2005. Flooding influences on growth and development of bush bean under greenhouse conditions. J. Vegetable Sci.:11(2)43-56.

  • Wang, Q, Y. Li and W. Klassen. 2005. Determination of cation exchange capacity on low to highly calcareous soils. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 36 (11&12): 1479-1498.

  • Wang, Q.B., J. Chen, and Y.C. Li. 2004. Nondestructive and rapid estimation of leaf chlorophyll and nitrogen status of peace lily using a chlorophyll meter.  J. Plant Nutri. 27(3):557-569.

  • Zinati, G. Y.C. Li, H.H. Bryan, R. Mylavarapu and M. Codallo. 2004. Distribution and fractionation of phosphorus, cadmium, nickel, and lead in calcareous soils amended with composts. J. Environ. Sci. Health. B39 (1): 209-223.

  • Wang, Q.R., Y.C. Li, W. Klassen.  2003.  Effects of soil amendments at a heavey loading rate associated with cover crops as green manures on the leaching of nutrients and heavey metals from a calcareous soil.  J. Environ. Sci. Health. B38(6): 865-881.

  • Rao, R. and Y.C. Li. 2003. Management of flooding effects on growth of vegetable and selected field crops.  HortTechnolgy 13(4) 610-616.

  • Zhou, M. Y.C. Li,  P. Nkedi-Kizza, and S. K. O’Hair. 2003. Endosulfan losses through runoff and leaching from calcareous gravelly or marl soils.  Vadose Zone Journal. 2:231-238. 

  • Zhang. M.K., Z.L. He, D. V. Calvert, P. J. Stoffella, X.E. Yang and Y.C. Li. 2003.  Phosphorus and heavy metal attachment and release in sandy soil aggregate fractions.  Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:1158-1167.

  • He, Z. L., D. V. Calvert, A.K. Alva, D.J. Banks, Y.C. Li. 2003. An evaluation of grapefruit leaf nitrogen concentration in relation to fruit yield and quality. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:583-588.

  • Zhang, M., Y.C. Li. and L.  Ma. 2003. Acidity changes of foreign acidic soils introduced into a calcareous soil environment.   J. Plant Nutri. 26(7):1509-1522.

  • He, Z. L., D. V. Calvert, A. K. Alva, Y. C. Li, P. J. Stoffella, and D. J. Bank. 2003. Nitrogen transformation and ammonia volatilization from biosolids and compost applied to calcareous soil. J. Compost Sci. Utilization 11 (1): 81-88.

  • Rao, R.B. and Y.C. Li.  2003. Nitrogen mineralization of cover crop residues in calcareous gravelly soils. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 34 (3&4): 299-313.

  • He, Z. L., D. V. Calvert, A. K. Alva, Y. C. Li, and D. J. Banks. 2002. Clinoptilolite Zeolite and cellulose amendments to reduce ammonia volatilization in a calcareous sandy soil. Plant and Soil 247:253-260.

  • Zhang, M.K., Z. L. He, D.V. Calvert, P. J. Stoffella, Y. C. Li, and E.A. Limb. 2002. Release potential of phosphorus in Florida sandy soils in relation to phosphorus fractions and adsorption capacity.  J. Environ. Sci. Health. A37(5):793-809.

  • Li, Y.C., A.K. Alva, D.V. Calvert and D. Banks. 2002. Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen in a high lightning intensity area.  Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 33 (9&10): 1671-1677.

  • Li, Y.C. and M. Zhang.  2002.  Responses of Anthurium to irrigation water with urea or nitric acid.  HortTechnology 12(1): 131-134.