Soil organic carbon and soil bio-physicochemical properties as co-influenced by tillage treatment

Fontana, Mario (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland ; Dep. of Soil Sciences FIBL, Research Inst. of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland) ; Berner, Alfred (Dep. of Soil Sciences FIBL, Research Inst. of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland) ; Mäder, Paul (Dep. of Soil Sciences FIBL, Research Inst. of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland) ; Lamy, Frederic (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Boivin, Pascal (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Soil conservation practices are growingly used with different aims such as reducing fuel consumption and preserving soil organic carbon (SOC). Among others, reduced tillage (RT) often replaces conventional tillage (CT). However, the compared impact of these practices on soil quality remains a matter of controversy. Moreover, the various changes expected are rarely considered all together though they are known to interact. This study aimed at characterizing together the changes in SOC, microbial activity, and a large set of physical properties when comparing RT and CT performed on a clayey soil. Shrinkage analysis allowed to characterize simultaneously the soil pore systems, their volume, air and water content, the hydro‐structural stability, and the swelling properties of the soil. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare the soil properties taking in account clay content variability. We showed that clay and SOC changes induced most of the variance of the other parameters. At standardized clay content SOC was increased with RT in the topsoil and homogenized with smaller values in the CT layer. Many soil physical and biochemical properties were enhanced accordingly with RT which induced a more stable soil with increased porosity and improved microbial activity. Sharp changes in soil quality seem to occur at the CT plow limit, while smooth changes with depth are observed with RT. Independently from the SOC increase with RT, changes in physical properties and microbial activity could be due to mechanical stress in CT or changes in organic matter quality in RT.


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Ingénierie et Architecture
School:
HEPIA - Genève
Institute:
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
Date:
2015-10
Pagination:
11 p.
Published in:
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Numeration (vol. no.):
2015, vol. 79, no. 5, pp. 1435-1445
DOI:
ISSN:
03615995
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted


 Record created 2020-08-14, last modified 2020-10-27

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