The effect of different soil tillage systems on soil physical properties, especially the water retention functions (pF curves) decisive for the soil moisture regime, was studied in a split-plot field experiment set up on pseudomyceliar calcareous chernozem soil (Calcic Cernic Chernozem, WRB) formed on loess at the Józsefmajor Experimental Station of Szent István University. The experiment was carried out in a single-factor strip design on plots measuring 13 m × 150 m in three replications. The following soil tillage systems and tilling depths were applied: ploughing (SZ, 26-30 cm); disking (TÁ, 16-20 cm), disking combined with deep loosening (LT, L: 40-45 cm, T: 16-20 cm), shallow cultivation (SK, 12-16 cm); cultivation (K, 16-20 cm), and no tillage (DV). All the six treatments were investigated. The crop sequence was sunflower, winter wheat and maize between 2008 and 2010, with mustard as an intercrop in 2009. In the year analyzed, maize was sown on 4 May 2010. On all the plots basic tillage was carried out in autumn 2009. The soil structure in the various tillage treatments was characterized on the basis of pore size distribution. For this purpose single and dual porosity pF curves were fitted to the water retention values recorded for the soil layers in the individual tillage treatments. The dual porosity pF curve was found to give a better fit to the measured values than the single porosity curve for all the treatments. The soil macro- and micropore domains were used to evaluate the effect of different tillage systems on soil structure, as they strongly influence the soil moisture regime. These two domains could be clearly distinguished using the dual porosity pF curve. Studies were also made on the effect of direct drilling (without soil disturbance), ploughing, disking and the other agronomic measures on soil water retention characteristics. The no-tillage technology resulted in an almost constant macropore domain at various soil depths, while in the ploughed treatment the tillage depth could be clearly identified as changes in the pore domain. Differences could be observed between the tillage treatments both in pore size distribution and in the measured soil moisture content. In the complex function applied, the w value expressing the ratio of pore domains gave the best reflection of the individual effects of the tillage treatments on soil structure. It was found that under the given conditions, tillage using deep cultivation resulted in the most stable soil structure, most favourable for the water and air regimes.
|Translated title of the contribution||Dual porosity water retention curves for characterizing the effect of soil tillage|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Agrokemia es Talajtan|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Soil Science