Water-stable aggregation in relation to the Normalized Stability Index

Andrea Huisz, Tibor Tóth, T. Németh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In spite of the good quality of soils in Hungary, soil structure is deteriorated by intensive tillage. Because of general dissimilarities between field and laboratory circumstances and therefore lack of comparability, the former results are questionable. An optimized method initiated by Six, Elliott, and Paustian (2000) was adapted to investigate changes in soil structure and quality caused by different kinds of added organic matters. Our samples originated from the long-term fertilization experiments in Keszthely, western Hungary. The experiments were set up in 1960. The texture of the investigated soil is sandy loam; the type of soil is Eutric Cambisol (soil type FAO) or Alfisol (soil type USDA). Tillage and its depth was fall plowing to 25cm. Crop rotation was maize-maize-potato-winter wheat-winter wheat. Samples were taken from depths of 0-20 and 20-30cm, from the fallow, which had the same treatment as the potato field. Changes in soil structure were quantified by wet sieving. Soil structural stability was characterized by comparing aggregate size distribution after the use of a lower and a higher disruptive force, which was simulated by two different pretreatments. Determinations were done in triplicates. Soil structure may be improved by adding readily decomposable organic matter. The extent of amelioration depends on the chemical buildup and decomposability of the crop residues. Three different kinds of organic matters were investigated: (1) maize stem (M), (2) wheat straw (W), and (3) maize stem and wheat straw (MW). By comparing the aggregate stabilizing effects of the differently decomposable organic matters to each other and predicting the lower decomposability but persisting effect of M, the expected MW > M > W order was proven. These are parallel with those results of Harris, Chesters, and Allen (1966) and John et al. (2005), who observed decreasing aggregate stability in the M > W order. We observed increased macroaggregate stability in both macroaggregate fractions (2000-7000μm and 250-2000μm) in all three case of organic-matter addition, but these newly formed bindings were easily broken up because of the weaker bindings of the higher aggregate hierarchical orders. This is remarkable mainly in the upper layer because crop residues were mixed to the upper layer and therefore could not have affected the lower one. Furthermore, adding organic materials has decreased the mass of the 53-250μm microaggregate fraction in all treatments and depth layers and in addition in both pretretments. This proves that adding organic matter enhances the transient and temporary binding agents between microaggretages grouped into macroaggregates but that these bindings are temporal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-814
Number of pages15
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Volume40
Issue number1-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Fingerprint

soil organic matter
soil structure
organic matter
macroaggregate
wheat
maize
soil aggregates
soil types
corn
water
crop residue
wheat straw
crop residues
Hungary
potato
straw
tillage
winter wheat
soil type
soil quality

Keywords

  • Aggregate stability
  • Maize and wheat residues
  • Soil structure
  • Tillage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Water-stable aggregation in relation to the Normalized Stability Index. / Huisz, Andrea; Tóth, Tibor; Németh, T.

In: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, Vol. 40, No. 1-6, 01.2009, p. 800-814.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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