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Response of soil structure and hydraulic conductivity to reduced tillage and animal manure in a temperate loamy soil

Abstract : We studied the combined effects of reduced tillage and animal manure on soil structure and hydraulic conductivity (K) in the 2-10 and 12-20 cm layers in a loamy soil. The study was performed at the end of a 7-yr field trial and included three tillage treatments (mouldboard ploughing until 25 cm depth: MP, shallow tillage until 12 cm depth: ST, no-till: NT) and two fertilizer application treatments (mineral or poultry manure). Soil structure was assessed through bulk density (qb), micromorphological and macropore-space characteristics. K was measured in situ at 0.6, 0.2 and 0.05 kPa. Untilled layers had a vermicular microstructure resulting from earthworm activity, whereas tilled layers displayed a mixture of crumb and channel microstructures. Untilled layers had the highest qb and twice as much lower total macroporosity area (pores > 240 lm in equivalent diameter) than tilled layers, reflected by the smallest area of macropores 310-2000 lm in diameter and the smallest area of large complex macropores. K under untilled layers was 12-62% lower than that under tilled layers, but differences were statistically significant only at 0.05 kPa in the 2-10 cm. No significant interaction between tillage and nutrient application treatments was detected for all properties. Compared with mineral fertilizer, poultry manure resulted in a similar qb but 20% greater total macroporosity area and 30% higher K at 0.2 kPa. Overall, the sensitivity of soil structure and K to poultry manure were relatively small compared with tillage. We suggest that cultivation practices other than animal manure application are needed to improve physical properties under reduced tillage.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 4:04:15 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 6, 2020 - 3:38:32 PM

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Nicolas Bottinelli, Safya Menasseri-Aubry, Daniel Cluzeau, Vincent Hallaire. Response of soil structure and hydraulic conductivity to reduced tillage and animal manure in a temperate loamy soil. Soil Use and Management, Wiley, 2013, 29 (3), pp.401-409. ⟨10.1111/sum.12049⟩. ⟨hal-00931695⟩

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