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Does replacing fallow by a cover crop affect biogeochemical properties?
Year:2012
Research Areas
  • Agriculture
Information
Abstract
Replacing fallow with cover crops seems to be a good practice to enhance soil quality, and biochemical properties might be a good indicator of the improvement. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of replacing fallow by different winter cover crops (CC) during the intercropping period of maize (Zea mays L.) on the biochemical properties of an Haplic Calcisol. A 4-year field trial was conducted using Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Vetch (Vicia sativa L.) as CC on an irrigated cropping systems in Central Spain. All treatments were equally irrigated and fertilized. Maize was directly sown over CC residues which were previously killed in early spring. Soil respiration was measured in situ and samples at 0-5 and 5-20 cm depth were taken in 2010 and analyzed for soil organic carbon (SOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), total nitrogen (Nt), enzyme activities (?-glucosidase, ?-glucosaminidase, urease), C microbial biomass estimated by substrate-induced respiration, easily and total Bradford-reactive soil proteins (EE-BRSP and BRSP).Barley increased SOC (p<0.05), ?-glucosaminidase activity (p<0.05), soil respiration (p<0.1) and EE-BRSP (p<0.1) at 0-5 cm depth while Vetch significantly increased POC (p<0.05), and Nt (p<0.05). C microbial biomass and ?-glucosidase activity showed a tendency towards higher values under CC but differences were not significant. Urease activity did not show any response at all to treatments. Except urease, most variables showed very strong lineal relationships between them when whole data were considered. For 0-5 cm data, a different pattern was observed: EE_BRSP was the variable showing more and highest correlations, urease activity and both BRSP showed an inverse relationship, POC only showed correlation with both BRSP. Our preliminary results suggest that Barley was more effective than Vetch enhancing soil quality, and biochemical properties related to soil protein content were good indicators of microbial activity enhancement in the short-medium term under study conditions.
International
Si
Congress
4Th International Congress EUROSOIL 2012
960
Place
Bari (Italia)
Reviewers
Si
ISBN/ISSN
99-9999-999-9
Start Date
02/07/2012
End Date
06/07/2012
From page
2179
To page
2179
Libro de resúmenes del 4Th International Congress EUROSOIL 2012
Participants
  • Autor: Chiquinquira Hontoria Fernandez (UPM)
  • Autor: M. Fernández Scola
  • Autor: I. García-González
  • Autor: José Luis Gabriel Pérez (UPM)
  • Autor: Miguel Quemada Saenz-Badillos (UPM)
  • Autor: Marta Benito Capa (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Calidad de Suelos y Aplicaciones medioambientales
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Estudios e Investigación para la Gestión de Riesgos Agrarios Medioambientales (CEIGRAM)
  • Departamento: Producción Vegetal: Fitotecnia
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