Effects of tilling methods on soil penetration resistance, organic carbon and water stable aggregates in a vineyard of semiarid Mediterranean environment

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Tillage, especially in semiarid Mediterranean environment, enhances the mineralization process of soil organic matter (SOM)and, in turn, decreases aggregate stability. Furthermore, continuous tillage leads to the formation of plough pan beneath thetilled layer. In the present study, we investigated the effect of an innovative self-propelled machine (spading machine, SM)for shallow tillage on SOM, water stable aggregates (WSA) and soil penetration resistance (PR). Such effects were comparedto those of chisel plough (CP), rotary tiller (RT) and no tillage (NT). Each tilling method was applied up to a depth of 15 cm,whereas in NT only a brush cutter was used for weed control. Soil analyses were performed at the start of the experiment(March 2009, T0), in April 2010 (T1), May 2012 (T3), and June 2014 (T5) at both 0–15 and 15–30 cm. Compared to T0,soil PR increased with time in all the treatments and generally followed the order SM<RT<CP<NT. In soil tilled with theSM, soil PR never exceeded 2.5 MPa that was demonstrated to be a critical value for root elongation, and no evidence of theformation of plough pan beneath the tilled layer was observed. SOC as well as water content and WSA were higher in SMcompared with CP and RT. In conclusion, the spading machine was proved to be more efficient in lowering the soil PR andin avoiding the formation of the plough pan. Furthermore, SM increased SOC and WSA.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-9
Numero di pagine9
RivistaEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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