The effect of plant hedgerows on the spatial distribution of soil erosion and soil fertility on sloping farmland in the purple-soil area of China

Chaowen Lin; Shihua Tu; Jingjing Huang; Yibing Chen

Soil and Tillage Research 105(2): 307-312


ISSN/ISBN: 0167-1987
DOI: 10.1016/j.still.2009.01.001
Accession: 025759280

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Recently the effect of plant hedgerows on controlling soil and water loss has been well recognized, and this technology has been widely applied in the world. However, there are few studies on hedgerows’ effect on soil fertility of sloping lands. With an 8-year fixed field experiment, we investigated the effect of two different hedgerows on soil fertility through comparing with the control. Our results showed that along contour lines across the field, clay particles tended to accumulate above plant hedgerows but to be eroded downward below hedgerows. Except for potassium (K), all plant nutrients and soil organic matter showed the same distribution pattern as clay particles. K, however, was evenly distributed in the field without any noticeable influence from hedgerows. Since the beginning of our field experiment, soil phosphorus (P) kept accumulating, while soil organic matter and K were in depletion. Taken together, our results suggest that better nutrient management for the sloping lands should reduce P but increase farm manure and K. As far as the whole sloping field is concerned, special attention in nutrient management should be paid to the soil stripes below hedgerows, the portions suffering from more serious soil erosion.