Section 71
Chapter 70,965

Effects of Conservation Practices on Soil Quality Compared with a Corn-Soybean Rotation on a Claypan Soil

Alagele, S.M.; Anderson, S.H.; Udawatta, R.P.; Veum, K.S.; Rankoth, L.M.

Journal of Environmental Quality 48(6): 1694-1702


ISSN/ISBN: 0047-2425
DOI: 10.2134/jeq2019.03.0121
Accession: 070964063

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Restoration of degraded lands by adoption of recommended conservation management practices can rehabilitate watersheds and lead to improving soil and water quality. The objective was to evaluate the effects of grass buffers (GBs), biomass crops (BCs), grass waterways (GWWs), agroforestry buffers (ABs), landscape positions, and distance from tree base for AB treatment on soil quality compared with row crop (RC) (corn [Zea mays L.]-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation) on claypan soils. Soil samples were taken from 10-cm-depth increments from the soil surface to 30 cm for GB, BC, GWW, and RC with three replicates. Soil samples were collected from summit, backslope, and footslope landscape positions. Samples were taken at 50- and 150-cm distances from the tree base. beta-Glucosidase, beta-glucosaminidase, dehydrogenase, fluorescein diacetate hydrolase (FDA), soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), active carbon (AC), and water-stable aggregates (WSA) were measured. Results showed that beta-glucosidase, beta-glucosaminidase, dehydrogenase, FDA, AC, WSA, and TN values were significantly greater (P < 0.01) for the GB, BC, GWW, and AB treatments than for the RC treatment. The first depth (0-10 cm) revealed the highest values for all soil quality parameters relative to second and third depths. The footslope landscape had the highest parameter values compared with summit and backslope positions. The 50-cm distance of AB treatment had higher values than the 150-cm distance for all measured parameters. Results showed that perennial vegetation practices enhanced soil quality by improving soil microbial activity and SOC.

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