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Title: Aggregation and C and N contents of soil organic matter fractions in a permanent raised-bed planting system in the Highlands of Central Mexico
Authors: Lichter, K ×
Govaerts, Bram
Six, J
Sayre, K
Deckers, Jozef A.
Dendooven, L #
Issue Date: 10-Feb-2008
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Series Title: Plant and Soil vol:305 issue:1-2 pages:237-252
Abstract: Abstract Permanent raised bed planting with crop
residue retention is a form of conservation agriculture
that has been proposed as an alternative to conventional
tillage for wheat production systems in the
Central Highlands of Mexico. A field experiment
comparing permanent and tilled raised beds with
different residue management under rainfed conditions
was started at El Batán (State of Mexico,
Mexico) in 1999. The percentage of small and large
macroaggregates and mean weight diameter (MWD)
was significantly larger in permanent raised beds
compared to conventionally tilled raised beds both
with full crop residue retention (average for maize and
wheat), while the percentages free microaggregates
was lower. The percentages of small and large
macroaggregates and mean weight diameter (MWD)
was significantly larger in permanent raised beds with
residue retention compared to permanent raised beds
with removal of the residue (average for maize and
wheat), while the percentages free microaggregates
and silt and clay fraction was lower. Cultivation of
maize significantly reduced the large macroaggregates,
while wheat reduced the silt and clay fraction (average
over all systems). Cultivation of maize reduced the C
and N content of the free microaggregates compared to
soil cultivated with wheat, while removal of plant
residue reduced the C and N content of the silt and clay
fraction compared to soil where residue was retained.
The C and N content of the coarse particulate organic
matter (cPOM) and microaggregates within the macroaggregates
was significantly larger in permanent raised
beds compared to conventionally tilled raised beds both
with full residue retention, while C and N content of the
cPOM was significantly lower when residue was
removed or partially removed compared to the soil
where the residue was retained. The δ 13C ‰ signatures
of the macroaggregates, microaggregates, the silt and
clay fraction, cPOM and microaggregates within the
macroaggregates were not affected by tillage or residue
management when wheat was the last crop, but removal
of residue reduced the δ 13C ‰ signatures of the
macro-, microaggregates and microaggregates within
the macroaggregates significantly compared to soil
where the residue was retained. Retaining only 30–
50% of the organic residue still improved the soil
structure considerably compared to plots where it was
removed completely. Permanent raised beds without
residue retention, however, is a practice leading to soil
degradation.
ISSN: 0032-079X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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