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Biotic and abiotic binding and bonding mechanisms in soils with long-term differences in management

Elmholt, Susanne; Munkholm, Lars J.; Debosz, Kasia and Schjønning, Per (2000) Biotic and abiotic binding and bonding mechanisms in soils with long-term differences in management. In: Elmholt, Susanne; Stenberg, Bo; Grønlund, Arne and Nuutinen, V. (Eds.) DIAS report, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, 38, pp. 53-62.

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During the last decades Denmark has experienced a growing interest in low-input farming systems like organic farming. These systems rely on a high soil fertility to maintain nutrient availability and plant health. Soil aggregation contributes to this fertility, because it is crucial to soil porosity, aeration and infiltration of water. This paper reports a study of two pairs of differently managed, neighboring fields. The aim was to elucidate long-term effects of the different farming systems on physical and biological variables with influence on bonding and binding mechanisms of soil aggregation. Each pair consists of an organically grown dairy farm soil, based on a forage crop rotation system, including grass (Org-FCS(G)) and a conventionally managed soil. One of the conventional farms has a forage crop rotation with annual cash crops and no grass (Conv-FCS(NG)) and one has been grown continuously with small grain cereals and rape (Conv-CCS). Our results indicate that the Org-FCS(G) soils stimulate biotic soil aggregating agents as measured by extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) and hyphal length measurements, respectively. Generally, the Conv-CCS soil, which relies exclusively on synthetic fertilisers and cereal production, offered poor conditions for the biotic binding and bonding agents. Nevertheless this soil contained a large amount of stable macro-aggregates. This is explained by the physical results, which indicated that the strong macro-aggregation was due to clay dispersion and cementation processes rather than to biotic processes.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Crop husbandry > Production systems
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF I (1996-2001) > I.3 Fertility and soil tillage
Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I. 7 (ROMAPAC) Soil quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Schjønning, Senior Soil Scientist Per
ID Code:49
Deposited On:03 Oct 2002
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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