Nombre agencia financiadora Agencia Estatal de Investigación
Acrónimo agencia financiadora AEI
Programa Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Subprograma Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Convocatoria Proyectos I+D
Año convocatoria 2020
Unidad de gestión Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020
Identificador persistente


Found(s) 1 result(s)
Found(s) 1 page(s)

Effects of innovative long-term soil and crop management on topsoil properties of a mediterranean soil based on detailed water retention curves

Academica-e. Repositorio Institucional de la Universidad Pública de Navarra
  • Aldaz Lusarreta, Alaitz
  • Giménez Díaz, Rafael
  • 0000-0002-0435-3765
  • Arregui Odériz, Luis Miguel
  • Virto Quecedo, Íñigo
The effectiveness of conservation agriculture (CA) and other soil management strategies implying a
reduction of tillage has been shown to be site-dependent (crop, clime and soil), and thus any new soil and crop
management should be rigorously evaluated before its implementation. Moreover, farmers are normally reluctant
to abandon conventional practices if this means putting their production at risk. This study evaluates an innovative
soil and crop management (including no-tillage, cover crops and organic amendments) as an alternative to
conventional management for rainfed cereal cropping in a calcareous soil in a semi-arid Mediterranean climatic
zone of Navarra (Spain), based on the analysis of soil water retention curves (SWRCs) and soil structure. The
study was carried out in a small agricultural area in the municipality of Garínoain (Navarre, Spain) devoted to
rainfed cereal cropping. No other agricultural area in the whole region of Navarre exists where soil and crop
management as proposed herein is practiced. Climate is temperate Mediterranean, and the dominant soil is Fluventic
Haploxerept. Within the study area there is a subarea devoted to the proposed soil and crop management
(OPM treatment), while there is another subarea where the soil and crop management is conventional in the zone
(CM treatment). OPM includes no-tillage (18 years continuous) after conventional tillage, crop rotation, use of
cover crops and occasional application of organic amendments. CM involves continuous conventional tillage
(chisel plow), mineral fertilization, no cover crops and a lower diversity of crops in the rotation. Undisturbed
soil samples from the topsoil and disturbed samples from the tilled layer were collected for both systems. The
undisturbed samples were used to obtain the detailed SWRCs in the low suction range using a HYPROP©device.
From the SWRCs, different approaches found in the literature to evaluate soil physical quality were calculated.
The pore-size distribution was also estimated from the SWRCs. Disturbed samples were used in the laboratory
to assess soil structure by means of an aggregate-size fractionation and to perform complementary analysis from
which other indicators related to soil functioning and agricultural sustainability were obtained. The approaches
evaluated did not show clear differences between treatments. However, the differences in soil quality between
the two forms of management were better observed in the pore size distributions and by the analysis of the size
distribution and stability of soil aggregates. There was an overabundance of macropores under CM, while the
amount of mesopores (available water) and micropores were similar in both treatments. Likewise, more stable macroaggregates were observed in OPM than in CM, as well as more organic C storage, greater microbial activity, and biomass. The proposed management system is providing good results regarding soil physical quality and
contributing also to the enhancement of biodiversity, as well as to the improvement in water-use efficiency. Finally, our findings suggest that the adoption of the proposed practice would not result in a loss in yields compared
to conventional management., This study was partially supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Government of Spain) via research project CGL2015-64284-C2-1-R and PID2020-112908RB-I00 funded by 568 MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/FEDER “Una manera de hacer Europa”.