Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 75-82

Aggregation agents and structural stability in soils with different texture and organic carbon contents

Carrizo, María EugeniaAgustín Alesso, CarlosCosentino, DiegoImhoff, Silvia

The flat pampas in the state of Santa Fe in Argentina have soils with high silt content, variable carbon content, and diverse degrees of structural degradation. Aggregate stability has been used as an indicator of the structural condition of the soil. This study aimed to quantify the effect of the addition of crop residues and root activity on the agents of aggregation and mechanisms of aggregate breakdown in soils with different carbon contents and textures cultivated under no-till. An experimental trial was conducted on a loamy soil (Typic Hapludoll, Santa Isabel series) and a silty soil (Typic Argiudoll, Esperanza series) under controlled conditions for 112 days with the following treatments: (i) with and without wheat plant growth and (ii) with and without addition of wheat residues. Soil structural stability by a method allowing for differentiation of aggregate breakdown by slaking, mechanical effect and microcracking, total organic carbon content, particulate organic carbon, glomalin and carbohydrate fractions was assessed. In general, the addition of residues and the presence of plant with active roots increased the presence of all aggregation agents and decreased aggregate breakdown processes in both soils. Soluble carbohydrates and proteins related to glomalin were the most important aggregating agents and their function was to reduce the magnitude of breakdown mechanisms, slaking and microcracking, evidencing a greater impact on the silty soil.(AU)

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