Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 383-392

Spatial and temporal patterns of soil water content in an agroecological production system

Neves, Hugo Hermsdorff dasMata, Maria Gabriela Ferreira daGuerra, José Guilherme MarinhoCarvalho, Daniel Fonseca deWendroth, Ole OttoCeddia, Marcos Bacis

ABSTRACT: Spatial and temporal patterns of soil water content (SWC) can not only improve the understanding of soil water processes but also the water management in the field. The spatial distribution of SWC depends on the spatial variability of soil attributes, vegetation and landscape features. The aim of this study was to evaluate: i) the spatial and temporal variability pattern in an agroecological system; ii) understand the factors affecting the spatial variations of SWC; iii) determine if wet and dry zones conserve their spatial position; iv) evaluate the possibility of using this information to reduce the number of SWC measurements. The experiment was carried out in an area of 2,502 m2, where a regular grid with spacing of 10 m was laid out. At each point, time domain reflectometer sensors were installed at depths of 0.05, 0.15, 0.30 m to monitor the SWC for 18 days in 2014 (Jan, Feb and Mar) and 9 days in 2014/2015 (Dec and Jan). The SWC, at the three soil depths, followed a similar and systematic pattern, being highest in the deepest layers, and exhibited temporal stability. The correlation between SWC and clay content varied both with the depth and the magnitude of SWC. During the wet season it is necessary to intensify the sampling density to estimate the SWC, while during the dry season the Spearman rank correlation remained high indicating the need for a small sampling effort only. The driest zones tend to conserve their spatial position more for a longer period than compared to wettest zones.(AU)

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