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Effect of various soil cultivation methods on some microbial soil properties

Sciprofile linkZsolt Sándor, Magdolna Tállai, Ida Kincses, Zoltán László, János Kátai, Imre Vágó
Abstract: Cultivating the top 0-25 cm soil layer by ploughing cultivating method requires considerable energy, labor, and additional costs. Also, the larger soil surface caused by cultivation, the moisture content of soil can be lost easier. Therefore, in recent years soil loosening cultivation has become gained popularity, particularly to protect the moisture content of soil and reduce the risk of desertification. At the Experimental Station of Debrecen University, known as Látókép (a name, which corresponds approximately to visual image), two cultivation methods have been applied for research: (i) conventional ploughing and (ii) strip and streaked loosening cultivation methods (and variation of this method applying satellite determination of position, RTK system). In this paper, total number of bacteria, soil respiration, biomass carbon and nitrogen, net nitrification, and dehydrogenase activity were measured under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. The aim of the research was to evaluate the effects of the various cultivation methods. Soil samples were collected in spring (May) and autumn (September). Microbiological effects on the soil resulted from various cultivation methods were compared. Results demonstrate that the loosening cultivation method (strip tillage with loosening) exerts a more favorable effect on the parameters of soil biological activity than the conventional ploughing system. The most significant effect of loosening cultivation system was experienced in the increase of microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) by over 80%, along with an intensified dehydrogenase activity. Loosening system yielded positive effects on the other examined biological parameters, except for the total bacteria number and soil respiration.
Keywords: nitrogen / Soil respiration / Ploughing / dehydrogenase activity / Biomass Carbon / Cultivation Methods / loosening cultivation

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