The long-term effects of two different soil management practices, natural grass cover (NC) and conservation tillage (CT), on soil functions (carbon sequestration, habitat for organisms, and water movement and retention) were determined in a high-density, mature olive orchard (Olea europaea L. cv. Frantoio) growing in a sandy loam soil (Typic Haploxeralf) in a Mediterranean environment. Ten years after the beginning of the different soil management, soil samples were collected at 0–10 and 10–20 cm depth and at two distances from the trunk, underneath the olive canopy (UC) and in the inter-row (IR). There were no differences in fruit yield, oil yield, and yield efficiency between the two soil management systems during the 2011–2013 period. CT negatively affected soil organic carbon pools (total and humified), but only at the IR position. The distance from the plant did not significantly influence soil structure and hydrological properties, while NC treatment increased water movement and retention. Tillage reduced the microarthropod abundance, in particular Collembola and eu-edaphic forms, which were the most sensitive groups to soil perturbation. We conclude that natural grass cover was more effective than conservation tillage in maintaining or improving elements of soil functionality.

Soil ecosystem functions in a high-density olive orchard managed by different soil conservation practices

Giovanni Caruso
Penultimo
;
Riccardo Gucci
Ultimo
2019

Abstract

The long-term effects of two different soil management practices, natural grass cover (NC) and conservation tillage (CT), on soil functions (carbon sequestration, habitat for organisms, and water movement and retention) were determined in a high-density, mature olive orchard (Olea europaea L. cv. Frantoio) growing in a sandy loam soil (Typic Haploxeralf) in a Mediterranean environment. Ten years after the beginning of the different soil management, soil samples were collected at 0–10 and 10–20 cm depth and at two distances from the trunk, underneath the olive canopy (UC) and in the inter-row (IR). There were no differences in fruit yield, oil yield, and yield efficiency between the two soil management systems during the 2011–2013 period. CT negatively affected soil organic carbon pools (total and humified), but only at the IR position. The distance from the plant did not significantly influence soil structure and hydrological properties, while NC treatment increased water movement and retention. Tillage reduced the microarthropod abundance, in particular Collembola and eu-edaphic forms, which were the most sensitive groups to soil perturbation. We conclude that natural grass cover was more effective than conservation tillage in maintaining or improving elements of soil functionality.
Vignozzi, Nadia; Elio Agnelli, Alessandro; Brandi, Giorgio; Gagnarli, Elena; Goggioli, Donatella; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Pellegrini, Sergio; Simoncini, Stefania; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe; Caruso, Giovanni; Gucci, Riccardo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/937741
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