|Ries, Ronald - RETIRED, USDA-ARS-NGPRL|
Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Effects of alternative crops on surface soil condition are largely unknown. A study was conducted to determine the effects of ten crops on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties for a crop by crop-residue matrix experiment under no-till management on a Wilton silt loam (fine- silty, mixed, superactive frigid Pachic Haplustoll). Soil depths evaluated din the study were 0-7.5 and 7.5-30 cm. When crops were grouped within botanic families, few differences in soil properties were observed. When analyzed individually, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and flax (Linum usitatissiumum L.) were found to possess higher levels of total and easily extractable glomalin as compared to other crops across multiple aggregate- size fractions. Dry pea (Pisum sativum L.) possessed significantly more early-spring soil nitrate, while sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) possessed higher levels of soil microbial biomass as compared to other crops. Crops did not affect particulate organic matter and identifiable plant material, both dynamic indicators of the soil organic matter pool. Results from this study indicate glomalin to be a useful indicator of short-term changes in soil condition due to cropping practices.