Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Conservation tillage systems were developed to protect the fragile soil surface from the ravishes of soil erosion. Stratification of soil properties under conservation tillage systems occurs because of the surface placement of crop residues and the lack of soil disturbance. This presentation reviews the effects of conservation tillage on soil C, N, and P, runoff P, and stratification relationships. Soil organic C, total soil N, and extractable soil P are often higher in the first few centimeters of soil than under inversion tillage systems, but equal or less at lower depths. The higher soil P levels at the soil surface under conservation tillage may or may not lead to greater runoff P losses, depending upon climate, vegetative cover, and efficiency of conservation tillage systems in affecting water infiltration. Stratification of soil properties under conservation tillage can enhance soil C sequestration potential, increase efficiency and long-term utilization of N inputs, improve plant-water relations by increasing infiltration and reducing runoff, and increase P availability to crops.