Submitted to: Soil & Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: The soil has a major effect on the effectiveness of agricultural management practices. New techniques were used to distinguish management effects on the soil structure such as how the soil breaks into fragments. Long term no-tillage practices had the lowest fragmentation, and cultivated rice under water had the highest fragmentation indicating that the techniques can be used to distinguish fragmentation of soils by management practices. These techniques can help the farmer design management practices which are suitable for his specific soils.
Technical Abstract: Changes in soil structure often accompany changes in management practices and may affect the effectiveness of these practices. Parameters are needed to quantify these changes. Our objective was to see if fractal dimensions derived from 'aggregate bulk density-aggregate size' and 'aggregate number-aggregate size' relationships could be applied to quantify such changes. A Typic Arguidol soil was sampled at seven locations differing i long-term management practices. The 'aggregate bulk density-aggregate size' and 'number of aggregates-aggregate size' data were obtained for seven ranges of aggregate sizes. Differences in treatments were reflected by the fragmentation fractal dimension but not the mass fractal dimension. The lowest fragmentation fractal dimensions corresponded to plots under long-term no-tillage and the highest to plots with a history of cultivation of rice under water.