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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #225496

Title: Variation in Soil Enzyme Activities in a Temperate Agroforestry Watershed

item Kremer, Robert

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/5/2008
Citation: Udawatta, R., Kremer, R.J., Motavalli, P., Anderson, S.H., Garrett, H.E. 2008. Variation in Soil Enzyme Activities in a Temperate Agroforestry Watershed [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. ASA-CSSA-SSA Annual Meeting, October 5-9, 2008, Houston, TX. 2008 CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Integration of agroforestry and grass buffers into row crop watersheds improves overall environmental quality, including soil quality. The objective of this study was to examine management and landscape effects on soil carbon, soil nitrogen, microbial diversity, enzyme activity, and DNA concentrations. Management treatments were row crop (RC), grass buffer (GB), agroforestry buffer (AB), and grass waterways (GWW); and landscape treatments were summit, middle, and lower positions. The no-till management corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.) rotation watershed in northeast Missouri was established in 1991 with buffers implemented in 1997. Grass buffers, 4.5 m wide and 36.5 m apart, consist of redtop (Agrostis gigantea Roth), brome (Bromus spp.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) planted on the contour in separate grass and agroforestry watersheds. Agroforestry buffers have pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.) trees distributed down the center of grass buffers. Soils were collected from two transects extending from the summit to lower landscape positions in June 2007. Soil enzymes studied include: fluorescein diacetate hydrolase, ß-glucosidase, glucosaminidase, dehydrogenase, and phosphatase. Soil DNA content was determined as an alternative to microbial biomass. Soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations were significantly different among treatments and landscape positions. Soil enzyme activities were significantly lower in the row crop treatment as compared to perennial vegetative buffers and grass waterways. The results of the study show that establishment of AG, GB, and GWW increased soil quality; soil carbon, soil nitrogen, microbial diversity, and enzyme activity.