Submitted to: World Congress of Soil Science
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus CV. Indianhead) used to replace fallow in spring-wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotation in the semi-arid Eastern Montana USA, may improve soil quality. We evaluate the 14 years influence of continuous wheat under no-tillage (WNT), fallow-wheat under conventional tillage (FCT) and no-tillage (FNT), lentil-wheat under tillage (LCT) and no-tillage (LNT) on soil formation and stability, and on the amount of immunoreactive easily-extractable glomalin (IREEG) and soil aggregating basidiomycete fungi in the 4.75-2.00, 2.00-1.00, 1.00-0.50, 0.50-0.25, and 0.25-0.00 mm aggregate-size classes, at 0-5 cm soil depth. The 4.75-2.00 mm aggregate proportion was higher in LNT than FNT and higher in LT than FT treatments and mean weight diameter (MWD) was higher when lentil was used to replace fallow under NT. No-till systems had higher glomalin and basidiomycete amount than CT in all aggregate-size classes and glomalin was higher in LNT than FNT in aggregate-size classes less than 0.50 mm. We conclude that residue input in NT systems triggers fungal populations which are involved in soil binding in aggregates, and that replacing fallow by lentil in spring wheat rotation in dryland seems to favor aggregate formation/stability under NT probably by increasing N fertility during the course of 14 years.