Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2011
Publication Date: 10/16/2011
Citation: Veum, K.S., Goyne, K.W., Kremer, R.J., Motavalli, P.P. 2011. Influence of conservation management practices on indicators of soil quality in a claypan agroecosystem. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings, October 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, Texas. 2011 CDROM. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Conservation management practices including vegetative filter strips (VFS) and no-till cultivation have the potential to enhance soil carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services in agroecosystems. A modified two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) with subsamples was used to compare SOC and TN on a concentration, soil volume and soil mass basis in claypan soils planted to different conservation management practices and as a function of landscape position. The three conservation management practices (no-till cultivation, grass VFS and agroforestry VFS) and four landscape positions (summit, shoulder, backslope and footslope) investigated were compared ten years after VFS establishment in a no-till system planted to maize (Zea mays.L.) – soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation. Two soil depth increments (0–5 cm and 5–13 cm) were modeled separately to test for treatment effects. In the surface layer, mean SOC concentration was significantly greater in the VFS soils compared to no-till. On a soil volume or mass basis, no significant differences in SOC stocks were found among treatment means. Concentration and mass based TN values were significantly greater in the grass VFS relative to no-till in the surface layer. A rapid slaking stability test, used to separate particulate, adsorbed and occluded organic carbon (PAO-C) and nitrogen (PAO-N), showed that VFS soils had significantly greater mean PAO-C and PAO-N concentrations, soil volume and soil mass based stocks than no-till. In addition, comparison of SOC:TN and PAO-C:PAO-N ratios suggest reduced decomposition and mineralization of SOC in the PAO fraction. No significant treatment effects were detected in total or PAO soil fractions in the subsurface layer or among landscape position in either depth increment. Study results emphasize the need to compare soil carbon and nitrogen stocks on a soil volume and/or soil mass basis using bulk density measurements. Additionally, the rapid slaking test was found to be a good indicator of early changes in SOC and TN in the systems studied. Overall, this research indicates that grass VFS may sequester TN more rapidly than agroforestry VFS and that a greater proportion of SOC and TN may be stabilized in VFS soils compared to no-till.