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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359222

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems on Spatially Variable Landscapes and Soils

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Effects of conservation management practices on soil quality parameters compared to row crop management

item ALAGELE, SALAH - University Of Missouri
item ANDERSON, STEVEN - University Of Missouri
item UDAWATTA, RANJITH - University Of Missouri
item Veum, Kristen
item RANKOTH, LALITH - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: World Agroforestry Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2018
Publication Date: 5/20/2019
Citation: Alagele, S., Anderson, S., Udawatta, R., Veum, K.S., Rankoth, L. 2019. Effects of conservation management practices on soil quality parameters compared to row crop management [abstract]. 4th World Agroforestry Congress, May 20-25, 2019, Montpellier, France. P. 206.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Restoration of degraded lands for watershed conservation and the adoption of recommended management practices on agricultural landscapes can rehabilitate watersheds and lead to enhance soil and water quality. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of grass buffers (GB), biofuel crops (BC), grass waterways (GWW), agroforestry buffers (AB), distance from trees, and row crop (RC) on soil quality. Soils were sampled by 10 cm depth increments for 30 cm with three replications. Samples were also collected from 50- and 150-cm from trees of AB (AB50 and AB150). Soil enzyme activities (SEAs) of ß-Glucosidase, ß-Glucosaminidase, Fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolase, dehydrogenase as well as active carbon (AC), water stable aggregates (WSA), soil organic carbon (SOC), and total nitrogen (TN) were measured. Results showed that SEAs, AC, WSA, and TN values were significantly greater (P<0.01) for the GB, BC, GWW, and AB than the RC treatment. GB, BC, GWW, AB50, AB150 had 16%, 23%, 49%, 29%, and 21% higher SOC respectively than RC. The GWW had the highest soil quality values among all treatments. The 50-cm distance of AB treatment had higher values than the 150-cm distance for all measured soil quality parameters. Results of this study show that conservation management practices have enhanced soil quality by improving soil microbial activity and organic matter accumulation, thereby contribute significantly to watershed restoration and enhancing water quality.