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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408541

Research Project: Conservation Systems to Improve Production Efficiency, Reduce Risk, and Promote Sustainability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Effect of cover crop and tillage practice on pore properties

item KAUR, PREETIKA - Auburn University
item LAMBA, JASMEET - Auburn University
item SANDU, VISHAWJOT - Auburn University
item Way, Thomas - Tom
item Balkcom, Kipling

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2022
Publication Date: 11/10/2022
Citation: Kaur, P., Lamba, J., Sandu, V., Way, T.R., Balkcom, K.S. 2022. Effect of cover crop and tillage practice on pore properties [ABSTACT]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Baltimore, MD. Nov. 6-9, 2022.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cover crops and conservation tillage have been used as an effective soil management practices that enhance soil health. However, these practices can create connected macropore networks which can cause preferential transport of contaminants to the groundwater or surface water via subsurface flow pathways. The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of cover crop and tillage practices (conventional vs. no tillage) on the pore size and shape distribution in the soil profile. The study was conducted in at EV Smith Research Center, Shorter, Alabama. Two varieties of cover crops were mixed namely Cereal rye (Secale cereale) and Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum) and planted in late fall and the main crop growing on the field was cotton (Gossypium). There were four different treatments i.e., Conventional till and cover (TC), no-till and no-cover (NTNC), Conventional till and no cover (TNC), and No-till and cover (NTC) under 2 seasons (fall and spring). Six replicates of intact undisturbed soil cores (15 cm diameter and 50 cm deep) were collected, and all the soil samples were then subjected to non-invasive computed tomography scanning which gave images of 0.35mm resolution. Soil pore characteristics such as porosity, mean curvature of pores, Euler density, specific surface area, and number of pores were derived from the CT scanned images. Results on comparison pore characteristics as a function of tillage and cover crops will be presented.