Detection of physical hazards in soil profiles using quantitative soil physical quality assessment in the Pannonian basin, Eastern Austria
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Institute for Land and Water Management, Federal Agency of Water Management, Pollnbergstraße 1, 3252 Petzenkirchen, Austria
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Landscape Water Conservation, Czech Technical University Prague, Thákurova 7, 16629 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Institute for Soil Health and Plant Nutrition, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Spargelfeldstraße 191, 1220 Vienna, Austria
Final revision date: 2020-11-02
Acceptance date: 2020-11-13
Publication date: 2020-12-03
Corresponding author
Thomas Weninger   

Institute for Land and Water Management, Federal Agency of Water Management, Pollnbergstraße 1, 3252, Petzenkirchen, Austria
Int. Agrophys. 2020, 34(4): 463-471
Reliable estimations of soil physical quality provide valuable information for the evaluation and advancement of agricultural soil management strategies. In the agriculturally highly productive Pannonian basin in Eastern Austria, little emphasis has been placed on the determination of soil physical quality and corresponding soil degradation risks. Nevertheless, ongoing climate change, especially prolonged drought periods and higher rainfall intensity, will raise the need for appropriate soil management strategies. Soil physical quality was therefore assessed in nine soil profiles in a long-term tillage experiment which has been in operation since 1988 in Eastern Austria. Soil samples from depths of between 2 and 37 cm and under three different tillage systems (conventional, reduced and minimal tillage) were analysed for various indicators of soil physical quality. The resulting classifications of soil physical quality in the different profiles were compared qualitatively and quantitatively together with an estimation concerning the representativeness of the soil physical quality indicators used. The outcomes showed severe soil compaction under all tillage treatments and slight improvements in soil physical quality marginally above the working depth for the different treatments. Additionally, conversion to conservation tillage led to less pronounced improvements in soil physical quality under Pannonian conditions than have been reported in more humid climates.
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