Effect of tillage system on soil temperature in a rainfed Mediterranean Vertisol
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Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, ETSIAM, University of Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Building C4 ´Celestino Mutis´, Cordoba 14071, Spain
Publication date: 2015-10-28
Int. Agrophys. 2015, 29(4): 467–473
Soil temperature is a factor that influences the rates of physical, chemical, and biological reactions in soils and has a strong influence on plant growth. A field study was conducted during 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 on a typical rainfed Mediterranean Vertisol to determine the effects of the tillage system and the crop on soil temperature. The experimental treatments were the tillage system (no-tillage and conventional tillage) and the crop (wheat and faba bean). Soil temperature was measured at a 20 cm depth at 1 h intervals from December 1st to November 30th of 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. There was a highly significant relationship between air temperature (both maximum and minimum) and soil temperature for the two tillage systems. Soil temperature was similar in the growing season for both crops but was higher in the conventional tillage than in the no-tillage system, with differences between 0.7 and 2.6ºC depending on the month of the year. A higher soil temperature with conventional tillage can be beneficial in the cold sowing period (November-December), improving crop establishment. In contrast, in critical periods with water deficits (spring) during which grain formation occurs, the lower temperature corresponding to the no-tillage system would be more favourable.