Effects of long-term agricultural land use on soil properties along the austrian-hungarian border. Part II. Soil chemical, microbiological and zoological parameters
N. Rampazzo 1,   K. Rajkai 2,   W.E.H. Blum 1,   G. Varallyay 2,   T. Ubleis 1
 
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1
Institute of Soil Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Str. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
2
Research Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry (RISSAC), Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Acceptance date: 1998-10-20
 
Int. Agrophys. 1999, 13(2): 171–183
 
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ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of different long-term agricultural practices on chemical, microbiological and zoological soil parameters along the Austrian-Hungarian border, where Austrian and Hungarian agricultural soils (3 transects with different soil type and cultivation system) were compared with the former uncultivated Iron Curtain reference soils. The pH-values of the studied soils were slightly acidic to neutral and within each transect similar, except for transect I, where the Hungarian site I/H showed higher pH-values due to liming practices. The cultivated soils showed a decrease of soil organic matter, of CECeff, a loss of nutrients, a reduced microbial activity, a reduction of root growth and faunal activities in the tillaged horizons. In the Hungarian soil an enhanced content of trace elements (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Sr, Zn) were found due to application of high dosages of P-fertilizers and to alloyers used in agricultural machines. In Austria a higher Cd-content could be traced. Comparing the nutrient status (N, P, K) of the investigated soils, the effects of different fertilization practices and different agricultural utilization along the transects could be evaluated. The microbial activities (SIR, basal respiration, DRA) were strongly positive correlated to the amount of soil organic matter and to the Nt content in the soils, whereas the microbial biomass-N seemed not to be effected by different arable cultivation systems. The ergosterol/Cmic-ratio, showed that the fungal distribution in the soils was mostly influenced by the pH-value. The physiological status (qCO2) of the soil microorganisms in the arable soils was governed by the input of easily degradable organic materials. The Cmic/Corg- ratio of the reference soils expressed the natural equilibrium between input and output of organic matter. In the arable soils this equilibrium was disturbed. The effects of different cultivation systems on the earthworm population could not be definitively evaluated because of the very dry conditions during analyses.
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