Influence of plant residue management on microbial properties and water-stable aggregates of two agricultural soils
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Agrophysical Research Institute, Grazhdansky Prospekt 14, St. Petersburg, 195220, Russia
Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Zemedelska 1, 61300, Brno, Czech Republic
Int. Agrophys. 2010, 24(1): 9–13
The objective of our studies was to evaluate the effects of three plant residue management practices on the size and activity of soil microbial community and their contribution to water-stable aggregation in two agricultural soils under continuous spring barley growing. These practices included: straw harvesting, straw incorporation into a depth of 0-20 cm, and straw burning with subsequent incorporation of ash into the depth of 0-20 cm. The straw incorporation treatment, as compared to the two other ones, contributed to an insignificantly higher total amount of water-stable aggregates (0.25-10 mm) in the degraded loam Chernozem (54.14.7%) and the clayey loam Gleyic Fluvisol (62.10.7%). There were differences in the effects of the treatments on size distributions of fractions of water-stable aggregates in both soils. Among the studied treatments, the straw incorporation one led to a significantly (p = 0.01) higher increase in basal respiration only in the degraded loam Chernozem. Compared to the straw incorporation and harvesting treatment, the straw burning one had a significantly (p < 0.01) higher contribution to the accumulation of microbial biomass carbon in water-stable aggregates of the degraded loam Chernozem and the clayey loam Gleyic Fluvisol.