RESEARCH PAPER
Structure assessment of two agricultural soils of Lower Austria
 
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1
Institute of Soil Research, University of Agriculture, Gregor-Mendel-Strasse 33, A-118 Vienna, Austria
2
Soil Fertility Research Institute, Gagarinova 10, 82-713 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Publication date: 2021-06-07
 
Int. Agrophys. 1993, 1(7): 47–59
 
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ABSTRACT
The structure of two agricultural soils of different regions of Lower Austria (Cambisol in Wieselburg and Chernozem in Fuchsenbigl) was assessed using chemical, physical, mineralogical, and micromorphological investigations. The alkaline pH, the low electrical conductivity and the high calcium saturation are favourable parameters for the structure of both investigated soils, whereas the humus content is rather so high that structural stability cannot be expected. The Cambisol is more heavily textured and shows high water storage capacity but low air capacity in very wet periods, whereas in the light sandy Chernozem soil aeration is guaranteed, but little water can be availably stored in dry periods. The compaction observed under the ploughed layer led to a reduction of 'secondary-structurally-induced' coarse pores. From the hydraulic viewpoint, both investigated soils are permeable when water saturated. The ksat values reflect very well the presence of a 'secondary' pore system. Expandable clay minerals absolutely do not occur in either of the soils. Moreover, because of the low weathering intensity in the investigated region, low Fe and Al-oxide amounts occur. These mineral features, together with the low humus content, can be considered as unfavourable for soil structure stability because of their reduced CEC. The soil thin section analysis shows typical structure types such as prismatic, subangular microstructure in the loamy Cambisol and a crumby structure in the Chernozem.
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