Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


Influence of different soil tillage and cropping systems on aggregate stability


In this study the influence of different farming systems concerning the dynamics of aggregate stability of arable soil during one growing season was investigated. The main emphasis of the descriptions is based on a comparative interpretation of stability values of a reduced tilled crop rotation changing within a four-years-rhythm and of a conventionally tilled monoculture (Zea mays L.). The soil samples were collected from March to October 1992.

The testing of aggregate stability of samples taken at six different points of time shows that the plots with reduced tillage and crop rotation show a significantly higher stability than the conventionally tilled ones.

There are positive correlations in aggregate stability between the separately tested layers (0 to 10 cm, 10 to 20 cm).

The water content tested at the time when the samples were taken can not be connected with the level of the aggregate stability.

The seasonal variation of the stability of soil structure can be used as an argument for adequately investigating a dynamic system such as the aggregate stability of soil only through a diacronic approach.

Key-words: aggregate stability, crop rotation, monoculture, tillage systems.