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Soil structure recovery following compaction: Short-term evolution of soil physical properties in a loamy soil

Keller, Thomas and Colombi, Tino and Ruiz, Siul and Schymanski, Stanislaus J. and Weisskopf, Peter and Koestel, John and Sommer, Marlies and Stadelmann, Viktor and Breitenstein, Daniel and Kirchgessner, Norbert and Walter, Achim and Or, Dani (2021). Soil structure recovery following compaction: Short-term evolution of soil physical properties in a loamy soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 85 , 1002-1020
[Research article]

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Abstract

Soil compaction by farm machinery may persist for decades, hampering soil productivity and functioning. Assessing compaction costs and guiding recovery strategies are hindered by paucity of data on soil structure recovery rates. A long-term Soil Structure Observatory was established on a loamy soil in Switzerland to monitor soil structure recovery after prescribed compaction, and to better assess the roles of natural processes (vegetation, macrofauna, and shrink-swell cycles) on recovery patterns. The aim of this study was to quantify short-term soil structure recovery under natural conditions in the presence and absence of plant cover (ley and bare soil). We measured soil porosity and gas and water transport capabilities at 0.1 and 0.3 m depth. Two years after the compaction event, soil physical properties have not recovered to precompaction levels, even within the topsoil. Surprisingly, no differences were observed in the recovery patterns of ley and bare soil treatments. Measurements show that recovery rates differ among soil properties with the most severely affected properties by compaction (permeability) exhibiting highest recovery rates. Total soil porosity shows no recovery trend, suggesting lack of soil decompaction. Improved soil functions and decompaction are distinct aspects of soil structure recovery, with the latter requiring net upward transport of soil mass. We suggest that soil structure recovery proceeds at two fronts: from the soil surface downward, and expanding around local biologically-active pockets (marked by biopores) into the compacted soil volumes. This concept could be tested with additional data of longer time series at our site as well as in other soils and climates.

Authors/Creators:Keller, Thomas and Colombi, Tino and Ruiz, Siul and Schymanski, Stanislaus J. and Weisskopf, Peter and Koestel, John and Sommer, Marlies and Stadelmann, Viktor and Breitenstein, Daniel and Kirchgessner, Norbert and Walter, Achim and Or, Dani
Title:Soil structure recovery following compaction: Short-term evolution of soil physical properties in a loamy soil
Series Name/Journal:Soil Science Society of America Journal
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:85
Page range:1002-1020
Number of Pages:19
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0361-5995
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112108
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112108
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/saj2.20240
Web of Science (WoS)000653247600001
ID Code:25002
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Aug 2021 10:25
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2021 10:31

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