Alfalfa Growth on Disturbed and Undisturbed Soil Cores1
- D. K. Cassel2
Most investigators use disturbed soils or soil materials for nearly all facets of agronomic research. Apparently little thought has been given to how experimental results might differ when undisturbed as opposed to disturbed soils are used. This study was designed to determine difference in alfalfa (Medicago saliva) yield on disturbed and undisturbed soil cores.
Alfalfa was grown in the greenhouse on unfertilized, disturbed and undisturbed soil cores, 30 cm in diameter and 80 cm high. Hecla loamy fine sand, Beotia loam, and Aberdeen loam, representing soils with weak, moderate, and strong grades of soil structure, respectively, were used. Soil water pressure was monitored with tensiometers and the cores were irrigated weekly or biweekly. Significant alfalfa yield differences due to soil structure disturbance were obtained for Hecla and Aberdeen soils. The yield differences cannot be attributed to water relations but possibly may have been due to changes in nutrient availability as a result of soil disturbance.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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