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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Improvement of Structural Stability of a Clay Loam with Drying


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 56 No. 5, p. 1583-1590
    Received: Apr 24, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. Caron ,
  2. B. D. Kay and
  3. J. A. Stone
  1. Département des Sols, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec G1K 7P4, Canada
    Land Resource Science Dep., Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
    1164 S.W. 149 Terrace, Sunrise, FL 33326



A stable soil structure is important to maintain agricultural productivity and reduce environmental pollution. This study was conducted to identify mechanisms by which structure is rendered more stable after short-term changes in cropping history. Changes in cropping systems were found to increase the response of soil structural stability on drying of a Brookston clay loam (mesic Typic Haplaquoll). Three years of bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) production following 20 y of continuous corn (Zea mays L.) improved the stability of aggregates >0.25 mm as water content decreased. This increased response on drying was a primary factor in the short-term beneficial effect of bromegrass on stability and was attributed to organic material dispiaced using a tetraborate buffer at pH 9.4. The decrease in the dispersible-clay fraction with decreasing water content was unaffected by changes in cropping history, but the response of the dispersible-clay fraction to a change in water content also involved tetraborate-sensitive material.

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