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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-6—SOIL & WATER MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION

Spectral Analysis of Tillage-Induced Differences in Soil Spatial Variability


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 5, p. 1587-1595
    Received: June 4, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): eperfect@utk.edu
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  1. E. Perfect *a and
  2. J. Caronb
  1. a Dep. of Geological Sciences, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410
    b Département des Sols et de Génie agro-alimentaire, Université Laval, Pavillon Comtois, Sainte-Foy, PQ, Canada G1K 7P4


Tillage research has traditionally focused on mean effects; few studies have compared treatments in terms of their spatial variability. We applied several methods of time-space series analysis to investigate the spatial variability of gravimetric water content (w), volumetric water content (θ), bulk density (ρb) and total C (TC) in the upper 10 cm of long-term conventional-till (CT) and no-till (NT) soil management practices at Lexington, KY. The soil was a Maury silt loam (fine, mixed, semiactive, mesic Typic Paleudalf). Replicate transects were established in untracked interrows parallel to the direction of tillage in the CT practice. Each transect was 48.5 m long with 107 equally spaced sampling points. Soil spatial variability was higher under NT than under CT. Spectral analyses of variance identified significant differences between tillage treatments at frequencies <0.02 cycles m−1 for all soil properties, and at 0.18 cycles m−1 for w, 0.13, 0.31 and 0.48 cycles m−1 for θ, and 0.22, 0.70 and 0.90 cycles m−1 for ρb Spatial variations in water content and ρb appeared to be related to the distribution of TC. Coherency analysis indicated relationships were strongest at frequencies <0.09 cycles m−1 For NT the relationship between w and TC was also significant at higher frequencies (1.01–1.05 cycles m−1). Gravimetric water content increased as TC increased, while θ and ρb decreased. Lagged relations for w versus TC were more frequent in CT than NT, possibly due to soil translocation during tillage operations. The opposite was true for θ versus TC and ρb versus TC, suggesting that soil aggregates form at some distance from sites of carbon deposition under NT.

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:1587–1595.