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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 6, p. 1927-1934
    Received: Apr 18, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): thomas_schumacher@sdstate.edu
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Porosity and Pore-Size Distribution in Cultivated Ustolls and Usterts

  1. A. Eynarda,
  2. T. E. Schumacher *a,
  3. M. J. Lindstromb and
  4. D. D. Maloa
  1. a NPB 247A NPB, South Dakota State Univ., Box 2410C, Brookings, SD 57007-2141
    b USDA-ARS, 803 Iowa Ave, Morris, MN 56267


Soil management systems affect soil porosity and pore sizes, changing soil hydraulic properties by loosening or by compacting different soil layers. Changes in porosity and pore-size distribution following cultivation were studied in six Ustolls and two Usterts of the prairie in the Upper Missouri River Basin. Soil pores were morphologically described. Water infiltration was measured at 0.03- and 0.06-m tensions. Soil bulk density and moisture retention at 1-m tension were determined in undisturbed and in remolded soil cores. In Ustolls, cultivation decreased soil porosity and pore sizes. Steady-state water infiltration rates were higher in grasslands than in cultivated soils. In no-till and till systems, both very fine macroporosity and microporosity were reduced when compared with grasslands. No-tillage relative to tillage increased soil porosity between the 0.05- and 0.30-m depth. More very fine tubular pores were present in no-till than in tilled Ustolls, indicating increased biological activity in pore formation. In Usterts, total pore space, quantity, shape, and size of macropores, water infiltration under tension, and moisture retention at 1-m tension did not show significant changes related to different management systems.

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Copyright © 2004. Soil Science SocietySoil Science Society of America