Study

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This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

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Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

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Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2010 in a rainfed wheat-vetch field in southwest Spain (same study as (10)) found similar amounts of organic matter, soil organisms, and aggregation in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage. Organic matter: Similar amounts of organic carbon were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (14–22 vs 17–23 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: Similar amounts of microbial biomass (measured as carbon) were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (452–549 vs 373–646 g C/kg soil). Soil erosion and aggregation: Similar amounts of soil aggregation were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (data reported for five soil fractions). Methods: No tillage or reduced tillage was used on three plots each (300 m2 plots), in 2008–2009. From 1999–2008, no tillage was used on all plots. Herbicide was used for no tillage. A chisel plough (10–15 cm depth) and herbicide were used for reduced tillage. Soil samples were collected in October 2010 (0–10 cm depth, five samples/plot).

     

  2. Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2010 in a rainfed wheat-vetch field in southwest Spain (same study as (22)) found more organic matter, soil organisms, and aggregation in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in three of five comparisons (soil aggregates <1 mm in diameter: 18–22 vs 13–15 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in three of five comparisons (in smaller soil aggregates with diameters of 1–2, 0.25–0.5, or <0.5 mm: 504–549 vs 341–346 mg C/kg soil). Soil erosion and aggregation: More large aggregates were found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage (2–5 mm macroaggregates: 31% vs 24% of soil weight), and fewer smaller aggregates were found, in two of four comparisons (0.5–1 mm aggregates: 21% vs 26% of soil weight). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (300 m2 plots), in 2008–2009. In 1999–2008, no tillage was used on all plots. A mouldboard plough (25 cm depth, in 2008), or a chisel plough (10–15 cm depth, in 2009), and a disk harrow were used for conventional tillage, and crop residues were removed (in 2008 and 2010). A seed drill and herbicide were used for no tillage, and crop residues were retained. Soil samples were collected in October 2010 (0–10 cm depth, five samples/plot). It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of tillage or residue removal.

     

  3. Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2010 in a rainfed wheat-vetch field in southwest Spain (same study as (24)) found more organic matter and soil organisms in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (17–23 vs 12–15 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in four of five comparisons (in soil aggregates <2 mm in diameter: 526–646 vs 339–346 g C/kg soil). Soil erosion and aggregation: Similar amounts of soil aggregation were found in soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (data reported for five soil fractions). Methods: Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on three plots each (300 m2 plots), in 2008–2009. From 1999–2008, no tillage was used on all plots. A mouldboard plough (25 cm depth, in 2008), or a chisel plough (10–15 cm depth, in 2009), and a disk harrow were used for conventional tillage, and crop residues were removed (in 2008 and 2010). A chisel plough (10–15 cm depth) and herbicide were used for reduced tillage, and crop residues were retained. Soil samples were collected in October 2010 (0–10 cm depth, five samples/plot).

     

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