Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo]]> vol. 40 num. lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Potential of Spectroradiometry to Classify Soil Clay Content]]> ABSTRACT Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) is a fast and cheap alternative for soil clay, but needs further investigation to assess the scope of application. The purpose of the study was to develop a linear regression model to predict clay content from DRS data, to classify the soils into three textural classes, similar to those defined by a regulation of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply. The DRS data of 412 soil samples, from the 0.0-0.5 m layer, from different locations in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, were measured at wavelengths of 350 to 2,500 nm in the laboratory. The fitting of the linear regression model developed to predict soil clay content from the DRS data was based on a R2 value of 0.74 and 0.75, with a RMSE of 7.82 and 8.51 % for the calibration and validation sets, respectively. Soil texture classification had an overall accuracy of 79.0 % (calibration) and 80.9 % (validation). The heterogeneity of soil samples affected the performance of the prediction models. Future studies should consider a previous classification of soil samples in different groups by soil type, parent material and/or sampling region. <![CDATA[Planosols Developed in Different Geoenvironmental Conditions in Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The semiarid region of northeastern Brazil has a large area occupied by Planosols, where in the State of Pernambuco these soils are mainly used for livestock farming and subsistence crops. The knowledge on these soils is limited, which compromises the understanding on their behavior, potentialities and limitations.This study aimed to analyze morphological, chemical, physical and mineralogical attributes of Planosols developed under different geoenvironmental conditions. Morphological descriptions and chemical, physical and mineralogical analyses were performed in four profiles of Planosols along a rainfall gradient. An increase in rainfall allowed for an increase in the clay content in the Bt horizon and a reduction in ESP, EC, Na+, CEC, S, pH (water and KCl) and soil density. Horizons A and E were thicker in Planosols in more humid environments. The increase in ESP associated with the presence of expansive minerals (smectite and vermiculite) allowed the development of a prismatic structure in Haplic Planosols and a columnar structure in Natric Planosols. The mineralogical assembly is indicative of poorly weathered soils. The mineralogical assemblies of the silt and clay fractions were similar in the different geoenvironments, while higher contents of easily alterable minerals were observed in the composition of the sand fraction in environments with a drier climate. <![CDATA[Genesis and Classification of Soils Containing Carbonate on the Apodi Plateau, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Information is scarce on the genesis and classification of soils derived from calcareous rocks in the Northeastern region of Brazil. This study describes the morphological, physical, chemical, mineralogical, and micromorphological properties of four soil profiles (P1-P4) located in the Apodi Plateau. A pedogenesis hypothesis and soil classification, according to the Brazilian System of Soil Classification (SiBCS), are proposed for these profiles. The interactions between parent material, surface topography and climate affected the pedogenesis processes and soil properties, although the calcareous nature of the parent material most affected the soil morphology and chemical properties. The sand fraction contained mainly quartz and calcite, and a smaller amount of mica. Smectite and interstratified illite-smectite occurred in the clay fraction of profile P1 and in some horizons of P2 (Ccmќ and Ccrќ) and P3 (2Ccrќ). Kaolinite predominated in profiles P2, P3, and P4; where as illite and vermiculite were present in the Bicќ, Bcќ, Bcmќ horizons of P2, in Bt2c of P3, and in C of P4. The mineralogy showed illite, hematite, and goethite, and anatase in a number of horizons. Micromorphological analysis of P2 indicated a strong cementation of Bcmќ and Ccmќ by calcium carbonate, and other properties indicate the formation of a petrocalcic horizon, but this horizon lacked lateral continuity in the profile. Therefore, the parapetrocalcic term is proposed for classifying P2 in the fourth level of the SiBCS. The 3Biќ-P1 horizon exhibited calcite coating and iron coating or quasi-coating, indicating distinct pedogenesis processes occurring under different environmental conditions. Likewise, the occurrence of petroplinthite in P2 indicates that climatic conditions during its formation differed from present conditions, and both situations are interpreted as evidence that the soils were formed by polygenetic processes. In the SiBCS classification, the soils are classified as Cambissolo Háplico Carbonático vertissólico (P1), Cambissolo Háplico Carbonático concrecionário (P2), Luvissolo Crômico Pálico petroplíntico (P3), and Neossolo Litólico Carbonatico típico (P4); and a new class (parapetrocálcico concrecionário) is proposed for P2 in the fourth level. <![CDATA[Assessment of Digital Elevation Model for Digital Soil Mapping in a Watershed with Gently Undulating Topography]]> ABSTRACT Terrain attributes (TAs) derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) are frequently used in digital soil mapping (DSM) as auxiliary covariates in the construction of prediction models. The DEMs and information extracted from it may be limited with regard to the spatial resolution and error magnitude, and can differ in the behavior of terrain features. The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality and limitations of free DEM data and to evaluate a topographic survey (TS) underlying the choice of a more appropriate model, for use in DSMs at a scale of 1:10,000. The study was conducted in an area of 937 ha in the watershed of Lajeado Giruá, in southern Brazil. The DEMs: DEM-TS, DEM-Topographic Map (TM), DEM-ASTER, DEM-SRTM, and DEM-TOPODATA were evaluated with regard to the precision elevation by statistical tests based on field reference points, the root mean square error (RMSE), identification of the number and size of spurious depressions, and the application of the Brazilian Cartographic Accuracy Standards Law (BCASL) to define the scale of each DEM. In addition, the TA derived from each DEM was compared with the TA from DEM-TS, considered to be terrain reality. The results showed that the elevation data of DEM-TS had the best quality (RMSE = 1.93 m), followed by DEM-SRTM (RMSE = 5.95 m), DEM-Topographic Map (RMSE = 8.28 m), DEM-TOPODATA (RMSE = 9.78 m) and DEM-ASTER (RMSE = 15.57 m). The DEM-TS was well-represented at a 1:10,000 scale, while the DEM-Topographic Map and DEM-SRTM fitted 1:50,000, the DEM-TOPODATA 1:50,000 and the DEM-ASTER a 1:100,000 scale. The results of DEM-SRTM and DEM-TOPODATA were closest to terrain reality (DEM-TS) and had the lowest number of spurious depressions and RMSE values for each evaluated attribute, but were inadequate for not fitting detailed scales compatible with small areas. The techniques for the acquisition of elevation data of each DEM and mainly the flat to gently undulating topography were factors that influenced the results. For a DSM at a scale of 1:10,000 in similar areas, the most appropriate model is DEM-TS. <![CDATA[Genesis of Soils Formed from Mafic Igneous Rock in the Atlantic Forest Environment]]> ABSTRACT Different parent materials participate in the formation of soils in the hilly landscape of “Mar de Morros” in the Atlantic Forest environment. Those derived from mafic igneous rock (gabbro) frequently show erosion problems because of land use, which is aggravated by the mountainous relief and soil attributes. This study evaluated the main pedogenic processes of soils formed from mafic igneous rock (gabbro) in a toposequence in Pinheiral (RJ) by characterizing physical, chemical, mineralogical and micromorphological attributes. The profiles are located at different sections in the toposequence: summit (P1), shoulder (P2), backslope (P3) and footslope (P4).They were classified according to the Brazilian System of Soil Classification (SiBCS) and correlated to Soil Taxonomy. The soil morphology of profiles P2, P3 and P4 is expressed by a brownish-red color, blocky structure with high to moderate development, clay films and clay loam to clay texture, with a textural B horizon. P1 shows less development, with a shallow profile and the sequence of horizons A-C-Cr. The soils have a slightly low degree of weathering, identified by the presence of pyroxenes and feldspars in the sand fraction and montorillonite in the clay fraction; the sum of bases is from 15 to 24 cmolc kg-1; and cation exchange capacity (CEC) is from 12 to 22 cmolc kg-1. A significant presence of clay skins was observed in the field and was confirmed by thin section analysis, which showed features such as argillans, ferriargillans and iron nodules. The soil profile at the summit (P1) was classified as Neossolo Regolítico Órtico (Typic Udorthents), and the other profiles as Chernossolo Argilúvicos Órticos (Typic Argiudolls). <![CDATA[Boron Leaching Decreases withIncreases on Soil pH]]> ABSTRACT Management of boron fertilization depends on the magnitude of B leaching in the soil profile, which varies proportionally with the concentration of B in the soil solution, which, in turn, decreases as the soil pH increases due to the higher sorption of B on soil solid surfaces. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of liming and rates of B applied to the soil on B leaching. The experiment was carried out in the laboratory in 2012, and treatments consisted of a factorial combination of two rates of liming (without and with lime to raise the soil pH to 6.0) and five rates of B (0, 10, 20, 50 and 100 mg kg-1, as boric acid). A Typic Rhodudalf was used, containing 790 g kg-1 clay and 23 g kg-1 organic matter; the pH(H2O) was 4.6. Experimental units were composed of PVC leaching columns (0.10 m in diameter) containing 1.42 kg of soil (dry base). Boron was manually mixed with the top 0.15 m of the soil. After that, every seven days for 15 weeks, 300 mL of distilled water were added to the top of each column. In the percolated solution, both the volume and concentration of B were measured. Leaching of B decreased with increased soil pH and, averaged across the B rates applied, was 58 % higher from unlimed (pH 4.6) than from limed (pH 6.6) samples as a result of the increase in B sorption with higher soil pH. In spite of its high vertical mobility, the residual effect of B was high in this oxisol, mainly in the limed samples where 80 % of B applied at the two highest rates remained in the soil, even after 15 water percolations. Total recovery of applied B, including leached B plus B extracted from the soil after all percolations, was less than 50 %, showing that not all sorbed B was quantified by the hot water extraction method. <![CDATA[Rhizobia Isolated from Coal Mining Areas in the Nodulation and Growth of Leguminous Trees]]> ABSTRACT An alternative for recovery of areas degraded by coal mining is revegetation with rapidly growing leguminous trees, which often do not establish in low fertility soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of native rhizobia isolated from coal mining areas in the nodulation and growth of leguminous trees. We isolated 19 strains of rhizobia from a degraded soil near Criciúma, SC, Brazil, and evaluated the nodulation and growth-promoting capacity of the inoculated isolates for bracatinga (Mimosa scabrella), maricá (M. bimucronata) and angico-vermelho (Parapiptadenia rigida). Isolates UFSC-B2, B6, B8, B9, B11 and B16 were able to nodulate bracatinga, providing average increases of 165 % in shoot dry matter, with a significant contribution to N accumulation. Isolates UFSC-B5, B12, and M8 favored nodulation and growth of maricá, especially isolate UFSC-B12, which promoted increases of 370 % in N accumulation compared to treatment with N fertilizer. All strains were inefficient in promoting growth and N uptake by angico-vermelho. In conclusion, isolation and use of selected rhizobia for bracatinga and maricá plant inoculation can contribute to the growth and accumulation of N, with prospects for use in programs for revegetation of degraded soils in coal mining areas. <![CDATA[Soil Water Potentials and <em>Capsicum annuum</em> L. under Salinity]]> ABSTRACT Investigations into water potentials in the soil-plant system are of great relevance in environments with abiotic stresses, such as salinity and drought. An experiment was developed using bell pepper in a Neossolo Flúvico (Fluvent) irrigated with water of six levels of electrical conductivity (0, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 dS m-1) by using exclusively NaCl and by simulating the actual condition (using a mixture of salts). The treatments were arranged in a randomized block design, in a 6 × 2 factorial arrangement, with four replicates. Soil matric (Ψm) and osmotic (Ψo) potentials were determined 70 days after transplanting (DAT). Soil total potential was considered as the sum of Ψm and Ψo. Leaf water (obtained with the Scholander Chamber) and osmotic potentials were determined before sunrise (predawn) and at noon at 42 and 70 DAT. There were no significant differences between the salt sources used in the irrigation water for soil and plant water potentials. The supply of salts to the soil through irrigation water was the main factor responsible for the decrease in Ψo in the soil and in bell pepper leaves. The total potential of bell pepper at predawn reached values of -1.30 and -1.33 MPa at 42 and 70 DAT, respectively, when water of 9 dS m-1 was used in the irrigation. The total potential at noon reached -2.19 MPa. The soil subjected to the most saline treatment reached a water potential of -1.20 MPa at 70 DAT. There was no predawn equilibrium between the total water potentials of the soil and the plant, indicating that soil potential cannot be considered similar to that of the plant. The determination of the osmotic potential in the soil solution should not be neglected in saline soils, since it has strong influence on the calculation of the total potential. <![CDATA[Molecular Identification of <em>Trichoderma</em> spp. in Garlic and Onion Fields and <em>In Vitro</em> Antagonism Trials on <em>Sclerotium cepivorum</em>]]> ABSTRACT Trichoderma species are non-pathogenic microorganisms that protect against fungal diseases and contribute to increased crop yields. However, not all Trichoderma species have the same effects on crop or a pathogen, whereby the characterization and identification of strains at the species level is the first step in the use of a microorganism. The aim of this study was the identification – at species level – of five strains of Trichoderma isolated from soil samples obtained from garlic and onion fields located in Costa Rica, through the analysis of the ITS1, 5.8S, and ITS2 ribosomal RNA regions; as well as the determination of their individual antagonistic ability over S. cepivorum Berkeley. In order to distinguish the strains, the amplified products were analyzed using MEGA v6.0 software, calculating the genetic distances through the Tamura-Nei model and building the phylogenetic tree using the Maximum Likelihood method. We established that the evaluated strains belonged to the species T. harzianum and T. asperellum; however it was not possible to identify one of the analyzed strains based on the species criterion. To evaluate their antagonistic ability, the dual culture technique, Bell’s scale, and the percentage inhibition of radial growth (PIRG) were used, evidencing that one of the T. asperellum isolates presented the best yields under standard, solid fermentation conditions. <![CDATA[Electrical Conductivity and Chemical Composition of Soil Solution: Comparison of Solution Samplers in Tropical Soils]]> ABSTRACT Soil solution samplers may have the same working principle, but they differ in relation to chemical and physical characteristics, cost and handling, and these aspects exert influence on the chemical composition of the soil solution obtained. This study was carried out to evaluate, over time, the chemical composition of solutions extracted by Suolo Acqua, with the hydrophilic membrane (HM) as a standard, using soils with contrasting characteristics, and to determine the relationship between electrical conductivity (EC) and concentration of ions and pH of soil solution samples. This study was carried out under laboratory conditions, using three soils samples with different clay and organic matter (OM) contents. Soil solution contents of F−, Cl−, NO−3, Br−, SO42−, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, were analyzed, as well as inorganic, organic, and total C contents, pH, and EC, in four successive sampling times. Soil solution chemical composition extracted by the Suolo Acqua sampler is similar to that collected by the HM, but the Suolo Acqua extracted more Na+ and soluble organic C than the HM solution. Solution EC, cation and anion concentrations, and soluble C levels are higher in the soil with greater clay and OM contents (Latossolo and Cambissolo in this case). Soil solution composition varied over time, with considerable changes in pH, EC, and nutrient concentrations, especially associated with soil OM. Thus, single and isolated sampling of the soil solution must be avoided, otherwise composition of the soil solution may not be correctly evaluated. Soil solution EC was regulated by pH, as well as the sum of cation and anion concentrations, and the C contents determined in the soil liquid phase. <![CDATA[Carbon in Humic Fractions of Organic Matter in Soil Treated with Organic Composts under Mango Cultivation]]> ABSTRACT Soil organic matter (SOM) plays a key role in maintaining the productivity of tropical soils, providing energy and substrate for the biological activity and modifying the physical and chemical characteristics that ensure the maintenance of soil quality and the sustainability of ecosystems. This study assessed the medium-term effect (six years) of the application of five organic composts, produced by combining different agro-industrial residues, on accumulation and chemical characteristics of soil organic matter. Treatments were applied in a long-term experiment of organic management of mango (OMM) initiated in 2005 with a randomized block design with four replications. Two external areas, one with conventional mango cultivation (CMM) and the other a fragment of regenerating Caatinga vegetation (RCF), were used as reference areas. Soil samples were collected in the three management systems from the 0.00-0.05, 0.05-0.10, and 0.10-0.20 m layers, and the total organic carbon content and chemical fractions of organic matter were evaluated by determining the C contents of humin and humic and fulvic acids. Organic compost application significantly increased the contents of total C and C in humic substances in the experimental plots, mainly in the surface layer. However, compost 3 (50 % coconut bagasse, 40 % goat manure, 10 % castor bean residues) significantly increased the level of the non-humic fraction, probably due to the higher contents of recalcitrant material in the initial composition. The highest increases from application of the composts were in the humin, followed by the fulvic fraction. Compost application increased the proportion of higher molecular weight components, indicating higher stability of the organic matter. <![CDATA[Hydro-Physical Properties of a Typic Hapludult under the Effect of Rice Husk Ash]]> ABSTRACT The combustion of rice husk generates a partially burnt mixture called rice husk ash (RHA) that can be used as a source of nutrients to crops and as a conditioner of soil physical properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of RHA levels on the hydro-physical properties of a Typic Hapludult. The experimental design was composed of random blocks with four replications, which comprised plots of 24 m2 and treatments with increasing RHA rates: 0, 40, 80 and 120 Mg ha-1. Undisturbed soil samples were collected in the soil layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.10-0.20 m after nine months of RHA application, using steel cylinders (0.03 m of height and 0.047 m of diameter). These samples were used to determine soil bulk density (Bd), total soil porosity (TP), soil macroporosity (Ma), soil microporosity (Mi) and the available water capacity (AWC). Disturbed soil samples were collected to determine the stability of soil aggregates in water, mean weight diameter of water stable aggregates (MWD), and soil particle size distribution. The results show that, as the RHA rate increased in the soil, Bd values decreased and TP, Ma and MWD values increased. No effect of RHA was found on Mi and AWC values. The effects of RHA on the S parameter (Dexter, 2004), precompression stress and compression index (Dias Junior and Pierce, 1995) values are consistent those shown for density and total porosity. Rice husk ash was shown to be an efficient residue to improve soil physical properties, mainly at rates between 40 and 80 Mg ha-1. Rice husk ash reduces bulk density and increases total porosity, macroporosity and soil aggregation, but does not affect microporosity, field capacity, permanent wilting point, and available water capacity of the soil. The effect of rice husk ash on the S parameter, precompression stress and index compressibility coefficient values are consistent with those observed for the bulk density and total porosity. <![CDATA[Characterization of Organic Matter under Different Pedoenvironments in the Viruá National Park, in Northern Amazon]]> ABSTRACT Soil organic matter (SOM) fractions result from a variety of environmental processes, which affect incorporation and production rates, decomposition, alteration, and/or mineralization of organic matter. The aim of this study was to characterize SOM under the environments of rain forest, wooded campinarana (grasslands), arboreal-shrubby campinarana, grassy-woody campinarana, and pioneer plants of the Viruá National Park, in the north of the Brazilian Amazon. After chemical and physical characterization and soil classification, total organic carbon (TOC), total N, microbial activity, organic C from fulvic acid fractions (FA), humic acid (HA), and humin (Hu) were determined at two depths (0.00-0.15 and 0.15-0.30 m). The TOC was lower in the grassy-woody campinarana, arboreal-shrubby campinarana, and pioneer formation areas than in the rain forest. Higher values of microbial activity were related to forest ecosystems in soils without physical or water restrictions and with better fertility compared to the other areas. The Hu predominated in all vegetation types studied, especially in the surface layer, because of the more soluble nature of HA and FA; and the higher values of HA/FA ratios in wooded campinaranas indicate that these environments contribute to higher losses of humic substances through fulvic acid forms, due to better drainage conditions. <![CDATA[Soil Chemistry after Irrigation with Treated Wastewater in Semiarid Climate]]> ABSTRACT Soil irrigation using treated wastewater in the Brazilian semiarid region is a promising practice as this area currently faces water scarcity and pollution of water resources by domestic sewage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of treated wastewater in drip irrigation and its effect on the chemistry of soil cultivated with squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch.) Coroa IAC and to verify whether there was an increase in soil salinity under a semiarid climate. The experiment was conducted for 123 days on a farm close to the sewage treatment plant, in a randomized block design with five treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two irrigation water depths (100 and 150 % of the evapotranspiration), two applications of gypsum to attenuate wastewater sodicity (0 and 5.51 g per plant), and a control treatment with no application of wastewater or gypsum. During the experiment, treated wastewater and soil gravitational water, at a depth of 0.40 m, were collected for measurement of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NO−3, NH4+, Cl− , alkalinity, electrical conductivity, pH and sodium adsorption ratio. At the end of the experiment, soil samples were collected at depths of 0.00-0.10, 0.10-0.20, and 0.20-0.40 m; and pH, total N, organic C, exchangeable cations and electrical conductivity of the saturation extract (CEs) were analyzed. Besides an increase in pH and a reduction in total N, the irrigation with wastewater reduces soil salinity of the naturally salt-rich soils of the semiarid climate. It also led to soil sodification, in spite of the added gypsum, which indicates that irrigation with wastewater might require the addition of greater quantities of gypsum to prevent physical degradation of the soil. <![CDATA[Pine Harvest Impact on Soil Structure of a Dystric Cambisol (Humic)]]> ABSTRACT Traffic of heavy machinery at harvest and log extraction causes structural degradation of the soil, but studies on the effects of forest harvesting on soils with high organic matter content and exchangeable Al are scarce. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of mechanized forest harvesting operations on a Dystric Cambisol (Humic) with high organic matter (more 50 g kg1) content and exchangeable Al (more 6,0 cmolc kg-1), reforested with Pinus taeda L. The evaluated harvesting system were the whole-tree, in which the feller-buncher cuts and lays the trees down in bundles; the skidder drags the tree bundles up near a road; and the harvester delimbs and cuts the trees into short logs, stacking them on the roadside to be loaded onto trucks. The areas were evaluated for soil conditions at pre-harvest, prior to harvest, and at post-harvest, consisting of areas of low disturbance, high disturbance, forest residues and log yards. The effects of compaction after forest harvesting are observed by the decrease in total porosity (especially biopores and macropores), soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, and stability of aggregates. After forest harvesting, soil compaction was observed in all evaluated situations, but with different depths depending on operation type and the intensity of traffic carried in each area. <![CDATA[Rheological Parameters as Affected by Water Tension in Subtropical Soils]]> ABSTRACT Rheological parameters have been used to study the interaction between particles and the structural strength of soils subjected to mechanical stresses, in which soil composition and water content most strongly affect soil resistance to deformation. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of water tension on rheological parameters of soils with different mineralogical, physical, and chemical composition. Surface and subsurface horizons of four Oxisols, two Ultisols, one Alfisol, and one Vertisol were physically and chemically characterized; their rheological parameters were obtained from amplitude sweep tests under oscillatory shear on disturbed soil samples that were saturated and subjected to water tension of 1, 3, 6, and 10 kPa. In these samples, the rheological parameters linear viscoelastic deformation limit (γL), maximum shear stress (τmax), and integral z were determined. By simple regression analysis of the rheological parameters as a function of soil water tension, we observed increased mechanical strength with increasing water tension up to at least 6 kPa, primarily due to increased capillary forces in the soil. However, increased elasticity assessed by γL was not as expressive as the increase in structural rigidity assessed by τmax and integral z. Elastic deformation of the soil (γL) increases with the increase in the number of bonds among particles, which depend on the clay, total carbon, expansive clay mineral, and cation contents; however, maximum shear resistance (τmax) and structural stiffness (integral z) mainly increase with clay, kaolinite, and oxide content by increasing the strength of interparticle bonds. A decrease in mechanical strength occurs for water tension of 10 kPa (the lowest water content evaluated) in sandy horizons or in horizons with a high proportion of resistant microaggregates (pseudosand), when associated with low bulk density, due to fewer points of contact between soil particles and therefore lower capillary force. <![CDATA[Physical Properties of a Hapludox after Three Decades under Different Soil Management Systems]]> ABSTRACT Changes in soil physical properties due to different management systems occur slowly, and long-term studies are needed to assess soil quality. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of soil management systems and liming methods on the physical properties of a Latossolo Bruno Alumínico típico (Hapludox). A long-term experiment that began in 1978 with conventional and no-tillage systems was assessed. In addition, different liming methods (no lime, incorporated lime, and lime on the soil surface) have been applied since 1987 and were also evaluated in this study. Moreover, an area of native forest was evaluated and considered a reference for the natural condition of the soil. Soil physical properties were evaluated in layers to a depth of 1.00 m. Compared to native forest, the conventional tillage and no-tillage systems had higher soil bulk density, penetration resistance, and microporosity, and lower aggregate stability and macroporosity. Compared to the conventional tillage system, long-term no-tillage improved the structure of the Hapludox, as evidenced by increased microporosity and aggregate stability, especially in the soil surface layer. In no-tillage with lime applications sporadically incorporated, soil physical properties did not differ from no-tillage without lime and with lime applied on the soil surface, indicating that this practice maintains the physical quality of soil under no-tillage. Liming in a conventional tillage system improved soil aggregation and reduces penetration resistance in the soil layers near the soil surface. No-tillage was the main practice related to improvement of soil physical quality, and liming methods did not influence soil physical properties in this soil management system. <![CDATA[Diagnosis of the Nutritional Status of Garlic Crops]]> ABSTRACT Univariate methods for diagnosing nutritional status such as the sufficiency range and the critical level for garlic crops are very susceptible to the effects of dilution and accumulation of nutrients. Therefore, this study aimed to establish bivariate and multivariate norms for this crop using the Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS) and Nutritional Composition Diagnosis (CND), respectively. The criteria used were nutritional status and the sufficiency range, and then the diagnoses were compared. The study was performed in the region of Alto Paranaíba, MG, Brazil, during the crop seasons 2012 and 2013. Samples comprised 99 commercial fields of garlic, cultivated with the cultivar “Ito” and mostly established in Latossolo Vermelho-Amarelo Distrófico (Oxisol). Copper and K were the nutrients with the highest number of fields diagnosed as limiting by lack (LF) and limiting by excess (LE), respectively. The DRIS method presented greater tendency to diagnose LF, while the CND tended towards LE. The sufficiency range of both methods presented narrow ranges in relation to those suggested by the literature. Moreover, all ranges produced by the CND method provided narrower ranges than the DRIS method. The CND method showed better performance than DRIS in distinguishing crop yield covered by different diagnoses. Turning to the criterion of evaluation, the study found that nutritional status gave a better performance than sufficiency range in terms of distinguishing diagnoses regarding yield. <![CDATA[Organic and Nitrogen Fertilization of Soil under ‘Syrah’ Grapevine: Effects on Soil Chemical Properties and Nitrate Concentration]]> ABSTRACT Viticulture is an activity of great social and economic importance in the lower-middle region of the São Francisco River valley in northeastern Brazil. In this region, the fertility of soils under vineyards is generally poor. To assess the effects of organic and nitrogen fertilization on chemical properties and nitrate concentrations in an Argissolo Vermelho-Amarelo (Typic Plinthustalf), a field experiment was carried out in Petrolina, Pernambuco, on Syrah grapevines. Treatments consisted of two rates of organic fertilizer (0 and 30 m3 ha-1) and five N rates (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg ha-1), in a randomized block design arranged in split plots, with five replications. The organic fertilizer levels represented the main plots and the N levels, the subplots. The source of N was urea and the source of organic fertilizer was goat manure. Irrigation was applied through a drip system and N by fertigation. At the end of the third growing season, soil chemical properties were determined and nitrate concentration in the soil solution (extracted by porous cups) was determined. Organic fertilization increased organic matter, pH, EC, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, sum of bases, base saturation, and CEC, but decreased exchangeable Cu concentration in the soil by complexation of Cu in the organic matter. Organic fertilization raised the nitrate concentration in the 0.20-0.40 m soil layer, making it leachable. Nitrate concentration in the soil increased as N rates increased, up to more than 300 mg kg-1 in soil and nearly 800 mg L-1 in the soil solution, becoming prone to leaching losses. <![CDATA[Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Fractions in Response to Cover Crops in an Orange Orchard]]> ABSTRACT The cultivation of cover crops intercropped with fruit trees is an alternative to maintain mulch cover between plant rows and increase soil organic carbon (C) stocks. The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in soil total organic C content and labile organic matter fractions in response to cover crop cultivation in an orange orchard. The experiment was performed in the state of Bahia, in a citrus orchard with cultivar ‘Pera’ orange (Citrus sinensis) at a spacing of 6 × 4 m. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used. The following species were used as cover crops: Brachiaria (Brachiaria decumbes) – BRAQ, pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) – MIL, jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) – JB, blend (50 % each) of jack bean + millet (JB/MIL), and spontaneous vegetation (SPV). The cover crops were broadcast-seeded between the rows of orange trees and mechanically mowed after flowering. Soil sampling at depths of 0.00-0.10, 0.10-0.20, and 0.20-0.40 m was performed in small soil trenches. The total soil organic C (SOC) content, light fraction (LF), and the particulate organic C (POC), and oxidizable organic C fractions were estimated. Total soil organic C content was not significantly changed by the cover crops, indicating low sensitivity in reacting to recent changes in soil organic matter due to management practices. Grasses enabled a greater accumulation of SOC stocks in 0.00-0.40 m compared to all other treatments. Jack bean cultivation increased LF and the most labile oxidizable organic C fraction (F1) in the soil surface and the deepest layer tested. Cover crop cultivation increased labile C in the 0.00-0.10 m layer, which can enhance soil microbial activity and nutrient absorption by the citrus trees. The fractions LF and F1 may be suitable indicators for monitoring changes in soil organic matter content due to changes in soil management practices. <![CDATA[Characterization of Ornamental Rock Residue and Potassium Liberation Via Organic Acid Application]]> ABSTRACT Organic acids present in organic matter and, or, exudates by microorganisms and plants can increase the liberation of potassium present in minerals. The objective of this study was to characterize the residue from ornamental rocks and evaluate the release of K from these residues after the application of organic acids. The experiment was conducted under laboratory conditions and followed a 2 × 3 × 5 factorial design with three replicates. The studied factors were: two organic acids (citric acid and malic acid), three ornamental rock residues (R1, R2 and R3) and five organic acid rates (0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 mmol L-1). After agitation, K concentrations were determined in the equilibrium solution. Successive extractions were performed (1, 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 days after the start of the experiment). The organic acids used (citric and malic) promoted the release of up to 4.86 and 4.34 % of the total K contained in the residue, respectively, reinforcing the role of organic acids in the weathering of minerals and in providing K to the soil. The K quantities were, on average, 6.1 % higher when extracted with citric acid compared to malic acid. <![CDATA[Phosphorus Forms in Ultisol Submitted to Burning and Trituration of Vegetation in Eastern Amazon]]> ABSTRACT The use of fire to prepare agricultural areas is a technique still used by small farmers in eastern Amazon. This type of management changes the dynamics of soil nutrients, especially phosphorus, which constitutes the most limiting nutrient for crop production in tropical soils. This study was carried out to evaluate changes in phosphorus forms in an Argissolo Amarelo Distrófico (Ultisol) submitted to burning and trituration of secondary forest in eastern Amazon. The evaluated systems were: slash-and-burn of vegetation; slash-and-mulch of vegetation; and secondary vegetation. The labile, moderately labile, moderately recalcitrant, available and total phosphorus fractions were assessed at the soil depths of 0.00-0.05, 0.05-0.10 and 0.10-0.20 m. The results showed a predominance of soluble P in acid (moderately labile P) over other forms in all management systems. The management systems influence the content and distribution of the forms of P, where the slash-and-mulch system presented the prevalence of the labile fraction, and the slash-and-burn system contained less labile forms. The slash-and-mulch system favored the accumulation of labile P and total organic P. <![CDATA[Carbon Stocks in Compartments of Soil Organic Matter 31 Years after Substitution of Native Cerrado Vegetation by Agroecosystems]]> ABSTRACT Changes in carbon stocks in different compartments of soil organic matter of a clayey Latossolo Vermelho Distrófico (Typic Haplustox), caused by the substitution of native savanna vegetation (cerrado sensu stricto) by agroecosystems, were assessed after 31 years of cultivation. Under native vegetation, a stock of 164.5 Mg ha-1 C was estimated in the 0.00-1.00 m layer. After 31 years of cultivation, these changes in soil C stocks were detected to a depth of 0.60 m. In the case of substitution of cerrado sensu stricto by no-tillage soybean-corn rotation, a reduction of at least 11 % of the soil C pools was observed. However, the adoption of no-tillage as an alternative to tillage with a moldboard plow (conventional system) reduced CO2 emissions by up to 12 %. <![CDATA[Cover Crops and Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on Nitrogen Soil Fractions under Corn Cultivation in a No-Tillage System]]> ABSTRACT The use of cover crops has recently increased and represents an essential practice for the sustainability of no-tillage systems in the Cerrado region. However, there is little information on the effects of nitrogen fertilization and cover crop use on nitrogen soil fractions. This study assessed changes in the N forms in soil cropped to cover crops prior to corn growing. The experiment consisted of a randomized complete block design arranged in split-plots with three replications. Cover crops were tested in the plots, and the N topdressing fertilization was assessed in the subplots. The following cover species were planted in succession to corn for eight years: Urochloa ruziziensis, Canavalia brasiliensis M. ex Benth, Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp, and Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. After corn harvesting, the soil was sampled at depths of 0.00-0.10 and 0.10-0.20 m. The cover crops showed different effects at different soil depths. The soil cultivated with U. ruziziensis showed higher contents of total-N and particulate-N than the soil cultivated with C. cajan. Particulate-N was the most sensitive to changes in the soil management among the fractions of N assessed. The soil under N topdressing showed a lower content of available-N in the 0.10-0.20 m layer, which may be caused by the season in which the sampling was conducted or the greater uptake of the available-N by corn. <![CDATA[Background and Reference Values of Metals in Soils from Paraíba State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Soil contamination by heavy metals threatens ecosystems and human health. Environmental monitoring bodies need reference values for these contaminants to assess the impacts of anthropogenic activities on soil contamination. Quality reference values (QRVs) reflect the natural concentrations of heavy metals in soils without anthropic interference and must be regionally established. The aim of this study was to determine the natural concentrations and quality reference values for the metals Ag, Ba, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn in soils of Paraíba state, Brazil. Soil samples were collected from 94 locations across the state in areas of native vegetation or with minimal anthropic interference. The quality reference values (QRVs) were (mg kg-1): Ag (&lt;0.53), Ba (117.41), Cd (0.08), Co (13.14), Cu (20.82), Cr (48.35), Mo (0.43), Ni (14.44), Sb (0.61), Pb (14.62) and Zn (33.65). Principal component analysis grouped the metals Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Sb (PC1); Ag (PC2); and Ba, Co, Fe, Mn and Zn (PC3). These values were made official by Paraíba state through Normativa Resolution 3602/2014. <![CDATA[Soil Physical Quality and Soybean Yield as Affected by Chiseling and Subsoiling of a No-Till Soil]]> ABSTRACT The concept of soil physical quality (SPQ) is currently under discussion, and an agreement about which soil physical properties should be included in the SPQ characterization has not been reached. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the ability of SPQ indicators based on static and dynamic soil properties to assess the effects of two loosening treatments (chisel plowing to 0.20 m [ChT] and subsoiling to 0.35 m [DL]) on a soil under NT and to compare the performance of static- and dynamic-based SPQ indicators to define soil proper soil conditions for soybean yield. Soil sampling and field determinations were carried out after crop harvest. Soil water retention curve was determined using a tension table, and field infiltration was measured using a tension disc infiltrometer. Most dynamic SPQ indicators (field saturated hydraulic conductivity, K0, effective macroporosity, εma, total connectivity and macroporosity indexes [CwTP and Cwmac]) were affected by the studied treatments, and were greater for DL compared to NT and ChT (K0 values were 2.17, 2.55, and 4.37 cm h-1 for NT, ChT, and DL, respectively). However, static SPQ indicators (calculated from the water retention curve) were not capable of distinguishing effects among treatments. Crop yield was significantly lower for the DL treatment (NT: 2,400 kg ha-1; ChT: 2,358 kg ha-1; and DL: 2,105 kg ha1), in agreement with significantly higher values of the dynamic SPQ indicators, K0, εma, CwTP, and Cwmac, in this treatment. The results support the idea that SPQ indicators based on static properties are not capable of distinguishing tillage effects and predicting crop yield, whereas dynamic SPQ indicators are useful for distinguishing tillage effects and can explain differences in crop yield when used together with information on weather conditions. However, future studies, monitoring years with different weather conditions, would be useful for increasing knowledge on this topic. <![CDATA[Sampling Position under No-Tillage System Affects the Results of Soil Physical Properties]]> ABSTRACT Understanding the spatial behavior of soil physical properties under no-tillage system (NT) is required for the adoption and maintenance of a sustainable soil management system. The aims of this study were to quantify soil bulk density (BD), porosity in the soil macropore domain (PORp) and in the soil matrix domain (PORm), air capacity in the soil matrix (ACm), field capacity (FC), and soil water storage capacity (FC/TP) in the row (R), interrow (IR), and intermediate position between R and IR (designated IP) in the 0.0-0.10 and 0.10-0.20 m soil layers under NT; and to verify if these soil properties have systematic variation in sampling positions related to rows and interrows of corn. Soil sampling was carried out in transect perpendicular to the corn rows in which 40 sampling points were selected at each position (R, IR, IP) and in each soil layer, obtaining undisturbed samples to determine the aforementioned soil physical properties. The influence of sampling position on systematic variation of soil physical properties was evaluated by spectral analysis. In the 0.0-0.1 m layer, tilling the crop rows at the time of planting led to differences in BD, PORp, ACm, FC and FC/TP only in the R position. In the R position, the FC/TP ratio was considered close to ideal (0.66), indicating good water and air availability at this sampling position. The R position also showed BD values lower than the critical bulk density that restricts root growth, suggesting good soil physical conditions for seed germination and plant establishment. Spectral analysis indicated that there was systematic variation in soil physical properties evaluated in the 0.0-0.1 m layer, except for PORm. These results indicated that the soil physical properties evaluated in the 0.0-0.1 m layer were associated with soil position in the rows and interrows of corn. Thus, proper assessment of soil physical properties under NT must take into consideration the sampling positions and previous location of crop rows and interrows. <![CDATA[Nitrogen and Potassium in Narrow-Row Cotton]]> ABSTRACT Information on fertilizer management for cotton in narrow-row cropping system is scarce; therefore, studies are needed to improve nutrient stewardship for such systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of nitrogen and potassium application on yield and fiber quality of cotton under a narrow-row system. A field trial was carried out for three years, where the treatments were set up in an incomplete factorial arrangement [(4 × 4) + 1] under a randomized block design, with four N rates (20, 40, 60, and 80 kg ha-1), four K2O rates (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha-1), and one control (no N or K2O), for a total of 17 treatments, with four replicates. Urea and potassium chloride were applied on the soil surface 20 days after crop emergence. Varieties used were FMT 701 (2009/2010 and 2010/2011) and FMT 709 (2011/2012). Cotton yield and fiber quality parameters were measured. In the narrow-row cropping system, cotton lint yield was positively affected by N and K application. Cotton yield in relation to K applications was not dependent on N rates. Potassium application increased the micronaire index and fiber resistance, whereas high N rates reduced fiber resistance. <![CDATA[Water Erosion on an Oxisol under Integrated Crop-Forest Systems in a Transitional Area between the Amazon and <em>Cerrado</em> Biomes]]> ABSTRACT Water erosion is one of the main factors driving soil degradation, which has large economic and environmental impacts. Agricultural production systems that are able to provide soil and water conservation are of crucial importance in achieving more sustainable use of natural resources, such as soil and water. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil and water losses in different integrated production systems under natural rainfall. Experimental plots under six different land use and cover systems were established in an experimental field of Embrapa Agrossilvipastoril in Sinop, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, in a Latossolo Vermelho-Amarelo Distrófico (Udox) with clayey texture. The treatments consisted of perennial pasture (PAS), crop-forest integration (CFI), eucalyptus plantation (EUC), soybean and corn crop succession (CRP), no ground cover (NGC), and forest (FRS). Soil losses in the treatments studied were below the soil loss limits (11.1 Mg ha-1 yr-1), with the exception of the plot under bare soil (NGC), which exhibited soil losses 30 % over the tolerance limit. Water losses on NGC, EUC, CRP, PAS, CFI and FRS were 33.8, 2.9, 2.4, 1.7, 2.4, and 0.5 % of the total rainfall during the period of study, respectively. <![CDATA[Water-Stable Aggregates and Associated Carbon in a Subtropical Rice Soil Under Variable Tillage]]> ABSTRACT Tillage systems can influence C sequestration by changing aggregate formation and C distribution within the aggregate. This study was undertaken to explore the impact of no-tillage without straw (NT-S) and with straw (NT+S), and moldboard plow without straw (MP-S) and with straw (MP+S), on soil aggregation and aggregate-associated C after six years of double rice planting in a Hydragric Anthrosol in Guangxi, southwest of China. Soil samples of 0.00-0.05, 0.05-0.20 and 0.20-0.30 m layers were wet-sieved and divided into four aggregate-size classes, &gt;2 mm, 2.00-0.25 mm, 0.25-0.053 and &lt;0.053 mm, respectively, for measuring aggregate associated C and humic and fulvic acids. Results showed that the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in bulk soil was 40.2-51.1 % higher in the 0.00-0.05 m layer and 11.3-17.0 % lower in the 0.05-0.20 m layer in NT system (NT+S and NT-S) compared to the MP system (MP+S and MP-S), respectively. However, no statistical difference was found across the whole 0.00-0.30 m layer. The NT system increased the proportion of &gt;2 mm aggregate fraction and reduced the proportion of &lt;0.053 mm aggregates in both 0.00-0.05 and 0.05-0.20 m layers. The SOC concentration, SOC stock and humic and fulvic acids within the &gt;0.25 mm macroaggregate fraction also significantly increased in the 0.00-0.5 m layer in NT system. However, those within the 2.00-0.25 mm aggregate fraction were significantly reduced in the 0.05-0.200 m layer under NT system. Straw incorporation increased not only the SOC stock in bulk soil, but also the proportion of macroaggregate, aggregate associated with SOC and humic and fulvic acids concentration within the aggregate. The effect of straw on C sequestration might be dependent on the location of straw incorporation. In conclusion, the NT system increased the total SOC accumulation and humic and fulvic acids within macroaggregates, thus contributing to C sequestration in the 0.00-0.05 m layer. <![CDATA[Do Rates and Splitting of Phosphogypsum Applications Influence the Soil and Annual Crops in a No-Tillage System?]]> ABSTRACT Applications of phosphogypsum (PG) provide nutrients to the soil and reduce Al3+ activity, favoring soil fertility and root growth, but allow Mg2+ mobilization through the soil profile, resulting in variations in the PG rate required to achieve the optimum crop yield. This study evaluated the effect of application rates and splitting of PG on soil fertility of a Typic Hapludox, as well as the influence on annual crops under no-tillage. Using a (4 × 3) + 1 factorial structure, the treatments consisted of four PG rates (3, 6, 9, and 12 Mg ha-1) and three split applications (P1 = 100 % in 2009; P2 = 50+50 % in 2009 and 2010; P3 = 33+33+33 % in 2009, 2010 and 2011), plus a control without PG. The soil was sampled six months after the last PG application, in stratified layers to a depth of 0.8 m. Corn, wheat and soybean were sown between November 2011 and December 2012, and leaf samples were collected for analysis when at least 50 % of the plants showed reproductive structures. The application of PG increased Ca2+ concentrations in all sampled soil layers and the soil pH between 0.2 and 0.8 m, and reduced the concentrations of Al3+ in all layers and of Mg2+ to a depth of 0.6 m, without any effect of splitting the applications. The soil Ca/Mg ratio increased linearly to a depth of 0.6 m with the rates and were found to be higher in the 0.0-0.1 m layer of the P2 and P3 treatments than without splitting (P1). Sulfur concentrations increased linearly by application rates to a depth of 0.8 m, decreasing in the order P3&gt;P2&gt;P1 to a depth of 0.4 m and were higher in the treatments P3 and P2 than P1 between 0.4-0.6 m, whereas no differences were observed in the 0.6-0.8 m layer. No effect was recorded for K, P and potential acidity (H+Al). The leaf Ca and S concentration increased, while Mg decreased for all crops treated with PG, and there was no effect of splitting the application. The yield response of corn to PG rates was quadratic, with the maximum technical efficiency achieved at 6.38 Mg ha-1 of PG, while wheat yield increased linearly in a growing season with a drought period. Soybean yield was not affected by the PG rate, and splitting had no effect on the yield of any of the crops. Phosphogypsum improved soil fertility in the profile, however, Mg2+ migrated downwards, regardless of application splitting. Splitting the PG application induced a higher Ca/Mg ratio in the 0.0-0.1 m layer and less S leaching, but did not affect the crop yield. The application rates had no effect on soybean yield, but were beneficial for corn and, especially, for wheat, which was affected by a drought period during growth. <![CDATA[Behavior of <em>Eucalyptus urophylla</em> and <em>Eucalyptus citriodora</em> Seedlings Grown in Soil Contaminated by Arsenate]]> ABSTRACT Persistent areas of tailings and deposits from coal and gold mining may present high levels of arsenic (As), mainly in the arsenate form, endangering the environment and human health. The establishment of vegetation cover is a key step to reclaiming these environments. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the potential of Eucalyptus urophylla and E. citriodora seedlings for use in phytoremediation programs of arsenate-contaminated areas. Soil samples were incubated at increasing rates (0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg dm-3) of arsenic (arsenate form, using Na2HAsO4) for 15 days. The seedlings were produced in a substrate (vermiculite + sawdust) and were transplanted to the pots with soil three months after seed germination. The values of plant height and diameter were taken during transplanting and 30, 60 and 90 days after transplanting. In the last evaluation, the total leaf area and biomass of shoots and roots were also determined. The values of available As in soil which caused a 50 % dry matter reduction (TS50%), the As translocation index (TI) from the roots to the shoot of the plants, and its bioconcentration factor (BF) were also calculated. Higher levels of arsenate in the soil significantly reduced the dry matter production of roots and shoots and the height of both species, most notably in E. urophylla plants. The highest levels of As were found in the root, with higher values for E. citriodora (ranging from 253.86 to 400 mg dm-3). The TI and BF were also reduced with As doses, but the values found in E. citriodora were significantly higher than in E. urophylla. E. citriodora plants presented a higher capacity to tolerate As and translocate it to the shoot than E. urophylla. Although these species cannot be considered as hyperaccumulators of As, E. citriodora presented the potential to be used in phytoremediation programs in arsenate-contaminated areas due to the long-term growth period of this species. <![CDATA[Diagnostic Methods to Assess the Nutritional Status of the Carrot Crop]]> ABSTRACT Leaf analysis may identify nutrient deficiency or excess in plant tissue. The aim of this study was to determine reference values and generate nutritional diagnosis from the results of leaf analysis of the carrot crop (Daucus carota L.) by the methods of Critical Level, Sufficiency Range, Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System, and Compositional Nutrient Diagnosis. Contents of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn were determined in 210 carrot fields in the 2012 and 2013 crop seasons in the Alto Paranaíba region, MG, Brazil. The whole plant shoot was sampled at harvest time to generate reference values for diagnosis. The high yielding subpopulation showed yield higher than 87.8 Mg ha-1. The four diagnostic methods generated similar reference values of nutrients, but different from those found in the literature. Leaf diagnosis through nutrient content in the shoot at harvest time indicated Mn as the most limiting nutrient for growing carrot, followed by Mg, K, and Ca. <![CDATA[Autumn Maize Intercropped with Tropical Forages: Crop Residues, Nutrient Cycling, Subsequent Soybean and Soil Quality]]> ABSTRACT Autumn maize intercropped with tropical forages can raise the amount of crop residues and improve nutrient cycling, favoring subsequent soybean crop. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of forms of implementation of intercropping of irrigated autumn maize with tropical forages on yield, decomposition, nutrient accumulation and release, and on the ratio of lignin/total N of forage residues, yield components, and grain yield of subsequent soybean, and on soil physical and chemical properties, under no-tillage in lowland Cerrado. The experiment was arranged in randomized blocks in a factorial (4 × 3 + 1) design with one control and four replications. The treatments consisted of four forages: Palisade grass, Congo grass, and two Guinea grass cultivars (Tanzânia and Áries); and three methods of sowing intercrops of forage-autumn maize: forage sown simultaneously with maize in the sowing furrow, mixed with fertilizer; forage sown by broadcasting on the day of maize sowing; and forage seeds mixed with fertilizer broadcast on maize in growth stage V4; plus a control (maize monoculture). The decomposition and nutrient release rate of the forage residues were evaluated by the litter bag method, 30, 60, 90, and 120 days after desiccation. Sowing the forages in the furrow and by broadcasting raise the total amount of maize residues compared to method V4. Regardless of the forage type and sowing methods, intercropping increases the amount of residues compared to maize monoculture. The forages and sowing methods had no influence on nutrient accumulation in the residues at the time of desiccation and at the lowest lignin/total N ratio in Congo grass residues, and a logarithmic decay was observed. Forage and sowing methods did not influence the macronutrient release rate from crop residues for 120 days after desiccation; the release of N, P, K and Mg is logarithmic and the release of Ca and S exponential. Forage and sowing methods do not influence yield components and grain yield of subsequent soybean. However, intercropping increased grain yield of subsequent soybean compared to soybean after maize monoculture, and preserved the soil chemical and physical properties. <![CDATA[Changes in Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks in Long-Term Experiments in Southern Brazil Simulated with Century 4.5]]> ABSTRACT The Century model has successfully simulated soil organic matter dynamics in many agroecosystems. However, initial applications in southern Brazil produced mixed results. The objective of this study was to calibrate and validate Century 4.5 to simulate soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics under diverse soil management practices in subtropical Brazil. Soil C and N data from two long-term experiments established on a degraded Acrisol in the early 1980s were used. Treatments were conventional or no-tillage; grass or grass/legume cropping systems; and corn with or without mineral N fertilizer. The calibration process iteratively modified model parameters to match simulated values of C additions and Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) and Soil Organic Nitrogen (SON) stocks to field data measured throughout the 25 years of the experiments. Improved fit between measured and observed data was obtained after key parameter changes. Soil C and N stocks were simulated accurately after these modifications were implemented. Other experimental treatments were used to validate the model. Century successfully simulated increases in C and N stocks under no-tillage cropping systems including legumes. However, the model overestimated Soil Organic Matter (SOM) decomposition in treatments with low N availability, like oat/corn without N fertilizer. Overall, Century version 4.5 showed adequate performance in simulating C and N trajectories of contrasting cropping systems commonly found in southern Brazil. The few discrepancies between measured and modeled SOC stocks do not preclude using Century in regional-scale applications to assess impacts of agricultural practices on soil C and N in southern Brazil. <![CDATA[Cover Crops Effects on Soil Chemical Properties and Onion Yield]]> ABSTRACT Cover crops contribute to nutrient cycling and may improve soil chemical properties and, consequently, increase crop yield. The aim of this study was to evaluate cover crop residue decomposition and nutrient release, and the effects of these plants on soil chemical properties and on onion (Allium cepa L.) yield in a no-tillage system. The experiment was carried out in an Inceptisol in southern Brazil, where cover crops were sown in April 2012 and 2013. In July 2013, shoots of weeds (WD), black oats (BO), rye (RY), oilseed radish (RD), oilseed radish + black oats (RD + BO), and oilseed radish + rye (RD + RY) were cut at ground level and part of these material from each treatment was placed in litter bags. The litter bags were distributed on the soil surface and were collected at 0, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 days after distribution (DAD). The residues in the litter bags were dried, weighed, and ground, and then analyzed to quantify lignin, cellulose, non-structural biomass, total organic carbon (TOC), N, P, K, Ca, and Mg. In November 2012 and 2013, onion crops were harvested to quantify yield, and bulbs were classified according to diameter, and the number of rotted and flowering bulbs was determined. Soil in the 0.00-0.10 m layer was collected for chemical analysis before transplanting and after harvesting onion in December 2012 and 2013. The rye plant residues presented the highest half-life and they released less nutrients until 90 DAD. The great permanence of rye residue was considered a protection to soil surface, the opposite was observed with spontaneous vegetation. The cultivation and addition of dry residue of cover crops increased the onion yield at 2.5 Mg ha-1. <![CDATA[Macronutrient Uptake and Removal by Upland Rice Cultivars with Different Plant Architecture]]> ABSTRACT Modern high-yielding rice cultivars possibly take up and remove greater quantities of macronutrients than traditional and intermediate cultivars. This study was carried out with the aim of evaluating the extraction and removal of macronutrients by upland rice cultivars. These information are of utmost importance for the correct fertilizer management. The treatments consisted of three upland rice cultivars (Caiapó, a traditional type; BRS Primavera, an intermediate type; and Maravilha, a modern type). Macronutrient accumulation by rice cultivars up to the end of tillering (46 DAE) accounted for only 25 % of the total N and P, and between 35-45 % of the total K, Ca, Mg, and S; after that time, accumulation was intensified. In all of the cultivars, the period of greatest nutrient uptake occurred from 45 to 60 DAE for K, Ca, Mg, and S, and after 65 DAE for N. Phosphorus was taken up at greater rates at 70 DAE by the cultivar BRS Primavera and after 90 DAE by the cultivars Caiapó and Maravilha. The cultivars of the traditional (Caiapó) and intermediate (BRS Primavera) groups took up greater amounts of Ca (143 kg ha-1), Mg (46-53 kg ha-1), and S (45-52 kg ha-1), but amounts of N (147-156 kg ha-1) and P (18-19 kg ha-1) were similar to those of the cultivar of the modern group (Maravilha). Caiapó cultivar took up more K (245 kg ha-1) than other cultivars (204-207 kg ha-1). The cultivars Caiapó and Maravilha showed similar grain yield (4,157 and 4,094 kg ha-1); however, this was lower than the grain yield of cultivar BRS Primavera (6,010 kg ha-1). Cultivars with greater yield levels did not necessarily exhibit a greater uptake and removal of nutrients per area, even if they had greater capacity for conversion of the nutrients taken up into the biomass. <![CDATA[Micronutrient and Silicon Uptake and Removal by Upland Rice Cultivars with Different Plant Architecture]]> ABSTRACT Upland rice cultivars manifest different nutritional demands. A field study was conducted to quantify the extraction, distribution, and removal of micronutrients and silicon by the upland rice cultivars. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block-split plot design. Plots consisted of three cultivars (Caiapó – traditional, BRS Primavera – intermediate, and Maravilha – modern) of upland rice. Split-plots consisted of plant samplings, which occurred at 39, 46, 55, 67, 75, 83, 92, 102, 111, 118, and 125 days after emergence (DAE). Up to the end of tillering (46 DAE), all cultivars exhibited low demand for most micronutrients and Si, and took up less than 24 % of the total B, Cu, and Si, but around 31 % of the total Zn. The period of greatest uptake of micronutrients and Si occurred from 65 to 80 DAE in the Caiapó and BRS Primavera cultivars, and after 80 DAE in the Maravilha cultivar. The Caiapó and BRS Primavera cultivars took up their necessary demand of B, Mn, and Fe in the first 98 DAE and Cu, Zn, and Si up to 105 DAE, but the Maravilha cultivar took up these nutrients for two to three weeks longer. The quantities of micronutrients and Si taken up by cultivars Caiapó, BRS Primavera, and Maravilha did not exhibit large differences, and these cultivars took up between 98-135 g B, 103-110 g Cu, 1,157-1,460 g Fe, 1,278-1,424 g Mn, 240-285 g Zn, and 111-124 kg Si per hectare. The BRS Primavera cultivar showed greater removal of nutrients, with average amounts per hectare of 19.7 g B, 25.8 g Cu, 200 g Fe, 234.2 g Mn, 102.4 g Zn, and 32.6 kg Si, while the other cultivars removed smaller amounts per hectare (14.4 g B, 19.9 g Cu, 160.7 g Fe, 136.3 g Mn, 67 g Zn, and 21.9 kg Si). The BRS Primavera showed a greater removal of nutrients because it has a higher yield and allocates a greater quantity of nutrients to the panicles. <![CDATA[Effectiveness of Five Biosolids as Nitrogen Sources to Produce Single and Cumulative Ryegrass Harvests in Two Australian Soils]]> ABSTRACT Biosolids have been produced by various stabilization processes of sewage sludge, but little attention has been given to the effects of such treatments on their effectiveness to supply nitrogen for plant growth. Here, we investigated these effects by cultivating Lolium perenne (ryegrass) in two Australian soils, a sandy Spodosol and a clayey Oxisol. Biosolids stabilized by either aerobic digestion, composting, CaO-liming, 250 oC heat-drying or solar irradiation of domestic sewage sludge were applied to soils at 10 increasing rates (0.25-8.0 dry Mg ha-1), and chemically fertilized soils were used as reference. Results showed that the stabilization processes affected biosolids-N agronomic rates and effectiveness to yield plant biomass, which was a function of organic-N contents mineralized in soils. In the short term, biosolids were from 1/5 (digested biosolids in Oxisol) to over twice (solar-irradiated biosolids in Spodosol) as effective as chemical fertilizer to produce a first single harvest. As long-term N-sources, they significantly increased the effectiveness to produce plant biomass, being from 2.0 to 4.1 times more effective than chemical fertilizer in Spodosol and 1.5-2.4 times in Oxisol. Biosolids could substitute for N fertilizer with similar or higher effectiveness to yield plant biomass, depending on the sewage sludge stabilization process, soil type and cultivation term considered. Therefore, the sound management of sewage products as N sources for crop production should consider the interaction among these factors rather than solely their N content. <![CDATA[Spatial and Temporal Variability of Soil CO<sub>2</sub> Flux in Sugarcane Green Harvest Systems]]> ABSTRACT The sugarcane green harvest system, characterized by mechanized harvesting and the absence of crop burning, affects soil quality by increasing crop residue on the soil surface after harvest; thus, it contributes to improving the physical, chemical, and microbiological properties and influences the soil carbon content and CO2 flux (FCO2). This study aimed to evaluate the spatial and temporal variability of soil FCO2 in sugarcane green harvest systems. The experiment was conducted in two areas of sugarcane in São Paulo, Brazil: the first had a 5-year history of sugarcane green harvest (SG-5) and the second had a longer history of 10 years (SG-10). The temporal FCO2 were evaluated in the dry and rainy periods, and spatial variability in the dry period, and related to soil chemical and physical properties, including organic C porosity, bulk density, soil penetration resistance, mean weight diameter of soil aggregates, clay, P, S, Ca, Mg and Fe. The temporal variability indicated no differences between the dry and rainy periods in SG-10, while in SG-5 soil moisture was increased by 33 % in the rainy period. The spatial variability indicated a different pattern from the temporal one, where FCO2 in SG-10 was correlated with soil temperature, air-filled pore space, total porosity, soil moisture, and the Ca and Mg contents; in the SG-5 area, FCO2 was correlated with soil mean weight diameter of soil aggregates and the sulfur content.