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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


SOUZA, Edicarlos Damacena de et al. Organic carbon and microbial phosphorus in a no-till integrated crop-livestock system under different grazing intensities. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.3, pp.1273-1282. ISSN 1806-9657.

Integrated crop-livestock systems have attracted more interest in the last few years due to their capacity of improving stability and sustainability of agricultural systems as compared to more specialized production systems. Soil organic carbon content has been used as an indicator of soil sustainability and stability. In this sense, this study aimed to measure the stocks of total organic carbon fractions and phosphorus in the microbial biomass in a Rhodic Hapludox (Oxisol) under integrated crop-livestock system with different grazing intensities in the winter. Soil samples were collected in November 2006 in São Miguel das Missões, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The experimental area had been cultivated under no-tillage for 10 years before implementing the integrated system in 2001. The experimental design was completely randomized blocks with three replicates. The treatments consisted of grazing intensities represented by sward heights of 10, 20 and 40 cm during the pasture cycle in winter. This pasture was composed of a black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) mix, and a control area with no grazing. Total and particulate organic matter (POM) carbon stocks, phosphorus and carbon content in the microbial biomass, as well as microbial biomass activity were evaluated. The total organic stocks carbon were not affected by grazing intensities; however, the stocks of POM carbon were smaller in soils under the highest grazing intensity. The microbial biomass was stimulated at the highest grazing intensity, in which greater root growth was observed. The phosphorus content in the microbial biomass increased linearly with the decrease of the grazing intensity, while an inverse pattern was observed for the microbial biomass. Particulate organic matter carbon was more sensitive to changes in soil organic carbon under the experimental pasture management.

Keywords : microbial biomass; metabolic quotient; carbon fractioning.

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