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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versión On-line ISSN 1806-9657


KAISER, Douglas Rodrigo et al. Least limiting water range in an oxisol profile penetrated by common bean roots under different compaction levels. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.4, pp.845-855. ISSN 1806-9657.

The least limiting water range (LLWR) integrates the plant growth factors and the critical bulk density is an indicator of the soil structural quality. The objective of this study was to determine the LLWR of a clayey Oxisol. Soil samples with preserved structure were collected in an experiment with three levels of soil compaction: NT - continuous no-tillage for six years, NTc - no-tillage with additional compaction and Chi - chisel plowing on previous no-till soil. To determine soil penetration resistance 107 samples were collected in the 0-0.20 m layer, at different soil moisture levels, whereas for the soil water retention curve samples were collected in the layers 0-0.05, 0.05-0.10, 0.10-0.15, 0.20-0.25 and 0.30-0.35 m. The adjusted soil penetration resistance model, based on bulk density and soil moisture, explained 33 % of the variation observed in soil penetration resistance and all parameters were significant in this adjustment. The critical bulk density of the LLWR depends on the value of limiting soil penetration resistance, which was 1.36, 1.40, 1.45, and 1.49 Mg m-3 for the RP values of 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 MPa, respectively. Soil aeration became limiting when densities exceeded 1.32 Mg m-3. Soil compaction reduced LLWR in the layers around 0.10 m. At a critical resistance of 2 MPa, LLWR was zero in the layer 0.05-0.12 m for NT, in 0.05-0.17 m for Chi, and between 0.03 and 0.22 m for NTc. The use of 3 MPa as critical resistance resulted in positive LLWR value in deeper soil layers, and was zero only in the 0.05-0.15 m layer of the NTc. Common bean roots did not grow in the soil layer where the LLWR was zero with a critical resistance of 3 MPa.

Palabras clave : no-tillage; critical density; penetration resistance; aeration.

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