Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
versão impressa ISSN 0100-0683
CUNHA, Eurâimi de Queiroz et al. Soil tillage systems and cover crops in organic production of common bean and corn: II - soil biological properties. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.2, pp. 603-611. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832011000200029.
The influence of cover crops and their management on the maintenance of soil biological quality in areas under organic production should be better understood. This study aimed to determine the influence of the cover crops sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp), velvet bean (Mucuna aterrima), sorghum (Sorgum technicum), and fallow on biological properties of soil under organic common bean and corn, in no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) systems. The study was conducted in Santo Antônio de Goiás-GO, on an Oxisol, in a randomized block design, with four replications. Four experiments were installed in November 2003, two of them under NT and the other two in CT. In each soil management system, one experiment was carried out with common bean and another with corn. Samples were taken from the layers 0.00-0.10 and 0.10-0.20 m in November 2007, in the plots and in a neighboring native forest, to determine the soil organic carbon content (SOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil basal respiration (SBR), metabolic quotient (qCO2), and microbial quotient (qMIC). The main changes in biological properties of soil under agricultural use occurred in the surface layer, where, in general, the MBC values were lower than in forest soil, a difference that was more pronounced in CT areas. The qCO2 was sensitive to changes resulting from soil tillage, with lowest values in the surface layer of NT soil.
Palavras-chave : soil organic carbon; microbial biomass carbon; soil basal respiration; metabolic quotient; microbial quotient.