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On-line version ISSN 1678-4596
FLORES, Carlos Alberto et al. Soil structural quality restoration by no-tillage system of a Hapludalf. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2008, vol.38, n.8, pp. 2164-2172. ISSN 1678-4596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782008000800012.
Soils with high sand content in the A horizon are prone to degradation processes, depending on management system used. This study had as objective to evaluate the degradation of a Hapludalf formed from granite, located in the Passo do Pilão watershed in Pelotas county, cultivated under conventional system, and its recovery by no-tillage system, compared to two native systems, namely grass field and forest. The experiment was setup in an agricultural area, in April of 1995, with the cultivation of Avena strigosa plus Vicia vilosa, both for conventional system and no-tillage. An area under native grasses and another with native forest were sampled for comparison. Soils samples were colleted from the layers of 0-0.05m, 0.10-0.15m and 0.20-0.25m, to determine the soil texture, porosity, densities, water retention, aggregate stability and distribution, and organic carbon content. The cultivation systems increase the soil bulk density and reduce total porosity, microporosity, water retention and availability, compared with native systems such as grass field and forest. The conventional system reduces organic carbon content and aggregate stability, whereas no-tillage, after five years, increases, somewhat, the organic carbon content in the surface layer, but increases aggregate stability to values near of those for native systems. The aggregate stability had direct relationship with organic carbon content up to an upper limit of 25g kg-1. The bulk density, macroporosity, S parameter, organic carbon content and aggregate stability are good indicators of the changes observed in the soil management systems. For the Hapludalf formed from granite, there was recovery of the properties related to soil structure stability, but in those related to soil bulk density and porosity no recovery was observed.
Keywords : management systems; aggregate stability; soil quality.