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Scientia Agricola

versión On-line ISSN 1678-992X


TIMM, Luís Carlos et al. Field spatial and temporal patterns of soil water content and bulk density changes. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2006, vol.63, n.1, pp. 55-64. ISSN 1678-992X.

Soil water content (q) and bulk density (rs) greatly influence important soil and plant processes, such as water movement, soil compaction, soil aeration, and plant root system development. Spatial and temporal variability of q and rs during different periods of the year and different phases of crops are of fundamental interest. This work involves the characterization of spatial and temporal patterns of q and rs during different climatic periods of year, aiming to verify whether there are significant temporal changes in rs at the soil surface layer when submitted to wetting and drying cycles. The field experiment was carried out in a coffee plantation, Rhodic Kandiudalf soil, clayey texture. Using a neutron/gamma surface probe, q and rs were measured meter by meter along a 200 m spatial transect, along an interrow contour line. During the wet period there was no difference of spatial patterns of q while during the dry period differences were observed, and can be associated to precipitation events. It was also observed that there are rs temporal changes at the soil surface along the studied period as a consequence of the in situ wetting and drying cycles.

Palabras clave : neutron/gamma surface probe; wetting/drying cycles; spatial and temporal variability.

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