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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


FIDALSKI, Jonez et al. Availability of soil water under tillage systems, mulch management and citrus rootstocks. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.3, pp.917-924. ISSN 1806-9657.

The increased availability of soil water is important for the management of non-irrigated orange orchards. The objective of this study was to evaluate the availability of soil water in a Haplorthox (Rhodic Ferralsol) under different tillage systems used for orchard plantation, mulch management and rootstocks in a "Pêra" orange orchard in northwest Paraná, Brazil. An experiment in a split-split-plot design was established in 2002, in an area cultivated with Brachiaria brizantha grass in which three tillage systems (no tillage, conventional tillage and strip-tillage) were used for orchard plantation. This grass was mowed twice a year between the rows, representing two mulch managements in the split plots (no mulching and mulching in the plant rows). The split-split-plots were represented by two rootstocks ("Rangpur" lime and "Cleopatra" mandarin). The soil water content in the plant rows was evaluated in the 0-20 cm layer in 2007 and at 0-20 and 20-40 cm in 2008-2009. The effect of soil tillage systems prior to implantation of orange orchards on soil water availability was less pronounced than mulching and the rootstocks. The soil water availability was lower when "Pêra" orange trees were grafted on "Cleopatra" mandarin than on "Rangpur" lime rootstocks. Mulching had a positive influence on soil water availability in the sandy surface layer (0-20 cm) and sandy clay loam subsurface (20-40 cm) of the soil in the spring. The production of B. brizantha between the rows and residue disposal in the plant rows as mulch increased water availability to the "Pêra" orange trees.

Keywords : Brachiaria brizantha; no tillage; soil management; soil texture; time domain reflectometry.

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