Effects of strip rotary tillage with subsoiling on soil enzyme activity, soil fertility, and wheat yield

https://doi.org/10.17221/240/2019-PSECitation:He J., Yu Z., Shi Y. (2019): Effects of strip rotary tillage with subsoiling on soil enzyme activity, soil fertility, and wheat yield. Plant Soil Environ., 65: 449-455.
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Inappropriate tillage and soil compaction threaten farmland sustainability in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plains of China. We aimed to explore the impact of plowing tillage, rotary tillage, strip rotary tillage, and strip rotary tillage coupled to a two-year subsoiling interval (STS) on soil quality at various soil depths and on wheat yield. Soil bulk density was substantially lower in the 30–45 cm depth under STS than under any other treatment, resulting in lower soil penetration resistance. Highest soil particle macro-aggregation was observed under STS in the 15–45-cm soil layer. Consistently with greater nutrient availability, key enzymes associated with soil fertility (urease, invertase, phosphatase, and catalase) showed higher activity in STS plots. Concomitantly, highest yields were recorded for STS at 10 451 and 10 074 kg/ha in 2014–2015 and 2015–2016, respectively. STS significantly improved soil physical structure and enhanced soil enzyme activity, thereby stimulating soil nutrient release and increasing winter wheat yield.


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