Soil biological activity of mulching and cut/harvested land set aside

https://doi.org/10.17221/396-PSECitation:Růžková M., Růžek L., Voříšek K. (2008): Soil biological activity of mulching and cut/harvested land set aside. Plant Soil Environ., 54: 204-211.
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Formerly arable luvic chernozem set aside for ten years (1997–2006) with different herbaceous cover (grass, legumes and their mixtures) and agronomical practices (mulching and cut/harvesting) was studied. The experimental plot was maintained as black, spontaneous and controlled fallows from 1997 until July 2003 (BD period). In July 2003 the plots were desiccated by glyphosate herbicide and were run as a black fallow until August 2004 (AD). The last period (AG) was characterized by monoculture of Italian ryegrass cut/harvested twice a year until October 2006. The experimental soils were characterized with 18 parameters. Mulched plots in all periods (BD, AD and AG) were evaluated as highly microbial active plots. The black fallow (BD) permanently maintained by glyphosate herbicide was the lowest in biological parameters. The desiccation caused a highly significant increase (P < 0.01) of nitrates in topsoil, but in following period (AG) their significant decrease was detected. Desiccation enhanced carbon immobilization into microbial cells especially on mulched and cut/harvested sites (BD, AD). Due to mulching accumulation of soil organic matter highly significantly increased (P < 0.01). This induced a highly significant (P < 0.01) increase in the basal respiration (AD, AG) as the soil organic matter accumulated in the period BD was intensively mineralized.
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