Soil biological, chemical, and physical dynamics during transition to non-thermal residue grass-seed management systems Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/8s45qf76m

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  • Legislation to reduce the annual limit of field burning in Oregon has led to increased study of alternative non-thermal grass-seed management methods. Of these methods, non-thermal residue management, in combination with crop rotations and different tillage practices, offer potential to equal or exceed crop production of conventional thermal production systems. To ease the transition to non-thermal practices, it is important to understand how soil dynamics are affected by these systems. This study focused on key biological (microbial biomass carbon, soil respiration, (3-glucosidase enzyme assays), soil carbon pools [particulate organic matter (POM), dissolved organic carbon (DOC)], and physical properties (water stable aggregate). This study examined the three primary management treatments at three different sites in the Willamette Valley. The three soil types were Nekia, Woodburn, and Amity, common soils used in Oregon grass-seed production. Samples were taken throughout the growing season of 1997, in April, May, June, and July. This study found that high residue addition was correlated to higher microbial biomass carbon, [3-glucosidase enzyme activity, POM, and DOC, while no conclusion could be drawn concerning crop rotation methods. Furthermore, it was discovered that tillage treatments were dependent on soil characteristics and perhaps on the duration of cultivation. For Nekia and Woodburn soils, conventional tillage treatments resulted in higher microbial biomass carbon, [3-glucosidase enzyme activity, POM, and DOC; while for the Amity soil, no-till was correlated to microbial biomass carbon and DOC. Though greater aggregate stability is thought to play an important role in these no-till effects, it actually was greater in conventional tillage treatments, illustrating the variability of soil systems and the importance of thorough studies.
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