Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20–month field–incubated organic-amended soils

E. Arthur, Per Schjønning, Per Møldrup, Fatemeh Razzaghi, Markus Tuller, Lis Wollesen de Jonge

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Soil structure formation is essential to all soil ecosystem functions and services. This study aims to quantify changes in soil structure and microbial activity during and after field incubation and examine the effect of carbon, organic amendment and clay on aggregate characteristics. Five soils dominated by illites, one kaolinitic soil and one smectitic soil were sieved to 2 mm, and each soil was divided into two parts and one part amended with ground rape shoots (7.5 t ha−1) as an organic amendment. Samples were incubated in the field for 20 months with periodic sampling to measure water-dispersible clay (WDC) and fluorescein diacetate activity (FDA). After incubation, WDC and FDA were measured on air-dried 1–2-mm aggregates. Tensile strength was measured on four aggregate classes (1–2, 1–4, 4–8 and 8–16 mm) and results used to assess soil friability and workability. Intact cores were also sampled to determine compressive strength. During incubation, the amount of WDC depended on soil carbon content while the trends correlated with moisture content. Organic amendment only yielded modest decreases (mean of 14% across all sampling times and soils) in WDC, but it was sufficient to stimulate the microbial community (65–100% increase in FDA). Incubation led to significant macroaggregate formation (>2 mm) for all soils. Friability and strength of newly-formed aggregates were negatively correlated with clay content and carbon content, respectively. Soil workability was best for the kaolinite-rich soil and poorest for the smectite-rich soil; for illitic soils, workability increased with increasing organic carbon content. Organic amendment decreased the compression susceptibility of intact, incubated samples at smaller stress values (<200 kPa).
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Volume65
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)218–230
Number of pages13
ISSN1351-0754
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

soil structure
organic soils
organic soil
microbial activity
clay
soil
fluorescein
carbon
incubation
strength (mechanics)
illitic soils
smectitic soils
kaolinitic soils
sampling
water
smectite
air drying
kaolinite
organic carbon
tensile strength

Keywords

  • Soil structures
  • Microbial process
  • Organic-amended soils
  • Clay mineralogy

Cite this

Arthur, E. ; Schjønning, Per ; Møldrup, Per ; Razzaghi, Fatemeh ; Tuller, Markus ; de Jonge, Lis Wollesen. / Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20–month field–incubated organic-amended soils. In: European Journal of Soil Science. 2014 ; Vol. 65, No. 2. pp. 218–230.
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title = "Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20–month field–incubated organic-amended soils",
abstract = "Soil structure formation is essential to all soil ecosystem functions and services. This study aims to quantify changes in soil structure and microbial activity during and after field incubation and examine the effect of carbon, organic amendment and clay on aggregate characteristics. Five soils dominated by illites, one kaolinitic soil and one smectitic soil were sieved to 2 mm, and each soil was divided into two parts and one part amended with ground rape shoots (7.5 t ha−1) as an organic amendment. Samples were incubated in the field for 20 months with periodic sampling to measure water-dispersible clay (WDC) and fluorescein diacetate activity (FDA). After incubation, WDC and FDA were measured on air-dried 1–2-mm aggregates. Tensile strength was measured on four aggregate classes (1–2, 1–4, 4–8 and 8–16 mm) and results used to assess soil friability and workability. Intact cores were also sampled to determine compressive strength. During incubation, the amount of WDC depended on soil carbon content while the trends correlated with moisture content. Organic amendment only yielded modest decreases (mean of 14{\%} across all sampling times and soils) in WDC, but it was sufficient to stimulate the microbial community (65–100{\%} increase in FDA). Incubation led to significant macroaggregate formation (>2 mm) for all soils. Friability and strength of newly-formed aggregates were negatively correlated with clay content and carbon content, respectively. Soil workability was best for the kaolinite-rich soil and poorest for the smectite-rich soil; for illitic soils, workability increased with increasing organic carbon content. Organic amendment decreased the compression susceptibility of intact, incubated samples at smaller stress values (<200 kPa).",
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year = "2014",
doi = "10.1111/ejss.12121",
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Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20–month field–incubated organic-amended soils. / Arthur, E.; Schjønning, Per; Møldrup, Per; Razzaghi, Fatemeh; Tuller, Markus; de Jonge, Lis Wollesen.

In: European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 65, No. 2, 2014, p. 218–230.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20–month field–incubated organic-amended soils

AU - Arthur, E.

AU - Schjønning, Per

AU - Møldrup, Per

AU - Razzaghi, Fatemeh

AU - Tuller, Markus

AU - de Jonge, Lis Wollesen

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Soil structure formation is essential to all soil ecosystem functions and services. This study aims to quantify changes in soil structure and microbial activity during and after field incubation and examine the effect of carbon, organic amendment and clay on aggregate characteristics. Five soils dominated by illites, one kaolinitic soil and one smectitic soil were sieved to 2 mm, and each soil was divided into two parts and one part amended with ground rape shoots (7.5 t ha−1) as an organic amendment. Samples were incubated in the field for 20 months with periodic sampling to measure water-dispersible clay (WDC) and fluorescein diacetate activity (FDA). After incubation, WDC and FDA were measured on air-dried 1–2-mm aggregates. Tensile strength was measured on four aggregate classes (1–2, 1–4, 4–8 and 8–16 mm) and results used to assess soil friability and workability. Intact cores were also sampled to determine compressive strength. During incubation, the amount of WDC depended on soil carbon content while the trends correlated with moisture content. Organic amendment only yielded modest decreases (mean of 14% across all sampling times and soils) in WDC, but it was sufficient to stimulate the microbial community (65–100% increase in FDA). Incubation led to significant macroaggregate formation (>2 mm) for all soils. Friability and strength of newly-formed aggregates were negatively correlated with clay content and carbon content, respectively. Soil workability was best for the kaolinite-rich soil and poorest for the smectite-rich soil; for illitic soils, workability increased with increasing organic carbon content. Organic amendment decreased the compression susceptibility of intact, incubated samples at smaller stress values (<200 kPa).

AB - Soil structure formation is essential to all soil ecosystem functions and services. This study aims to quantify changes in soil structure and microbial activity during and after field incubation and examine the effect of carbon, organic amendment and clay on aggregate characteristics. Five soils dominated by illites, one kaolinitic soil and one smectitic soil were sieved to 2 mm, and each soil was divided into two parts and one part amended with ground rape shoots (7.5 t ha−1) as an organic amendment. Samples were incubated in the field for 20 months with periodic sampling to measure water-dispersible clay (WDC) and fluorescein diacetate activity (FDA). After incubation, WDC and FDA were measured on air-dried 1–2-mm aggregates. Tensile strength was measured on four aggregate classes (1–2, 1–4, 4–8 and 8–16 mm) and results used to assess soil friability and workability. Intact cores were also sampled to determine compressive strength. During incubation, the amount of WDC depended on soil carbon content while the trends correlated with moisture content. Organic amendment only yielded modest decreases (mean of 14% across all sampling times and soils) in WDC, but it was sufficient to stimulate the microbial community (65–100% increase in FDA). Incubation led to significant macroaggregate formation (>2 mm) for all soils. Friability and strength of newly-formed aggregates were negatively correlated with clay content and carbon content, respectively. Soil workability was best for the kaolinite-rich soil and poorest for the smectite-rich soil; for illitic soils, workability increased with increasing organic carbon content. Organic amendment decreased the compression susceptibility of intact, incubated samples at smaller stress values (<200 kPa).

KW - Soil structures

KW - Microbial process

KW - Organic-amended soils

KW - Clay mineralogy

KW - Soil structures

KW - Microbial process

KW - Organic-amended soils

KW - Clay mineralogy

U2 - 10.1111/ejss.12121

DO - 10.1111/ejss.12121

M3 - Journal article

VL - 65

SP - 218

EP - 230

JO - European Journal of Soil Science

JF - European Journal of Soil Science

SN - 1351-0754

IS - 2

ER -