Main content area

Influence of cattle trampling on preferential flow paths in alkaline soils

Dreccer, M.F., Lavado, R.S.
Soil use and management 1993 v.9 no.4 pp. 143-148
pampas soils, Mollisols, Alfisols, alkaline soils, cattle, water flow, soil water, macropore flow, soil pore system, soil texture, soil organic matter, soil pH, textural soil types, grazing, flooded conditions, Natraquolls, Natraqualfs, porosity, Argentina
Preferential flow paths (PFP) are important in water and solute movement through soils, especially in regions where vertical water movements predominate, such as the flooding Pampa (Argentina). The impact of grazing on PFP and its interactions with other properties were studied in three soils with natric horizons in the flooding Pampa using an iodide colouring technique. In the soil with a mollic horizon (Typic Natraquoll), % PFP was decreased by trampling but was later restored by shrink-swell. In the Typic Natraqualf, the most alkaline of the studied soils, % PFP was very small under both grazed and ungrazed conditions. In a coarser textured soil (Mollic Natraqualf) trampling did not affect % PFP. The % PFP of the Ah horizons increased with increasing organic carbon and sand contents and decreased as clay content, pH and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) increased. The Bt horizons had small % PFPs and were not affected by cattle trampling.