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Effects of Land Management on Different Forms of Soil Carbon in Olive Groves in Mediterranean Areas
- Fernández‐Romero, María Luisa, Lozano‐García, Beatriz, Parras‐Alcántara, Luis, Collins, Chris D., Clark, Joanna M.
- Land degradation & development 2016 v.27 no.4 pp. 1186-1195
- branches, carbon, conventional tillage, food processing wastes, groves, land management, leaves, no-tillage, oils, olives, soil, soil analysis, soil organic carbon, soil quality, weeds, Mediterranean region, Spain
- This study analyses soil organic carbon (SOC) and hot‐water extractable carbon, both measures of soil quality, under different land management—(i) conventional tillage (CT); (ii) CT plus the addition of oil mill waste alperujo (A); (iii) CT plus the addition of oil mill waste olive leaves (L); (iv) no tillage with chipped pruned branches (NT₁); and (v) no tillage with chipped pruned branches and weeds (NT₂)—in a typical Mediterranean agricultural area: the olive groves of Andalusia, southern Spain. SOC values in CT, A, NT₁ and NT₂ decreased with depth, but in NT₂, the surface horizon (0–5 cm) had higher values than the other treatments, 47% more than the average values in the other three soils. In L, SOC also decreased with depth, although there was an increase of 88·5% from the first (0–10 cm) to the second horizon (10–16 cm). Total SOC stock values were very similar under A (101·9 Mg ha⁻¹), CT (101·7 Mg ha⁻¹), NT₁ (105·8 Mg ha⁻¹) and NT₂ (111·3 Mg ha⁻¹, if we consider the same depth of the others). However, SOC under L was significantly higher (p < 0·05) at 250·2 Mg ha⁻¹. Hot‐water extractable carbon decreased with depth in A, CT and NT₁. NT₂ and L followed the same pattern as the other management types but with a higher value in the surface horizon (2·3 and 4·9 mg g⁻¹, respectively). Overall, our results indicate that application of oil mill waste olive leaves under CT (L) is a good management practice to improve SOC and reduce waste. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.