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How relationships between soil organic matter parameters and soil structure characteristics are affected by the long-term fertilization of a sandy soil
- Šimanský, Vladimír, Juriga, Martin, Jonczak, Jerzy, Uzarowicz, Łukasz, Stępień, Wojciech
- Geoderma 2019 v.342 pp. 75-84
- NPK fertilizers, aggregate stability, animal manures, cobalt, fertilizer application, field experimentation, humic substances, humus, labile carbon, mineral fertilizers, plant growth, sandy soils, sieving, soil sampling, soil structure, spring, Poland
- Refining our understanding of how soil structure develops is important because soil structure has a major influence on plant growth. Recent studies show positive correlations between soil organic matter and soil structure. However, the question remains: how are the relationships between soil organic matter (SOM) parameters and soil structure characteristics affected by the long-term fertilization of a sandy soil? In contrast to most other studies on SOM vs. soil structure, the present study is composed of long-term field experiments (a total of 3 experiments) with durations of 25, 41 and 94 years. In this paper, the impact of the long-term application of mineral fertilizers and manure on the SOM and soil structure of a sandy soil is quantified, and the relationships between the SOM and soil structure of a sandy soil with a dependence on the length of fertilizer application are determined. Soil samples were collected from all three long-term field experiments in central Poland, which were located at Skierniewice experimental station including a 94-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization, a 41-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization and a 25-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization + farmyard manure (FYM) in a 4-year cycle. In the spring of 2017, soil samples were collected (Co – no fertilizers, NPK – NPK fertilizers, CaNPK – CaNPK fertilizers). In the 94-year-old experiment, the content of soil organic carbon (SOC) in Co, NPK and CaNPK was 4.07, 5.89 and 5.99 g kg−1, respectively. An increase in the SOC content under fertilization was also found in the other two experiments. In the 25-year-old experiment, the SOC contents in FYM, FYM + NPK and FYM + CaNPK were 6.07, 8.36 and 7.63 g kg−1, respectively, and in the 41-year-old experiment, the SOC contents in Co, NPK and CaNPK were 6.38, 10.1 and 7.80 g kg−1, respectively. The content of labile carbon (CL) increased significantly in the fertilized treatments only in the 94-year-old experiment. The contents of humic substances significantly increased in the soil of fertilized treatments in the 25- and 41-year-old experiments. In all fertilized treatments, the humus quality significantly decreased. After 94 years of mineral fertilization, the content of water-stable macroaggregates (WSAma) in size fractions > 5 and 5–2 mm was significantly higher in the NPK than in the Co and CaNPK treatments. After 94 years of mineral fertilization, the mean weight diameter of aggregates for dry sieving (MWDd) differed between Co (0.41) and both treatments of mineral fertilization (NPK: 0.88; CaNPK: 1.70). The application of FYM with CaNPK resulted in a statistically significant decrease in aggregate stability (Sw) in the 25-year-old experiment. For Co and NPK treatments in the 41-year-old experiment, the contents of WSAma > 5 mm were 41% and 51% lower, respectively, whereas the content of WSAma 5–3 mm was lower by 40% and 50%, respectively, which was higher than that for the CaNPK treatment. The aggregate stability significantly decreased due to NPK application in the soil of the 41-year-old experiment. The number of correlations between SOM parameters and the soil structure decreased in the following order: 94-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization > 41-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization > 25-year-old experiment with mineral fertilization + FYM.