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Effects of agricultural management on Vertosols in Tasmania


Cotching, WE and Cooper, J and Sparrow, LA and McCorkell, BE and Rowley, W and Hawkins, K, Effects of agricultural management on Vertosols in Tasmania, Australian Journal of Soil Research, 40 pp. 1267-1286. ISSN 0004-9573 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/SR02026


Attributes of 21 Vertosols in 2 different regions of Tasmania were assessed using field and laboratory techniques to determine differences associated with 3 local forms of agricultural management (long-term pasture, rain-fed cropping, and irrigated cropping). Vertosols in the northern Midlands had better physical properties (lesser bulk density and penetration resistance, and greater porosities and water holding capacities), poorer nutrient status (lower pH, exchangeable bases, and extractable P), and better biological properties (greater organic carbon (OC), carbon fractions F1 and F3, and more worms) than south-eastern Vertosols. When adjusted for clay content, cropped sites had less soil OC than pasture sites at 0-75 mm depth. Readily oxidisable (fraction F1) carbon in the surface 75 mm was 3.6 mg/g and 6.9 mg/g under long-term pasture compared with 2.5 mg/g and 3.9 mg/g in irrigated cropped paddocks on south-eastern and Midlands sites, respectively. Soil organic carbon values were positively correlated with physical and chemical soil properties. Long-term pasture paddocks showed stronger structural development and had smaller aggregates than cropped paddocks, which had more larger clods. Vane shear strength and penetration resistance were less in rainfed cropped paddocks compared with long-term pasture but this effect was not apparent on irrigated cropped paddocks. Farmers considered that a majority of their soil attributes were healthy under all management histories but strategies for maintaining organic matter levels and minimising clod formation by tillage are essential for long-term sustainable use of these Vertosols.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Soil sciences
Research Field:Soil sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Other plant production and plant primary products
Objective Field:Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cotching, WE (Dr Bill Cotching)
UTAS Author:Sparrow, LA (Dr Leigh Sparrow)
UTAS Author:Rowley, W (Mr William Rowley)
ID Code:24325
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2007-01-16

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