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Soil structural behaviour in flooded and agricultural soils of the Argentine pampas

Taboada, Miguel Angel (2006) Soil structural behaviour in flooded and agricultural soils of the Argentine pampas. (Comportement de la structure des sols de la pampa inondable et de la pampa agricole de l'Argentine.)

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Abstract

Les sols de la Pampa argentine, sur loess, ont évolué différemment suivant la topographie et les pratiques agricoles, d'où un comportement de la structure du sol différent. Dans la Pampa inondable, les solonetz, inondés chaque hiver-printemps et desséchés chaque été, sont pâturés par le bétail tout au long de l'année. Les effets du piétinement sont peu connus dans ces conditions environnementales. Dans la Pampa ondulée voisine, sous labourage conventionnel à long terme (CT), les sols limoneux sont affectés par des phénomènes d'érosion liés à des dégradations physiques du sol et au ruissellement d'eau de surface. Après le zéro labourage (ZT), ces sols développent souvent un tassement superficiel. Peu d'informations concernent le rétablissement de la structure par les mécanismes abiotiques (cycle W/D) et biotiques (végétation). L'objectif de cette thèse est de faire une analyse comparative des facteurs naturels et anthropiques affectant le comportement structural du sol pris par paire. ABSTRACT : Soils of the Argentine Pampas have been developed over same parent material (loess), but evolved under different topography and land use. This led to different soil structural behaviour. In the flooding Pampa of Argentina soils (Solonetzes) are flooded each winter-spring and dried each summer, and are grazed by livestock all year round. Little is known about cattle trampling effects under these environmental conditions. In the nearby rolling Pampa, there are silty loams affected by physical deterioration and water erosion losses after long term conventional tillage (CT). After continuous zero tillage (ZT) these soils often develop shallow compaction. Little is known about abiotic and biotic mechanisms of structural recovery. The general objective of this thesis was to analyze comparatively natural and made-man factors affecting soil structural behaviour in soils with similar parent material (loess) and vegetation (grassland), but later affected by different relief and soil use factors. In the flooding Pampa results showed the occurrence of significant soil volume changes by swelling and shrinking. Soils swell during flooding because of a process of air entrapment. Livestock trampling causes the mechanical destruction of surface macropores in summer when soil dries. The regeneration of damaged pores takes place during flooding, when soils swell at maximum. Droughts -and not floods- cause negative environmental effects in this area. In the rolling Pampa similar soil macropore volumes were determined in pasture, CT and ZT situations, showing none effect from soil management. Topsoil hardening was often found after short term ZT. Results from a greenhouse experiment showed that aggregate stabilization requires a previous fragmentation by short wetting-drying cycles. Clod shrinkage curves and soil cracking studies showed that silty loams do not have the expected poor response to W/D cycles. However, their air filled porosity increases little during drying. Results showed topsoil aggregation to be mainly abiotic in the flooding Pampa, and abiotic and biotic in the rolling Pampa, showing different structural behaviour in soils evolved from same parent material but different relief and land use.

Department:Laboratoire Agronomie - Environnement - Ecotoxicologie - A2E (Toulouse, France)
Directeur de thèse:Kaemmerer, Michel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Structure du sol – Macroporosité du sol – Stabilité de la structure – Variations de masse volumique – Mécanismes d'aggrégation – Retrait – Gonflement – Piétage des sols – Non-travail. KEYWORDS : Soil structure - Soil macroporosity - Structural stability - Soil volume changes - Aggregation mechanisms - Wetting and drying cycles - Livestock trampling - Zero tillage - Flooded soils - Silty loams - Argentine Pampas
Subjects:Agronomy > Soil sciences
Deposited On:30 March 2007

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