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Zero tillage has important consequences for soil pore architecture and hydraulic transport: A review

Wardak, D Luke R.; Padia, Faheem N.; de Heer, Martine I.; Sturrock, Craig J.; Mooney, Sacha J.

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Authors

D Luke R. Wardak

Faheem N. Padia

Martine I. de Heer

SACHA MOONEY sacha.mooney@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Soil Physics



Abstract

Following the adoption of zero-tillage (ZT) from conventional tillage (CT), the soil pore network undergoes immediate and significant changes. As soil remains undisturbed for an extended period, a soil structure emerges that is primarily generated and stabilised by both biotic and abiotic processes. There is limited understanding concerning how the adoption of ZT influences the soil porous architecture and associated soil hydraulic properties, and specifically over what timeframe these changes occur. Since a previous synthesis of such information over 20-years ago, there has been a substantial number of new investigations aimed at addressing this knowledge gap. Here we review 34 papers that illustrate ZT can influence porosity depending on soil texture, pore size class, depth and time, and also influence important transport mechanisms likely to impact the fate of agrochemicals in soils. We found decreased macroporosity in surface layers of soil under ZT when compared with CT. In addition, soil pore connectivity tended to increase in soil under ZT though the associated effects on hydraulic transport were less clear. Our investigation reveals the value of a prospective examination of an evolving ZT pore network both visually and functionally across temporal and spatial scales. We also highlight the necessity for standardised methodology to aid in future data compatibility and quantitative analysis.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 30, 2022
Online Publication Date May 11, 2022
Publication Date Sep 15, 2022
Deposit Date May 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2023
Journal Geoderma
Print ISSN 0016-7061
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 422
Article Number 115927
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2022.115927
Keywords X-ray Computed Tomography; Porosity; Soil structure; Zero tillage
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/7955416
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706122002348
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Zero tillage has important consequences for soil pore architecture and hydraulic transport: A review; Journal Title: Geoderma; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2022.115927

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