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Persistent improvements in the structure and hydraulic conductivity of a Ferrosol due to liming

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Kirkham, J, Rowe, B and Doyle, RB 2007 , 'Persistent improvements in the structure and hydraulic conductivity of a Ferrosol due to liming' , Australian Journal of Soil Science, vol. 45, No. 3 , pp. 218-223 , doi: 10.1071/SR06169.

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Abstract

Changes in the soil structure and hydraulic conductivity of an Acidic Red Ferrosol were measured in a long-term (1968–2003) fertiliser experiment on pasture in north-western Tasmania, Australia. Studies were initiated following observations of both softer soil surface and cracking on plots that had received 15 t/ha of ground agricultural limestone. Liming decreased penetration resistance and increased hydraulic conductivity. These structural improvements were associated with increased mean dry aggregate size, a small increase in wet aggregate stability, higher exchangeable calcium levels, and increased plant growth, but a 9% decrease in total soil organic carbon in the surface 50 mm. This decrease in organic carbon was not associated with deterioration in soil structure, as may have been anticipated. This was
probably because total organic C was still 82 g/kg on unlimed plots. Decreases in soil penetration resistance due to liming increased the likelihood of pugging from livestock but may improve ease of tillage. This research demonstrates that liming can improve the structure of a well-aggregated Ferrosol as well as its previously
reported effects of increasing soil pH and yields of pasture and barley despite decreasing organic C.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kirkham, J and Rowe, B and Doyle, RB
Keywords: lime, calcium, soil structure, aggregation, porosity, organic C.
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Soil Science
ISSN: 0004-9573
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/SR06169
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