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Individual study: Effects of different olive-grove management systems on the organic carbon and nitrogen content of the soil in Jaén (Spain)

Published source details

Castro J., Fernández-Ondoño E., Rodríguez C., Lallena A.M., Sierra M. & Aguilar J. (2008) Effects of different olive-grove management systems on the organic carbon and nitrogen content of the soil in Jaén (Spain). Soil and Tillage Research, 98, 56-67


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Soil: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1976–2004 a rainfed olive orchard in southeast Spain (same study as (11)) found more organic matter and nitrogen in soils with cover crops, compared to soils without cover crops. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with cover crops, in two of four comparisons (23 vs 39–42 Mg C/ha, 0–30 cm depth). Nutrients: More nitrogen was found in soils with cover crops, in two of four comparisons (2.9 vs 4.4–6.5 Mg total N/ha, 0–30 cm depth). Implementation options: More organic carbon and nitrogen were found in plots with cover crops that were incorporated into the soil in spring, compared to cover crops that were suppressed with herbicides or mown in spring and retained on the surface (39–42 vs 26–30 Mg C/ha, 4.4–6.5 vs 3.4–3.9 Mg total N/ha). Methods: Herbicide was used on seven plots in autumn, but not on 28 other plots, which had resident vegetation over winter. The resident vegetation was controlled in spring with herbicide (seven plots), tillage (seven plots, 0–25 cm depth), mowing (seven plots), or mowing and tillage (seven plots, 0–25 cm depth). Plots had 16 olive trees each. Foliar fertilizer was used. Two soil samples were collected in each plot (0–30 cm depth, in February 2004, before spring tillage).