Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of long-term conservation tillage on soil biochemical properties in Mediterranean Spanish areas

Published source details

Madejón E., Murillo J.M., Moreno F., López M.V., Arrúe J.L., Álvaro-Fuentes J. & Cantero C. (2009) Effect of long-term conservation tillage on soil biochemical properties in Mediterranean Spanish areas. Soil and Tillage Research, 105, 55-62


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

Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1990–2006 on two rainfed barley fields in Spain (same study as (18)) found that tillage had inconsistent effects on soil organisms. Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage, in one of six comparisons (0–5 cm depth, in Zaragoza: 130 vs 60 mg C/kg dry soil), but less was found in one of six comparisons (0–5 cm depth, in Lleida: 360 vs 480). Methods: No tillage or reduced tillage was used on nine plots each in Lleida province (50 x 6 m plots, established in 1996) and six plots each in Zaragoza province (33.5 x 10 m plots, established in 1990). A chisel plough (in Zaragoza but not in Lleida, 25–30 cm depth) and a cultivator (10–15 cm depth, 1–2 passes) were used for reduced tillage. A seed drill and herbicide were used for no tillage. Soil samples were collected in March 2006 (0–25 cm depth).

 

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1990–2006 in two rainfed barley fields in Spain (same study as (33,38)) found that tillage had inconsistent effects on soil organisms. Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in three of six comparisons (0–5 cm depth in Lleida and Zaragoza, and 5–10 cm depth in Lleida: 130–370 vs 100–230 mg C/kg dry soil), but less microbial biomass was found in one of six comparisons (10–25 cm depth, in Zaragoza: 70 vs 110). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on nine plots each in Lleida province (50 x 6 m plots, established in 1996) and six plots each in Zaragoza province (33.5 x 10 m plots, established in 1990). A mouldboard plough (25–40 cm depth) and a cultivator (10–15 cm depth, 1–2 passes) were used for conventional tillage. A seed drill and herbicide were used for no tillage. Soil samples were collected in March 2006 (0–25 cm depth).

 

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1990–2006 on three rainfed farms in Spain found more soil organisms in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in two of nine comparisons (0–10 cm depth, in Lleida: 420–490 vs 170–230 mg C/kg dry soil). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on nine plots each in Lleida province (50 x 6 m plots, established in 1996), six plots each in Zaragoza province (33.5 x 10 m plots, established in 1990), and three plots each in Sevilla province (22 x 14 m plots). A mouldboard plough (25–40 cm depth, in Zaragoza and Sevilla), a cultivator (10–15 cm depth, 1–3 times/year), a disc harrow (5–15 cm depth, 1–2 times/year, in Sevilla), and herbicide (in Sevilla) were used for conventional tillage. A chisel plough (in Zaragoza but not in Lleida, 25–30 cm depth), a cultivator (10–15 cm depth, 1–2 passes), a disc harrow (5–7 cm depth, in Sevilla), and herbicide (in Sevilla) were used for reduced tillage. Soil samples were collected in March 2006 (0–25 cm depth).