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https://doi.org/10.5194/soild-2-1-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soild-2-1-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Original research article 05 Jan 2015

Original research article | 05 Jan 2015

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Effect of land management on soil properties in flood irrigated citrus orchards in Eastern Spain

A. Morugán-Coronado1,2, F. García-Orenes2, and A. Cerdà1 A. Morugán-Coronado et al.
  • 1SEDER (Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group), Departament de Geografia, Universitat de València, Blasco Ibáñez, 28, 46010 València, Spain
  • 2GEA (Environmental Soil Science Group), Agrochemistry and environmental, University Miguel Hernández, 03202-Elche, Alicante, Spain

Abstract. Agricultural land management greatly affects soil properties. Microbial soil communities are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of perturbations in land use and soil enzyme activities are sensitive biological indicators of the effects of soil management practices. Citrus orchards frequently have degraded soils and this paper evaluates how land management in citrus orchards can improve soil quality. A field experiment was performed in an orchard of orange trees (Citrus Sinensis) in the Alcoleja Experimental Station (Eastern Spain) with clay-loam agricultural soils to assess the long-term effects of herbicides with inorganic fertilizers (H), intensive ploughing and inorganic fertilizers (P) and organic farming (O) on the soil microbial properties, and to study the relationship between them. Nine soil samples were taken from each agricultural management plot. In all the samples the basal soil respiration, soil microbial biomass carbon, water holding capacity, electrical conductivity, soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, available potassium, aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity, pH, texture, macronutrients (Na, Ca and Mg), micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), calcium carbonate equivalent, calcium carbonate content of limestone and enzimatic activities (urease, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase) were determined. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial properties, which were highly associated with soil organic matter content. The management practices including herbicides and intensive ploughing had similar results on microbial soil properties. O management contributed to an increase in the soil biology quality, aggregate stability and organic matter content.

A. Morugán-Coronado et al.
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A. Morugán-Coronado et al.
A. Morugán-Coronado et al.
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Short summary
-Different uses of soil have an important effect on the soil microbial structure. -This research shows the effect of three different management practices in soil microbial community under Mediterranean conditions. -The application of organic farming increased the organic carbon content, microbial biomass, enzymatic activities and basal soil respiration.
-Different uses of soil have an important effect on the soil microbial structure. -This...
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