Effects of tillage management on infiltration and preferential flow in a black soil, Northeast China.

Fan, R.-Q., Zhang, X.-P., Yang, X.M., Liang, A.-Z., Jia, S., and Chen, X. (2013). "Effects of tillage management on infiltration and preferential flow in a black soil, Northeast China.", Chinese Geographical Science, 23(3), pp. 312-320. doi : 10.1007/s11769-013-0606-9  Access to full text

Abstract

The impacts of no-tillage (NT) and moldboard plough (MP) managements on infiltration rate and preferential flow were characterized using a combined technique of double-ring device and dye tracer on a black soil (Mollisols) in Northeast China. The objective of this study is to evaluate how tillage practices enhance soil water infiltration and preferential flow in favor of soil erosion control in the study area. The steady infiltration rates under NT management are 1.6 and 2.1 times as high as those under MP management in the 6th and 8th years of the tillage management in place, while the infiltrated water amounts under NT management are 1.4 and 2.0 times as high as those under MP management, respectively. The depth of methylene blue penetrated into NT soil increases from 43 cm in the 6th year to 57 cm in the 8th year, which are 16 cm and 19 cm deeper than those in MP soil, respectively. The results of morphologic image show that more biological macro-pores occur in NT soil than in MP soil. These macro-pores play a key role in enhancing preferential flow in NT soil, which in turn promotes water infiltration through preferential pathways in NT soil. The results are helpful to policy-making in popularizing NT and have the implications for tillage management in regard to soil erosion control in black soil region of China.

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