The Effects of Catch Crops and Tillage Systems on Selected Physical Properties and Enzymatic Activity of Loess Soil in a Spring Wheat Monoculture

Elżbieta Harasim , Jacek Antonkiewicz , Cezary A. Kwiatkowski


This study was aimed at comparing physical soil quality parameters and soil enzymatic activity in a three-year spring wheat monoculture affected by the incorporation of biomass of selected catch crops into the soil using two systems of tillage (conventional plough tillage and conservation tillage). We tested the suitability of the following catch crop plants: white mustard, lacy phacelia, and mixed legumes (faba bean + spring vetch) and compared these to the control treatment. This research was carried out in the period 2014–2016 in Czesławice (central Lublin region, Poland). Catch crops promoted improved soil structure, soil particle-size distribution, soil bulk density, and soil moisture content. Tillage systems had a smaller impact on the soil physical parameters. Plough tillage contributed to improved soil moisture content in a deeper layer (15–20 cm). On the other hand, the above-mentioned tillage system influenced adversely soil compaction and bulk density. Catch crops caused an improvement in the soil particle size distribution, resulting in a higher percentage of the finer soil fractions. Moreover, the catch crops positively affected soil bulk density and soil compaction. The study has proven that enzymatic tests are good indicators to discriminate between soil sites under study in dependence on the catch crop and tillage system. Conservation tillage significantly stimulated the activities of the studied enzymes, especially in the topsoil layers. A particularly wide range of dehydrogenase and urease activity was obtained in the soil sown with the white mustard catch crop. The other catch crops (lacy phacelia and faba bean + spring vetch) also stimulated enzymatic activity. The obtained results show the positive role of catch crops and conservation tillage in bringing about positive changes occurring in the soil environment.
Author Elżbieta Harasim - University of Life Sciences in Lublin
Elżbieta Harasim,,
, Jacek Antonkiewicz (FoAaE / DoAaECh)
Jacek Antonkiewicz,,
- Department of Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
, Cezary A. Kwiatkowski - University of Life Sciences in Lublin
Cezary A. Kwiatkowski,,
Journal seriesAgronomy, [Agronomy], ISSN 2073-4395, e-ISSN 2073-4395, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.55
Article number334
Keywords in Englishcatch crops; plough tillage; conservation tillage; monoculture; soil physical composition; soil enzymatic activity
ASJC Classification1102 Agronomy and Crop Science
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); after publication
The Effects of Catch Crops and Tillage Systems on Selected Physical Properties and Enzymatic Activity of Loess Soil in a Spring Wheat Monoculture of 03-03-2020
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Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.272; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.259 (2)
Citation count*2 (2020-08-06)
Additional fields
FinansowanieResearch supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland as part of the statutory activities of the Department of Herbology and Plant Cultivation Techniques (RKU/DS/4), University of Life Sciences in Lublin.
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