Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-643
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
29 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Assessing the cover crop effect on soil hydraulic properties by inverse modelling in a 10-year field trial
Jose Luis Gabriel1, Miguel Quemada2, Diana Martín-Lammerding1, and Marnik Vanclooster3 1Dpto. Medio Ambiente, INIA (National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology), Ctra. de la Coruña km 7.5, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2Dpto. Producción Agraria, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Avda. Puerta de Hierro 2-4, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Abstract. Cover cropping in agriculture is expected to enhance many agricultural and ecosystems functions and services. Yet, few studies are available allowing to evaluate the impact of cover cropping on the long term change of soil hydrologic functions. We assessed the long term change of the soil hydraulic properties due to cover cropping by means of a 10-year field experiment. We monitored continuously soil water content in non cover cropped and cover cropped fields by means of capacitance probes. We subsequently determined the hydraulic properties by inverting the soil hydrological model WAVE, using the time series of the 10 year monitoring data in the object function. We observed two main impacts, each having their own time dynamics. First, we observed an initial compaction as a result of the minimum tillage. This initial negative effect was followed by a more positive cover crop effect. The positive cover crop effect consisted in an increase of the soil micro- and macro-porosity, improving the structure. This resulted in a larger soil water retention capacity. This latter improvement was mainly observed below 20 cm, and mostly in the soil layer between 40 and 80 cm depth. This study shows that the expected cover crop competition for water with the main crop can be compensated by an improvement of the water retention in the intermediate layers of the soil profile. This may enhance the hydrologic functions of agricultural soils in arid and semiarid regions which often are constrained by water stress.

Citation: Gabriel, J. L., Quemada, M., Martín-Lammerding, D., and Vanclooster, M.: Assessing the cover crop effect on soil hydraulic properties by inverse modelling in a 10-year field trial, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-643, in review, 2017.
Jose Luis Gabriel et al.
Jose Luis Gabriel et al.
Jose Luis Gabriel et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 207 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
185 21 1 207 1 1

Views and downloads (calculated since 29 Nov 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 29 Nov 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 207 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 199 with geography defined and 8 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 12 Dec 2017
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Few studies are available allowing to evaluate the impact of cover cropping on the long term change of soil hydrologic functions, so we assessed the changes during a 10-year field experiment. This study shows that the expected cover crop competition for water with the main crop can be compensated by an improvement of the water retention in the intermediate layers of the soil profile, enhancing the hydrologic functions of agricultural soils in regions which often are constrained by water stress.
Few studies are available allowing to evaluate the impact of cover cropping on the long term...
Share