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Long-term impact of tillage on biogeochemical phosphorus cycle : analysis of the test of L'Acadie (Quebec, Canada) and modelling

Abstract : The no-till (NT) is gaining great attention for soil preparation. This practice modifies number of soil properties such as the distribution of phosphorus (P) in the soil profile. This work aims to analyze the impacts on the biogeochemical P cycle after decades of NT and incorporate those effects in an operational model. We used a long-term field experiment under corn-soybean rotation established on a clay loam soil (L’Acadie, Quebec, Canada). The design was a split-plot plan with 4 blocks under moldboard plough (MP) and NT, subdivided by 3 doses of P [0 (0P), 17.5 (0.5P), 35 (1P) kg P ha-1] applied in corn phase and localized to 5-cm deep and 5-cm from the corn row.The phosphate ion concentration in MP was relatively constant (0.08 mg P L-1) in the tilled layer (0-20 cm), slightly lower in 20-30 cm (0.05 mg P L-1) and much lower below (0.01 mg P L-1). In [NT, 0.5P] and [NT, 1P] plots, Cp was higher (0.28 et 0.19 mg P L-1) in the 0-10 cm layer compared to the tilled layer in MP, but decreased sharply with depth. This vertical stratification in NT was also observed for P-Olsen, P-M3 and other nutrients as C, N, and K. After 23- and 24-year of experimentation, maize roots tended to be fewer (-14%) under NT than MP, probably because of increased weed infestation under NT. For soybean, more roots accumulated in the 0-10 cm layer under NT (44% of total length) than MP (21%) and vice versa for the 10-20 cm layer. Those differences in root distribution under NT and MP corresponded to the stratification of N, P, and K.This set of data on the distribution of roots and phosphorus was used i) to develop a 1D model describing P dynamics over several decades in MP, ii) to test a method to assess the spatial P uptake distribution according local root length density and soil P availability, and iii) to develop a spatial 2D model describing P dynamic in NT. This model simulates the soil P availability dynamic on long term according soil properties and crop root distribution within soil profile for different soil preparation regime and different P fertilization rate. Although the model overestimates the P availability near the localized P fertilizer, it is able to predict the soil P stratification in NT treatment and its consequences on crop P uptake. This new model will be a useful tool to improve P fertilization management in context of no-till practices.
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Haixiao Li. Long-term impact of tillage on biogeochemical phosphorus cycle : analysis of the test of L'Acadie (Quebec, Canada) and modelling. Geochemistry. Université de Bordeaux, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016BORD0223⟩. ⟨tel-01480670⟩

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