Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

N. Rampazzo and A. Mentler:

Influence of different agricultural landuse on soil properties along the Austrian-Hungarian border


Austrian and Hungarian agricultural soils (3 transects with different soil type and cultivation system) were compared with the former uncultivated "Iron Curtain" reference soils. The compacting effects of cultivation were reflected in higher density, the decrease of total porosity, soil aggregate stability and of coarse pores. In the uncultivated areas a more crumby structure was observed, whereas in the tilled soils a subangular, cracky microstructure was developed. The cultivated soils showed a decrease of soil organic matter, of CECeff, a loss of nutrients, a reduced microbial activity, a reduction of root growth and faunal activities in the tillaged horizons. In the Hungarian soils an ehanced content of heavy metals (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Sr, Zn) were found due to application of high dosages of P-fertilizers. In Austria a high Cd-content could be traced. The microbial activities (SIR, basal respiration, DRA) were strongly positive correlated to the amount of soil organic matter and to the Nt content in the soils. The ergosterol/Cmic-ratio, showed the fungal distribution in the soils was mostly influenced by the pH-value. The physiological status (qC02) microorganisms in the arable soils was governed by the input of easily degradable organic materials. TheCmic/Corg-ratio of the reference soils expressed the natural equilibrium between input and output of organic matter. In the arable soils this equilibrium was disturbed. The effects of different cultivation systems on the earthworm population could not be definitively evaluated because of the very dry conditions during analyses,

Keywords: Soil degradation, agricultural practices, soil structure, soil nutrients, CEC, soil biology.