Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

K. Kostecki, M. Stemmer, A. Krenn and M. H. Gerzabek:

Distribution of roots and microbial biomass in monolithic lysimeters in response to edge effects and surrounding vegetation


In June 2000 the lysimeters of the lysimeter plant (ARC Seibersdorf research) were investigated to quantify possible edge effects within soil monoliths surrounded by wheat or grass. Lysimeters filled with Chernozem soil were cropped with winter wheat and surrounded by either winter wheat or by grass. Top soil samples were taken to quantify root mass as well as microbial biomass, phosphatase activity and water soluble anions. Water content and root biomass decreased from the centre to the border of the lysimeters, showing generally higher amounts in lysimeters surrounded by wheat. Discriminant analyses of all soil parameters including microbial biomass and activity and plant nutrients gave differences between lysimeters surrounded by wheat or grass. In general, edge effects were minimal using adequate ambient crop.

Keywords: Lysimeter, root mass, microbial biomass, edge effects, surrounding crop.