Beneficial soil profile differences associated with tropical grass pastures on sodic texture contrast soils in Northern New South Wales

Robert Banks (Corresponding Author), Laura Wendling, Kaye Basford, Anthony Ringrose-Voase, Vera Banks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Volunteer native pastures on widespread sodic texture contrast soils in northern New South Wales slopes and plains are known for their limited agricultural production. Fertilised tropical grass pastures on these soils are reported to have much increased pasture production, deeper, more abundant root mass and greater soil profile moisture storage. The subsoil physical differences between native and tropical grass pastures are not well understood. This observational study compared root abundance, soil structure and soil physical parameters (dispersion, bulk density, porosity and pore distribution) in sodic texture contrast soils under native and adjacent, well established and fertilised tropical pastures in a 14-year chronosequence. The physical differences observed may have contributed to improved soil water storage reported by other authors. Fourteen years after establishment, mean root abundance was significantly lower in soils under native pasture and greater in the tropical grass pasture system with 4600 and 8400 m of roots m–3 respectively. Dispersion values were high in native pastures but soils under tropical pastures had to be physically worked to cause dispersion. Bulk density under native pasture was significantly higher than in tropical grass pastures by 0.08 g cm–3 at 0–10 cm and by 0.2 g cm–3 in the upper B horizons. Total soil porosity of topsoils and upper B horizons was consequently lower in native than in tropical grass pasture. Tropical grass pasture upper B horizons had a three-fold greater macroporosity (pores > 30 µm), than under native pastures. This is equivalent to significantly greater potential water flow through stable macropores in dense sodic B horizons in tropical pastures. These findings indicate that pasture system selection and management positively affects deep soil structural properties which promote pasture productivity. The study contributes to a better understanding of mechanisms of published deeper water storage in tropical grass pasture systems on these normally low production soils.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberSR19140
    JournalSoil Research
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fingerprint

    soil texture
    New South Wales
    soil profiles
    soil profile
    pasture
    pastures
    grass
    grasses
    B horizons
    tropical pastures
    soil
    porosity
    bulk density
    water storage
    soil water storage
    macropores
    chronosequences
    observational studies
    potential flow
    subsoil

    Cite this

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    title = "Beneficial soil profile differences associated with tropical grass pastures on sodic texture contrast soils in Northern New South Wales",
    abstract = "Volunteer native pastures on widespread sodic texture contrast soils in northern New South Wales slopes and plains are known for their limited agricultural production. Fertilised tropical grass pastures on these soils are reported to have much increased pasture production, deeper, more abundant root mass and greater soil profile moisture storage. The subsoil physical differences between native and tropical grass pastures are not well understood. This observational study compared root abundance, soil structure and soil physical parameters (dispersion, bulk density, porosity and pore distribution) in sodic texture contrast soils under native and adjacent, well established and fertilised tropical pastures in a 14-year chronosequence. The physical differences observed may have contributed to improved soil water storage reported by other authors. Fourteen years after establishment, mean root abundance was significantly lower in soils under native pasture and greater in the tropical grass pasture system with 4600 and 8400 m of roots m–3 respectively. Dispersion values were high in native pastures but soils under tropical pastures had to be physically worked to cause dispersion. Bulk density under native pasture was significantly higher than in tropical grass pastures by 0.08 g cm–3 at 0–10 cm and by 0.2 g cm–3 in the upper B horizons. Total soil porosity of topsoils and upper B horizons was consequently lower in native than in tropical grass pasture. Tropical grass pasture upper B horizons had a three-fold greater macroporosity (pores > 30 µm), than under native pastures. This is equivalent to significantly greater potential water flow through stable macropores in dense sodic B horizons in tropical pastures. These findings indicate that pasture system selection and management positively affects deep soil structural properties which promote pasture productivity. The study contributes to a better understanding of mechanisms of published deeper water storage in tropical grass pasture systems on these normally low production soils.",
    author = "Robert Banks and Laura Wendling and Kaye Basford and Anthony Ringrose-Voase and Vera Banks",
    year = "2019",
    month = "12",
    day = "4",
    doi = "10.1071/SR19140",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Soil Research",
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    Beneficial soil profile differences associated with tropical grass pastures on sodic texture contrast soils in Northern New South Wales. / Banks, Robert (Corresponding Author); Wendling, Laura; Basford, Kaye; Ringrose-Voase, Anthony; Banks, Vera.

    In: Soil Research, 04.12.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Beneficial soil profile differences associated with tropical grass pastures on sodic texture contrast soils in Northern New South Wales

    AU - Banks, Robert

    AU - Wendling, Laura

    AU - Basford, Kaye

    AU - Ringrose-Voase, Anthony

    AU - Banks, Vera

    PY - 2019/12/4

    Y1 - 2019/12/4

    N2 - Volunteer native pastures on widespread sodic texture contrast soils in northern New South Wales slopes and plains are known for their limited agricultural production. Fertilised tropical grass pastures on these soils are reported to have much increased pasture production, deeper, more abundant root mass and greater soil profile moisture storage. The subsoil physical differences between native and tropical grass pastures are not well understood. This observational study compared root abundance, soil structure and soil physical parameters (dispersion, bulk density, porosity and pore distribution) in sodic texture contrast soils under native and adjacent, well established and fertilised tropical pastures in a 14-year chronosequence. The physical differences observed may have contributed to improved soil water storage reported by other authors. Fourteen years after establishment, mean root abundance was significantly lower in soils under native pasture and greater in the tropical grass pasture system with 4600 and 8400 m of roots m–3 respectively. Dispersion values were high in native pastures but soils under tropical pastures had to be physically worked to cause dispersion. Bulk density under native pasture was significantly higher than in tropical grass pastures by 0.08 g cm–3 at 0–10 cm and by 0.2 g cm–3 in the upper B horizons. Total soil porosity of topsoils and upper B horizons was consequently lower in native than in tropical grass pasture. Tropical grass pasture upper B horizons had a three-fold greater macroporosity (pores > 30 µm), than under native pastures. This is equivalent to significantly greater potential water flow through stable macropores in dense sodic B horizons in tropical pastures. These findings indicate that pasture system selection and management positively affects deep soil structural properties which promote pasture productivity. The study contributes to a better understanding of mechanisms of published deeper water storage in tropical grass pasture systems on these normally low production soils.

    AB - Volunteer native pastures on widespread sodic texture contrast soils in northern New South Wales slopes and plains are known for their limited agricultural production. Fertilised tropical grass pastures on these soils are reported to have much increased pasture production, deeper, more abundant root mass and greater soil profile moisture storage. The subsoil physical differences between native and tropical grass pastures are not well understood. This observational study compared root abundance, soil structure and soil physical parameters (dispersion, bulk density, porosity and pore distribution) in sodic texture contrast soils under native and adjacent, well established and fertilised tropical pastures in a 14-year chronosequence. The physical differences observed may have contributed to improved soil water storage reported by other authors. Fourteen years after establishment, mean root abundance was significantly lower in soils under native pasture and greater in the tropical grass pasture system with 4600 and 8400 m of roots m–3 respectively. Dispersion values were high in native pastures but soils under tropical pastures had to be physically worked to cause dispersion. Bulk density under native pasture was significantly higher than in tropical grass pastures by 0.08 g cm–3 at 0–10 cm and by 0.2 g cm–3 in the upper B horizons. Total soil porosity of topsoils and upper B horizons was consequently lower in native than in tropical grass pasture. Tropical grass pasture upper B horizons had a three-fold greater macroporosity (pores > 30 µm), than under native pastures. This is equivalent to significantly greater potential water flow through stable macropores in dense sodic B horizons in tropical pastures. These findings indicate that pasture system selection and management positively affects deep soil structural properties which promote pasture productivity. The study contributes to a better understanding of mechanisms of published deeper water storage in tropical grass pasture systems on these normally low production soils.

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    JF - Soil Research

    SN - 1838-675X

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