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Modelling the impact of declining soil organic carbon on soil compaction: application to a cultivated Eutric Cambisol with massive straw exportation for energy production in Northern France

Abstract : Loss of organic matter has been recognized as being a major threat to soils in Europe with important consequences for the physical functioning of soils. We present the result of a numerical analysis of the integrated effects of changes in soil porosity and soil water status, along with decreased soil organic carbon (SOC) and the subsequent changes in the risk of compaction. This study concerns the impact of straw exportation on the risk of soil compaction. We evaluated the risk of compaction of a cultivated Eutric Cambisol in Northern France having a dominant silt loam soil texture, by simulating vehicle wheeling during sugar beet cropping for contrasting soil organic carbon contents (4.7, 11.1 and 23.4 g kg(-1)). To do this, we coupled two models: (1) a crop model (STICS) to calculate the changes in the water content of the 0-30 cm depth layer; and (2) a compaction model (COMPSOIL) to calculate soil stresses as a function of vehicle characteristics. Our study suggests that a decrease in SOC reduces the risk of topsoil deformation due to a decrease in soil water content, which tends to augment soil precompression stress. The method requires improvement in the future because it is very sensitive to input parameters for soil physical properties. Nevertheless it provides the first method for evaluating the impact of SOC decline on soil compaction. Its genericity permits it further applications to various soil management practices that decrease SOC.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 10:33:48 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 10:16:58 AM

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Pauline Defossez, Guy Richard, T. Keller, Victor Adamiade, Ajit Govind, et al.. Modelling the impact of declining soil organic carbon on soil compaction: application to a cultivated Eutric Cambisol with massive straw exportation for energy production in Northern France. Soil and Tillage Research, Elsevier, 2014, 141, pp.44-54. ⟨10.1016/j.still.2014.03.003⟩. ⟨hal-02632335⟩

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