Effect of soil compaction on growth of narrow–leafed lupine, oilseed rape and spring barley on sandy loam soil
¹Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,Kreutzwaldi St. 64, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: email@example.com
²Estonian Research Institute of Agriculture, Teaduse St. 13, 75501 Saku, Estonia
Soil compaction is an environmental problem and has been recognized as the main form of soil degradation in Europe. Soil compaction may increase soil strength and compacted soil layers can affect root and shoot growth. The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of soil compaction on soil properties and on the growth of narrow–leafed lupine (Lupinus angustifolius L.), spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. oleifera Hertzg.), and spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). The experiment was carried out on the research field of the Estonian University of Life Sciences in the summers of 2004 and 2005 on the sandy loam Stagnic Luvisol. The field was compacted by tractor MTZ-82 (total weight 4.84 Mg) characterized by multiple tire-to-tire passing. Parameters such as plants biomass (roots and shoots) and the changes in physical properties, bulk density and penetration resistance of soil were measured. The results of the present study revealed that the highest increase of penetration resistance and soil bulk density due to the soil compaction occurred in growing spring barley. Although the roots and shoots mass of lupine and oilseed rape increased with increased soil bulk density, there was a very strong negative linear correlation between the roots and shoots weight and soil bulk density on spring barley. A positive correlation was detected between the roots and shoots mass of narrow–leafed lupine and soil bulk density, and soil compaction had a positive effect on the roots and shoots mass of oilseed rape. The study indicates that oilseed rape and narrow–leafed lupine can grow more successfully on compacted soils than can barley.