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Wageningen University (2016)

Relating soil organic carbon variability to topography in olive orchards : investigating the relationship between soil organic carbon variability and topographic factors at hillslope scale in three olive orchards under different soil management practices in Andalusia (southern Spain)

Linden, Ton van der

Titre : Relating soil organic carbon variability to topography in olive orchards : investigating the relationship between soil organic carbon variability and topographic factors at hillslope scale in three olive orchards under different soil management practices in Andalusia (southern Spain)

Auteur : Linden, Ton van der

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2016

Résumé
This thesis explored the influence of olive orchard topography on soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution with the objective to research the certification potential for SOC sequestration in soils of olive groves in southern Spain. Orchard structure and soil management practices were the most important determinants for the SOC sequestration potential. Research to SOC variability within three different olive orchards showed different patterns, depending on soil management practices. Bare soil management leads to higher variability, while cover crop management reduces SOC variability throughout the hillslope. This pattern was also expressed similarly depending on the location of soil in each of the orchards : i.e. either under the tree canopy or in the lanes between tree rows. For the two orchards with bare soil management or sparse ground cover, the soil under tree canopy appeared to have higher SOC concentration in the top soil than soil in the lanes, while this difference was not found in the orchard with cover crop management. Regarding development towards sustainable olive cultivation, the introduction of cover crop management appeared to be a step forward. Although a distinction was made between soil management practices and topographical factors, these two factors interact strongly with each other ; topography played a role regarding SOC variability when bare soil management was applied, but cover crop management proved to reduce the effect of topography on SOC distribution expressed in small variability at the hillslope scale and relatively equal distribution between the lanes and under the tree crown. Despite all efforts to explain SOC distribution, a high unexplained spatial variability still exists, which is attributed to a combination of several sources including : soil type and topography, orchard design, soil management practices, history, erosion and on‐field activities. Therefore, certification for SOC sequestration could be supported by soil management

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Page publiée le 4 novembre 2016, mise à jour le 16 octobre 2018