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Journal Articles European Journal of Soil Science Year : 2007

Erodibility of Mediterranean calcareous soils: relevant aggregate stability methods and significant soil variables

Abstract

The extension of viticulture on hill slopes in the Mediterranean basin might be responsible for a loss of organic carbon from the soil, as a result of increasing runoff and erosion. The loss of C makes soil aggregates less stable, which in turn increases erosion risk. We should use indicators of these risks and so be able to identify the most threatened areas. We first tested four widely used methods for determining aggregate stability for their ability to predict runoff and erosion; all include slaking and give indices such as rates of stable (>200 micro m) macro-aggregates (MA200) or mean weight diameter (MWD). We selected three Mediterranean vineyards characterized by brown calcareous soils and on which we had previously studied the effects of simulated rainfall. The tests were made on the soils from five farming situations, corresponding to 14 simulated rainfalls with an intensity of 60 mm hour-1. The two indices that best predict erosion are those resulting from the method of Le Bissonnais (MWD in its logarithmic form and MA200). Then, we analysed the relations between aggregate stability and soil properties on 68 soil samples from various locations within the three selected sites. A very significant correlation between the two indices of Le Bissonnais's method and soil organic carbon content was found and we propose a pedotransfer function linking these indices to soil characteristics. The results stress the need for farming practices that preserve the organic C in Mediterranean vineyard soils in order to reduce erosion risks. We believe that our findings might well apply to similar soils elsewhere in the world.

Dates and versions

bioemco-00176195 , version 1 (02-10-2007)

Identifiers

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Yves Le Bissonnais, De Noni G., D. Blavet, Laurent J. Y., Jean Asseline, et al.. Erodibility of Mediterranean calcareous soils: relevant aggregate stability methods and significant soil variables. European Journal of Soil Science, 2007, 58 (1), pp.188-195. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2389.2006.00823.x⟩. ⟨bioemco-00176195⟩
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