, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 44-54
Date: 20 Apr 2004

Early impacts of cotton and peanut cropping systems on selected soil chemical, physical, microbiological and biochemical properties

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This study investigated the impacts of cropping systems of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.; Ct) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.; Pt) on a Brownfield fine sandy soil (Loamy, mixed, superactive, thermic Arenic Aridic Paleustalfs) in west Texas, United States. Samples (0–12 cm) were taken 2 and 3 years after establishment of the plots from PtPtPt, CtCtPt and PtCtCt in March, June and September 2002, and in March 2003. Soil total N and aggregate stability were generally not different among the cropping systems. The pH of the soils was >8.0. Continuous peanut increased soil organic C, microbial biomass C (Cmic) and the activities of β-glucosidase, β-glucosaminidase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, phosphodiesterase and arylsulfatase compared to the peanut-cotton rotations. The arylsulfatase activity of the fumigated field-moist soil and that resulting from the difference of the fumigated minus non-fumigated soil were greater in PtPtPt, but arylsulfatase activity of non-fumigated soil was unaffected by the cropping systems. Soil Cmic showed a different seasonal variation to enzyme activities during the study. Enzyme activities:microbial biomass ratios indicated that the microbial biomass may not have produced significant amounts of enzymes or that newly released enzymes did not become stabilized in the soil (i.e., due to its low clay and organic matter contents). Fungal (18:2ω6c and 18:1ω9c) and bacterial (15:0, a15:0, and a17:0) FAMEs were higher in PtPtPt than in CtCtPt or PtCtCt cropping systems. Our results suggest that the quality or quantity of residues returned to the soil under a peanut and cotton rotation did not impact the properties of this sandy soil after the first 3 years of this study.