Tillage pedogenesis of purple soils in southwestern China
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Land cultivation and tillage process, and their consequent impacts on soil erosion, have been criticized as the main cause of degradation of land or soil quality. However, purple soils, classified as Regosols in FAO Taxonomy or Entisols in USDA Taxonomy, are formed from purple rocks of the Trias-Cretaceous system, have been developed or at least accelerated the development due to continual tillage operation, especially digging and ridging. The present study took micromorphological investigation on the sedimentary rocks and the soils under different operations of tillage. Results show that the purple rock of Feixiangguan Formation of the Trias system (T1f) is the easiest to physical weathering and the most fertile soil material enriched in nutrients, and it has been, therefore, mostly cultivated and intensively tilled around the year. It has the fastest soil formation rate. Soil formation rate in the cropland with conventional tillage is higher than that in the forestland and the grassland. It implies that the artificial brokenness and tillage disturbance play a great role in physical weathering and initiating soil formation processes.
KeywordsTillage impact pedogenesis purple soil micromorphology southwestern China
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