Evaluation of Seasonal Effects of Tillage and Drainage Management Practices on Soil Physical Properties and Infiltration Characteristics in a Silt-Loam Soil

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Akış R.

Uluslararası Araştırma-Geliştirme ve Tasarım Konferansı RDCONF 2021, 15 - 18 December 2021, no.32, pp.1011-1023

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Page Numbers: pp.1011-1023
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


The impacts of tillage and drainage managements on soil infiltration characteristics need to be scrutinized for a better understanding and prediction of soil hydrological processes, such as runoff, evapotranspration and soil water storage. The objectives of this study were i) to evaluate the effects of tillage and drainage practices on soil physical properties and water infiltration, and ii) to compare prediction accuracy of estimated and optimized infiltration model characteristics for the observed and predicted quantities of infiltration process in the soil. The research site contains the Crosby-Kokomo soil series (fine, mixed, mesic, Aeric Ochraqualf and fine, mixed, mesic Typic Argiaquoll, respectively). The experiment was a two factorial completely randomized block design with two levels of tillage (chisel plow (CH) and no-till (NT)) and two levels of drainage (drained (D) and undrained (UD)) with three replicates. Soil bulk density (ρb), saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), soil moisture retention curves (SMRC), soil infiltration capacity and piezometric water head in each treatment were also measured. Soil drainage flows at each drain lateral and outlet discharges were measured. The results showed that The UD treatments were always higher for Ksat values than the D treatments regardless of the tillage practices for both depths and the CH treatments always had greater Ksat values than those in the NT at both the depths regardless of drainage practices. The D treatments reduced the soil bulk density by 4.2 and 0.8 % in the surface soil and 4.61 and 6.7% for the subsurface soil in respect to notill-UD and chisel-UD treatments. The UD treatments had higher bulk density at both of the depths than those of the D treatments regardless of tillage practices except the CH-UD treatments. The NT had higher bulk density at both depths of the soil than those of the CH treatments regardless of drainage practices. Drainage increased pore size distribution significantly higher than the UD treatments (p<0.05). The D treatments had significantly higher storage pores and effective pores (9.37%) (pores retaining water at -10kPa pressure head) than the ones in the UD treatments (8.96%) (p<0.05). The NT treatments yielded higher infiltration rates than the CH and the D treatments produced higher apparent infiltration rates and cumulative infiltration values than the UDs. The changes in soil physical properties were found to be strongly and significantly dependent on season, soil depth, and rainfall (p<0.05). The optimized infiltration models predicted larger range of infiltration rate values for each treatment than the estimated infiltration models, indicating that the optimization produced higher accuracy and validity of the predicted models in the field. To conclude, soil dry bulk density, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, and increased macropore volumes can significantly impact soil hydrological responses to soil water infiltration, soil water storage and drainage flow under conservation tillage and drainage management practices on a seasonal basis. This impact enhances greater potential to capture water in soil for future crop use in the study site.