Current issue: 54(3)
Five ploughed research areas from Finnish Norther Karelia were selected for comparison studies of plough ridges and untouched soil. Measurements were made at a depth of 10 cm in sample plots on both mineral and paludified mineral soil and peatland parts of these areas. In summer 1987 daily soil water matric potential was measured using tensiometers, and volumetric soil moisture content and density were determined from soil samples at two dates during the summer. Water characteristics of the core samples were also determined. On paludified mineral and peat soils the water table depth from the soil surface was measured.
The results indicated that in plough ridges matric potential was lowest. Plough ridges were also seen to dry and wet faster and to a greater degree than untouched soils. In untouched soils, soil water relations and aeration were not affected by the distance to the furrow. The effect of the plough ridge was smallest on peatland, where there was a good capillary connection from plough ridge to the ground water, if the ditches were not very effective. The soil in the ridges did not dry too much to restrict seedling growth. The untouched surface soil in poorly drained peat and paludified minear soil was, at least in a rainy growing season, often and also for long times so wet that 10% minimum air space required for good seedling root growth was not available.
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