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Gewählte Doctoral Thesis:

Thomas Weninger (2020): Soil physical quality assessment for the evaluation of agricultural soil management strategies.
Doctoral Thesis - Institut für Bodenphysik und landeskulturelle Wasserwirtschaft, BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 93. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Advances in soil management systems are supposed to improve soil physical quality and secure the potential of soil to provide crucial services such as water storage and nutrient cycling. Sophisticated methodology to assess the effects of different soil management strategies is strongly needed and promising approaches were evaluated in this thesis. The outcomes were supposed to address questions such as: How can soil physical quality issues be effectively detected? How can physical soil degradation threats be countered? A literature review concerning options for the assessment of soil physical quality using feasible and comparable indicators is presented as introduction to the topic. The empirical work started with an evaluation of methods for the rapid, wide-range determination of soil water retention and hydraulic conductivity relations as a basis for soil physical quality assessments. The approved methods were conducted in case studies on long-term tillage experiments in Central Europe to examine mid-term alterations of soil physical quality after changing the tillage strategy. Conservation tillage increased aeration deficits in the upper soil layers and soil compaction was detected as major soil degradation risk which should be addressed by meliorating soil management strategies. Moreover, soil water repellency was quantified on fire-affected soils. The method combination employed showed high sensitivity in the sub-critical range which, according to recent findings, is relevant for wide-spread agricultural soils. The method combinations presented here were found to effectively facilitate the data collection necessary for studies focussed on soil physical quality and connected soil degradation issues. The work in this thesis contributes valuable knowledge concerning regional soil physical conditions, and the comprehensive evaluation of methodology offers support for further improvements of soil management strategies which underlie resilient agricultural practices.

Betreuer: Schwen Andreas
1. Berater: Bodner Gernot

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