Developing a Soil Physical Quality Index (SPQi) for lowlands under different deployment times of no-tillage
ABSTRACT: Soil physical quality in lowlands from the Pampa biome under no-tillage (NT) plays an important role; therefore, this study aimed to establish a soil physical quality index (SPQi) from a minimum data set to detect the effects of different deployment times of NT in an Albaqualf. The comparison of areas with one (NT1), three (NT3), five (NT5) and seven (NT7) years of notillage was established using as reference a non-cultivated field plot (NC) for at least thirty years, nearby the sites under NT. Soil samples with undisturbed and disturbed structure were collected to determine the physical quality indicators and soil organic matter (SOM) fractions. The factor analysis (FA) was used to identify and select a minimum data set. The SPQi was elaborated by using the deviations of the measured indicators at different deployment times of NT in relation to NC. The SPQi showed sensibility to identify and explain soil physical quality changes with different deployment times of NT. In well-drained lands, higher deployment times of no-tillage promote the physical quality of lowlands.