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Impact of horticulture at no-till system on soil organic matter in the Atlantic Forest biome
Eduardo de SáMendonça
Horticulture in the hilly region of Atlantic Forest biome is leading to land misuse reducing the
productive capacity of soils due to decreasing soil organic matter content and soil nutrients. A
field study was carried out to investigate the effect of horticulture at no-till system (SPDP) on
soil organic matter pools in the hilly region of Atlantic Forest biome. Three family farmers with
3, 5 and 9 years of SPDP were selected. For each area in SPDP, 1 forest area and 1 area under
conventional system (SPC) were selected, geographically close, as comparatives. Soil sampling
was carried out in August 2019 at depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm. The variables analyzed were
total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (NT), mineralizable nitrogen (Nmin), C and N in the
microbial biomass (CBM and NBM). Areas with 5 and 9 years of SPDP had greater amount of
TOC and NT than areas in SPC at both depths and did not differ from the reference forest at
the depth of 10-20 cm. The Nmin of area with 5 years of SPDP was higher to the area in SPC at
both depths. The CBM of area with 5 years of SPDP was superior to the area in SPC and did not
differ from the reference forest at a depth of 0-10 cm. The NBM was not increased by the
SPDP in relation to SPC, but their contents were lower than the contents of reference forest. It
is concluded that SPDP may improve soil organic matter pools and N cycling in the soil-plant
system, enhancing the production of horticulture in the region. No-till horticulture system is a
strategy to sequester and increase soil C in the hilly Atlantic Forest biome. This system should
be encouraged to the farmers in order to improve soil quality in the region.
Keywords: microbial biomass, carbon, nitrogen, mineralizable nitrogen.
Financing: Fapes, Incaper, Union of rural workers and family farmers in Santa Maria de Jetibá,
Professor Eduardo de SáMendonça works at the Agronomy Department, Federal University of
Espírito Santo. His main research areas, for 28 years, are soil organic matter dynamic in
tropical ecosystems and dynamic and modeling of nutrients in organic agriculture and
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Maria da Penha Angeletii¹, Laura VaillantRibeiro Mauri1, Lenita Julia Bolsan2, Eduardo de Sá
¹Instituto Capixaba de Pesquisa, AssistênciaTécnica e Extensão Rural (Incaper),