Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Vol. II, Number 1
Written by Tatiana NAGACEVSCHI
Soil cover quality of the Republic of Moldova on most agricultural land is unsatisfactory and critical on a part of land. Anthropogenic factors of soil cover degradation are maximum involvement of land in agriculture and soil compaction by heavy machinery that lead to degradation of soil structure. It is very important to study and manage these factors when soils are mechanically worked and negative consequences occur. Human intervention changes natural variability of soil characteristics both vertically and horizontally. Maximum involvement of land in traditional agriculture (especially for fruit-tree growing) led to humus losses, structure degradation, compaction and soil erosion. It is necessary to study deep tilled soils, which forma group of anthropogenic soils, in order to determine the influence of heavy machinery on changes in physical properties of soils in orchards. At the very beginning deep plowing decreases parameters of bulk density with 9-32%, but from the first year of existence of orchards a series of maintenance operations are made, heavy machinery pass, on average, on the same tracks up to 10-15 times annually. That results in soil compaction between rows especially on machinery tracks. Bulk density is differentiated both vertically and horizontally, having extreme values of 1.59 to 1.60 g/cm3 in 10-30 cm layer on machinery tracks and is characterized as strongly compacted. Deep tilled soils being used in orchards suffer significant changes and form a new anthropic soil profile as a result of compaction process, a quantitative expression of which is bulk density and degree of compaction. The purpose of the present research is to highlight soils’ physical properties and soil processes that directly and indirectly influence plant life, forming a functional unit called soil ecological complex; assessment of soil quality and its importance for agroecosystems; emphasizing of negative changes in physical quality of the soil and the factors influencing these changes.