Revista de la ciencia del suelo y nutrición vegetal
versión On-line ISSN 0718-2791
DORNER, José; DEC, Dorota; PENG, Xinhua y HORN, Rainer. Effect of Land Use on Structural Stability and Pore Functions of an Andisol (Typic Hapludand) in Southern Chile. R.C. Suelo Nutr. Veg. [online]. 2009, vol.9, n.3, pp. 190-209. ISSN 0718-2791. doi: 10.4067/S0718-27912009000300003.
Volcanic soils in southern Chile cover approximately 60% of the arable land in the country. These soils are under a wide range of land uses from pristine systems to intensively used ones. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the land use change on: i) the structural stability after external and internal forces, ii) the hydraulic conductivity and iii) its functional resilience. Disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were collected at 5, 20 and 40 cm depths in an Andisol (Typic Hapludand) under native forest (NF), 50 year old pasture (P50) and 1 year old pasture (PI). The water retention, shrinkage and consolidation curves, hydraulic conductivity (Ks), air permeability (Ka), organic carbon content (CO), soil texture and allophane contents were determined. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (Ku) was estimated according to van Genuchten (1980). Soil deformation indexes as a consequence of mechanical (COLEm) and hydraulic (COLEh) stresses were calculated. The studied soil is subject to continuous changes in their structure as a consequence of mechanical and hydraulic stresses affecting the pore size distribution and its functionality. The magnitude of these changes decreased with the increasing intensity of the land use. The great shrinkage capacity of the soil may have consequences on its hydraulic behaviour depending on the drying intensity through the formation of cracks and preferential path flows. Finally, the soil pores are able to recover its functional integrity after compaction, which is strongly related to the presence of organic matter contents.
Palabras clave : Andisol; structural properties; pore functions.