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Open AccessArticle

Short-Term Effects of Changing Soil Management Practices on Soil Quality Indicators and Crop Yields in Greenhouses

1
Department of Agronomy, University of Almería, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3, Ctra, Sacramento s/n, 04120 Almería, Spain
2
Cajamar Research Station, Cajamar Foundation, Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Paraje Las Palmerillas 25, 04710 El Ejido, Almería, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040582
Received: 19 March 2020 / Revised: 15 April 2020 / Accepted: 16 April 2020 / Published: 18 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Farming Sustainability)
The short-term responses of soil quality indicators are important for assessing the effects of new management practices and addressing threats to crop yields in greenhouses. The aim of this study was to assess, during three consecutive cropping seasons, the effect of a sustainable management package (CRTMP)—which includes the on-site reuse of greenhouse crop residues and tillage—in comparison with conventional management, based on fertigation only (CMP), on certain biochemical soil quality indicators and crop yields. CRTMP significantly increased (p < 0.05) the values of total organic carbon (TOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), light fraction (LF), water soluble organic carbon (WSOC), and dehydrogenase (DH) and β-glucosidase (GL) activities at a depth of 0–15 cm, as well as the mean concentration of nitrates in the soil solution. In addition, a significant Pearson’s correlation (p < 0.01) found between the indicators suggested a balanced improvement of soil biological activity and nutritional soil state. Nonetheless, the significant (p < 0.05) increases in the mean concentration of chlorides in the soil solution and electrical conductivity (p < 0.05) increased the risk of salinization, which may have affected the concentration of nitrates in the petiole sap and total production in CRTMP, which were significantly lower than in CMP. Nevertheless, the proportion of premium product was significantly higher in CRTMP, while the proportion of non-commercial production decreased. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic carbon fractions; soil enzymes; crop management; soil solution organic carbon fractions; soil enzymes; crop management; soil solution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salinas, J.; Meca, D.; del Moral, F. Short-Term Effects of Changing Soil Management Practices on Soil Quality Indicators and Crop Yields in Greenhouses. Agronomy 2020, 10, 582.

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