The Influence of Tillage and Cover Cropping on Soil Microbial Parameters and Spring Wheat Physiology
The soil tillage system and the distribution of stubble catch crops increase the content of organic carbon, thus increasing the biochemical activity of soil. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of leguminous cover crops and different tillage soil systems before spring wheat sowing on the count of soil microorganisms, biochemical activity, microbiological diversity and the physiological state of the plants in correlation with yield. The study compared and analysed the following
... e following systems: (1) conventional tillage (CT) to a depth of 22 cm, followed by spring wheat sowing using four simplified cultivation technologies called conservation tillage. The following simplified tillage systems were evaluated: (2) skimming before sowing the cover crop and spring wheat sowing after ploughing tillage (CT), (3) skimming before sowing of the cover crop (sowing wheat with no-till technology (NT)), (4) direct sowing of ground cover plants (NT) and spring wheat sowing after ploughing cultivation (CT) and (5) direct sowing of cover crop (NT) and sowing wheat directly into cover crop (NT). The results showed that applying the cover crop and soil tillage method before sowing wheat improved all tested parameters. The highest values of the analysed parameters were observed in the treatment with soil skimming before sowing of the cover plant, and then with sowing the wheat directly into the mulch. The activity of dehydrogenase was 90% higher, while the activity of phosphatase was 32% higher, in comparison to the control group. Both the activity of catalase and the biological index of fertility were 200% higher, in comparison to the control group. Metagenomic analysis showed that soil bacterial communities collected during treatment 'zero' and after different cultivations differed in the structure and percentage of individual taxa at the phylum level.