Effects of Agricultural Management Practices on the Temporal Variability of Soil Temperature under Different Crop Rotations in Bad Lauchstaedt-Germany
To investigate the effects of management practices on the dynamics of soil temperature, during 2014–2017, a field experiment was carried out in Bad Lauchstaedt, Germany. In this study, four management systems are compared for determining management‐induced changes in soil temperature at different depths: (i) conventional tillage (TC) with the standard rate of N fertilizer (P1N1), (ii) conventional tillage with the half‐standard rate of N fertilizer (P1N0), (iii) reduced tillage (TR) with the standard rate of N fertilizer (P0N1), and iv) reduced tillage with the half‐standard rate of N fertilizer (P0N0). Temporal analysis of soil temperature is assessed to examine data observed at a specific time to achieve a better understanding of the soil temperature dynamic that occurs at different time scales. The results showed that the soil temperature has decreasing amplitudes and increasing phase shifts with increasing soil depth, i.e., the deeper the measurement depth, the smoother the soil temperature changes cycle and the smaller the variability. Results showed that the diurnal temperature variation is found up to 45 cm depth of soil whereas annual temperature variation is up to a depth of 180 cm. The results, moreover, revealed that soil temperature dynamic was affected by tillage systems and fertilization and a time lag is observed between the temperature fluctuations at the surface and deeper layers, due to induced management effects on plant cover, residues, and soil properties. Although higher soil temperature at the sowing stage under TR is contributed to higher amounts of surface crop residues in crop rotations, the effect of residues on soil temperature variation reduces with an increase in percent plant cover and shading of soil, which happens in the last stage of plant growth. At the last stage of crop development regardless of tillage systems, applying more N fertilization increased crop yield, resulting in cooling soil temperature.