Soil compaction by heavy equipment has become one of the most important problems in modern large-scale plant production, but one area that has not received much attention is the effect of soil compaction on prairie soils over time periods in excess of about 10 years. This study addresses this issue by comparing properties in compacted to noncompacted soils in an abandoned farmyard and along a preserved stretch of the Mormon Trail. Properties compared include soil morphology, bulk density, carbon, C/N ratio, and apparent electrical conductivity (ECa). Bulk density, organic carbon, and ECa values were consistently different in the compacted versus noncompacted soils. Darker soil colors were consistently found at greater depths and roots were more abundant in the noncompacted soils. Some changes in C/N ratios were observed and a zone of platy structure was found in the abandoned farmyard.
Brevik, Eric C.
"The Influence of Long-Term Anthropogenically-Induced Compaction on Select Properties of Soils in the Midwestern United States,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 63, No. 2, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol63/iss2/4