Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Alexis Racelis

Second Advisor

Dr. Engil Pereira

Third Advisor

Dr. James Jihoon Kang


There has been increased attention in utilizing agriculture for carbon sequestration. Soil carbon and nitrogen are two dynamic soil properties (DSPs) that are indicators of soil health and function and have overlapping cycles. These soil properties change frequently as a result of environmental conditions and agricultural management practices. This study focuses on the impact of tillage practices in unirrigated agricultural fields in Hidalgo and Willacy counties located in South Texas on Hidalgo Sandy Clay Loam; With a particular focus on Soil Total Carbon (TC), Soil Inorganic Carbon (SIC), Permanganate Oxidizable Carbon (POXC), Carbon and Nitrogen ratio (C:N), Soil Organic Matter (SOM), and Total Nitrogen (TN). The tillage regimes are strip tillage (conservation tillage for 3 to 6 years), intermittent tillage (strip tillage for 2 to 3 years followed by conventional tillage) , and conventional tillage. Two ecological sites (established tree lines that have been undisturbed for at least 50 years) are included as reference points. Results show ecological reference sites on average are significantly higher than those fields under conventional, intermittent and strip tilled for TC, TN, and SOM for the top 0 - 5cm. POXC on ecological reference sites was significantly higher from 0 - 5 cm, 5 - 10 cm, and 30 -50cm. However, when comparing conventional tillage to intermittent and strip there was no statistically significant difference among TC, TN, SOM, POXC, and C:N at all depths. Finally, most significant differences among the parameters measure could be observe on the top 0 - 10cm with the exception of SIC due to the soil high content of calcium carbonates and POXC in which the ecological reference sites were significantly higher at 30 – 50 cm than conventional sites.


Copyright 2022 Luzyannet Ballesteros Gonzalez. All Rights Reserved.