Sensible use of tillage requires knowledge about different aspects of soil crumbling. Decisions of best management practices must be based on complex considerations regarding e.g. effective tractor use, long-term soil health, etc. Research on soil carbon fluxes in tilled soils is an area of investigation which has received much attention recently, but ideally it should be approached in a combined bio-physical manner. We conducted studies on respiration from freshly fragmented clay soil in different aggregate size fractions with help of a multi-channel respirometer. The fragmented soil was characterized in terms of different soil carbon pools. The physical fragmentation itself was characterized in a manner that should be relevant to the three existing ways of relating use of a specific tool configuration to physical outcome of the operation, namely soil mechanical tillage experiments in situ, tests in soil bins and computational soil mechanics. Linear regressions showed that higher specific aggregate surface area, more free organic C per dry soil and more occluded C per dry soil led to higher soil respiration rates.
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