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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Changes in soil temperature and moisture due to sugarcane straw removal in central-southern Brazil

Belarmino dos Santos, Arthur Klebson; Popin, Gustavo Vicentini; Gmach, Maria Regina; Cherubin, Mauricio Roberto; Neto, Marcos Siqueira; Peregrino Cerri, Carlos Eduardo


Crop residues left in the field cover and protect the soil surface, and regulate key processes and functions, such as gas and water exchanges. However, the Brazilian sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) sector has begun to use straw as feedstock to produce bioenergy. We conducted a field study to evaluate the effects of sugarcane straw removal in soil temperature and moisture changes at three sites (with different soil textures: Site 1 - clayey Oxisol, Site 2 - medium texture Oxisol, and Site 3 - sandy Ultisol) in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The experimental design was randomized blocks with four rates of straw removal: i) no removal (NR); ii) moderate removal (MR); iii) substantial removal (SR), and iv) total removal (TR). Soil temperature was measured by sensors in the 0- to 5- and 5- to 10-cm soil layers. Undisturbed soil samples were collected from the 0- to 20- and 20- to 40-cm layers to determine soil moisture. Intensive straw removal (HR and TR) increased the soil temperature between 2 and 3 degrees C and the thermal amplitude between 5 and 9 degrees C in the 0- to 5-cm layer, compared to MR and NR. Soil moisture decreased between 0.03 and 0.07 g g(-1) in the 0- to 20-cm layer with intensive straw removal. The sandy soil was more susceptible to straw removal. Therefore, straw maintenance on the soil surface plays an essential role in temperature regulation and preservation of higher soil moisture, especially in regions with severe water deficits and long periods of water stress.


bioenergy; agricultural residues; crop residue management; soil moisture; soil heat

Published in

Scientia Agrícola
2022, volume: 79, number: 6, article number: e20200309

Authors' information

Belarmino dos Santos, Arthur Klebson
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Popin, Gustavo Vicentini
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Gmach, Maria
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Cherubin, Mauricio Roberto
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Neto, Marcos Siqueira
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Peregrino Cerri, Carlos Eduardo
Universidade de Sao Paulo

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Soil Science

Publication Identifiers


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