LA FRACCIÓN LIVIANA DE LA MATERIA ORGÁNICA DE UN SUELO VOLCÁNICO BAJO DISTINTO MANEJO AGRONÓMICO COMO ÍNDICE DE CAMBIOS DE LA MATERIA ORGÁNICA LÁBIL
Starting from an 18-year experiment with different crop rotations, samples of soil of volcanic origin from the foothills of Ñuble (37º09 S lat.; 72º02 W long.) were obtained in order to determine the effect of agricultural management on light fraction (FL) of the organic matter. FL was separated by density using NaI (d = 1,8 g cm-3). Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents were determined by dry combustion both in the whole soil and the isolated FL. Light fraction contents were higher than those found in other research with non-volcanic soils. However, a clear trend to decrease FL was observed when soil use was intensified. The C or N proportions of the soil and the FL presented similar results. The use of this fraction as a sensitive indicator of changes in labile organic matter produced by different agricultural management is discussed.