An experiment was performed for a 3-year period in a rainfed olive grove located in Southern Italy to evaluate the effect of different soil management techniques on Soil Water Content (SWC). The compared treatments were Sustainable System SS (non-tillage, spontaneous vegetation cover, annual recycling of pruning material) versus Conventional System CS (tillage, no pruning material recycling). Serveys on soil structure and hydrological behaviour were performed. SWC was measured by Bouyoucous blocks placed at different soil depths. Ten years of sustainable soil management increased the storage of rainfall water particularly in the deeper layers. In SS soil macroporosity was higher than CS system and homogeneously distributed along the profile, favouring the vertical water movement down to deeper horizons. In CS the occurrence of soil crusting and compacted layers hindered infiltration and percolation of raifall water
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