Response of the TDR sensor to moisture under different types of management of a typical Latosol in the Cerrado

<div><p>ABSTRACT The technique of Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is important in the evaluation of soil moisture due to being an instantaneous method, which is non-destructive, precise and little dependent on environmental factors. However, researchers have emphasised the need for continuous specific calibration for each soil-management situation. The aim of this work therefore, was to evaluate the response of a portable TDR sensor to soil moisture in a Dystroferric Red Latosol in the Cerrado, under three different systems of soil management and at three different depths in the soil profile. To do this, TDR equipment consisting of two rods, each 0.12 m in length, was used for instantaneous measurement of the volumetric water content of the soil. The depths of 0-0.12, 0.12-0.24 and 0.24-0.36 m were evaluated under three different systems: no-tillage (NT), crop-livestock integration (CLI) and conventional planting (CONV). The response of the TDR sensor varied for both the type of management and for depth. After statistical regression analysis of the data, the values for moisture as a function of the response period of the sensor, and the correlation between moisture by TDR and moisture by the gravimetric method, were highly representative. This demonstrated that the apparatus under evaluation proved to be effective in measuring soil moisture at each depth and under each management system in the specific Latosol under analysis, displaying statistical differences between the treatments.</p></div>