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Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Fractions and Crop Yields Affected by Residue Placement and Crop Types

Wang, Jun ; Sainju, Upendra M Balestrini, Raffaella (editor)

PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(8) [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Fractions and Crop Yields Affected by Residue Placement and Crop Types
  • Author: Wang, Jun ; Sainju, Upendra M
  • Balestrini, Raffaella (editor)
  • Subjects: Research Article ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Ecology And Environmental Sciences
  • Is Part Of: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(8)
  • Description: Soil labile C and N fractions can change rapidly in response to management practices compared to non-labile fractions. High variability in soil properties in the field, however, results in nonresponse to management practices on these parameters. We evaluated the effects of residue placement (surface application [or simulated no-tillage] and incorporation into the soil [or simulated conventional tillage]) and crop types (spring wheat [ Triticum aestivum L.], pea [ Pisum sativum L.], and fallow) on crop yields and soil C and N fractions at the 0–20 cm depth within a crop growing season in the greenhouse and the field. Soil C and N fractions were soil organic C (SOC), total N (STN), particulate organic C and N (POC and PON), microbial biomass C and N (MBC and MBN), potential C and N mineralization (PCM and PNM), NH 4 -N, and NO 3 -N concentrations. Yields of both wheat and pea varied with residue placement in the greenhouse as well as in the field. In the greenhouse, SOC, PCM, STN, MBN, and NH 4 -N concentrations were greater in surface placement than incorporation of residue and greater under wheat than pea or fallow. In the field, MBN and NH 4 -N concentrations were greater in no-tillage than conventional tillage, but the trend reversed for NO 3 -N. The PNM was greater under pea or fallow than wheat in the greenhouse and the field. Average SOC, POC, MBC, PON, PNM, MBN, and NO 3 -N concentrations across treatments were higher, but STN, PCM and NH 4 -N concentrations were lower in the greenhouse than the field. The coefficient of variation for soil parameters ranged from 2.6 to 15.9% in the greenhouse and 8.0 to 36.7% in the field. Although crop yields varied, most soil C and N fractions were greater in surface placement than incorporation of residue and greater under wheat than pea or fallow in the greenhouse than the field within a crop growing season. Short-term management effect on soil C and N fractions were readily obtained with reduced variability under controlled soil and environmental conditions in the greenhouse compared to the field. Changes occurred more in soil labile than non-labile C and N fractions in the greenhouse than the field.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 1932-6203 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105039 ; PMCID: 4132068 ; PMID: 25119381

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