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Rebuilding Organic Carbon Contents in Coastal Plain Soils Using Conservation Tillage Systems
- Long-term disk tillage (DT) for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production in the southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain has resulted in soil organic C (SOC) content reductions. Conservation tillage (CT) management in some studies can rebuild SOC levels. A field study, with two adjacent 3.5-ha fields, both containing soil series formed in upland and depressional areas, was conducted using a 6-yr rotation of corn (Zea mays L.) and cotton to determine the CT and DT effects on SOC contents and residue characteristics returned to the soil. Annual soil samples were collected from 50 locations per field at 0- to 3- and 3- to 15-cm. After 6 yr under CT, residue accumulation promoted a significant SOC increase in the 0- to 3-cm depth in the upland soil series (about 0.7 Mg SOC ha-1). The lack of residue mixing in the 3- to 15-cm depth in upland soils under CT, however, resulted in a significant SOC content decline at this depth (1.25-2.51 Mg SOC ha-1). There was no significant SOC content change in soils under CT formed in depressional areas or in all soils under DT. During 6 yr, 14.8 Mg ha-1 of organic C from both corn and cotton residues was returned to soils under CT, but <4% was incorporated into the SOC pool. Levels of SOC in sandy upland soils can be increased at the surface after 6 yr of CT under a corn and cotton rotation, with the increase coming at the expense of an SOC decline at a deeper topsoil depth.
Novak, J.M. , Frederick, J.R. , Bauer, P.J. , Watts, D.W.
coastal plain soils , soil organic carbon , conservation tillage , discing , conventional tillage , cotton , corn , Gossypium hirsutum , Zea mays , sandy soils , upland soils , bottomland soils , landscape position , spatial variation , crop residues , crop residue management , topsoil , depth , South Carolina , Southeastern United States
- Includes references
- Soil Science Society of America journal 2009 Mar-Apr, v. 73, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
- Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.