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Corn-Soybean Sequence and Tillage Effects on Soil Carbon Dynamics and Storage
- Soil organic carbon (SOC) in agroecosystems is regulated by crop rotation and soil disturbance. We assessed crop sequence and tillage effects on SOC dynamics and storage using natural ¹³C abundance of corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.), Merr.]. Treatments consisted of tillage: moldboard plow (MP), chisel plow (CP), and no-tillage (NT); and crop sequence: continuous corn (CC), continuous soybean (SS), and alternating corn-soybean (CS). Soil samples were collected after 14 yr in each treatment and in fallow alley-ways and were analyzed for SOC, delta¹³C, bulk density, and pH. Tillage by crop sequence interactions occurred as treatments with MP and SS as well as fallow averaged 135 Mg SOC ha⁻¹ (0- to 45-cm depth), while CP treatments with corn (CC and CS) and NT with CC averaged 164 Mg SOC ha⁻¹. Crop sequence effects on SOC (0- to 45-cm depth) occurred when tillage was reduced with CP and NT averaging 15% greater SOC in CC than SS. In addition to less C inputs than CC, SS accelerated rates of SOC decomposition. Tillage effects on SOC were greatest in CC where CP had 26% and NT 20% more SOC than MP, whereas SOC in SS was similar across tillage treatments. Up to 33% of the greater SOC under CC for CP and NT, compared with MP, occurred below tillage operating depths. Substantial losses of SOC were estimated (1.6 Mg SOC ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹) despite lowering SOC decay rates with reduced tillage and high levels of C inputs with CC.
Huggins, D.R. , Allmaras, R.R. , Clapp, C.E. , Lamb, J.A. , Randall, G.W.
soil organic carbon , cropping sequence , disturbed soils , tillage , carbon sequestration , plowing , Zea mays , corn , Glycine max , soybeans , grain yield , soil-atmosphere interactions , soil pH , carbon , isotopes
- Includes references
- Soil Science Society of America journal 2007 Jan., v. 71, no. 1
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.