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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Effects of long-term cultivation practices and nitrogen fertilization rates on carbon stock in a calcareous soil on the Chinese Loess Plateau

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC) are important C pools in the Loess Plateau of Northwest China, however, variations of SOC and SIC stocks under different cultivation practices and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates are not clear in this area. A long-term field experiment started in June 2003 was conducted to investigate the SOC and SIC stocks in a calcareous soil of the Chinese Loess Plateau under four cultivation practices, i.e., fallow (FA), conventional cultivation (CC), straw mulch (SM), and plastic film-mulched ridge and straw-mulched furrow (RF), in combination with three N fertilization rates, i.e., 0 (N0), 120 (N120), and 240 (N240) kg N/hm2. Results indicate that the crop straw addition treatments (SM and RF) increased the contents of soil microbial biomass C (SMBC) and SOC, and the SOC stock increased by 10.1%–13.3% at the upper 20 cm soil depth in comparison to the 8-year fallow (FA) treatment. Meanwhile, SIC stock significantly increased by 19% at the entire tested soil depth range (0–100 cm) under all crop cultivation practices in comparison to that of soil exposed to the long-term fallow treatment, particularly at the upper 60 cm soil depth. Furthermore, moderate N fertilizer application (120 kg N/hm2) increased SOC stock at the upper 40 cm soil depth, whereas SIC stock decreased as the N fertilization rate increased. We conclude that the combined application of crop organic residues and moderate N fertilization rate could facilitate the sequestrations of SOC and SIC in the calcareous soil.

Keywords

calcareous soil; cultivation practices; N application rate; soil C stock; Loess Plateau

First Page

129

Last Page

139

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