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Organic carbon and stable 13C isotope in conservation agriculture and conventional systems

Author: Fuentes, M.
Author: Govaerts, B.
Author: Hidalgo, C.
Author: Etchevers, J.
Author: Gonzalez-Martin, I.
Author: Hernandez-Hierro, J.M.
Author: Sayre, K.D.
Author: Dendooven, L.
Year: 2010
ISSN: 0038-0717
Abstract: Conservation agriculture might have the potential to increase soil organic C content compared to conventional tillage based systems. The present study quantified soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil C derived from C3 (wheat) and C4 (maize) plant species using ä13C stable isotope. Soil with 16 y of continuous application of zero tillage (ZT) or conventional tillage (CT), monoculture (M) or rotation (R) of wheat and maize, and with (+r) and without retention (−r) in the field of crop residues were studied in the central highlands of Mexico. The highest SOC content was found in the 0?5 cm layer under ZTM and ZTR with residues retention. The soil cultivated with maize showed a higher SOC content in the 0?10 cm layer with residue retention than without residue. In the 10?20 cm layer, the highest SOC content was found in the CT treatment with residue retention. The SOC stock expressed as equivalent soil mass was greatest in the 0?20 cm layer of the ZTM (wheat and maize) and ZTR cultivated treatments with residue retention. After 16 y, the highest content of soil ä13C was found in ZTM + r and CTM + r treated soil cultivated with maize; −16.56? and −18.08? in the 0?5 cm layer, −18.41? and −18.02? in the 5?10 cm layer and −18.59? and −18.72? in the 10?20 cm layer respectively. All treatments had a higher percentages of C?C3 (derived from wheat residues or the earlier forest) than C?C4 (derived from maize residues). The highest percentages of C?C4, was found in ZTM + r and CTM + r treated soil cultivated with maize, i.e. 33.0% and 13.0% in 0?5 cm layer, 9.1% and 14.3% in the 5?10 cm layer and 5.0% and 6.8% in 10?20 cm layer, respectively. The gross SOC turnover was lower in soil with residue retention than without residues. It was found that the ZT system with residue retention and rotation with wheat is a practice with a potential to retain organic carbon in soil
Language: English
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Type: Article
Region: Global
Pages: 551-557
Journal Issue: 4
Journal: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Journal Volume: 42
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.11.020
Keywords: C of C3 and C4 plants
Keywords: Gross SOC turnover
Keywords: Zero and conventional tillage
Keywords: Crop rotation

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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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