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Soil Carbon Dioxide Flux and Organic Carbon Content: Effects of Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization

AuthorsMorell Soler, Francisco Joaquín; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Lampurlanés Castel, Jorge; Plaza-Bonilla, Daniel ; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge
Issue DateSep-2011
PublisherSoil Science Society of America
CitationMorell FJ, Cantero-Martinez C, Lampurlanes J, Plaza-Bonilla D, Alvaro-Fuentes J. Soil Carbon Dioxide Flux and Organic Carbon Content: Effects of Tillage and Nitrogen Fertilization. Soil Science Society of America journal 75 (5): 1874-1884 (2011)
AbstractThe response of soil CO2 flux to long-term tillage practices (no-tillage, NT; minimum tillage, MT; conventional tillage, CT) and N fertilization level (zero; medium, 60 kg N ha−1; high, 120 kg N ha−1) was studied during three growing season in a rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystem. Soil CO2 flux was related to the crop growth, with the highest flux during spring (i.e., March–May). Tillage and N fertilization effects on soil CO2 flux during growing seasons depended on weather conditions: greater soil CO2 flux under MT and NT on dry years, greater under CT and MT on a wet year. Nitrogen fertilization affected soil CO2 flux during this wet growing season: flux with N fertilizer additions was higher than flux on the unfertilized plots. Thirteen years after establishment of the experiment, the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock under long-term NT was 3.9 Mg C ha−1 greater than under CT and 4.3 Mg C ha−1 greater than under MT. The SOC stocks with N fertilizer additions were 4 Mg C ha−1 greater than the stock on unfertilized plots. The increase of C inputs with N fertilization was more pronounced under NT than under MT or CT. For this reason the increased response of SOC stock to N fertilization is expected under NT in a longer period of time. The product between soil water content and soil temperature explained between 75 and 94% of the seasonal variability of soil CO2 flux. However, soil CO2 flux and SOC stock were hardly related.
Description11 Pag., 7 Tabl., 8 Fig.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2011.0030
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