Organic carbon stocks in topsoil and subsoil in long-term ley and cereal monoculture rotationsBorjesson, Gunnar;Bolinder, Martin A.;Kirchmann, Holger;Katterer, Thomas;
Soil organic C (SOC) in agricultural soils is affected by cropping system. In order to compare the impact of ley-dominated and cereal monoculture rotations on soil properties, a series of experiments was started in Sweden in the early 1980s. This study quantified the effect of rotations and N fertilisation on SOC stocks and microbial community composition. After 35 years, soil samples taken down to 50-cmdepth at two sites with contrasting soil texture (clay and loam) were analysed for soil C and N, bulk density and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) content. Significant increases in SOC concentrations and stocks were found in the ley-dominated rotation compared with the cereal monoculture rotation, the difference being 0.36 and 0.59 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1) in the topsoil (0-20 cm) for sites with the clay and loam texture, respectively, in average over N fertiliser levels. Nitrogen fertilisation increased SOC stocks significantly in the cereal monoculture, but not in the ley-dominated rotation. In the loam, SOC responses in the subsoil were almost as high as those in the topsoil, but they were insignificant in the clay soil. These results indicate that soil texture and structure can have a great impact on the potential of subsoils to sequester C, which requires attention when scaling up SOC sequestration rates for regional or global assessments.
Soil organic matter; Carbon sequestration; Subsoil; Crop rotation; Phospholipid fatty acids
Published inBiology and Fertility of Soils 2018, volume: 54, number: 4, pages: 549–558
UKÄ Subject classification
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
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