Residue returning with subsoiling replacing rotary tillage improving aggregate and associated carbon

TIAN Shenzhong1 WANG Yu2 ZHANG Yufeng1 BIAN Wenfan1 DONG Liang1 LUO Jiafa3 GUO Honghai1

(1.Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Agro-Environment of Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, Ministry of Agriculture, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer, Shandong Provincial Engineering Research Center of New-type Fertilizers, Jinan, China 250100)
(2.Shandong Rice Research Institute, Jinan, China 250100)
(3.Ag Research, Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand)

【Abstract】Soil tillage and residue returning can exert significant impact on soil structure and nutrient turnover, which are also important driving factors for the distribution and updating of soil aggregate. The objective of this study was to estimate the effect of rotary tillage converting to subsoiling (RT-ST) on distribution, stability and associated carbon content of soil aggregate based on the 8-year experiment, which included rotary tillage with residue returning (RTS), rotary tillage with residue removing (RTA), rotary tillage converting to subsoiling with residue returning (RTS-STS) and rotary tillage converting to subsoiling with residue removing (RTA-STA). The contribution rate of aggregate-C to soil organic carbon (SOC) and their interaction during RT-ST were also analyzed in this study. The results showed that, the distribution, stability and associated carbon of soil aggregate fractions were significantly affected by RTS-STS, which not only significantly increased the proportion of soil macroaggregate, but also promoted the stability of aggregate. For example, the aggregates at the size fractions of 1–2, 0.25–1 and < 0.25 mm under RTS-STS treatment were significantly higher than those of other 3 treatments in the soil depth of 0–10 cm, and the mean weight diameter (MWD) for stability index of soil aggregate under RTS-STS treatment was also 6.1%, 65.4%, and 87.8% higher than those under RTA-STA, RTS and RTA treatments, respectively, in this study. The aggregates at the size fractions of 1–2, 0.25–1 and < 0.25 mm under the four treatments were increased in the soil depth of > 30–50 cm compared with those in the soil depth of 0–30 cm. However, the MWD values were significantly decreased under the RTS-STS and RTA-STA treatments in the soil depth of 30–50 cm, and the opposite result was found under RTS and RTA treatments. Meanwhile, RTS-STS treatment significantly increased the aggregate-associated carbon and its contribution rate to SOC in the depth of 0–20 cm. Although there was no significant difference for aggregate-associated carbon between RTS-STS and RTS treatments in the depths of > 20–30 and > 30–50 cm, the contribution rate of aggregate-associated carbon to SOC was decreased under the RTS-STS treatment compared with that in > 20–50 cm depth. Compared with residue removing, rotary tillage and RTS-STS increased the contents of SOC and aggregate-associated carbon in the soil depth of 0–50 cm. The contribution rate of aggregate-associated carbon to SOC under RTS-STS treatment was 87.89%, which was 4.9%, 10.3%, and 18.6% higher than those under RTS, RTA-STA and RTA treatments, respectively, in this study. Tillage method, residue returning, and their interaction were important influencing factors for the distribution and associated carbon of soil aggregate under the four treatments in the different soil depths according to the force analysis in this study. Additionally, there was significant positive correlation between the SOC and the stability and associated carbon (P < 0.01) of aggregate according to the correlation analysis result. The RTS-STS can improve the aggregate gathering and stabilizing in the 0–20 cm soil depth, and also increase the contribution rate of soil aggregate-associated carbon to SOC, which will significantly improve the SOC level in this region.

【Keywords】 soils; organic carbon; straw; subsoiling; rotary tillage; residue returning; soil aggregate;

【DOI】

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This Article

ISSN:1002-6819

CN: 11-2047/S

Vol 33, No. 24, Pages 133-140

December 2017

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 0 Introduction
  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results and analysis
  • 3 Discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References