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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE PROCESSES THAT IMPACT THE QUALITY AND MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Title: Effects of tillage and residue management on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in the North China Plain

Authors
item Hou, Ruixing -
item Ouyang, Zhu -
item Li, Yunsheng -
item Tyler, Donald -
item Li, Fadong -
item Wilson, Glenn

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 2011
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/54078
Citation: Hou, R., Ouyang, Z., Li, Y., Tyler, D., Li, F., Wilson, G.V. 2012. Effects of tillage and residue management on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in the North China Plain. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 76(1):230-240. DOI:10.2136/sssaj2011.0107.

Interpretive Summary: A suitable tillage-residue management system is needed in the North China Plain (NCP) that sustains soil fertility and agronomic productivity. The objective was to determine the effects of different tillage-residue managements for a winter wheat, summer corn double-crop system on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (N) pools. No tillage with residue left on the surface (NTR), no tillage with residue removed and manure applied (NTRRM), and conventional tillage with residue removed (CTRR) were investigated for 6 years. Soil samples were collected at six depths and changes in SOC and total N were analyzed. NTRRM and NTR treatments captured more SOC and total N in the 0-10 cm depth increments than CTRR. In the subsoil (5-60 cm), SOC was depleted during each year for NTRRM and NTR, while CTRR continued to increase in SOC storage. In the whole soil profile (0-60 cm), rates of storing SOC followed the order SOC> NTTRM > NTR. Using manure to substitute for N loss in the crop residue removed, the NTRRM tended to accumulate more SOC than NTR, and had similar accumulation as NTR in total N pools, grain yield and aboveground biomass. Thus, crop residue could be substituted by manure in this double-crop, irrigated system. CTRR was better at maintaining soil fertility and crop productivity than NTRRM and NTR in the NCP.

Technical Abstract: A suitable tillage-residue management system is needed in the North China Plain (NCP) that sustains soil fertility and agronomic productivity. The objective was to determine the effects of different tillage-residue managements for a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), summer maize (Zea Mays L.) double-crop system on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (N) pools. No tillage with residue cover (NTR), no tillage with residue removed and manure applied (NTRRM), and conventional tillage with residue removed (CTRR) were investigated for 6 years. Soil samples were collected at six depths and changes in SOC and total N pools were analyzed. NTRRM and NTR treatments sequestrated more SOC and total N in the 0-10 cm depth increments than CTRR. In the subsoil (5-60 cm), annual SOC sequestration was -0.13 and -0.50 Mg ha-1 yr-1 for NTRRM and NTR, respectively, while CTRR exhibited a positive SOC pool trend. In the whole soil profile (0-60 cm), NTRRM, NTR and CTRR sequestrated SOC at the rates of 0.66, 0.27 and 2.24 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Using dry matter manure to substitute for N loss in the residue removed, the NTRRM tended to accumulate more SOC than NTR, and had similar accumulation as NTR in total N pools, grain yield and aboveground biomass. Thus, crop residue could be substituted by manure in this double-crop, irrigated system. CTRR was suitable in soil fertility and agronomic productivity sustainable relative to NTRRM and NTR in the NCP.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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