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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Pools as Influenced by Tillage, Cover Crop, Poultry Manure, and Nitrogen Fertilization)

Author
item Sainju, Upendra
item Senwo, Zachary
item Nyakatawa, Ermsom
item Tazisong, Irenus
item Reddy, K

Submitted to: Research Coordination Meeting
Publication Type: Popular publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/23/2007
Publication Date: 11/23/2007
Citation: Sainju, U.M., Senwo, Z., Nyakatawa, E., Tazisong, I., Reddy, K.C. 2007. Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Pools as Influenced by Tillage, Cover Crop, Poultry Manure, and Nitrogen Fertilization. Alabama A&M University Collaboration Progress Report. p. 1-13.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Quantification of soil C and N cycling as influenced by management practices is needed for C and N sequestration and soil quality and productivity improvement. We evaluated the 10-yr effects of tillage, cropping system, and N source on soil C and N fractions at 0- to 20-cm depth in Decatur silt loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic, Typic Paleudults) in northern Alabama, USA. Treatments were incomplete factorial combinations of three tillage practices [no-till (NT), mulch till (MT), and conventional till (CT)], two cropping systems [cotton -cotton-corn and rye/cotton-rye/cotton-corn], and two N fertilization sources and rates (0 and 100 kg N ha-1 from NH4NO3 and 100 and 200 kg N ha-1 from poultry litter). Carbon and N fractions were soil organic C (SOC), soil total N (STN), particulate organic C and N (POC and PON), microbial biomass C and N (MBC and MBN), potential C and N mineralization (PCM and PNM) and NH4N and NO3-N. While concentrations of soil C and N fractions at 10 to 20 cm after 10 yr were not influenced by treatments, SOC and STN contents at 0 to 20 cm was greater with poultry litter than with NH4NO3 in NT and CT. This resulted in a C sequestration rate of 510 kg C ha-1 yr-1 with poultry litter compared with -120 to 147 kg C ha-1 yr-1 with NH4NO3 and N sequestration rate of 41 to 49 kg N ha-1 compared with poultry litter compared with -3 to -23 kg N ha-1 with NH4NO3. Poultry litter also increased PCM, MBC, PON, MBN, PNM, and NO3-N contents compared with NH4NO3. Cropping increased SOC, POC, PCM, STN, MBN, and PON contents compared with fallow in NT. Long-term poultry litter application or continuous cropping increased soil C and N storage, microbial biomass and activity, and N mineralization potential and availability compared with inorganic N fertilization or fallow, indicating that these management practices can be used to sequester C and N, offset atmospheric CO2 and N2O levels, improve soil quality and productivity, and reduce environmental degradation.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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