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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344465

Research Project: Production System and Climate Change Effects on Soil/Air/Water Quality for the Eastern Corn Belt

Location: National Soil Erosion Research

Title: Lime and phosphogypsum impacts on soil organic matter pools in a tropical Oxisol under long-term no-till conditions

Author
item Carmeis Filho, Antonio C.a. - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Penn, Chad
item Crusciol, Carlos A.c. - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Calonego, Jualiano - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)

Submitted to: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2017
Publication Date: 3/7/2017
Citation: Carmeis Filho, A., Penn, C.J., Crusciol, C., Calonego, J.C. 2017. Lime and phosphogypsum impacts on soil organic matter pools in a tropical Oxisol under long-term no-till conditions. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 241:11-23.

Interpretive Summary: Soil organic matter (SOM) is the most critical component of soil quality. Increasing SOM can improve agricultural sustainability, although this is very difficult in highly weathered soils. This study evaluated the ability of lime and gypsum to improve soil quality in no-till systems through increasing SOM and changing the forms of SOM. Surface lime applications increased SOM through greater input of above-ground and root biomass. Lime applications combined with gypsum resulted in the greatest microbial activity, which was due to a greater lability of the soil carbon. Lime plus gypsum applications also resulted in more stable SOM with greater proportions of soil carbon as humin and fulvic acid. An increase is both the labile and stable soil carbon pools represents an ideal scenario for improving soil quality and increasing sustainability.

Technical Abstract: Improving soil organic matter (SOM) quality in tropical acid soils is important for increasing the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. This research evaluated the effect of the surface application of lime and phosphogypsum on the quality and amount of SOM in a long-term crop rotation under no-till conditions. The research was performed in a kaolinitic, thermic Typic Haplorthox for 12 years with annual crops under no-till. The treatments included no soil amendments, and amendment with phosphogypsum, lime, and lime + phosphogypsum. After three applications of soil amendments (2002, 2004, and 2010), surface liming increased the SOM input through addition of aboveground and root biomass, varying amount according to crop species, growing season, and soil depth. Although phosphogypsum had no effect on plant biomass production, the application of phosphogypsum with lime increased nitrogen (N) by up to 50% in the uppermost soil depths. The application of lime alone significantly increased the total organic carbon (TOC) at all depths, although the greatest effects were observed at 0.10–0.20 and 0.20–0.40 m, with an increase of 44% and 41%, respectively. Moreover, lime + phosphogypsum also exhibited the highest potential for C mineralization, which was attributed to an increased proportion of TOC as particulate organic carbon (POC). The proportion of TOC as humin and fulvic acid increased with the application of lime + phosphogypsum at 0–0.05 m, with an increase from 55% to 92% and from 1.4% to 1.6%, respectively. Overall, the combination of lime and phosphogypsum increased both the labile and stable C pools.