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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #93438


item Reicosky, Donald

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Tillage and soil carbon dioxide loss can contribute to potential climate change through the greenhouse effect. This review covers research on short-term tillage-induced carbon dioxide losses related to tillage intensity associated with different tillage methods. Gas exchange was measured using a large portable closed chamber. The short-term losses of CO2 following moldboard plowing were large compared to the relatively smal losses with no-till or conservation tillage. The spatial variation of carbon dioxide flux across the landscape after plowing was related to variable soil properties and water content at time of tillage. The average cumulative short-term CO2 loss for four conservation tillage tools was only 31% of the moldboard plow. The moldboard plow treatment lost 13.8 times as much CO2 as the soil area not tilled, compared to the average of four different conservation tillage tools that lost only 4.3 times as much. The trends with tillage intensity were qualitatively the same for both fall an spring tillage, with consistent quantitative differences showing greater CO2 loss in fall than in spring. Cumulative CO2 flux for 24 hours from three cropping systems after tillage with either a moldboard plow or a chisel plow was considerably greater from an established Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) pasture than from a no-till sorghum(Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) field or a continuously-cultivated sorghum field. Present data confirms how intensive tillage releases CO2, decreases soil carbon and supports increased adoption of new and improved forms of conservation tillage equipment that offers significant potential to preserve or increase soil C levels for enhanced environmental quality.