Studies on the decomposition of plant material in soil .V. The effects of plant cover and soil type on the loss of carbon from C-14 labelled ryegrass decomposing under field conditions

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Jenkinson, D. S. 1977. Studies on the decomposition of plant material in soil .V. The effects of plant cover and soil type on the loss of carbon from C-14 labelled ryegrass decomposing under field conditions. Journal of Soil Science. 28 (3), pp. 424-434.

AuthorsJenkinson, D. S.
Abstract

Ryegrass uniformly labelled with 14C was allowed to decompose for 10 years under field conditions in a range of contrasting soils. The amount of organic matter already in a soil had no effect on the retention of labelled C by that soil, nor had a variation in soil pH of from 4.9 to 8.1. Decomposition was initially slower in a strongly acid soil (pH 3.7) but by the end of 5 years the difference between this soil and the others had almost disappeared. The more clay in a soil, the greater the retention of labelled C over the whole 10 year period; this was true of both strongly acid and near‐neutral soils. More labelled organic matter was leached from a soil containing 7.6% clay than from one with 17.5% clay, but the amount thus lost was insufficient to account for the difference in retention of C by the two soils. The decomposition of labelled plant material was faster in bare soil than in soil growing grass but the ‘protection’ thus given to the labelled C by the growing grass ended when the grass was removed.

In bare soil about one third of the labelled ryegrass C was left after one year but thereafter decomposition became very much slower and about one eighth of the labelled C still remained in the soil after 10 years. The decay curve can be represented by a two compartment model, in which about 70% of the ryegrass C decomposed by a first order process of half life 0.25 years and the remainder by a similar process of half‐life 8 years.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication1977
JournalJournal of Soil Science
Journal citation28 (3), pp. 424-434
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1365-2389.1977.tb02250.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 1977
Print28 Jul 2006
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherWiley
ISSN0022-4588

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