Long-term fertilization enhances soil carbon stability by increasing the ratio of passive carbon - evidence from four typical croplands

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhou, W., Wen, S., Zhang, Y., Gregory, A. S., Xu, M., Shah, S. A. A., Zhang, W., Wu, H. and Hartley, I. P. 2022. Long-term fertilization enhances soil carbon stability by increasing the ratio of passive carbon - evidence from four typical croplands. Plant and Soil. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-022-05488-0

AuthorsZhou, W., Wen, S., Zhang, Y., Gregory, A. S., Xu, M., Shah, S. A. A., Zhang, W., Wu, H. and Hartley, I. P.
Abstract

Aims Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role in improving soil quality, however, how long-term fertilization influences SOC and contrasting active C (AC) and passive C (PC) pools at large scale remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of long-term fertilization on SOC, including AC and PC, across four typical croplands in China and to explore the potential relationships and mechanisms.

Methods We assessed the effect of chemical fertilizer and manure amendment (standard rate and 1.5 x standard rate of inorganic fertilizer (NPK) with or without manure (M), with a Control for comparison) at three soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm) on SOC, AC and PC.

Results We found that SOC, AC and PC increased in the order NPK < NPKM < 1.5NPKM. 1.5NPKM resulting in a significant increase in SOC, AC and PC, of 76.3%, 53.0% and 108.5% respectively across the soil profile (0-60 cm) compared with Control. The response ratio of PC to long-term fertilization was 2.1 times greater than that of AC across four sites on average. In addition, clay was identified as the most important factor in explaining the response of AC and PC to different fertilization application.

Conclusions Long-term fertilization enhanced both AC and PC, but the greater response of PC suggests that fertilization application could enhance the stability of C and thus the potential of cropland for SOC accumulation.

KeywordsChemical fertilization; Manure; Labile carbon; Non-labile carbon; Response ratio; Carbon accumulation
Year of Publication2022
JournalPlant and Soil
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-022-05488-0
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-022-05488-0
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Jun 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted11 May 2022
PublisherSpringer
ISSN0032-079X

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