SOC sequestration affected by fertilization in rice-based cropping systems over the last four decades

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wang, S., Sun, N., Liang, S., Zhang, S., Meersmans, J., Colinet, G., Xu, M. and Wu, L. 2023. SOC sequestration affected by fertilization in rice-based cropping systems over the last four decades. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 11, p. 1152439.

AuthorsWang, S., Sun, N., Liang, S., Zhang, S., Meersmans, J., Colinet, G., Xu, M. and Wu, L.

Enhancing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks through fertilization and crop rotation will contribute to sustaining crop productivity and mitigating global warming. In this study, we analyzed the differences in total SOC stocks and their driving factors in the topsoil (0–20 cm) with various fertilization measures in two puddled lowland rice-based cropping systems (i.e., rice-wheat rotation and double rice rotation systems) over the last four decades from seven long-term experiments in the Yangtze River catchment. The soil types include Cambisol, Luvisol, and Anthrosol. The treatments include no fertilizer application (CK), application of chemical nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (NPK) and a combination of NPK and manure applications (NPKM). Every year, field was ploughed to a depth of 15–20 cm before wheat sowing and rice transplanting. Residue was removed after plant harvesting. Results showed that during the last four decades, the average crop grain yield ranged from 1,151 ± 504 kg ha−1 yr−1 under CK treatment to 7,553 ± 1,373 kg ha−1 yr−1 under NPKM treatment. The topsoil SOC stock significantly increased by 8.6 t ha−1 on average under NPKM treatment in rice-wheat system and by 2.5–6.4 t ha−1 on average under NPK and NPKM treatments in double rice system as compared with CK. A higher SOC sequestration rate and a longer SOC sequestration duration were found in NPKM treatment than that in NPK treatment in both cropping systems. The highest SOC stock ratio (SOC stock in fertilizer treatments to CK) was observed under the NPKM treatment in both cropping systems, though no significant difference was found between these two cropping systems. However, the fertilization-induced relative increase of the SOC stock was 109.5% and 45.8% under the NPK and NPKM treatments, respectively in the rice-wheat system than that in the double rice system. This indicates that the rice-wheat system is more conducive for SOC sequestration. RF and SEM analyses revealed that the magnitude and influencing factors driving SOC sequestration varied between two systems. In the double rice system, continuous flooding weakens the influence of precipitation on SOC sequestration and highlights the importance of soil properties and C input. In contrast, soil properties, C input and climate factors all have important impacts on SOC sequestration in rice-wheat system. This study reveals that the rice-wheat system is more favorable for SOC sequestration despite its lower C input compared to the double rice system in China’s paddies.

KeywordsCrop rotation; The Yangtze River catchment; Paddy soil; Soil organic carbon; Fertilization
Year of Publication2023
JournalFrontiers in Environmental Science
Journal citation11, p. 1152439
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderNational Key Research and Development Program of China
National Natural Science Foundation of China
China Scholarship Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 May 2023
PublisherFrontiers Media SA

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