Divergent behaviour of soil nutrients imprinted by different land management practices in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Song, M., Tang, Q., Han, C., Yuan, C., Yang, Q, Wei, J., He, X., Lv, X. and Collins, A. L. 2024. Divergent behaviour of soil nutrients imprinted by different land management practices in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China. International Soil and Water Conservation Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iswcr.2024.03.003

AuthorsSong, M., Tang, Q., Han, C., Yuan, C., Yang, Q, Wei, J., He, X., Lv, X. and Collins, A. L.
Abstract

Soil nutrients are essentially regulated by land management practices via modulating biotic element input and metabolism. The Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China was dominated by a farming landscape, but land management has become diversified over recent decades. How these restorative management practices may have affected soil nutrients is not completely understood. In this study, a space-time substitution approach was applied to evaluate soil nutrients and their stoichiometric changes in response to post-farming land management practices. Soil samples(0–10 cm, 10–20 cm, and 20–40 cm) were collected from present-day croplands, cypress plantations, eucalyptus plantations, abandoned croplands, and citrus plantations. Soil organic matter, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, alkaline hydrolyzed nitrogen, total phosphorus, and available phosphorus were determined. The results showed that soil organic matter and total nitrogen in abandoned croplands, cypress plantations, eucalyptus
plantations and citrus plantations were increased by 186% and 190%, 184% and 107%, 45% and 33%, and 45% and 54%, respectively, in comparison with present-day croplands. Soil nutrients except for total phosphorus decreased more with soil depth by exclusion of tillage mixing. The analysis of the comprehensive soil nutrient index showed that abandoned croplands (0.90) and cypress plantations(0.72) exhibited better nutrient recovery capacity. Soil C:P and N:P ratios increase in abandoned croplands, cypress plantations, and eucalyptus plantations. Phosphorus may become a limiting factor for plant growth with prolonged recovery in abandoned croplands, cypress plantations, and eucalyptus plantations, while soil organic matter and total nitrogen deficiencies are exacerbated in citrus plantations and present-day croplands. Therefore, cropland abandonment and reforestation (particularly cypress trees plantation) are recommended practices for restoring soil nutrients in the
Three Gorges Reservoir Area.

KeywordsReforestation; Cropland abandonment; Land use conversion; Space-time substitution approach
Year of Publication2024
JournalInternational Soil and Water Conservation Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iswcr.2024.03.003
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeResilient Farming Futures (WP2): Detecting agroecosystem ‘resilience’ using novel data science methods
Resilient Farming Futures
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Apr 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Mar 2024
PublisherElsevier

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