The impact of nitrogen amendment and crop growth on dissolved organic carbon in soil solution
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Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, the sources and controlling factors of DOC in soils remain uncertain. In this study, the effects of nitrogen (N) amendment and crop growth on DOC in soil solution were examined at a maize-wheat rotated field located in the central Sichuan Basin in southwestern China. Nitrogen treatments in this study included 150 kg N ha-1 season-1, 200 kg N ha-1 season-1 and the control without any fertilizer application. During the whole experimental period, we observed significant decreases (p<0.05) in DOC concentrations in the sampled soil solutions associated with increase in N inputs at the bare soil plots, but no change in DOC at the plots with crop growth. The estimated average contributions of plantderived DOC were 16%, 24% and 32% of total DOC in the summer maize season and 21%, 32% and 38% in the winter wheat season along with the gradient of N fertilizer application rates. The results implied that the crop growth could play a key role in the soil DOC production, and the N input enhanced DOC production by increasing crop growth. The relationship between the DOC concentrations and the crop root biomass was statistically significant for both the maize and winter wheat seasons. Our observations indicated that crop growth exerted greater influence on the seasonal variability of DOC concentration in soil solutions at the experimental site, which overwhelmed the effect of soil native organic matter decomposition on DOC concentrations in soil solutions.
KeywordsDissolved organic carbon Soil solution N fertilization
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