Advertisement

Soil Carbon pp 271-279 | Cite as

Long-Term Soil Organic Carbon Changes as Affected by Crop Rotation and Bio-covers in No-Till Crop Systems

  • Amanda J. Ashworth
  • Fred L. Allen
  • Jason P. Wight
  • Arnold M. Saxton
  • Don D. Tyler
Chapter
Part of the Progress in Soil Science book series (PROSOIL)

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration is a potential negative-feedback for climate-warming gases in agriculture. The rate of no-tillage SOC storage is not well known due to large temporal and spatial biogeochemical and management variations. Therefore our objective was to compare long-term SOC fluxes at a no-till field site in Milan, Tennessee on Oxyaquic Fragiudalfs, in a split-block design with four replications. The whole-block was cropping sequences of corn, soybeans, and cotton with split-block bio-cover treatments of: winter wheat, hairy vetch, poultry litter, and a fallow control. Soil carbon flux was calculated at soil surfaces (0–5 cm) for years-0, 2, 4, and 8. During the first 2 years, small annual losses occurred in carbon over all treatments (1.40 Mg ha−1). During this time, cotton sequences lost significantly more surface SOC than other rotations. However, by year-4, SOC began to stabilize. By year-8, sequences with high frequencies of soybean and with greater temporal complexity generally gained greater SOC levels at 0–5 cm. Also, poultry litter bio-cover gained more surface SOC compared to wheat, vetch and fallow covers. Across all sequences and bio-covers, SOC had increased 1.47 Mg ha−1 after 8 years from pre-experimental levels of 9.20 Mg ha−1; suggesting long-term beneficial effects on C storage under no-till and diverse cropping sequences.

Keywords

No-tillage Crop sequence Soil organic carbon Cover crop Bio-cover Carbon sequestration 

References

  1. Angers DA, Giroux M (1996) Recently deposited organic matter in soil water stabile aggregates from three tillage systems. Soil Tillage Res 33:17–28Google Scholar
  2. Bationo A, Mokwunye AU (1991) Role of manures and crop residue in alleviating soil fertility constraints to crop production with special reference to Sahelian and Sudanian zones of West Africa. Fertil Res 29:125–177Google Scholar
  3. Chivenge PP, Murwira HK, Giller KE, Mapfumo P, Six J (2007) Long-term impact of reduced tillage and residue management on soil carbon stabilization: implications for conservation agriculture on contrasting soils. Soil Tillage Res 94:328–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DeForest JL, Scott LG (2010) Available organic soil phosphorus has an important influence on microbial community composition. Soil Sci Soc Am J 74:2059–2066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeRidder N, Van Keulen H (1990) Some aspects of the role of organic carbon in sustainable intensified arable farming systems in West Africa semi-arid tropics. Fertil Res 26:299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drinkwater LE, Wagoner P, Sarrantonio M (1998) Legume-based cropping systems have reduced carbon and nitrogen losses. Nature 396:262–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duiker SW, Lal R (1999) Crop residue and tillage effects on carbon sequestration in a Luvison in central Ohio. Soil Tillage Res 52:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emerson WW (1995) Water retention, organic-C and soil texture. Aust J Soil Res 33:241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fontaine S, Mariotti A, Abbadie L (2003) The priming effect of organic matter: a question of microbial competition? Soil Biol Biochem 35:837–843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Franzleubbers AJ (2005) Soil organic carbon sequestration and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the southeastern USA. Soil Tillage Res 83:120–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304:1623–1627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lal R (2005) Enhancing crop yields in the developing countries through restoration of the soil organic carbon pool in agricultural lands. Land Degrad Dev 17:197–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lal R, Kimble JM, Follet RF, Cole CV (1998) The potential of U.S. cropland to sequester carbon and mitigate the greenhouse effect. Sleeping Bear Press, ChelseaGoogle Scholar
  14. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2008) Daily weather maps, U.S. Dep. Commer., Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. SAS Institute (2007) SAS/STAT 9.3 User’s guide. SAS Inst. CaryGoogle Scholar
  16. Saxton AM (1998) A macro for converting mean separation output to letter groupings in Proc Mixed. In: Proceedings of 23rd SAS Users Group Intl., SAS Institute, Cary, pp 1243–1246Google Scholar
  17. Stockmann U, Adams MA, Crawford JW, Field DJ, Henakaarchchi N, Jenkins M, Minasny B, McBratney AB, Courcelles VR, Singh K, Wheeler I, Abbott L, Angers DA, Baldock J, Bird M, Brookes PC, Chenu C, Jastrow JD, Lal R, Lehmann J, O’Donnell AG, Parton WJ, Whitehead D, Zimmerman M (2013) The knowns, known unknowns and unknowns of sequestration of soil organic carbon. Agric Ecosyst Environ 164:80–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. West TO, Post WM (2002) Soil organic carbon sequestration rates by tillage and crop rotation: a global data analysis. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:1930–1946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wight JP (2007) Soil carbon and microfauna changes as influenced by combinations of bio-covers and cropping sequences of glyphosate tolerant corn, soybean, and cotton. PhD dissertation, University of Tennessee. Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/290. Accessed and verified, Feb 2013

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda J. Ashworth
    • 1
  • Fred L. Allen
    • 2
  • Jason P. Wight
    • 3
  • Arnold M. Saxton
    • 4
  • Don D. Tyler
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Native Grasslands Management, Department of Forestry Wildlife and FisheriesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Soil and Crop Science, Texas Agricultural Experiment StationTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.Department of Animal SciencesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil ScienceUniversity of TennesseeJacksonUSA

Personalised recommendations