Soil organic carbon fractions comparison after 40-year long-term fertilisation in a wheat-corn rotation field

Sun X.L., Liu J.T., Liu S.T., Gao W.L. (2022): Soil organic carbon fractions comparison after 40-year long-term fertilisation in a wheat-corn rotation field. Soil & Water Res., 17: 149–157.

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Several experimental methods have been developed to fractionate soil organic carbon (SOC) into functional sub-pools. However, which fractions had the potential to better reflect the SOC dynamics responding to fertilisation are still under discussion. Thus, we compared different SOC fractions (microbial biomass carbon, MBC; dissolved organic carbon, DOC; permanganate-oxidisable carbon, POXC; particle organic carbon, POC, and aggregation organic carbon fractions) and the soil respiration rate in a wheat-corn rotation field after 40 years of manure and N fertilisation in North China to search for the most sensitive SOC fractions to fertilisation. Manure increased the organic carbon (OC) contents of all the soil fractions (26.5 to 362.8%) and the POC (18.0 to 43.7%) and macro-aggregation percentages (3.0 to 4.4%), which indicated an increasing physical-protected aggregated OC fraction. N fertilisation alone slightly increased the OC contents of all the soil fractions and DOC percentage, but decreased the macro-aggregation OC percentage, which suggests the increasing possibility that the SOC is exposed to microbial communities causing a decreasing aggregation formation. However, when a high level of both the manure and N fertiliser were applied, the excessive N in the soil stimulates the soil microbial activity and decreases the SOC content comparing it to the same level of the manure fertiliser addition.

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