Temporal dynamics and vertical distribution of newly-derived carbon from a C3/C4 conversion in an Ultisol after 30-yr fertilization

S. Liu, Z. B. Zhang, D. M. Li, P. D. Hallett, G. L. Zhang, X. H. Peng* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Long-term fertilization has a considerable effect on the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, quantifying the contribution of fertilization practices to SOC is still a challenge. In this study, we selected a 30-yr fertilization experiment planted with a shift from C3 to C4 crops. Our objectives were (i) to determine temporal dynamics of SOC and newly-derived C (fnew) with the cultivation time and their vertical distribution along with soil profile; (ii) to assess the effect of the fertilization on SOC and fnew. Three treatments were involved: no fertilization (Control), NPK application (NPK), and continuously planted with C3 crops adjacent to the experiment as a reference (NAT). The SOC was physically separated into cPOM, fPOM, iPOM, s + c_m and s + c_f fractions, and their δ13C values were determined. Our results show the fnew in the bulk soil and C fractions presented an exponential increase over the cultivation time in the NPK treatment but this was only observed for the bulk soil and the s + c_f fraction in the Control treatment. The fnew had a priority to be stored within microaggregates, and then enriched in the silt and clay sized fraction over time. The SOC and fnew in the bulk soil and C fractions decreased with soil depth so that the difference between the Control and NPK treatments was observed only in the 0–20 cm depth. Our results demonstrate that the long-term fertilization increases the new C proportion in the bulk soil and C fractions but this contribution was limited to the plough layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1085
Number of pages9
JournalGeoderma
Volume337
Early online date23 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • C natural abundance
  • Long-term fertilization
  • Soil aggregation
  • Soil organic carbon fractions
  • SANDY LOAM
  • C-13 natural abundance
  • CHINA EVIDENCE
  • C-3-C-4 VEGETATION CHANGE
  • MATTER DYNAMICS
  • RED SOIL
  • LONG-TERM FERTILIZATION
  • DENSITY FRACTIONS
  • SOIL ORGANIC-CARBON
  • CROPPING SYSTEM
  • SIZE FRACTIONS

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