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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 100 No. 4, p. 1013-1019
    Received: Apr 3, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): bhargrov@ksu.edu


Impact of Long-Term No-Tillage and Cropping System Management on Soil Organic Carbon in an Oxisol: A Model for Sustainability

  1. Ademir Calegaria,
  2. W. L. Hargrove *b,
  3. Danilo Dos Santos Rheinheimerc,
  4. Ricardo Ralischd,
  5. Daniel Tessiere,
  6. Stephane de Tourdonnetf and
  7. Maria de Fatima Guimarãesd
  1. a Área de Solos, Inst. Agronômico do Paraná (IAPAR), Londrina, Paraná State, Brazil
    b KCARE, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506
    c Dep. de Solos, Univ. Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), Centro de Ciências Rurais, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    d Univ. Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Agronomy Dep., Londrina, PR. Brazil
    e INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Versailles Cedex, France
    f Maître de Conférence, AgroParisTech, Département SAFEE, UMR d'Agronomie INRA/AgroParisTech Bâtiment EGER, Thiverval-Grignon, France


Soil organic carbon (SOC) was assessed in a long-term (19 yr) experiment comparing conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) management systems and various winter cover crop treatments in a Rhodic Hapludox in southern Brazil. After 19 yr, NT resulted in 6.84 Mg C ha−1, in the upper soil layer (0–10 cm), which represented 64.6% more than CT. In the 0 to 20 cm soil layer, the NT system sequestered 1.24 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, while CT sequestered 0.96 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 Independent of soil management, the fallow treatment resulted in the lowest SOC stocks to the 40-cm soil depth compared to all other winter treatments. We compared SOC levels of the experimental site with a nearby-forested area, which has never been cleared. No-till management combined with winter cover crops resulted in soil properties that most closely resembled the undisturbed forest. Maize grain yields and soybean seed yields were 6 and 5% higher, respectively, under NT than CT. Our results point to NT management combined with winter cover crops as the management system of choice to achieve sustainable crop production on Oxisols in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy