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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 101 No. 3, p. 592-599
     
    Received: Oct 26, 2008


    * Corresponding author(s): coult077@umn.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2008.0152x

Soil Organic Matter Response to Cropping System and Nitrogen Fertilization

  1. Jeffrey A. Coulter *a,
  2. Emerson D. Nafzigerb and
  3. Michelle M. Wanderc
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Univ. of Minnesota, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108
    b Dep. of Crop Sciences
    c Dep. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Illinois, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

Abstract

Management to improve soil C and N storage is necessary to increase soil quality. Continuous corn (Zea mays L.) (CC) and a corn-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation (CS) in a chisel plow tillage system with six N fertilizer rates in corn were sampled after 8 yr in Illinois. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) varied with cropping system at DeKalb, but not at Dixon Springs or Urbana. At DeKalb, SOC in the 0-to 30-cm depth was 98.6 and 81.4 Mg C ha−1 following CC and CS, respectively. Similarly, TN to a depth of 30 cm at DeKalb was 7.91 Mg N ha−1 with CC and 6.91 Mg N ha−1 with CS. Particulate organic matter (POM) C (POM-C) and POM N (POM-N) were also greater following CC in the 0- to 30-cm depth at DeKalb and in the surface 15 cm at Dixon Springs. At DeKalb, POM-C in the 0- to 30-cm depth was 6.5 Mg C ha−1 following CC and 5.1 Mg C ha−1 following CS, while POM-N was 0.41 and 0.34 Mg N ha−1, respectively. At Dixon Springs, where POM-C was 4.9 Mg C ha−1 and POM-N was 0.34 Mg N ha−1 in the 0- to 15-cm depth following CS, POM-C and POM-N were 10 and 9% greater with CC, respectively. These results indicate that cropping system influences soil C and N more than N fertilization, and that this influence is greater in the labile fraction of soil organic matter (SOM) than in total SOM.

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