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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 1, p. 92-94
     
    Received: Nov 22, 1967


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1969.03615995003300010025x

Soil Respiratory Activity and Organic Matter Depletion in an Arid Nevada Soil1

  1. S. D. Lyda and
  2. G. D. Robinson2

Abstract

Abstract

Incorporation of mature crop residues of alfalfa (Medicago sativa), oat (Avena sativa), and sudan (Sorghum vulgare) into a fine sandy loam soil in southern Nevada stimulated the soil respiratory activity. A close correlation was observed between respiration rate and organic matter content; both decreased steadily over a 6-month test period.

Four mature crop residues (alfalfa, cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), oat, and sudan) were added to the same soil type in laboratory tests at 1, 2, 3, and 4% (weight/weight). Respiratory activity of these soils was followed for 10 weeks at 2-week intervals. A maximum activity was noted at the first 2-week period for the 2, 3, and 4% additions of all four residues.

The respiration rate was proportional to the residue concentration but the increments were not additive. A linear relationship was noted when the reciprocal of the rate was plotted against the reciprocal of the residue concentration, similar to that of a first-order reaction during the period of maximum activity. It was suggested that a given soil could become saturated with organic matter and reach a maximum respiratory activity; other factors would become rate limiting.

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