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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY

Crop Nitrogen Uptake and Soil Phenols Accumulation under Continuous Rice Cropping in Arkansas


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 3, p. 952-960
    Received: Apr 10, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): dan.olk@ars.usda.gov
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  1. D.C. Olk *a,
  2. M.M. Andersb,
  3. T.R. Filleyc and
  4. C. Isbelld
  1. a USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Lab., 2110 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50011-3120
    b Univ. of Arkansas Rice Research & Ext. Center, 2900 Hwy. 130 E, Stuttgart, AR 72160
    c Dep. of Earth and Atmospheric Sci., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907
    d Zero Grade Farms, 732 Isbell Road, England, AR 72046


Soil C stocks in the Grand Prairie region of eastern Arkansas have declined under the prevalent 2-yr rotation of rice (Orzya sativa L.)–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Continuous rice cropping could promote soil C sequestration, but in previous work continuous rice averaged 19% less grain yield than rice following soybean, apparently due to N deficiency. To further study N cycling, microplots were imbedded during the rice phase of a crop rotation field study in 2002 and 2004. Urea labeled with 15N was applied preflood, when all N fertilizer is conventionally applied. Crop biomass was often smaller with continuous rice than with rice following soybean (sampled both years) and rice following corn (Zea mays L.) (sampled only in 2004), although the difference varied by growth stage. Crop uptake of native 14N, presumably mineralized from soil organic matter, was inhibited with continuous rice in both years. This trend was clearest at harvest (P = 0.02), when continuous rice averaged 40 kg 14N ha−1 less uptake than rice in the two rotations. Fertilizer 15N averaged only 30% of total crop N and its uptake differed among cropping treatments only in 2002. At harvest, soil C with continuous rice cropping was enriched by 42% with syringyl phenols and by 83% with cinnamic phenols compared with the rotations. These enrichments appear unrelated to estimated input rates of lignin-derived phenols. Results support the hypothesis that continuous rice cropping promotes the binding of soil N by lignin-derived phenols, thereby inhibiting N mineralization and late-season crop growth. Similar observations were reported for tropical rice production, suggesting that the responsible soil processes might be common in continuous rice cropping.

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