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Decomposition and Carbon Sequestration Potential of Different Rice-Residue-Derived By-products and Farmyard Manure in a Sandy Loam Soil

Benbi, D. K., Yadav, S. K.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2015 v.46 no.17 pp. 2201-2211
mineralization, rice, soil organic carbon, animal manures, composts, soil quality, byproducts, biochar, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, husk ash, field capacity, pollution, rice hulls, rice straw, nutrients, sandy loam soils, India
Large quantities of rice straw are produced annually in India and the majority of it is burnt in the fields, leading to environmental pollution and loss of carbon (C) and essential nutrients. It is imperative to manage rice residues and by-products to derive benefits for soil health and environment conservation. We studied the decomposition of rice straw (RS), rice-straw-derived biochar and compost (RSC), rice husk (RH), rice husk ash (RHA), and farmyard manure (FYM) in laboratory incubation experiments at 30 ºC and field-capacity moisture. The decomposition of organic sources depended on the size of decomposable and recalcitrant C pools. Carbon mineralization was greater from RS and RH compared to FYM, biochar, RSC, and RHA. The initial rate of mineralization was faster for RS and RH, followed by FYM, biochar, and RSC, and the least for RHA. The proportion of antecedent C mineralized from different sources followed the order RS > RH > FYM> RSC = biochar > RHA. The RS and RH showed larger decomposable pools than the other sources. Rice husk ash had decomposable pool and associated rate coefficient similar to the unamended soil. Residence time for recalcitrant pool in FYM, RSC, and biochar applied at 5 g C kg –¹ soil ranged between 1020 and 1149 days as opposed to 180 and 254 days for RS and RH, respectively. Increasing the rate of C application (15 g C kg ⁻¹) markedly increased the residence time for all the sources, except FYM, and these followed the order RHA (2273 d) > RSC (2000 d) > biochar (1961 d) > RH (529 d) > RS (400 d). It was concluded that RS and RH could result in short-term C accrual in soil, whereas RSC, biochar, and FYM may lead to long-term C sequestration. The disposal of RHA to soil, which is characterized by mainly recalcitrant C, could lead to buildup of soil organic C.