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Nutrient management effects on organic carbon pools in a sandy loam soil under rice-wheat cropping

Singh, Pritpal, Benbi, Dinesh Kumar
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2018 v.64 no.13 pp. 1879-1891
NPK fertilizers, animal manures, carbon sequestration, fertilizer application, microbial biomass, nutrient management, nutrients, potassium permanganate, sandy loam soils, soil organic carbon, water solubility
Agricultural management practices are known to influence soil organic C. While changes in total organic C (TOC) are relatively less discernible over short to medium-term, some extractable pools of TOC are considered early indicators of changes in TOC. Therefore, to devise nutrient management practices that can lead to C sequestration, it is important to study their effect on soil organic C pools that may respond rapidly to management. We studied the impact of balanced (NPK) and imbalanced (N, NP, NK and PK) application of fertilizer nutrients without and with farmyard manure (FYM) on total and labile pools of organic C viz. water soluble (WEOC), potassium permanganate oxidizable (KMnO₄-C), microbial biomass (MBC) and fractions of decreasing oxidizability after 5-cycles of rice-wheat cropping. Integrated use of NPK and FYM significantly increased TOC and extractable C pools in both surface (0–7.5 cm) and sub-surface (7.5–15 cm) soil. Majority of TOC (72%) was stabilized in less labile and recalcitrant fractions; the magnitude being higher under balanced (NPK+FYM) than imbalanced nutrient management (N+FYM). The results showed that balanced fertilizer application conjointly with FYM besides enlarging TOC pool favorably impacts soil organic matter composition under rice-wheat system.