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Long-term tillage and straw returning effects on organic C fractions and chemical composition of SOC in rice-rape cropping system

Kubar, Kashif Ali, Huang, Li, Lu, Jianwei, Li, Xiaokun, Xue, Bin, Yin, Zhiyao
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.1 pp. 125-137
conventional tillage, cropping systems, field experimentation, microbial carbon, no-tillage, particulate organic carbon, soil organic carbon, soil quality, straw, China
Understanding the different C pools and chemical composition of soil organic carbon (SOC) in cropping system is imperative for sustaining soil quality. This study examined the effects of tillage and straw returning practices on organic C fractions and chemical composition of SOC under a rice-rape system in central China. The field experiment consisted of conventional tillage (CT); conventional tillage with straw returning (CTS); no-tillage (NT); and no-tillage with straw returning (NTS) treatments. Compared to CT, NT significantly increased SOC stocks, SCMI and C fractions of 0–20 cm depth by 6–50%. The SOC, particulate organic carbon (POC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), easily oxidizable carbon (EOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) contents of 0–20 cm depth were 16, 80, 24, 22 and 13%, respectively, higher under NTS treatment. Straw returning enhanced the relative contents of O-alkyl C, carbonyl C, alkyl C, A/O-A ratio, and aromaticity. The correlations of SOC with C fractions and SCMI were significant. O-alkyl C was positively correlated with C fractions and negatively correlated with carbonyl C and alkyl C. In conclusion, long-term tillage and straw returning significantly affected the fractions and chemical compositions of SOC, could be viable option for improving the soil quality in the rice-rape rotation system.