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Fertilization effects on organic matter of arable soils in diverse environmental conditions of the Czech Republic

Šimon, Tomáš, Madaras, Mikuláš, Żelazny, Wiktor Rafał
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.6 pp. 782-795
animal manures, arable soils, clay fraction, climatic factors, fertilizer application, field experimentation, linear models, mineral fertilizers, principal component analysis, soil organic carbon, statistical inference, Czech Republic
Site specific variables and anthropogenic factors influence composition of soil organic matter (SOM). We evaluated quantity and quality of SOM under different fertilization regimes and site conditions. The study combines data based on repeated measurements obtained from six long-term field experiments, which have been established between 1955 and 1983 at ten locations, resulting in thirteen site and experiment combinations. The experimental sites cover a wide spectrum of pedological and climatic conditions of the Czech Republic. Four basic fertilization regimes were selected: unfertilized plots, mineral-only fertilized plots, plots with application of farmyard manure, and both organic and mineral fertilized plots. The study employs compositional data analysis, principal component analysis, and mixed effect linear models for statistical inference. Under combined organic and mineral fertilization, total soil organic C (SOC) increased by 1−3 g kg⁻¹. Evidence of possible priming effect was obtained for mineral-only fertilization. Local site conditions were the dominant factor shaping SOM properties. The positive relationship between proportion of clay in soil and decomposition index (DI) was confirmed. In the absence of fertilization, DI was eleven times higher in clay-rich than in clay-poor soil. This effect was moderated by fertilization, decreasing to a seven-fold difference under the full fertilization regime.