Effects of Combined Application of Biogas Slurry and Chemical Fertilizer on Soil Aggregation and C/N Distribution in an Ultisol.
ABSTRACT: Unreasonable use of chemical fertilizer (CF) on agricultural soil leads to massive losses of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in tropical and subtropical areas, where soil conditions are unfavorable for aggregate formation. This study evaluated the effects of combined application of biogas slurry (BS) plus CF on soil aggregation and aggregate-associated C/N concentration and storage in an Ultisol. Six treatments included: no fertilizer (T1), CF only (T2), partial (15% (T3), 30% (T4) and 45% (T5)) substitution of TN with BS and BS only (T6). Soil mechanical-stable aggregates (MSAs) formation and stability as well as MSAs-associated C/N concentration and storage were observed in different aggregate sizes (>5, 5-2, 2-1, 1.0-0.5, 0.50-0.25 and <0.25 mm). The proportion of MSAs >5 mm significantly increased with BS substitution (T5), while the proportions of MSAs 1.0-0.5 mm, MSAs 0.50-0.25 mm and MSAs <0.25 mm significantly decreased. Both mean weight diameter and geometric mean diameter were highest in T5, which improved soil aggregation stability as well as resulted in significantly higher SOC and TN concentrations and storage in MSAs >0.5 mm that constituted 72-82% of MSAs. Stepwise regression analysis showed that MSAs >5 mm, SOC in MSAs >5 mm and TN in MSAs >5 mm were the dominant variables affecting aggregate stability. Meanwhile SOC in MSAs <0.25 mm and TN in MSAs 2-1 mm were independent variables affecting SOC and TN concentrations in bulk soils. Therefore, certain rate of combined application of BS plus CF is an effective, eco-friendly way to improve soil quality in an Ultisol.
Project description:Investigating microbial metabolic characteristics and soil organic carbon (SOC) within aggregates and their relationships under conservation tillage may be useful in revealing the mechanism of SOC sequestration in conservation tillage systems. However, limited studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between SOC and microbial metabolic characteristics within aggregate fractions under conservation tillage. We hypothesized that close relationships can exist between SOC and microbial metabolic characteristics within aggregates under conservation tillage. In this study, a field experiment was conducted from June 2011 to June 2013 following a split-plot design of a randomized complete block with tillage practices [conventional intensive tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT)] as main plots and straw returning methods [preceding crop residue returning (S, 2100-2500 kg C ha-1) and removal (NS, 0 kg C ha(-1))] as subplots with three replications. The objective of this study was to reveal the effects of tillage practices and residue-returning methods on topsoil microbial metabolic characteristics and organic carbon (SOC) fractions within aggregates and their relationships under a rice-wheat cropping system in central China. Microbial metabolic characteristics investigated using the Biolog system was examined within two aggregate fractions (>0.25 and <0.25 mm). NT treatments significantly increased SOC concentration of bulk soil, >0.25 aggregate, and <0.25 mm aggregate in the 0-5 cm soil layer by 5.8%, 6.8% and 7.9% relative to CT treatments, respectively. S treatments had higher SOC concentration of bulk soil (12.9%), >0.25 mm aggregate (11.3%), and <0.25 mm aggregate (14.1%) than NS treatments. Compared with CT treatments, NT treatments increased MBC by 11.2%, 11.5%, and 20%, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration by 15.5%, 29.5%, and 14.1% of bulk soil, >0.25 mm aggregate, and <0.25 mm aggregate in the 0-5 cm soil layer, respectively. Compared with NS treatments, S treatments significantly increased MBC by 29.8%, 30.2%, and 24.1%, and DOC concentration by 23.2%, 25.0%, and 37.5% of bulk soil, >0.25 mm aggregate, and <0.25 mm aggregate in the 0-5 cm soil layer, respectively. Conservation tillage (NT and S) increased microbial metabolic activities and Shannon index in >0.25 and <0.25 mm aggregates in the 0-5 cm soil layer. Redundancy analysis showed that the SOC and its fractions (DOC and MBC) were closely correlated with microbial metabolic activities. Structural equation modelling showed that the increase in microbial metabolic activities directly improved SOC by promoting DOC in >0.25 mm aggregate in the upper (0-5 cm) soil layer under conservation tillage systems, as well as directly and indirectly by promoting DOC and MBC in <0.25 mm aggregate. Our results suggested that conservation tillage increased SOC in aggregates in the topsoil by improving microbial metabolic activities.
Project description:Background:Soil aggregate-size classes and microbial communities within the aggregates are important factors regulating the soil organic carbon (SOC) turnover. However, the response of soil bacterial and fungal communities in aggregates to litter decomposition in different aggregate-size classes is poorly understand. Methods:Soil samples from un-grazed natural grassland were separated into four dry aggregate classes of different sizes (2-4 mm, 1-2 mm, 0.25-1 mm and <0.25 mm). Two types of plant litter (leaf and stem) of Leymus chinensis were added to each of the four aggregate class samples. The CO2 release rate, SOC storage and soil microbial communities were measured at the end of the 56-day incubation. Results:The results showed that the 1-2 mm aggregate had the highest bacterial Shannon and CO2 release in CK and leaf addition treatments, and the SOC in the <0.25 mm aggregate was higher than that in the others across the treatments. The relative abundance of Ascomycota was higher in the 2-4 mm and <0.25 mm aggregates than in the 1-2 mm and 0.25-1 mm aggregates in the treatment without litter addition, and the relative abundance of Aphelidiomycota was lower in the 2-4 mm and <0.25 mm aggregates than in the 1-2 mm and 0.25-1 mm aggregates. Also, litter addition increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, but decreased the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, and Actinobacteria. The relative abundance of Ascomycota and Aphelidiomycota increased by more than 10% following leaf litter addition. The bacterial Shannon index had a significantly positive and direct effect on SOC concentration and CO2 release, while the fungal Shannon index was significantly correlated with SOC concentration. Our results indicate that the soil bacterial diversity contributes positively to both carbon emissions and carbon storage, whereas soil fungal diversity can promote carbon storage and decrease carbon emissions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Soil aggregate-size classes, structural units of soil, are the important factors regulating soil organic carbon (SOC) turnover. However, the processes of litter C mineralization and storage in different aggregates-size classes are poorly understood, especially in the highly alkaline soils of north China. Here, we ask how four different aggregate sizes influence rates of C release (C<sub>r</sub>) and SOC storage (C<sub>s</sub>) in response to three types of plant litter added to an un-grazed natural grassland.<h4>Methods</h4>Highly alkaline soil samples were separated into four dry aggregate classes of different sizes (2-4, 1-2, 0.25-1, and <0.25 mm). Three types of dry dead plant litter (leaf, stem, and all standing dead aboveground litter) of <i>Leymus chinensis</i> were added to each of the four aggregate class samples. Litter mass loss rate, C<sub>r</sub>, and C<sub>s</sub> were measured periodically during the 56-day incubation.<h4>Results</h4>The results showed that the mass loss in 1-2 mm aggregates was significantly greater than that in other size classes of soil aggregates on both day 28 and day 56. Macro-aggregates (1-2 mm) had the highest C<sub>r</sub> of all treatments, whereas 0.25-1 mm aggregates had the lowest. In addition, a significant negative relationship was found between C<sub>s</sub>/C<sub>r</sub> and soil pH. After incubation for 28 and 56 days, the C<sub>s</sub> was also highest in the 1-2 mm aggregates, which implied that the macro-aggregates had not only a higher CO<sub>2</sub> release capacity, but also a greater litter C storage capacity than the micro-aggregates in the highly alkaline soils of north China.
Project description:Background:Soil erodibility (K factor) and soil aggregate stability are often used to assess soil degradation in an erodible environment. However, their applicability under land-use change is uncertain, especially agricultural abandonment. Methods:Different land-use types, including cropland, abandoned cropland, and native vegetation land, were converted into the successive stages following agricultural abandonment by space-for-time substitution approach in a small karst catchment, Southwest China. The indexes of soil aggregate stability and K factor of the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC) model in soil profiles were calculated to identify which method is suitable to indicate soil degradation under land-use change. Results:The indexes of soil aggregate stability in the soils at 0?30 cm depth under native vegetation land were significantly larger than those under cropland and slightly larger than those under abandoned cropland. The K factor was not significantly different among the three land use examples because the EPIC model does not consider soil permeability. In the soil organic carbon (SOC)-rich soils (>2%), the K factor was significantly correlated with silt and clay content ranging within a narrow scope of near 0.010 t hm2 h/hm2/MJ/mm. While in the SOC-poor soils, the K factor was significantly increased with decreasing SOC content and was significantly correlated with soil aggregate stability. Conclusions:Soil aggregate stability is more suitable to indicate soil degradation under land-use change. Sufficient SOC in erodible soils would restrain soil degradation, while SOC loss can significantly increase soil erosion risk.
Project description:Grazing effects on soil properties under different soil and environmental conditions across the globe are often controversial. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the overall magnitude and direction of the grazing effects on soils. This global meta-analysis was conducted using the mixed model method to address the overall effects of grazing intensities (heavy, moderate, and light) on 15 soil properties based on 287 papers published globally from 2007 to 2019. Our findings showed that heavy grazing significantly increased the soil BD (11.3% relative un-grazing) and PR (52.5%) and reduced SOC (-10.8%), WC (-10.8%), NO3- (-23.5%), and MBC (-27.9%) at 0-10 cm depth, and reduced SOC (-22.5%) and TN (-19.9%) at 10-30 cm depth. Moderate grazing significantly increased the BD (7.5%), PR (46.0%), and P (18.9%) (0-10 cm), and increased pH (4.1%) and decreased SOC (-16.4%), TN (-10.6%), and P (-23.9%) (10-30 cm). Light grazing significantly increased the SOC (10.8%) and NH4+ (28.7%) (0-10 cm). Heavy grazing showed much higher mean probability (0.70) leading to overgrazing than the moderate (0.14) and light (0.10) grazing. These findings indicate that, globally, compared to un-grazing, heavy grazing significantly increased soil compaction and reduced SOC, NO3-, and soil moisture. Moderate grazing significantly increased soil compaction and alkalinity and reduced SOC and TN. Light grazing significantly increased SOC and NH4+. Cattle grazing impacts on soil compaction, SOC, TN, and available K were higher than sheep grazing, but lower for PR. Climate significantly impacted grazing effects on SOM, TN, available P, NH4+, EC, CEC, and PR. Heavy grazing can be more detrimental to soil quality based on BD, SOC, TN, C: N, WC, and K than moderate and light grazing. However, global grazing intensities did not significantly impact most of the 15 soil properties, and the grazing effects on them had insignificant changes over the years.
Project description:Changes in the sources and sinks of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in wetland soils as indicators of soil quality and climate change have received attention worldwide. Soil samples were collected in 2007 and 2012 in the coastal wetlands of the Yellow River Delta and the SOC and TN were determined to investigate a five-year change in their content and stock in these wetlands as affected by flow-sediment regulation. Our results revealed that the soils in 2007 exhibited greater electrical conductivities, SOC content and density, and ammonium nitrogen (NH4(+)-N) levels in the top 10 cm soils (p < 0.05) compared with the soils in 2012. In general, the SOC and TN contents decreased with increasing soil depth. However, the highest ratios of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen (molar C/N ratios) were observed in the 30-40 cm soil layer. A significant SOC loss occurred (p < 0.05) in top 10 cm soils, but only a small change in SOC in the top 50 cm soils. Comparatively, TN levels did not show significant differences in the study period.
Project description:The combination of concurrent soil degradation and restoration scenarios in a long-term experiment with contrasting treatments under steady-state conditions, similar soil texture and climate make the Highfield land-use change experiment at Rothamsted Research unique. We used soil from this experiment to quantify rates of change in organic matter (OM) fractions and soil structural stability (SSS) six years after the management changed. Soil degradation included the conversion of grassland to arable and bare fallow management, while soil restoration comprised introduction of grassland in arable and bare fallow soil. Soils were tested for clay dispersibility measured on two macro-aggregate sizes (DispClay 1-2 mm and DispClay 8-16 mm) and clay-SOM disintegration (DI, the ratio between clay particles retrieved without and with SOM removal). The SSS tests were related to soil organic carbon (SOC), permanganate oxidizable C (POXC) and hot water-extractable C (HWC). The decrease in SOC after termination of grassland was greater than the increase in SOC when introducing grassland. In contrast, it was faster to restore degraded soil than to degrade grassland soil with respect to SSS at macro-aggregate scale. The effect of management changes was more pronounced for 8-16 mm than 1-2 mm aggregates indicating a larger sensitivity towards tillage-induced breakdown of binding agents in larger aggregates. At microscale, SSS depended on SOC content regardless of management. Soil management affected macroscale structural stability beyond what is revealed from measuring changes in OM fractions, underlining the need to include both bonding and binding mechanisms in the interpretation of changes in SSS induced by management.
Project description:Selecting optimal revegetation patterns, i.e., patterns that are more effective for soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) accumulation, is particularly important for mine land reclamation. However, there have been few evaluations of the effects of different revegetation patterns on the SOC and TN in reclaimed mine soils on the Loess Plateau, China. In this study, the SOC and TN stocks were investigated at reclaimed mine sites (RMSs), including artificially revegetated sites (ARSs) (arbors (Ar), bushes (Bu), arbor-bush mixtures (AB), and grasslands (Gr)) and a natural recovery site (NRS), as well as at undisturbed native sites (UNSs). Overall, the SOC and TN stocks in the RMSs were lower than those in the UNSs over 10-13 years after reclamation. The SOC stocks in the RMSs and UNSs only differed in the top 0-20 cm of the soil (p < 0.05). Except for those in Ar, the SOC and TN stocks in the ARSs were significantly larger than those in the NRS (p < 0.05). Compared with those in the NRS, the total SOC stocks in the 100 cm soil interval increased by 51.4%, 59.9%, and 109.9% for Bu, AB, and Gr, respectively, and the TN stocks increased by 33.1%, 35.1%, and 57.9%. The SOC stocks in the 0-100 cm soil interval decreased in the order of Gr (3.78 kg m-2) > AB (2.88 kg m-2) ? Bu (2.72 kg m-2), and the TN stocks exhibited a similar trend. These results suggest that grasslands were more favorable than woodlands for SOC and TN accumulation in this arid area. Thus, in terms of the accumulation of SOC and TN, grassland planting is recommended as a revegetation pattern for areas with reclaimed mine soils.
Project description:Soil microbes provide important ecosystem services. Though the effects of changes in nutrient availability due to fertilization on the soil microbial communities in the topsoil (tilled layer, 0-20 cm) have been extensively explored, the effects on communities and their associations with soil nutrients in the subsoil (below 20 cm) which is rarely impacted by tillage are still unclear. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was used to investigate bacterial and archaeal communities in a Pup-Calric-Entisol soil treated for 32 years with chemical fertilizer (CF) and CF combined with farmyard manure (CFM), and to reveal links between soil properties and specific bacterial and archaeal taxa in both the top- and subsoil. The results showed that both CF and CFM treatments increased soil organic carbon (SOC), soil moisture (MO) and total nitrogen (TN) while decreased the nitrate_N content through the profile. Fertilizer applications also increased Olsen phosphorus (OP) content in most soil layers. Microbial communities in the topsoil were significantly different from those in subsoil. Compared to the CF treatment, taxa such as Nitrososphaera, Nitrospira, and several members of Acidobacteria in topsoil and Subdivision 3 genera incertae sedis, Leptolinea, and Bellilinea in subsoil were substantially more abundant in CFM. A co-occurrence based network analysis demonstrated that SOC and OP were the most important soil parameters that positively correlated with specific bacterial and archaeal taxa in topsoil and subsoil, respectively. Hydrogenophaga was identified as the keystone genus in the topsoil, while genera Phenylobacterium and Steroidobacter were identified as the keystone taxa in subsoil. The taxa identified above are involved in the decomposition of complex organic compounds and soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus transformations. This study revealed that the spatial variability of soil properties due to long-term fertilization strongly shapes the bacterial and archaeal community composition and their interactions at both high and low taxonomic levels across the whole soil profile.
Project description:The spatial pattern of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) densities plays a profound important role in estimating carbon and nitrogen budgets. Naiman Banner located in northern China was chosen as research site, a total of 332 soil samples were taken in a depth of 100 cm from the low hilly land in the southern part, sandy land in the middle part and an alluvial plain in the northern part of the county. The results showed that SOC and TN density initially decreased and then increased from the north to the south, The highest densities, were generally in the south, with the lowest generally in the middle part. The SOC and TN densities in cropland were significantly greater than those in woodland and grassland in the alluvial plains and for Naiman as a whole. The woodland SOC and TN density were higher than those of grassland in the low hilly land, and higher densities of SOC and TN in grassland than woodland in the sandy land and low hilly land. There were significant differences in SOC and TN densities among the five soil types of Cambisols, Arenosols, Gleysols, Argosols, and Kastanozems. In addition, SOC and TN contents generally decreased with increasing soil depth, but increased below a depth of 40 cm in the Cambisols and became roughly constant at this depth in the Kastanozems. There is considerable potential to sequester carbon and nitrogen in the soil via the conversion of degraded sandy land into woodland and grassland in alluvial plain, and more grassland should be established in sandy land and low hilly land.