Labile and Recalcitrant Carbon in Crop Residue and Soil under No-Till Practices in Central Region of Argentina

The Open Agriculture Journal 08 Feb 2013 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501307010032


We evaluated the effects of the amount and type of C compounds (labile/recalcitrant) of crop residues on the soil organic matter (SOM) components under no-tillage practices in semiarid region of Argentina, with the aim of establishing criteria for sustainable agriculture. Five agricultural situations were evaluated: soybean/wheat rotation (wheat crop and at bare fallow); soybean monoculture; soybean/maize rotation and maize/wheat/potato rotations with biannual ploughing. In each situation crop residues and soil samples were collected. In residue samples, biomass (total and components), organic carbon, insoluble fibers, and soluble C compounds were evaluated. In soil samples total SOM, non-humic substances (NHS), humic substances (HS), humic (HA), and fulvic acids (FA) were analyzed. The total biomass and its components differed among situations and were lower in the situation with plough, while the fiber contents were higher in situations that includes wheat crop. Total SOM, NHS, HA content were higher in the plowed situation (57.20 g kg-1, 47.30 g kg-1, 7.80 g kg-1 respectively). We concluded that the total SOM quantity in continuous no-tillage is not affected by the different crop rotations and sequences, but the HA quantity (stable SOM) seems to be favored by the high recalcitrant compounds amount of the crop residues (particularly wheat). For these reasons, the following criteria for sustainable agriculture management in semiarid zones can be suggested: a) continuous no-tillage utilization; b) summer crop annual rotations; and c) winter wheat crop instead of bare fallow.

Keywords: Fibers, Soluble C compounds, Crop residue biomass, Crop residue components, Humic substances, Soil organic matter.
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