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Effects of broad-leaf crop frequency in various rotations on soil organic C and N, and inorganic N in a Dark Brown soil

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DOI: 10.4236/as.2012.36104    2,702 Downloads   4,244 Views  

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to determine the impact of frequency of broad-leaf crops canola and pea in various crop rotations on pH, total organic C (TOC), total organic N (TON), light fraction organic C (LFOC) and light fraction organic N (LFON) in the 0 - 7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm soil depths in autumn 2009 after 12 years (1998-2009) on a Dark Brown Chernozem (Typic Boroll) loam at Scott, Saskatchewan, Canada. The field ex-periment contained monoculture canola (herbicide tolerant and blackleg resistant hybrid) and monoculture pea compared with rotations that contained these crops every 2-, 3-, and 4-yr with wheat. There was no effect of crop rotation duration and crop phase on soil pH. Mass of TOC and TON in the 0 - 15 cm soil was greater in canola phase than pea phase in the 1-yr (monoculture) and 2-yr crop rotations, while the opposite was true in the 3-yr and 4-yr crop rotations. Mass of TOC and TON (averaged across crop phases,) in soil generally increased with increasing crop rotation duration, with the maximum in the 4-yr rotation while no difference in the 1-yr and 2-yr rotations. Mass of LFOC and LFON in soil was greater in canola phase than pea phase in the 1-yr, 2-yr and 3-yr rotations, but the opposite was true in the 4-yr rotation. There was no consistent effect of crop rotation duration on mass of LFOC and LFON. The N balance sheet over the 1998 to 2009 period indicated large amounts of unaccounted N for monoculture pea, suggesting a great potential for N loss from the soil-plant system in this treatment through nitrate leaching and/or denitrification. In conclusion, the findings suggest that the quantity of organic C and N can be maximized by increasing duration of crop rotation and by including hybrid canola in the rotation.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Malhi, S. , Lemke, R. and Brandt, S. (2012) Effects of broad-leaf crop frequency in various rotations on soil organic C and N, and inorganic N in a Dark Brown soil. Agricultural Sciences, 3, 854-864. doi: 10.4236/as.2012.36104.

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