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Author Richter, D. D. ♦ Babbar, L. I. ♦ Jaeger, M.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES ♦ CARBON ♦ STORAGE ♦ SOILS ♦ AGRICULTURE ♦ CLAYS ♦ ROOTS ♦ TEXTURE ♦ US DOE ♦ ELEMENTS ♦ INDUSTRY ♦ NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ♦ NONMETALS ♦ US ORGANIZATIONS ♦ Environment, Terrestrial- Basic Studies- (1990-)
Abstract Seven years of annual tillage of a fine-textured Hapludalf, cleared of forest about 160 yr ago and more recently cropped for hay, caused grasses to be replaced by annual herbs. Tillage decreased carbon (C) stored in the surface meter of soil, mainly by altering plant species composition. Carbon storage in the surface 15 cm of soil was reduced by 24%, i.e., by 679 g C/m{sup 2}, 76% of which was due to a reduction in root biomass. Relatively small changes were found in mineral soil organic C from annual tillage, i.e., about 1 mg C/g soil. Results illustrate a dual-component cycle of soil organic C that appears especially pronounced in these fine-textured soils: (1) a rapidly cycling, plant-dominated C pool, and (2) a much more slowly cycling resistant C pool at least partly bound to clay-mineral surfaces. The dynamics of root C can be a dominant factor to the C balance of tilled and cropped soils. In the present study, root C in untilled plots totaled only about one-quarter of the total C in the 0- to 15-cm depth of soil, yet reductions in root C accounted for three-quarters of the total loss of C below ground. To determine effects of land use on soil C, soil samplings must distinguish clearly between effects on plant roots from those on mineral-soil organic matter.
ISSN 0038075X
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1990-02-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal Soil Science
Volume Number 149
Issue Number 2


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