Co-incorporation of rice straw and leguminous green manure can increase soil available nitrogen (N) and reduce carbon and N losses: An incubation study

Guopeng ZHOU, Weidong CAO*, Jinshun BAI, Changxu XU, Naohua ZENG, Songjuan GAO, Robert M. REES, Fugen DOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Returning rice straw and leguminous green manure alone or in combination to soil is effective in improving soil fertility in South China. Despite the popularity of this practice, our understanding of the underlying processes for straw and manure combined application is relatively poor. In this study, rice straw (carbon (C)/nitrogen (N) ratio of 63), green manure (hairy vetch, C/N ratio of 14), and their mixtures (C/N ratio of 25 and 35) were added into a paddy soil, and their effects on soil N availability and C or N loss under waterlogged conditions were evaluated in a 100-d incubation experiment. All plant residue treatments significantly enhanced CO2 and CH4 emissions, but decreased N2O emission. Dissolved organic C (DOC) and N (DON) and microbial biomass C in soil and water-soluble organic C and N and mineral N in the upper aqueous layer above soil were also enhanced by all the plant residue treatments except the rice straw treatment, and soil microbial biomass N and mineral N were lower in the rice straw treatment than in the other treatments. Changes in plant residue C/N ratio, DOC/DON ratio, and cellulose content significantly affected greenhouse gas emissions and active C and N concentrations in soil. Additionally, the treatment with green manure alone yielded the largest C and N losses, and incorporation of the plant residue mixture with a C/N ratio of 35 caused the largest net global warming potential (nGWP) among the amended treatments. In conclusion, the co-incorporation of rice straw and green manure can alleviate the limitation resulting from only applying rice straw (N immobilization) or the sole application of leguminous green manure (high C and N losses), and the residue mixture with a C/N ratio of 25 is a better option because of lower nGWP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-670
Number of pages10
JournalPedosphere
Volume30
Issue number5
Early online date7 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 7 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • active C and N pools
  • C/N ratio
  • global warming potential
  • greenhouse gas
  • plant residues
  • straw returning

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