Impacts of organic matter amendments on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in grassland soils

| Type artikkel: Publisert studie
Organic matter amendments have been proposed as a means to enhance soil carbon (C) stocks on degraded soils. However, only few data exist on rates of soil C sequestration or the fate of added C in grassland soils, which are generally thought to have high C storage potential. We measured changes in the amount of C and nitrogen (N) in soils and in the composition of soil organic matter (SOM) following a single application of composted organic matter in two annual grasslands from different bioclimatic zones (coastal and inland valley).

Forfattere:

Rebecca Ryals, Michael Kaiser, Margaret S. Torn, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe og Whendee L. Silver

År:

2013

There was a significant increase in bulk soil organic C content at the valley grassland, and a similar but non-significant trend at the coastal grassland. Physical fractionation of soil three years after organic matter amendment revealed increases in C and N in the free- and occluded light fractions in both the valley and coastal grasslands. Amendments resulted in a greater relative increase in the N stored in light soil fractions compared to C, leading to lower C:N ratios. Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy showed an increase in the ratio of carboxyl and carbonyl functional groups to aliphatic methyl and methylene groups in the free- and occluded light fractions. These data show that the organic matter amendment was incorporated in the free light and occluded light fractions over three years. Our results indicate that a single application of compost to grassland soils can increase soil C and N storage in labile and physically protected pools over relatively short time periods and contribute to climate change mitigation.

 

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