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Vertical distribution of root biomass and soil carbon stocks in forage cropping systems

Ojeda, JJ ORCID: 0000-0002-9172-0059, Caviglia, OP and Agnusdei, MG 2017 , 'Vertical distribution of root biomass and soil carbon stocks in forage cropping systems' , Plant and Soil, vol. 423, no. 1-2 , pp. 175-191 , doi: 10.1007/s11104-017-3502-8.

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Background and aims: Forage cropping systems may differentially affect the vertical distribution of roots and soil organic C stock (C-OM). In annual crops sequences (ACS) and perennial pastures (PP), we assessed the association between root biomass, C-OM, C in mineral-associated organic matter (C-MAOM), and C in particulate organic matter (C-POM) and its vertical distribution.Methods Root biomass, C-OM, C-MAOM and C-POM were measured in a Petrocalcic Argiudol at five soil depths up to 100 cm during two years in the south-eastern Pampas of Argentina. The field experiment comprised 28 plots including five perennial pastures and two annual crop sequences. Associations between variables were assessed by regression analysis and non-linear models.Results Overall, ACS and PP had similar cumulative root biomass. Both, root biomass and soil C stocks exponentially decreased with soil depth. Soil C stocks associated to root biomass tended to stabilize over a threshold value of root biomass for C-MAOM and C-OM. C-POM tended to stabilize over a threshold value only in treatments that included tall fescue. Conclusions Our results highlights the key role of roots to improve soil C stocks through the design of forage crop rotations that include crops able to increase root inputs to the soil, such as tall fescue.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ojeda, JJ and Caviglia, OP and Agnusdei, MG
Keywords: forage crop intensification, root inputs, organic matter, particulate organic matter, south-eastern pampas of Argentina
Journal or Publication Title: Plant and Soil
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publ
ISSN: 0032-079X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s11104-017-3502-8
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

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