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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 90; doi:10.3390/su8010090

Influence of Tillage Practices and Crop Type on Soil CO2 Emissions

Department of General Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska cesta 25, Zagreb 10-000, Republic of Croatia
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Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Nonsustainable agricultural practices often lead to soil carbon loss and increased soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. A research study was conducted on arable fields in central lowland Croatia to measure soil respiration, its seasonal variability, and its response to agricultural practices. Soil C-CO2 emissions were measured with the in situ static chamber method during corn (Zea mays L.) and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growing seasons (2012 and 2013, n = 288) in a field experiment with six different tillage treatments. During corn and winter wheat growing season, average monthly soil C-CO2 emissions ranged, respectively, from 6.2–33.6 and 22.1–36.2 kg ha−1 day−1, and were decreasing, respectively, from summer > spring > autumn and summer > autumn > spring. The same tillage treatments except for black fallow differed significantly between studied years (crops) regarding soil CO2 emissions. Significant differences in soil C-CO2 emissions between different tillage treatments with crop presence were recorded during corn but not during winter wheat growing season. In these studied agroecological conditions, optimal tillage treatment regarding emitted C-CO2 is plowing to 25 cm along the slope, but it should be noted that CO2 emissions involve a complex interaction of several factors; thus, focusing on one factor, i.e., tillage, may result in a lack of consistency across studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil respiration; tillage; winter wheat; corn; climate change; Croatia soil respiration; tillage; winter wheat; corn; climate change; Croatia
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Bilandžija, D.; Zgorelec, Ž.; Kisić, I. Influence of Tillage Practices and Crop Type on Soil CO2 Emissions. Sustainability 2016, 8, 90.

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