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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 710; doi:10.3390/su8080710

Effects of Straw Incorporation on Soil Nutrients, Enzymes, and Aggregate Stability in Tobacco Fields of China

1
Key Laboratory of Tobacco Biology and Processing, Ministry of Agriculture, Tobacco Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences, Qingdao 266101, China
2
Weifang Tobacco Co., Ltd. of Shandong Province, Weifang 262200, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [376 KB, uploaded 26 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

To determine the effects of straw incorporation on soil nutrients, enzyme activity, and aggregates in tobacco fields, we conducted experiments with different amounts of wheat and maize straw in Zhucheng area of southeast Shandong province for three years (2010–2012). In the final year of experiment (2012), straw incorporation increased soil organic carbon (SOC) and related parameters, and improved soil enzyme activity proportionally with the amount of straw added, except for catalase when maize straw was used. And maize straw incorporation was more effective than wheat straw in the tobacco field. The percentage of aggregates >2 mm increased with straw incorporation when measured by either dry or wet sieving. The mean weight diameter (MWD) and geometric mean diameter (GMD) in straw incorporation treatments were higher than those in the no-straw control (CK). Maize straw increased soil aggregate stability more than wheat straw with the same incorporation amount. Alkaline phosphatase was significantly and negatively correlated with soil pH. Sucrase and urease were both significantly and positively correlated with soil alkali-hydrolysable N. Catalase was significantly but negatively correlated with soil extractable K (EK). The MWD and GMD by dry sieving had significantly positive correlations with SOC, total N, total K, and EK, but only significantly correlated with EK by wet sieving. Therefore, soil nutrients, metabolic enzyme activity, and aggregate stability might be increased by increasing the SOC content through the maize or wheat straw incorporation. Moreover, incorporation of maize straw at 7500 kg·hm−2 was the best choice to enhance soil fertility in the tobacco area of Eastern China. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon; enzyme activity; mean weight diameter; geometric mean diameter; tobacco field soil organic carbon; enzyme activity; mean weight diameter; geometric mean diameter; tobacco field
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Bo, G.; Zhang, Z.; Kong, F.; Wang, Y.; Shen, G. Effects of Straw Incorporation on Soil Nutrients, Enzymes, and Aggregate Stability in Tobacco Fields of China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 710.

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