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Open AccessArticle

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
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 90;
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)
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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