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Open AccessArticle

Maize Straw Returning Approaches Affected Straw Decomposition and Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Storage in Northeast China

College of Agronomy, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
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Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120818
Received: 3 November 2019 / Revised: 23 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cropping Systems)
The characterization of straw decomposition and the resulting carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) release is crucial for understanding the effects of different straw returning methods on the immobilization and cycling of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN). In 2017–2018, a field micro-plot experiment was carried out in northeastern China to investigate the effects of different straw returning approaches on straw decomposition, C release, N release, SOC, STN, and the soil C–N ratio. Six straw returning treatments were applied: straw mixed with soil (SM) and straw buried in the soil (SB) at soil depths of 10 (O), 30 (T), and 50 cm (F). The results indicate that the straw decomposition proportion (SD), C release, and N release in SM + O were higher than that in SM + T and SM + F. Moreover, SOC and STN concentrations and the soil C–N ratio were significantly enhanced by SM/B + O in the 0–20 cm soil layers, SM/B + T in the 20–30 cm soil layer, and SM/B + F in the 40–60 cm soil layers. In the 0–50 cm soil profile, the highest SOC stocks were obtained using SB + T. The STN stocks were also significantly affected by the straw returning depth, but the effect was inconsistent between the two years. SD had a positive relationship with SOC and STN in the 0–20 cm soil layers; conversely, they were negatively related in the 30–60 cm soil layers. The results of this study suggest that straw buried in the soil to a depth not exceeding 30 cm might be an optimal straw returning approach in northeastern China. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop residue incorporation; straw decomposition; residue C and N release; SOC and STN stocks crop residue incorporation; straw decomposition; residue C and N release; SOC and STN stocks
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Tian, P.; Sui, P.; Lian, H.; Wang, Z.; Meng, G.; Sun, Y.; Wang, Y.; Su, Y.; Ma, Z.; Qi, H.; Jiang, Y. Maize Straw Returning Approaches Affected Straw Decomposition and Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Storage in Northeast China. Agronomy 2019, 9, 818.

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