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Open AccessArticle

Soil Organic Matter Degradation in Long-Term Maize Cultivation and Insufficient Organic Fertilization

Department of Agro-Environmental Chemistry and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
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Plants 2020, 9(9), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091217
Received: 1 August 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 11 September 2020 / Published: 17 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrition)
Soil organic matter carbon (CSOM) compounds degradation was observed in long-term field experiments with silage maize monoculture. Over a period of 26 years, the content of carbon in topsoil decreased by 22% in control unfertilized plots compared to 25% and 26% in treatments fertilized annually with mineral nitrogen. With annual wheat straw application (together with mineral N), the content of CSOM decreased by 8%. Contrary to that, the annual application of farmyard manure resulted in a CSOM increase of 16%. The ratio of carbon produced by maize related to total topsoil CSOM content ranged between 8.1–11.8%. In plots with mineral N fertilization, this ratio was always higher than in the unfertilized control plots. With the weaker soil extraction agent (CaCl2), the ratio of carbon produced by maize was determined to be 17.9–20.7%. With stronger extraction agent (pyrophosphate) it was only 10.2–14.6%. This shows that maize produced mostly unstable carbon compounds. Mineral N application resulted in stronger mineralization of original and stable organic matter compared to the unfertilized control. However, the increase of maize-produced carbon content in fertilized plots did not compensate for the decrease of “old” organic matter. As a result, a tendency to decrease total CSOM content in plots with mineral N applied was observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: C balance; humic acids; fulvic acids; mineral N; farmyard manure; straw C balance; humic acids; fulvic acids; mineral N; farmyard manure; straw
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Balík, J.; Kulhánek, M.; Černý, J.; Sedlář, O.; Suran, P. Soil Organic Matter Degradation in Long-Term Maize Cultivation and Insufficient Organic Fertilization. Plants 2020, 9, 1217.

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