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Soil Science:
doi: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000053
Technical Article

Long-term Residue Management Effects on Soil Respiration in a Wheat-Soybean Double-Crop System

Smith, Faye1; Brye, Kristofor R.1; Gbur, Edward E.2; Chen, Pengyin1; Korth, Ken3

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Abstract: One of the most significant contributors to the greenhouse effect is carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in the atmosphere. Soil respiration, the combined production of CO2 from soil, as a result of root and microorganism respiration, is the largest flux of CO2 from the terrestrial ecosystem to the atmosphere. Considering land use can greatly impact soil C storage and cycling, agricultural management practices can also greatly affect soil respiration and CO2 emissions. Therefore, the effects of long-term residue management (i.e., residue burning and nonburning, and conventional [CT] and no-tillage [NT]) and residue level (i.e., high and low) on soil respiration during the soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] growing season were examined over 2 consecutive years (i.e., 2011 and 2012) in a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)–soybean, double-crop system in a silt-loam soil (Aquic Fraglossudalf) in the Mississippi River Delta region of eastern Arkansas after more than 9 years of consistent management. Soil respiration rates from individual plots ranged from 0.53 to 40.7 and from 0.17 to 13.1 μmol CO2·m−2·s−1 throughout the 2011 and 2012 soybean growing seasons, respectively, and differed (P < 0.05) among treatment combinations on two and five of nine and 11 measurement dates in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Regardless of residue level, soil respiration was generally greater (P < 0.05) from CT than NT. Estimated season-long CO2 emissions were 10.2% less (18.5 Mg CO2·ha−1) from residue burning than from nonburning (20.6 Mg CO2·ha−1; P = 0.032). Averaged over years and all other field treatments, estimated season-long CO2 emissions were 15.5% greater from CT (21.0 Mg CO2·ha−1) than from NT (18.1 Mg CO2·ha−1; P = 0.020). Understanding long-term management effects on soil C losses, such as soil respiration, from common and widespread agricultural systems, such as the wheat-soybean, double-crop system, in eastern Arkansas can help improve policies for soil and environmental sustainability throughout the lower Mississippi River Delta region.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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