Phenol Accumulation in a Young Humic Fraction following Anaerobic Decomposition of Rice Crop Residues uri icon

abstract

  • Soil phenols have been implicated as inhibitors of soil N cycling within many agroecosystems, including irrigated lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.). To quantify the effects of crop management on temporal patterns of phenol accumulation in lowland rice soils, we measured phenol concentrations in two humic fractions at two crop growth stages in each growing season during a 4-yr field study at the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines). Samples were collected from two double-crop rotations (continuous rice and rice-maize [Zea mays L.]) with two N fertilizer rates (0 and nonlimiting), and with either aerobic or anaerobic decomposition of incorporated crop residues. Phenols were determined by tetramethylammonium hydroxide thermochemolysis. Compared with the other field treatments, anaerobic decomposition of crop residues with continuous rice and nonlimiting rates of N fertilizer promoted a gradual increase in the relative enrichment of phenols in the mobile humic acid fraction during the 4 yr. The level of enrichment varied among phenol compounds, developing the fastest and becoming most pronounced with the smaller molecules of molecular weight 168 or less. Anaerobic decomposition had less effect on phenol enrichment for continuous rice cropping without N fertilizer. No phenol enrichment was found with anaerobic decomposition of rice residues in the rice-maize rotation. Our results are consistent with previous findings of inhibited mineralization of humic N with anaerobic decomposition, continuous rice, and nonlimiting rates of N fertilizer. Rotation of maize with rice or other techniques to ensure aerobic decomposition of crop residues may help mitigate or prevent phenol accumulation.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009