Enhancing Soil Quality through Residue Management in a Rice‐Wheat System in Fukuoka, Japan uri icon

abstract

  • A long-term experiment (LTE) on a rice-wheat system was initiated in 1963 at the Kyushu National Agricultural Experiment Station, in Fukuoka, Japan, to determine the effects of continuous application of rye grass/wheat straw, rice straw and rice straw compost, alone or in combination with inorganic N on crop yields. Increase in rice yields and enhancement of total soil C and N contents with the application of organic residues in this LTE have been reported earlier. However, evaluation of the changes in the soil microbiological properties and the decomposable C fraction of soil organic matter that is needed for soil quality assessment is still lacking. Soil samples were collected after rice harvest in 2003 from the organic residue treatments and unfertilized control, air-dried and incubated for 1 month under aerobic [50% water-filled pore space (WFPS)] and flooded conditions prior to the analysis of the amount of microbial biomass C (MBC), soil respiration and the amount of potential mineralizable N (PMN). The contents of total C (TC), total N (TN), organic C (OC), hot water-extractable C (HWEC) and permanganate-oxidizable C (POC) were determined from air-dried soils. Organic residue incorporation brought about significant increases in the contents of TC, TN, OC, POC, HWEC and PMN. The largest accumulation of total C (23%) and N (72%) in the soil was from rice straw compost, compared with that from rice straw (C, 7% and N, 33%) and rye grass/wheat straw (C, 9% and N, 29%). Incorporation of rice straw compost also increased the amount of MBC under both aerobic and flooded conditions and basal soil respiration under aerobic conditions only. An efficient utilization of C by microorganisms was indicated by a significantly lower metabolic quotient (qCO(2)) in the composted and uncomposted rice straw treatments compared with the control in the "-" N treatment under aerobic conditions. Similarly, the flush of CO2, after rewetting of dry soil per unit of HWEC was lower in the organic matter treatments, indicating a more efficient C utilization and lower C losses per unit of available C. The content of HWEC was significantly correlated with the basal soil respiration (at 50% WFPS), the amounts of MBC, PMN and with the increase in the content of soil organic C in the residue-treated soils. In the treatments without inorganic N fertilizer, grain yield was significantly correlated with the amounts of total organic C, HWEC, MBC (at 50% WFPS), basal soil respiration (at 50% WFPS) and the amount of PMN.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005