Mulch rate and tillage effects on carbon sequestration and CO2 flux in an alfisol in central Ohio

S. W. Duiker, Rattan Lal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The amount of carbon sequestered in an arable soil is affected, among other things by the tillage system and amount of crop residue applied. This study was conducted to determine the long-term effect of mulch application rates on the carbon pool with three different tillage systems. Zero, 2, 4, 8, and 16 Mg ha-1 yr-1 wheat straw was applied for 8 years in a no-till, plow-till and ridge-till system on a Crosby silt loam in central Ohio. Only the mulch rate had a significant effect on the SOC content on a weight basis (g/g), in the top 10 cm of the soil. However, bulk density in the no-till system was higher, resulting in a higher SOC pool in the no-till system than in the other tillage systems. Analysis of the SOC pool in the 0 to 1, 1 to 3, 3 to 5, and 5 to 10-cm depths showed that the amount of SOC sequestered per Mg of mulch applied was highest in the no-till system, followed by the plow-till system. The absence of an effect of mulch application on carbon sequestration with the ridge-till system was probably due to sampling method. Most carbon sequestered was concentrated at the surface of the soil in both no-till and plow-till systems. No statistically significant differences in CO2 flux were measured between mulch rate treatments during a growing season. The results show a higher potential of carbon sequestration in a no-till system than in a plow-till system (10% of carbon applied sequestered per year vs. 8%) and the need to avoid burning or removing some or all crop residue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAgricultural Practices and Policies for Carbon Sequestration in Soil
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781420032291
ISBN (Print)9781566705813
StatePublished - Apr 19 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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