Long-term tillage effect on with-in season variations in soil conditions and respiration from dryland winter wheat and soybean cropping systems
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Soil respiration from agricultural soils is a major anthropogenic source of CO2 to the atmosphere. With-in season emission of soil CO2 from croplands are affected by changes in weather, tillage, plant row spacing, and plant growth stage. Tillage involves physical turning of soils which accelerate residue decomposition and CO2 emission. No-tillage lacks soil disturbance and residues undergo slower decomposition at the surface. In this study, we compared with-in season soil conditions (temperature and moisture) and soil respiration from two major crops (soybean and winter wheat) by making high temporal frequency measurements using automated chambers at half-hourly intervals. The experiment lasted for 179 days. Total number of measurements made from conventional and no-tillage soybean and winter wheat plots were 6480 and 4456, respectively. Average flux after the winter-dormancy period of wheat was 37% higher in tilled soil compared to no-till soil. However, average flux during the soybean growing season was 8% lower in conventional till compared to no-till soil. This differential response of soil respiration in wheat and soybean was primarily due to tillage-induced changes in surface characteristics (residue cover) and soil environmental conditions (soil temperature and soil moisture). Results from this study can help elucidate relationships for modeling and assessment of field-scale soil CO2 emissions from dryland wheat and soybean crops grown in sub-tropics.
author list (cited authors)
Zapata, D., Rajan, N., Mowrer, J., Casey, K., Schnell, R., & Hons, F.