How long-term chemical fertilization of sloping cropland enhances yield and fertility without compromising coil structure

Mingxiang Xu, Qiang Li, Matthew A Bowker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We studied the effects of the long-term (17 years) application of different chemical fertilizer regimes on soil N and its inorganic fractions in relation to the soil physical properties in a sloping cropland in the hilly Loess Plateau. Seven treatments comprised of two factors were arranged within a randomized complete block design. As expected, crop yield increased 2-4-fold, but soil structure did not degrade. Under long-term fertilization, the portion of the small aggregates (<2 mm) and sand content were significantly decreased while the large aggregates (>2 mm) and the silt content increased by 276% and 7.4%, respectively, as compared with those in areas without fertilization. Moreover, the various continuous chemical fertilization treatments increased SOC content by 12.9% and total N by 12.4%, on average, compared with unfertilized plots. The SOC, total N, and shoot C, shoot N had close relationships with the large aggregates (>2 mm) and the clay content. The results suggest that, in this setting, the long-term addition of both N and P may sustain soil quality of an infertile sloping cropland in this region, compared to agriculture without fertilizer or applications of N alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1797-1807
Number of pages11
JournalPolish Journal of Environmental Studies
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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fertility
shoot
Soils
Fertilizers
soil structure
soil quality
crop yield
loess
silt
soil
physical property
fertilizer
plateau
fold
agriculture
clay
Silt
Agriculture
Crops
Physical properties

Keywords

  • Optimal fertilizer treatment
  • Physical properties
  • Soil microbial biomass carbon
  • Soil nitrogen fractions
  • Soil organic carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

How long-term chemical fertilization of sloping cropland enhances yield and fertility without compromising coil structure. / Xu, Mingxiang; Li, Qiang; Bowker, Matthew A.

In: Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2017, p. 1797-1807.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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