Distribution of soil carbon and microbial biomass in arable soils under different tillage regimes

Benhua Sun, Paul D. Hallett, Sandra Caul, Tim J. Daniell, David W. Hopkins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We have measured total soil organic carbon (SOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and microbial lipid contents (as indices of microbial biomass and community structure), and their distributions to 60 cm depth in soils from replicated medium-term (2003-2008) experimental arable plots subject to different tillage regimes in Scotland. The treatments were zero tillage (ZT), minimum tillage (MT; cultivation to 7 cm), the conventional tillage (CT) practice of ploughing to 20 cm, and deep ploughing (DP) to 40 cm depth. In the 0-30 cm depth range, SOC content (corrected for bulk density differences between tillage treatments) was greatest under ZT and MT, but over 0-60 cm depth the SOC contents of these treatments were similar to the CT and DP treatments. DOC concentrations declined with increasing depth in ZT and MT above 20 cm, but there were no significant differences with depth in the CT and DP treatments. Beneath 20 cm, there was little change in DOC concentration with depth for all treatments, although for the MT treatment, there was less DOC beneath the depth of cultivation. The total microbial biomass decreased with increasing depth over the 0-60 cm range in the ZT and MT treatments, whereas it decreased with depth only below 30-40 cm in the CT and DP treatments. The microbial biomass was significantly different only between 0-5 cm in the ZT, CT and DP treatments, but not for other depths between all treatments. The bacterial biomass was greater in the ZT treatment than in MT, CT and DP near the soil surface, but not significantly different over the whole profile (0-60 cm). The fungal biomass decreased with depth in the ZT and MT treatments over the whole 0-60 cm depth range, whereas it decreased with depth only below 20 cm in the CT and DP treatments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-25
    Number of pages9
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Volume338
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Fingerprint

    arable soils
    microbial biomass
    tillage
    deep tillage
    carbon
    conventional tillage
    no-tillage
    soil
    dissolved organic carbon
    soil organic carbon
    minimum tillage
    biomass
    plowing
    Scotland
    soil depth
    microbial communities
    bulk density
    community structure
    lipid content

    Cite this

    Sun, Benhua ; Hallett, Paul D. ; Caul, Sandra ; Daniell, Tim J. ; Hopkins, David W. / Distribution of soil carbon and microbial biomass in arable soils under different tillage regimes. In: Plant and Soil. 2011 ; Vol. 338, No. 1-2. pp. 17-25.
    @article{b31bfd62cc0b4ecab56c3640d825a7c4,
    title = "Distribution of soil carbon and microbial biomass in arable soils under different tillage regimes",
    abstract = "We have measured total soil organic carbon (SOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and microbial lipid contents (as indices of microbial biomass and community structure), and their distributions to 60 cm depth in soils from replicated medium-term (2003-2008) experimental arable plots subject to different tillage regimes in Scotland. The treatments were zero tillage (ZT), minimum tillage (MT; cultivation to 7 cm), the conventional tillage (CT) practice of ploughing to 20 cm, and deep ploughing (DP) to 40 cm depth. In the 0-30 cm depth range, SOC content (corrected for bulk density differences between tillage treatments) was greatest under ZT and MT, but over 0-60 cm depth the SOC contents of these treatments were similar to the CT and DP treatments. DOC concentrations declined with increasing depth in ZT and MT above 20 cm, but there were no significant differences with depth in the CT and DP treatments. Beneath 20 cm, there was little change in DOC concentration with depth for all treatments, although for the MT treatment, there was less DOC beneath the depth of cultivation. The total microbial biomass decreased with increasing depth over the 0-60 cm range in the ZT and MT treatments, whereas it decreased with depth only below 30-40 cm in the CT and DP treatments. The microbial biomass was significantly different only between 0-5 cm in the ZT, CT and DP treatments, but not for other depths between all treatments. The bacterial biomass was greater in the ZT treatment than in MT, CT and DP near the soil surface, but not significantly different over the whole profile (0-60 cm). The fungal biomass decreased with depth in the ZT and MT treatments over the whole 0-60 cm depth range, whereas it decreased with depth only below 20 cm in the CT and DP treatments.",
    author = "Benhua Sun and Hallett, {Paul D.} and Sandra Caul and Daniell, {Tim J.} and Hopkins, {David W.}",
    year = "2011",
    month = "1",
    doi = "10.1007/s11104-010-0459-2",
    language = "English",
    volume = "338",
    pages = "17--25",
    journal = "Plant and Soil",
    issn = "0032-079X",
    publisher = "Springer",
    number = "1-2",

    }

    Distribution of soil carbon and microbial biomass in arable soils under different tillage regimes. / Sun, Benhua; Hallett, Paul D.; Caul, Sandra; Daniell, Tim J.; Hopkins, David W.

    In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 338, No. 1-2, 01.2011, p. 17-25.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Distribution of soil carbon and microbial biomass in arable soils under different tillage regimes

    AU - Sun, Benhua

    AU - Hallett, Paul D.

    AU - Caul, Sandra

    AU - Daniell, Tim J.

    AU - Hopkins, David W.

    PY - 2011/1

    Y1 - 2011/1

    N2 - We have measured total soil organic carbon (SOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and microbial lipid contents (as indices of microbial biomass and community structure), and their distributions to 60 cm depth in soils from replicated medium-term (2003-2008) experimental arable plots subject to different tillage regimes in Scotland. The treatments were zero tillage (ZT), minimum tillage (MT; cultivation to 7 cm), the conventional tillage (CT) practice of ploughing to 20 cm, and deep ploughing (DP) to 40 cm depth. In the 0-30 cm depth range, SOC content (corrected for bulk density differences between tillage treatments) was greatest under ZT and MT, but over 0-60 cm depth the SOC contents of these treatments were similar to the CT and DP treatments. DOC concentrations declined with increasing depth in ZT and MT above 20 cm, but there were no significant differences with depth in the CT and DP treatments. Beneath 20 cm, there was little change in DOC concentration with depth for all treatments, although for the MT treatment, there was less DOC beneath the depth of cultivation. The total microbial biomass decreased with increasing depth over the 0-60 cm range in the ZT and MT treatments, whereas it decreased with depth only below 30-40 cm in the CT and DP treatments. The microbial biomass was significantly different only between 0-5 cm in the ZT, CT and DP treatments, but not for other depths between all treatments. The bacterial biomass was greater in the ZT treatment than in MT, CT and DP near the soil surface, but not significantly different over the whole profile (0-60 cm). The fungal biomass decreased with depth in the ZT and MT treatments over the whole 0-60 cm depth range, whereas it decreased with depth only below 20 cm in the CT and DP treatments.

    AB - We have measured total soil organic carbon (SOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and microbial lipid contents (as indices of microbial biomass and community structure), and their distributions to 60 cm depth in soils from replicated medium-term (2003-2008) experimental arable plots subject to different tillage regimes in Scotland. The treatments were zero tillage (ZT), minimum tillage (MT; cultivation to 7 cm), the conventional tillage (CT) practice of ploughing to 20 cm, and deep ploughing (DP) to 40 cm depth. In the 0-30 cm depth range, SOC content (corrected for bulk density differences between tillage treatments) was greatest under ZT and MT, but over 0-60 cm depth the SOC contents of these treatments were similar to the CT and DP treatments. DOC concentrations declined with increasing depth in ZT and MT above 20 cm, but there were no significant differences with depth in the CT and DP treatments. Beneath 20 cm, there was little change in DOC concentration with depth for all treatments, although for the MT treatment, there was less DOC beneath the depth of cultivation. The total microbial biomass decreased with increasing depth over the 0-60 cm range in the ZT and MT treatments, whereas it decreased with depth only below 30-40 cm in the CT and DP treatments. The microbial biomass was significantly different only between 0-5 cm in the ZT, CT and DP treatments, but not for other depths between all treatments. The bacterial biomass was greater in the ZT treatment than in MT, CT and DP near the soil surface, but not significantly different over the whole profile (0-60 cm). The fungal biomass decreased with depth in the ZT and MT treatments over the whole 0-60 cm depth range, whereas it decreased with depth only below 20 cm in the CT and DP treatments.

    U2 - 10.1007/s11104-010-0459-2

    DO - 10.1007/s11104-010-0459-2

    M3 - Article

    VL - 338

    SP - 17

    EP - 25

    JO - Plant and Soil

    JF - Plant and Soil

    SN - 0032-079X

    IS - 1-2

    ER -