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Vertical distribution of root biomass and soil carbon stocks in forage cropping systems


Ojeda, JJ and Caviglia, OP and Agnusdei, MG, Vertical distribution of root biomass and soil carbon stocks in forage cropping systems, Plant and Soil, 423, (1-2) pp. 175-191. ISSN 0032-079X (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11104-017-3502-8


Background and aims: Forage cropping systems may differentially affect the vertical distribution of roots and soil organic C stock (C-OM). In annual crops sequences (ACS) and perennial pastures (PP), we assessed the association between root biomass, C-OM, C in mineral-associated organic matter (C-MAOM), and C in particulate organic matter (C-POM) and its vertical distribution.

Methods Root biomass, C-OM, C-MAOM and C-POM were measured in a Petrocalcic Argiudol at five soil depths up to 100 cm during two years in the south-eastern Pampas of Argentina. The field experiment comprised 28 plots including five perennial pastures and two annual crop sequences. Associations between variables were assessed by regression analysis and non-linear models.

Results Overall, ACS and PP had similar cumulative root biomass. Both, root biomass and soil C stocks exponentially decreased with soil depth. Soil C stocks associated to root biomass tended to stabilize over a threshold value of root biomass for C-MAOM and C-OM. C-POM tended to stabilize over a threshold value only in treatments that included tall fescue.

Conclusions Our results highlights the key role of roots to improve soil C stocks through the design of forage crop rotations that include crops able to increase root inputs to the soil, such as tall fescue.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:forage crop intensification, root inputs, organic matter, particulate organic matter, south-eastern pampas of Argentina
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural land management
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Industrial crops
Objective Field:Industrial crops not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ojeda, JJ (Dr Jonathan Ojeda)
ID Code:123270
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2018-01-02
Last Modified:2018-05-10

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