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Zhang M.-Y.,China Agricultural University | Zhang M.-Y.,Key Laboratory of Farming Systems | Wang F.-J.,China Agricultural University | Wang F.-J.,Key Laboratory of Farming Systems | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

Whether farmland serves as a carbon (C) source or sink depends on the balance of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Tillage practices critically affect the SOC concentration, SOC sequestration rate and soil carbon storage (SCS). The objective of this paper is to assess the tillage effects on SOC sequestration, SCS and C footprint. Tillage experiments were established on a double cropping system of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and summer corn (Zea mays L.) in the North China Plain since 2001 with three treatments: no tillage (NT), rotary tillage (RT) and conventional tillage (CT). In order to assess SOC sequestration efficiency under different tillage systems, SCS, SOC sequestration rate, hidden carbon cost (HCC), indexes of sustainability (Is) and C productivity (CP) were computed in this study. Results showed that the SCS increased with years of residue retention. The SCS attained the highest degree in 2007, which was about 25%-30% higher than that in 2004. The net SOC sequestration rate was the highest in NT and lowest in CT, while HCC was lowest under NT and highest under CT. The value of Is for CT, RT and NT treatments was 1.46, 1.79 and 1.88, respectively, and that of CP was 11.02, 12.79 and 10.57, respectively. Therefore, it can be concluded that NT provides a good option for increasing SOC sequestration for agriculture in the North China Plain. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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