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Li C.-F.,Key Laboratory of Huazhong Crop Production | Li C.-F.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Yang J.,Key Laboratory of Huazhong Crop Production | Yang J.,Huazhong Agricultural University | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2010

Knowledge about effects of short-term tillage and fertilization on soil properties and rice grain yields is needed in order to assess the contributions of these practices to sustainable land management, especially in warm, humid climates where organic matter is quickly oxidized. Soil properties and rice grain yields were evaluated after 3 years of rape (Brassica napus)/rice (Oryza sativa L.) production under conventional tillage (CT) and notillage (NT) with non-fertilization and fertilization on a silty clay loam of 2008 in central China. NT significantly enhanced soil bulk density, nutrients and microbial biomass C and N at 0-5 cm depth, and the proportion of 2-0.25 mm fraction, but did not affect soil pH and enzyme activities across three depths. Additionally, NT significantly decreased the proportion of <0.002 mm fraction. In general, NT had obvious stratification of nutrients, microbial biomass and enzyme activity across three depths, whereas CT had uniform distribution of nutrients, microbial biomass and enzyme activity at 0-10 cm depth. Fertilization significantly increased soil nutrients, microbial biomass and enzyme activities but had no significant effect on soil aggregates. Although short-term NT did not decrease rice grain yields and N uptake by rice plants, NT rice production in combination with fertilization had significantly lower rice grain yields and N uptake by rice plants, suggesting that it is important to study fertilizer use rates of NT rice production in order to enhance rice grain yields. Source

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