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Effects Of Long-Term Groundwater Management And Straw Application On Aggregation Of Paddy Soils In Subtropical China

Li-Chu Yin, L. Zhang, Ya-nan Yi, L. Luo
Published 2015 · Environmental Science

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Abstract Soil organic carbon (SOC) and iron (Fe)-oxides are important contributors of aggregate stability in highly weathered soils, and they are influenced by groundwater management and straw application. A 30-year plot experiment with early rice ( Oryza sativa L.)-late rice-winter fallow rotations was conducted using a upland clay soil in cement pools under shallow groundwater table at a depth of 20 cm (SGT) and deep groundwater table at a depth of 80 cm (DGT) to simulate the groundwater tables of two types of important paddy soils, gleyed paddy soils and hydromorphic paddy soils, respectively, in subtropical China. Soil redox potential (Eh) was measured in situ, and 0–20 cm soil samples were collected for the analyses of soil Fe-oxides, SOC, and aggregates under SGT or DGT with different straw application treatments, in order to evaluate the interaction of groundwater management and straw application on paddy soil aggregation and the relative importance of SOC or Fe-oxides on soil aggregation. The results showed that soil Eh was restricted by irrigation, and its variation was more significant under DGT than under SGT. The decreased soil Eh or reduced drying and wetting cycles under SGT resulted in more SOC accumulation with the straw application, had no effect on soil free Fe-oxides (Fe d ), significantly increased the amorphous Fe-oxide (Fe o ) and complex Fe-oxide contents, but decreased the crystalline Fe-oxide content (Fe d –Fe o ). The soils under DGT had more macroaggregates than those under SGT, but the difference decreased with the straw application. It could be concluded that soil Fe-oxides were the principal contributing factor to the aggregation of paddy soils in subtropical China and SOC was also an important contributing factor.
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