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Journal of Arid Land  2017, Vol. 9 Issue (3): 345-354    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0097-0
Orginal Article     
Crop yields and soil organic carbon dynamics in a long-term fertilization experiment in an extremely arid region of northern Xinjiang, China
Jinling LYU1,2,3, Hua LIU4, Xihe WANG4, OLAVE Rodrigo5, Changyan TIAN1, Xuejun LIU6,*
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3 Institute of Plant Nutrition, Resources and Environmental Sciences, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450000, China
4 Institute of Soils and Fertilizers, Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Urumqi 830000, China
5 Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Hillsborough, BT26 6DR, United Kingdom
6 College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
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A long-term fertilization experiment was set up in northern Xinjiang, China to evaluate the dynamics of crop production and soil organic carbon (SOC) from 1990 to 2012 with seven fertilization treatments. The seven treatments included an unfertilized control (CK) and six different combinations of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), nitrogen (N), straw (S) and animal manure (M). The balanced fertilization treatments had significantly (P<0.05) higher average yields than the unbalanced ones. The treatment with 2/3 N from potassium sulfate (NPK) and 1/3 N from farmyard manure (NPKM) had a higher average yield than the other treatments. The average yields (over the 23 years) in the treatments of NPK, and urea, calcium superphosphate (NP) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) but were higher than that in the treatment with urea and potassium sulfate (NK; P<0.05). The results also show that the highest increases in SOC (P<0.05) occurred in NPKM with a potential increase of 1.2 t C/(hm2?a). The increase in SOC was only 0.31, 0.30 and 0.12 t C/(hm2?a) for NPKS (9/10 N from NPK and 1/10 N from straw), NPK and NP, respectively; and the SOC in the NP, NK and CK treatments were approaching equilibrium and so did not rise or fall significantly over the 23-year experiment. A complete NPK plus manure fertilization program is recommended for this extremely arid region to maximize both yields and carbon sequestration.

Key wordslong-term fertilization experiment      extremely arid conditions      soil organic carbon      organic C inputs      Xinjiang     
Received: 31 May 2016      Published: 11 May 2017
Corresponding Authors: Xuejun LIU   
Cite this article:

Jinling LYU, Hua LIU, Xihe WANG, OLAVE Rodrigo, Changyan TIAN, Xuejun LIU. Crop yields and soil organic carbon dynamics in a long-term fertilization experiment in an extremely arid region of northern Xinjiang, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(3): 345-354.

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