THE INFLUENCE OF LEGUME CROPPING SEQUENCES ON ABOVEGROUND AND BELOWGROUND CARBON AND NITROGEN INPUTS IN PULSE CROP ROTATIONS
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Pulse crops grown in prairie crop rotations can provide greater carbon (C) inputs than non-pulse crops in rotation and reduce nitrogen (N) fertilizer requirements. The aim of this research was to estimate the aboveground (ABG) and belowground (BG) partitioning of C and N inputs to soil from continuous (three year) chickpea (CP), lentil (L) and pea (P) systems and from CP, L and P grown in rotation with mustard (M) or wheat (W). Stable isotope techniques were used to label plants grown in a greenhouse and track residue C and N inputs to the bulk soil, heavy fraction organic matter (HF), light fraction organic matter (LF), very light fraction organic matter (VLF), water extractable organic matter (WEOM), the soil microbial biomass (SMB) and the inorganic N pool. Repeat-pulse 13CO2-labeling and shoot 15N-labeling techniques revealed rhizodeposition of C and N was higher in non-continuous pulse crop systems (P-M-CP, P-W-CP, CP-W-CP, L-W-L, P-M-P and P-W-P), than in continuous CP, L and P. Belowground residue (roots and rhizodeposits) C made up 35%, 30% and 33% of total residue C in the continuous CP, L and P, respectively. Belowground residue C made up 50%, 43% and 25% of total residue C in CP, L and P in rotation with M or W, respectively. Belowground-N made up a greater proportion of total residue N than ABG-N in the continuous CP (56%), L (53%) and P (68%) systems, and in the non-continuous CP (76%), L (70%) and P (62%) rotations. Soil pool C and N did not differ between continuous CP, L or P, nor did it differ between the non-continuous CP, L or P rotations. There were no differences between M and W, as the ABG and BG residue C and N in the M pulse crop rotations did not differ from that of the W pulse crop rotations. There was a greater amount of C derived from rhizodeposition (CdfR) and N derived from rhizodeposition (NdfR) in the bulk soil and in the very light fraction organic matter (VLF) of the non-continuous pulse crop rotations, than in the continuous pulse crop systems. This research demonstrates the importance of BG inputs of C and N to soils from CP, L and P grown in rotation with M and W.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorKnight, Joan D.
CommitteeFarrell, Richard E.; Lemke, Reynald L.
Copyright DateNovember 2015
Pulse crop, rhizodeposition, carbon, nitrogen