Intensive agricultural systems negatively affect soil quality principally because of a reduction in soil organic matter (OM). Sustainable practices providing organic amendments could be useful to maintain or increase OM content in agricultural soils, preserving and improving soil fertility. In this study, biomass with a large C:N ratio was applied to intensively farmed agricultural soils to maximize the increase of soil OM and hence chemical and biochemical fertility. In particular, 30 and 60 t ha<sup>-1</sup> of two mixtures of compost and scraps from poplar pruning, A1 and A2, with different C:N ratios (15 and 25, respectively), were applied to soils of two farms (F1 and F2) in a Mediterranean area (southern Italy) on an annual basis for two consecutive years. An effective, long-lasting increase of soil OM, on average of 60 and 55% in F1 and F2 soils, respectively, was reached at the end of the experiment. As well as a progressive increase in the C:N ratio, total N and available P also increased with organic amendments, with positive effects on soil microbial activity as demonstrated by the enhancement of the seven studied enzymatic activities. Principal component analysis demonstrated different responses to various organic amendments between F1 and F2 soils because of their geopedological diversity. The results indicate that the C:N ratio of the mixture is an important factor, but what is the best rate of addition to use is still not obvious. The use of a smaller amount (30 t ha<sup>-1</sup>) of the A1 mixture (10:1 compost:wood) appears, in these types of soils, to be the most suitable strategy to produce significant benefits.

Combined use of compost and wood scraps to increase carbon stock and improve soil quality in intensive farming systems

D'ASCOLI, Rosaria;
2015

Abstract

Intensive agricultural systems negatively affect soil quality principally because of a reduction in soil organic matter (OM). Sustainable practices providing organic amendments could be useful to maintain or increase OM content in agricultural soils, preserving and improving soil fertility. In this study, biomass with a large C:N ratio was applied to intensively farmed agricultural soils to maximize the increase of soil OM and hence chemical and biochemical fertility. In particular, 30 and 60 t ha-1 of two mixtures of compost and scraps from poplar pruning, A1 and A2, with different C:N ratios (15 and 25, respectively), were applied to soils of two farms (F1 and F2) in a Mediterranean area (southern Italy) on an annual basis for two consecutive years. An effective, long-lasting increase of soil OM, on average of 60 and 55% in F1 and F2 soils, respectively, was reached at the end of the experiment. As well as a progressive increase in the C:N ratio, total N and available P also increased with organic amendments, with positive effects on soil microbial activity as demonstrated by the enhancement of the seven studied enzymatic activities. Principal component analysis demonstrated different responses to various organic amendments between F1 and F2 soils because of their geopedological diversity. The results indicate that the C:N ratio of the mixture is an important factor, but what is the best rate of addition to use is still not obvious. The use of a smaller amount (30 t ha-1) of the A1 mixture (10:1 compost:wood) appears, in these types of soils, to be the most suitable strategy to produce significant benefits.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/202317
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