Synergy between compost and cover crops in a Mediterranean row crop system leads to increased subsoil carbon storage
Subsoil carbon (C) stocks are a prime target for efforts to increase soil C storage for climate change mitigation. However, subsoil C dynamics are not well understood, especially in soils under long-term intensive agricultural management. We compared subsoil C storage and soil organic matter (SOM) composition in tomato-corn rotations after 25 years of differing C and nutrient management in the California Central Valley: CONV (mineral fertilizer), CONV+WCC (mineral fertilizer and cover crops), and ORG (composted poultry manure and cover crops). The cover crop mix used in these systems is a mix of oat (Avena sativa L.), faba bean (Vicia faba L.), and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth). Our results showed a ∼19Mgha-1 increase in soil organic C (SOC) stocks down to 1m under ORG systems, no significant SOC increases under CONV+WCC or CONV systems, and an increased abundance of carboxyl-rich C in the subsoil (60-100cm) horizons of ORG and CONV+WCC systems. Our results show the potential for increased subsoil C storage with compost and cover crop amendments in tilled agricultural systems and identify potential pathways for increasing C transport and storage in subsoil layers. Copyright:
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Daniel Rath, Nathaniel Bogie, Leonardo Deiss, Sanjai J. Parikh, Daoyuan Wang, Samantha Ying, Nicole Tautges, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Teamrat A. Ghezzehei, and Kate M. Scow. "Synergy between compost and cover crops in a Mediterranean row crop system leads to increased subsoil carbon storage" SOIL (2022): 59-83. https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-8-59-2022