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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (5): 1103-1119    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)62075-1
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Carbon cycle in response to residue management and fertilizer application in a cotton field in arid Northwest China
ZHANG Peng-peng1, XU Shou-zhen1, ZHANG Guo-juan1, PU Xiao-zhen2, WANG Jin3, ZHANG Wang-feng1 
1 The Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-agriculture, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Agricultural College, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, P.R.China
2 College of Life Science, Shihezi University, Shihezi 8320003, P.R.China
3 Wulanwusu Agro-meteorological Experiment Station of Xinjiang, Shihezi 832003, P.R.China
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Understanding the influence of farming practices on carbon (C) cycling is important for maintaining soil quality and mitigating climate change, especially in arid regions where soil infertility, water deficiency, and climate change had significantly influenced on agroecosystem.  A field experiment was set up in 2009 to examine the influence of residue management and fertilizer application on the C cycle in a cotton field in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Northwest China.  The study included two residue management practices (residue incorporation (S) and residue removal (NS)) and four fertilizer treatments (no fertilizer (CK), organic manure (OM), chemical fertilizer (NPK), chemical fertilizer plus organic manure (NPK+OM)).  Soil organic carbon (SOC) and some of its labile fractions, soil CO2 flux, and canopy apparent photosynthesis were measured during the cotton growing seasons in 2015 and 2016.  The results showed that SOC, labile SOC fractions, canopy apparent photosynthesis, and soil CO2 emission were significantly greater in S+NPK+OM (residue incorporation+chemical fertilizer) than in the other treatments.  Analysis of all data showed that canopy apparent photosynthesis and soil CO2 emission increased as SOC increased.  The S+OM (residue incorporation+organic manure) and S+NPK+OM treatments were greater for soil C sequestration, whereas the other treatments resulted in soil C loss.  The S+NPK treatment is currently the standard management practice in Xinjiang.  The results of this study indicate that S+NPK cannot offset soil C losses due to organic matter decomposition and autotrophic respiration.  Residue return combined with NPK fertilizer and organic manure application is the preferred strategy in arid regions for increasing soil C sequestration. 
Keywords:  residue        fertilizer        SOC pool        canopy apparent photosynthesis        soil respiration        soil C balance  
Received: 12 February 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471450).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHANG Wang-feng, Tel: +86-993-2057326, E-mail:   
About author:  Received 12 February, 2018 Accepted 24 July, 2018 ZHANG Peng-peng, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Peng-peng, XU Shou-zhen, ZHANG Guo-juan, PU Xiao-zhen, WANG Jin, ZHANG Wang-feng. 2019. Carbon cycle in response to residue management and fertilizer application in a cotton field in arid Northwest China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(5): 1103-1119.

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