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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (6): 1337-1347    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)62079-9
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Residue management induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen under different tillage practices in the North China Plain
PU Chao, KAN Zheng-rong, LIU Peng, MA Shou-tian, QI Jian-ying, ZHAO Xin, ZHANG Hai-lin
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
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Crop residue retention has been considered a practicable strategy to improve soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN), but the effectiveness of residue retention might be different under varied tillage practices.  To evaluate the effects of residue management on the distribution and stocks of SOC and TN under different tillage practices, a bifactorial experiment with three levels for tillage practices (no-tillage, rotary tillage, and conventional tillage) and two levels for residue managements (residue retention and residue removal) was conducted in the North China Plain (NCP).  Results showed that after a short experimental duration (3–4 years), concentrations of SOC and TN in the 0–10 cm layer were higher under no-tillage than under conventional tillage, no matter whether crop residues were retained or not.  Residue retention increased SOC and TN concentrations in the upper layers of soil to some degree for all tillage practices, as compared with residue removal, with the greatest increment of SOC concentration occurred in the 0–10 cm layer under rotary tillage, but in the 10–30 cm layer under conventional tillage.  The stocks of SOC in the 0–50 cm depth increased from 49.89 Mg ha–1 with residue removal to 53.03 Mg ha–1 with residue retention.  However, no-tillage did not increase SOC stock to a depth of 50 cm relative to conventional tillage, and increased only by 5.35% as compared with rotary tillage.  Thus, residue retention may contribute more towards SOC sequestration than no-tillage.  Furthermore, the combination between residue retention and no-tillage has the greatest advantage in enhancing SOC and TN in the NCP region.
Keywords:  no-tillage        residue retention        residue removal        stratification ratio        SOC stock        total nitrogen stock  
Received: 02 April 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This research was funded by the Special Fund for Agro-Scientific Research in the Public Interest in China (201503136) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31171510).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHANG Hai-lin, Tel: +86-10-62733376, Fax: +86-10-62733316, E-mail:   
About author:  PU Chao, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

PU Chao, KAN Zheng-rong, LIU Peng, MA Shou-tian, QI Jian-ying, ZHAO Xin, ZHANG Hai-lin. 2019. Residue management induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen under different tillage practices in the North China Plain. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(6): 1337-1347.

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