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Study of Maize Residue Decomposition in a Silty Loam Soil of Pakistan: A Comparison of Mulched Versus Incorporated Residue Management Practice

Study of Maize Residue Decomposition in a Silty Loam Soil of Pakistan: A Comparison of Mulched Versus Incorporated Residue Management Practice

Saman Rizwan and Sohaib Aslam* 

Department of Environmental Sciences, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Lahore 54600, Pakistan

 
*Correspondence | Sohaib Aslam, Department of Environmental Sciences, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Lahore 54600, Pakistan; Email: sohaibaslam@fccollege.edu.pk 

ABSTRACT

Using harvested crop residues in different residue management strategies would help in refilling the soil nutrient pools, enhance soil organic matter levels, protect soils against erosion and improve water retention. This research was conducted in laboratory-controlled conditions using maize residues and a loamy soil from a sugarcane field to determine carbon mineralization patterns. Two different residue management practices were chosen for this study; mulched (soil covered by residues) versus incorporated (residue incorporated in surface soil layer). Carbon mineralization patterns under two treatments were unique from each other. The results showed that all treatments enhance the carbon mineralization in soil with addition of residues compared to control. Soil treatment with incorporated residues (using 1g of residues) resulted in fastest respiration rates followed by mulched treatment. The soil treatment with incorporated residues (using 0.5 g of residues) exhibited comparatively slower rates of respiration which was understandable owing to lesser amount of crop residues added to soil. Residues of mulched treatment accelerated the decomposition during latter half of the incubation experiment. Thus, the decomposition of residues was affected by their placement in soil and also by their quantity. Our results recommend using crop residues of harvest as mulch as sustainable practice to enhance soil quality while reducing the environmental degradation. 

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Sarhad Journal of Agriculture

December

Vol.39, Iss. 4, Pages 781-1002

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