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Carbon transfer in a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) ecosystem

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In a field experiment with 14C-labeled winter wheat conducted in the north-central region of the United States, crop-accumulated carbon (grain excluded) returned to the soil was found to be 542 g m−2 year−1. Almost half of the carbon from the underground compartment was released in the form of CO2 during the first 3 months after harvest due to very favorable conditions for biological activity. After 18 months, no less than 80% of the carbon from the plant residues was mineralized. About 16% of straw carbon and 24% of root carbon was transferred into soil organic matter. The annual rate of soil organic matter decomposition was approximated as 1.7%.

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Correspondence to G. A. Buyanovsky.

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Contribution from the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, Journal Series Number 10134

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Buyanovsky, G.A., Wagner, G.H. Carbon transfer in a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) ecosystem. Biol Fert Soils 5, 76–82 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00264350

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Key words

  • Biomass accumulation
  • Decomposition
  • Litter
  • Soil organic matter
  • Soil respiration
  • 14C deposition
  • Triticum aestivum