Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 211–224 | Cite as

Decomposition characteristics of rice straw returned to the soil in northeast China

  • Chao Yan
  • Shuang-Shuang Yan
  • Tian-Yu Jia
  • Shou-Kun Dong
  • Chun-Mei Ma
  • Zhen-Ping GongEmail author
Original Article


The straw return method has been increasingly implemented in rice production in Northeast China. In-depth studies on the characteristics of rice straw decomposition are of great importance for achieving sustainable agricultural development. In this study, the nylon mesh bagging method was used to study the patterns of rice straw decomposition and nutrient release during a 5-year period of rice growth. The results showed that straw decomposition occurred mainly during the first 3 years after straw return, with the cumulative amount of decomposition reaching 77.0%, and that the rate of straw decomposition decreased linearly with time. The release of carbon, nitrogen, cellulose and hemicellulose occurred mainly during the first and second years after straw return. Moreover, the release of phosphorus and potassium occurred mainly during the first month after straw return, and lignin was released at various rates throughout the entire study period. These results indicated that straw returned to the soil acts both as a source of phosphorus and potassium in the short term and as a source of nitrogen and carbon in the long term during the rice growing season in Northeast China.


Rice straw Straw decomposition Nutrient release Cellulose Hemicelluloses 



This work was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China, the Study on the Regulation Mechanism of Straw Retention on Phosphorus Availability and Phosphorus Fractions in Soil in Cold Regions (31601270), the Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Financial Assistance (HBH-Z16027), and the “Young Talents” Project of Northeast Agricultural University.


  1. Abera G, Wolde-meskel E, Bakken LR (2012) Carbon and nitrogen mineralization dynamics in different soils of the tropics amended with legume residues and contrasting soil moisture contents. Biol Fertil Soils 48:51–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barker AV, Volk RJJAC (1964) Determination of ammonium, amide, amino, and nitrate nitrogen in plant extracts by a modified Kjeldahl method. Anal Chem 36:439–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cheng W et al (2016) Changes in the soil C and N contents, C decomposition and N mineralization potentials in a rice paddy after long-term application of inorganic fertilizers and organic matter. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 62:212–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. China NBoSotPsRo (2016) China statistical yearbook-2016. China Statistics PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Devêvre OC, Horwáth WR (2000) Decomposition of rice straw and microbial carbon use efficiency under different soil temperatures and moistures. Soil Biol Biochem 32:1773–1785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eremeeva T, Bikova T, Eisimonte M, Viesturs U, Treimanis A (2001) Fractionation and molecular characteristics of cellulose during enzymatic hydrolysis. Cellulose 8:69–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ferreira DA et al (2016) Contribution of N from green harvest residues for sugarcane nutrition in Brazil. GCB Bioenergy 8:859–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fores E, Menendez M, Comin F (1988) Rice straw decomposition in rice-field soil. Plant Soil 109:145–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ghidey F, Alberts E (1993) Residue type and placement effects on decomposition: field study and model evaluation. Trans ASAE 36:1611–1617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gök M, Ottow J (1988) Effect of cellulose and straw incorporation in soil on total denitrification and nitrogen immobilization at initially aerobic and permanent anaerobic conditions. Biol Fertil Soils 5:317–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gong Z, Deng N, Song Q, Li Z (2018) Decomposing characteristics of maize straw returning in songnen plain in long-time located experiment. Trans Chinese Soc Agric Eng 34:139–145 (in Chinese with English abstract) Google Scholar
  12. Guixiang Z, Zhang J, Lin C, Zhang C, Zhenghong Y (2016) Temperature and straw quality regulate the microbial phospholipid fatty acid composition associated with straw decomposition. Pedosphere 26:386–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gupta R, Ladha J, Singh J, Singh G, Pathak H (2007) Yield and phosphorus transformations in a rice–wheat system with crop residue and phosphorus management. Soil Sci Soc Am J 71:1500–1507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hansen EM, Munkholm LJ, Melander B, Olesen JE (2010) Can non-inversion tillage and straw retainment reduce N leaching in cereal-based crop rotations? Soil Tillage Res 109:1–8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kanamori T, Yasuda T (1979) Immobilization, mineralization and the availability of the fertilizer nitrogen during the decomposition of the organic matters applied to the soil. Plant Soil 52:219–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lefroy R, Chaitep W, Blair G (1994) Release of sulfur from rice residues under flooded and non-flooded soil conditions. Aust J Agric Res 45:657–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li Q, He Y-C, Xian M, Jun G, Xu X, Yang J-M, Li L-Z (2009) Improving enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw using ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium diethyl phosphate pretreatment. Bioresour Technol 100:3570–3575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liang CG, Ye ZX, Cheng ZF, Qiang WY (2006) Estimating the quantity of crop residues burnt in open field in China. Res Sci 28:9–13 (in Chinese with English abstract) Google Scholar
  19. Lim SS, Kwak JH, Lee KS, Chang SX, Yoon KS, Kim HY, Choi WJ (2015) Soil and plant nitrogen pools in paddy and upland ecosystems have contrasting δ15N. Biol Fertil Soils 51:231–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mandal KG, Misra AK, Hati KM, Bandyopadhyay KK, Ghosh PK, Mohanty M (2004) Rice residue- management options and effects on soil properties and crop production. J Food Agric Environ 2:224–231Google Scholar
  21. Nakajima M et al (2016) Modeling aerobic decomposition of rice straw during the off-rice season in an Andisol paddy soil in a cold temperate region of Japan: effects of soil temperature and moisture. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 62:90–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nelson DW (1982) Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. Methods Soil Anal 9:961–1010Google Scholar
  23. Nigussie A, Kissi E (2011) Impact of biomass burning on selected physicochemical properties of nitisol in Jimma zone, Southwestern Ethiopia. Int Res J Agric Sci Soil Sci 1:394–401Google Scholar
  24. Pal D, Broadbent F (1975) Influence of moisture on rice straw decomposition in soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 39:59–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pan M, Zhou D, Zhou X, Lian Z (2010) Improvement of straw surface characteristics via thermomechanical and chemical treatments. Biores Technol 101:7930–7934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pan M, Gan X, Mei C, Liang Y (2017) Structural analysis and transformation of biosilica during lignocellulose fractionation of rice straw. J Mol Struct 1127:575–582. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ponnamperuma F (1984) Straw as a source of nutrients for wetland rice. Org Matter Rice 117:136Google Scholar
  28. Raison RJ (1979) Modification of the soil environment by vegetation fires, with particular reference to nitrogen transformations: a review. Plant Soil 51:73–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rao DN, Mikkelsen D (1976) Effect of rice straw incorporation on rice plant growth and nutrition. Agron J 68:752–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Saha PK, Miah M, Hossain A, Rahman F, Saleque MA (2010) Contribution of rice straw to potassium supply in rice-fallow-rice cropping pattern Bangladesh. J Agric Res 34:633–643Google Scholar
  31. Shaffer M, Ma L (2001) Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in upland soils. In: Shaffer MJ, Ma L, Hansed S (eds) Modeling carbon and nitrogen dynamics for soil management. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, pp 11–26Google Scholar
  32. Sierra J (1997) Temperature and soil moisture dependence of N mineralization in intact soil cores. Soil Biol Biochem 29:1557–1563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith JH, Douglas CL (1971) Wheat straw decomposition in the field. Soil Sci Soc Am J 35:269–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tang S, Cheng W, Hu R, Guigue J, Kimani SM, Tawaraya K, Xu X (2016) Simulating the effects of soil temperature and moisture in the off-rice season on rice straw decomposition and subsequent CH4 production during the growth season in a paddy soil. Biol Fertil Soils 52:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tirol-Padre A, Tsuchiya K, Inubushi K, Ladha JK (2005) Enhancing soil quality through residue management in a rice-wheat system in Fukuoka, Japan. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 51:849–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wang Z, Zhu P, Huang DM (1999) Straw 14C decomposition and distribution in humus fractions as influenced by soil moisture regimes. Pedosphere 9:275–280Google Scholar
  37. Wang J-G, Li Z-X, Cai C-F, Yang W, Ma R-M, Zhang G-B (2013) Effects of stability, transport distance and two hydraulic parameters on aggregate abrasion of Ultisols in overland flow. Soil Tillage Res 126:134–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wu W, Wang Z, Jin Y, Matsumoto Y, Zhai H (2014) Effects of LiCl/DMSO dissolution and enzymatic hydrolysis on the chemical composition and lignin structure of rice straw. Biomass Bioenergy 71:357–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yadvinder S, Gupta RK, Jagmohan S, Gurpreet S, Gobinder S, Ladha JK (2010) Placement effects on rice residue decomposition and nutrient dynamics on two soil types during wheat cropping in rice–wheat system in northwestern India. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 88:471–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yadvinder-Singh BS, Ladha JK, Khind CS, Khera TS, Bueno CS (2004) Effects of residue decomposition on productivity and soil fertility in rice–wheat rotation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:854–858Google Scholar
  41. Yan C et al (2016) Effects of straw retention and phosphorous fertilizer application on available phosphorus content in the soil solution during rice growth. Paddy Water Environ 14:61–69. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yan C, Du TT, Yan SS, Dong SK, Gong ZP, Zhang ZX (2018) Changes in the inorganic nitrogen content of the soil solution with rice straw retention in northeast China. Desalin Water Treat 110:337–348. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yu C, Qin J, Xu J, Nie H, Luo Z, Cen K (2010) Straw combustion in circulating fluidized bed at low-temperature: transformation and distribution of potassium. Can J Chem Eng 88:874–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhou W, Hui D, Shen W (2014) Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of soil heterotrophic respiration: a laboratory incubation study. PLoS ONE 9:e92531CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of AgricultureNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina

Personalised recommendations