Plant and Soil

, Volume 372, Issue 1–2, pp 53–63 | Cite as

Integrated management systems and N fertilization: effect on soil organic matter in rice-rapeseed rotation

  • Jing Tian
  • Shihua Lu
  • Mingsheng Fan
  • Xiaolin Li
  • Yakov Kuzyakov
Regular Article



Understanding the effects of long-term crop management on soil organic matter (SOM) is necessary to improve the soil quality and sustainability of agroecosystems.


The present 7-year long-term field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of integrated management systems and N fertilization on SOM fractions and carbon management index (CMI). Two integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM-1 and ISSM-2, combined with improved cultivation pattern, water management and no-tillage) were compared with a traditional farming system at three nitrogen (N) fertilization rates (0, 150 and 225 kg N ha−1).


Management systems had greater effects on SOM and its fractions than did N fertilization. Compared with traditional farming practice, the integrated management systems increased soil organic carbon (SOC) by 13 % and total nitrogen (TN) by 10 % (averaged over N levels) after 7 years. Integrated management systems were more effective in increasing labile SOM fractions and CMI as compared to traditional farming practice. SOC, TN and dissolved organic matter in nitrogen increased with N fertilization rates. Nonetheless, N addition decreased other labile fractions: particulate organic matter, dissolved organic matter in carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen and potassium permanganate-oxidizable carbon.


We conclude that integrated management systems increased total SOM, labile fractions and CMI, effectively improved soil quality in rice-rapeseed rotations. Appropriate N fertilization (N150) resulted in higher SOC and TN. Though N application increased dissolved organic matter in nitrogen, it was prone to decrease most of the other labile SOM fractions, especially under higher N rate (N250), implying the decline of SOM quality.


Soil organic matter Labile fractions Integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM) N fertilization Carbon management index (CMI) 



We thank the Major State Basic Research Development Programmer of the People’s Republic of China (Grant No. 2011CB100505), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41171195), the Innovative Group Grant of the National Science of Foundation of China (Grant No. 31121062) and the Special Fund for the Agriculture Profession (201103003) for generous financial support. The authors also thank China Scholarship Council for providing fund to Jing Tian to pursue her study in Germany. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments that helped us to greatly improve the manuscript.


  1. Ajwa HA, Dell CJ, Rice CW (1999) Changes in enzyme activities and microbial biomass of tallgrass prairie soil as related to burning and nitrogen fertilization. Soil Biol Biochem 31:769–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Kaisi MM, Yin X, Licht MA (2005) Soil carbon and nitrogen changes as influenced by tillage and cropping systems in some Iowa soils. Agr Ecosyst Environ 105:635–647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benbi DK, Toor AS, Kumar S (2012) Management of organic amendments in rice-wheat cropping system determines the pool where carbon is sequestered. Plant Soil 360:145–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhattacharyya P, Roy KS, Neogi S, Adhya TK, Rao KS, Manna MC (2012) Effect of rice straw and nitrogen fertilization on greenhouse gas emission and carbon storage in tropical flooded soil planted with rice. Soil Till Res 124:119–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bijay-Singh, Bronson KF, Yadvinder-Singh, Khera TS, Pasuquin E (2001) Nitrogen-15 balance and use efficiency as affected by rice residue management in a rice-wheat system in Northwest India. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 59:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blair GJ, Lefroy RDB, Lise L (1995) Soil carbon fractions based on their degree of oxidation, and the development of a carbon management index for agricultural systems. Aust J Agr Res 46:1459–1466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouman BAM, Toung TP (2001) Field water management to save water and increase its productivity in irrigated lowland rice. Agr Water Manage 49:11–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cambardella CA, Elliott ET (1992) Particulate soil organic-matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Sci Soc Am J 56:777–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cao GL (2006) Effect of different cultivation modes on crop productivity and nitrogen utilization in rice-rapeseed rotation system. China Agricultural University. Beijing (master thesis, in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Chantigny MH (2003) Dissolved and water-extractable organic matter in soils: a review on the influence of land use and management practices. Geoderma 113:357–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chantigny MH, Angers DA, Prevost D, Simard RR, Chalifour FP (1999) Dynamics of soluble organic C and C mineralization in cultivated soils with varying N fertilization. Soil Biol Biochem 31:543–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen HQ, Hou RX, Gong YS, Li HW, Fan MS, Kuzyakov Y (2009) Effects of 11 years of conservation tillage on soil organic matter fractions in wheat monoculture in Loess Plateau of China. Soil Till Res 106:85–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coulter JA, Nafziger ED, Wander MM (2009) Soil organic matter response to cropping system and nitrogen fertilization. Agron J 101:592–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dou FG, Hons FM (2006) Tillage and nitrogen effects on soil organic matter fractions in wheat-based systems. Soil Sci Soc Am J 70:1896–1905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fan MS, Liu XJ, Jiang RF, Zhang FS, Lu SH, Zeng XZ, Christie P (2005) Crop yields, internal nutrient efficiency, and changes in soil properties in rice-wheat rotations under non-flooded mulching cultivation. Plant Soil 277:265–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fan MS, Lu SH, Jiang RF, Liu XJ, Zhang FS (2009) Triangular transplanting pattern and split nitrogen fertilizer application increase rice yield and nitrogen fertilizer recovery. Agron J 101:1421–1425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fan MS, Shen JB, Yuan LX, Jiang RF, Chen XP, Davies WJ, Zhang FS (2012) Improving crop productivity and resource use efficiency to food security and environmental quality in China. J Exp Bot 63(1):13–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Filep T, Rékási M (2011) Factors controlling dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and DOC/DON ratio in arable soils based on a dataset from Hungary. Geoderma 162:312–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Franzluebbers AJ, Hons FM, Saladino VA (1995) Sorghum, wheat and soybean production as affected by long-term tillage, crop sequence and N fertilization. Plant Soil 173:55–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gregorich EG, Carter MR, Angers DA, Monreal CM, Ellert BH (1994) Towards a minimum data set to assess soil organic matter quality in agricultural soils. Can J Soil Sci 74:367–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gregorich EG, Ellert BH, Drury CF, Liang BC (1996) Fertilization effects on soil organic matter turnover and corn residue C storage. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60:472–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haase S, Neumann G, Kania A, Kuzyakov Y, Römheld V, Kandeler E (2007) Elevation of atmospheric CO2 and N-nutritional status modify nodulation, nodule-carbon supply, and root exudation of Phaseolus vulgaris L. Soil Biol Biochem 39:2208–2221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haynes RJ (2005) Labile organic matter fractions as central components of the quality of agricultural soils: an overview. Adv Agron 85:221–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jagadamma S, Lal R, Hoeft RG, Nafziger ED, Adee EA (2008) Nitrogen fertilization and cropping system impacts on soil properties and their relationship to crop yield in the central Corn Belt, USA. Soil Till Res 98:120–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones DL, Willett VB (2006) Experimental evaluation of methods to quantify dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 38:991–999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khan SA, Mulvaney RL, Ellsworth TR, Boast CW (2007) The myth of nitrogen fertilization for soil carbon sequestration. J Environ Qual 36:1821–1832PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kuzyakov Y, Siniakina SV, Rühlmann J, Domanski G, Stahr K (2002) Effect of nitrogen fertilisation on below-ground carbon allocation in lettuce. J Sci Food Agr 82:1432–1441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ladha JK, Reddy CK, Padre AT, van Kessel C (2011) Role of nitrogen fertilization in sustaining organic matter in cultivated soils. J Environ Qual 40:1756–1766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304:1623–1627PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lal R, Kimble JM, Follett RF, Cole CV (1998) The potential of U.S. cropland to sequester carbon and mitigate the greenhouse effect. Ann Arbor Press, ChelseaGoogle Scholar
  31. Li YS, Wu LH, Zhao LM, Lu XH, Fan QL, Zhang FS (2007) Influence of continuous plastic film mulching on yield, water use efficiency and soil properties of rice fields under non-flooding condition. Soil Till Res 93:370–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liebig MA, Varvel GE, Doran JW, Wienhold BJ (2002) Crop sequence and nitrogen fertilization effects on soil properties in the western Corn Belt. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:596–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lu SH, Ren GJ, Zeng XZ, Liu XJ, Zhang FS (2004) Effect of different transplanting periods on the growth and yield of high-quality hybrid rice in the system of rice intensification. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture 12:138–139 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Marschner B, Kalbitz K (2003) Controls of bioavailability and biodegradability of dissolved organic matter in soils. Geoderma 113:211–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mercik S, Németh K (1985) Effects of 60-year N, P, K and Ca fertilization on EUF-nutrient fractions in the soil and on yields of rye and potato crops. Plant Soil 83:151–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nayak AK, Gangwar B, Shukla AK, Mazumdar SP, Kumar A, Raja R, Kumar A, Kumar V, Rai PK, Mohan U (2012) Long-term effect of different integrated nutrient management on soil organic carbon and its fractions and sustainability of rice-wheat system in Indo Gangetic Plains of India. Field Crops Res 127:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Neff JC, Townsend AR, Gleixnerk G, Lenmans SJ, Turnbull J, Bowman WD (2002) Variable effects of nitrogen additions on the stability and turnover of soil carbon. Nature 419:915–917PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rees RM, Bingham IJ, Baddeley JA, Watson CA (2005) The role of plants and land management in sequestering soil carbon in temperate arable and grassland ecosystems. Geoderma 128:130–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Russell AE, Laird DA, Parkin TB, Mallarino AP (2005) Impact of nitrogen fertilization and cropping system on carbon sequestration in Midwestern mollisols. Soil Sci Soc Am J 69:413–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Russell AE, Cambardella CA, Laird DA, Jaynes DB, Meek DW (2009) Nitrogen fertilizer effects on soil carbon balances in Midwestern U.S. agricultural systems. Ecol Appl 19:1102–1113PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sherrod LA, Peterson GA, Westfall DG, Ahuja LR (2003) Cropping intensity enhances soil organic carbon and nitrogen in a no-till agroecosystem. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:1533–1543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Six J, Elliott ET, Paustian K (1999) Aggregate and soil organic matter dynamics under conventional and no-tillage systems. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63:1350–1358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sousa FP, Ferreira TO, Mendonca ES, Romero RE, Oliveira JGB (2012) Carbon and nitrogen in degraded Brazilian semi-arid soils undergoing desertification. Agr Ecosyst Environ 148:11–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tian J, Fan MS, Guo JH, Marschner P, Li XL, Kuzyakov Y (2012) Effects of land use intensity on dissolved organic carbon properties and microbial community structure. Eur J Soil Biol 52:67–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tian J, Pausch J, Fan M, Li X, Tang Q, Kuzyakov Y (2013a) Allocation and dynamics of assimilated carbon in rice-soil system depending on water management. Plant Soil 363:273–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tian J, Lv SH, Fan MS, Li XL, Kuzyakov Y (2013b) Labile soil organic matter fractions as influenced by non-flooded mulching cultivation and cropping season in rice-wheat rotation. Eur J Soil Biol 56:19–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Timsina J, Connor DJ (2001) Productivity and management of rice-wheat cropping systems: Issues and challenges. Field Crops Res 69:93–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vieira FCB, Bayer C, Zanatta JA, Dieckow J, Mielniczuk J, He ZL (2007) Carbon management index based on physical fractionation of soil organic matter in an Acrisol under long-term no-till cropping systems. Soil Till Res 96:195–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. von Luetzow M, Koegel-Knabner I, Ekschmitt K, Flessa H, Guggenberger G, Matzner E, Marschner B (2007) SOM fractionation methods: Relevance to functional pools and to stabilization mechanisms. Soil Biol Biochem 39:2183–2207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wallenstein MD, McNulty S, Fernandez IJ, Boggs J, Schlesinger WH (2006) Nitrogen fertilization decreases forest soil fungal and bacterial biomass in three long-term experiments. Forest Ecol Manag 222:459–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Witt C, Cassman KG, Olk DC, Biker U, Liboon SP, Samson MI, Ottow JCG (2000) Crop rotation and residue management effects on carbon sequestration, nitrogen cycling and productivity of irrigated rice systems. Plant Soil 225:263–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wu J, Brookes PC, Jenkinson DS (1996) Evidence for the use of a control in the fumigation-incubation method for measuring microbial biomass carbon in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 28:511–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yadav RL, Dwivedi BS, Prasad K, Tomar OK, Shurpali NJ, Pandey PS (2000) Yield trends, and changes in soil organic-C and available NPK in a long-term rice-wheat system under integrated use of manures and fertilisers. Field Crops Res 68:219–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yang J, Zhang J (2010) Crop management techniques to enhance harvest index in rice. J Exp Bot 61:3177–3189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhang FS, Cui ZL, Fan MS, Zhang WF, Chen XP, Jiang RF (2011) Integrated soil-crop system management: reducing environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency in China. J Environ Qual 40:1051–1057PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Tian
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shihua Lu
    • 2
  • Mingsheng Fan
    • 1
  • Xiaolin Li
    • 1
  • Yakov Kuzyakov
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions, Ministry of Education; and College of Resources and Environmental SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Soils and FertilizersSichuan Academy of Agricultural SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Soil Science of Temperate EcosystemsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

Personalised recommendations