Soil degradation and C emissions are a threat to sustainable agriculture in many arid and semi-arid areas. For sustainable agriculture, the influence of soil amendments on crop production and soil respiration has been a key focus of research. A three-year field study to assess how soil amendments influence soil properties, soil respiration (Rs), and yield of maize (Zea mays L.) was conducted. Treatments were: no amendment (NA), chemical fertilizer (CF), swine (Sus scrofa L.) manure (SM), maize stover (MS), and swine manure + chemical fertilizer (SC). Soil amendment (CF, SM, MS, and SC) consistently produced greatest grain yield and aboveground biomass, which averaged 38 and 34% greater than NA, respectively. No amendment reduced Rs by an average of 12% compared to amendment treatments. Enhanced grain yield with soil amendment resulted in increased carbon emission efficiency (CEE) with SC>MS>CF>SM>NA. Across years, SC decreased soil bulk density by 13% and increased CEE, soil total C, and soil hydraulic conductivity by 52, 19, and 21%, respectively, compared to NA. These results demonstrate the viability of swine manure + chemical fertilizer at 200 kg N ha-1 as a soil amendment for improved CEE and advancing sustainable maize production in semi-arid rainfed environments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was funded by the Research Program of the Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Aridland Crop Science, Gansu Agricultural University (GSCS-2019-Z04 and GSCS-2017-4), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31761143004 and 31660373), and the Department of Education of Gansu Province (2017C-12).
Acknowledgments: The research was funded by the Research Program of the Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Aridland Crop Science, Gansu Agricultural University (GSCS‐2019‐Z04 and GSCS‐2017‐4), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31761143004 and 31660373), and the Department of Education of Gansu Province (2017C‐12).
© 2019 by the authors.
- Carbon emission efficiency
- Chemical fertilizer
- Soil amendment
- Soil respiration