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Effect of household land management on cropland topsoil organic carbon storage at plot scale in a red earth soil area of South China

  • S. FENG (a1), S. TAN (a1), A. ZHANG (a2), Q. ZHANG (a2), G. PAN (a1) (a2), F. QU (a1), P. SMITH (a3), L. LI (a2) and X. ZHANG (a2) (a3)...

Summary

An inventory of topsoil soil organic carbon (SOC) content in household farms was performed in a village from a red earth region in Jiangxi Province, China in 2003. In this region, the farmland managed by each household is fragmented, consisting of several plots of land that are not necessarily adjacent to each other. A statistical analysis of SOC variation with land use and household management type, and with crop management practices was conducted. Plot size ranged from 0·007 to 0·630 ha with a mean of 0·1 ha, and SOC content ranged from 1·72 to 25·2 g/kg, varying widely with a variety of land management and agricultural practices, arising from individual household behaviours. The mean SOC content in plot size <0·1 ha was 20% lower than in plot size ⩾0·1 ha. SOC of dry crop plots was 70% lower than that in rice paddies, and SOC of plots contracted from the village was almost double that of plots leased from other householders. Moreover, a 30% increase in SOC was observed with green manure cultivation, and a 55% increase under triple cropping. The difference in SOC levels between the least and most favourable cases of household land management and agricultural practice was up to 150%. The results suggest that policies targeted at crop management alone may not deliver the expected SOC benefits if household land management is also not improved.

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The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence . The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use

Corresponding author

*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: gxpan1@hotmail.com; gxpan@njau.edu.cn

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Effect of household land management on cropland topsoil organic carbon storage at plot scale in a red earth soil area of South China

  • S. FENG (a1), S. TAN (a1), A. ZHANG (a2), Q. ZHANG (a2), G. PAN (a1) (a2), F. QU (a1), P. SMITH (a3), L. LI (a2) and X. ZHANG (a2) (a3)...

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