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Root size fractions of ryegrass and white clover contributes differently to C and N inclusion in SOM

Rasmussen, J.; Eriksen, J.; Jensen, E.S. and Høgh-Jensen, H. (2010) Root size fractions of ryegrass and white clover contributes differently to C and N inclusion in SOM. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 46, pp. 293-297.

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Grass-clover mixtures are essential in many low-N-input cropping systems, but the importance of various root fractions for the below-ground N dynamics are not well understood. This may be due to the difficulties of studying root longevity and turnover in situ in mixtures. The present field study, investigated (1) the development in root biomass over two growing seasons and (2) the turnover of dual N-15- and C-14-labelled ryegrass and white clover root material. Litter bags containing various dual-labelled plant materials were incubated in cylinders inserted in the topsoil of a young ryegrass-clover ley. Disappearance of C-14 and N-15 from the litter bag material were studied for 1 year following incubation. Four times during two growing seasons, roots were divided into two classes: large roots, retained on a 1-cm sieve, and small roots, passing a 1-cm sieve but retained on a 100-A mu m sieve. Large root biomass increased during the two growing seasons, and small root biomass increased during the growing seasons but decreased during autumn and winter. White clover roots lost C-14 and N-15 almost twice as fast as ryegrass roots. The disappearance pattern of C-14 and N-15 from dual-labelled ryegrass and white clover roots and the C and N contents of the recovered root material indicate that large roots are determining soil C pool build-up, whereas small roots determine soil N pool build-up.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Farming Systems
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > ORGGRASS - Grass-clover in organic dairy farming
Deposited By: Eriksen, Professor Jørgen
ID Code:17875
Deposited On:12 Oct 2010 13:15
Last Modified:12 Oct 2010 13:15
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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