Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Soils".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2023) | Viewed by 16689

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Guest Editor
Department of Biogeochemistry and Soil Science, Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology, Al. prof. S. Kaliskiego 7, 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Interests: enzymes; soil; macroelements; agriculture; environmental
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Guest Editor
Department of Biogeochemistry and Soil Science, Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology, Al. prof. S. Kaliskiego 7, 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Interests: heavy metals; soil; environmental; soil organic carbon

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

The Guest Editors are inviting submissions to a Special Issue on “Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions”. Atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) continue to rise globally due to anthropogenic activities. Soil tillage, sowing, fertilizer, and pesticide addition have significant impacts on GHG emissions through perturbations in the carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and water dynamics of these agroecosystems. Agriculture is responsible for approximately 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is a measure that aims to increase soil organic carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emission rates through improved management practices.

This Special Issue focuses on the role that agricultural cropping systems play in greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, it welcomes highly interdisciplinary quality studies from disparate research fields, including agriculture, landscaping, and environmentalism. Original research articles and reviews are accepted.

Prof. Dr. Joanna Lemanowicz
Prof. Dr. Agata Bartkowiak
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • soil organic carbon
  • fertilization
  • crop production
  • environment
  • soil properties
  • cropping system
  • CO2
  • N2O
  • CH4

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Reduced and Conventional Tillage Systems on Soil Aggregates and Organic Carbon Parameters of Different Soil Types
by Erika Tobiašová, Joanna Lemanowicz, Bożena Dębska, Martina Kunkelová and Juraj Sakáč
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040818 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1515
Abstract
Tillage is a significant type of soil intervention and should be conducted based on the specific soil type. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different tillage intensities (RT: reduced tillage; CT: conventional tillage), which are correlated with carbon [...] Read more.
Tillage is a significant type of soil intervention and should be conducted based on the specific soil type. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different tillage intensities (RT: reduced tillage; CT: conventional tillage), which are correlated with carbon sequestration, on soil properties. The study areas included fields on real farms in Eutric Fluvisol (EF), Mollic Fluvisol (MF), Haplic Chernozem (HC), Haplic Luvisol (HL), Eutric Regosol (ER), Eutric Gleysol (EG), and Stagnic Planosol (SP). The effects of tillage systems depended on the soil type and were more evident in soil aggregates of more productive soils. Agronomically, the most valuable fractions of aggregates were dominant in more productive soils (EF, MF, HC) in the CT system and less dominant in less productive soils (HL, ER, EG, SP) in the RT system. Smaller aggregates (<0.5 mm), which indicate deterioration of soil properties, were negatively correlated with clay (r = −0.364, p < 0.01), total organic carbon (r = −0.245, p < 0.05), and stabile carbon fractions (r = −0.250, p < 0.05). In the case of soil organic carbon, tillage system was mainly correlated with soil texture. Tillage had no influence on soils with lower proportions of silt. On the whole, the suitability of the tillage system for a specific soil type depended on soil productivity and soil texture; however, EG was an exception and showed no differences in response to the tillage system used. The results of this study show that the main factors influencing the choice of tillage system are soil type and genesis, soil texture, and soil production ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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14 pages, 4176 KiB  
Article
Effect of Soil Agricultural Use on Particle-Size Distribution in Young Glacial Landscape Slopes
by Paweł Sowiński, Sławomir Smólczyński, Mirosław Orzechowski, Barbara Kalisz and Arkadiusz Bieniek
Agriculture 2023, 13(3), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13030584 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
In the literature, mainly particle-size distribution (PSD) analyses in the soil catenas, of e.g., moraine and riverine landscapes were discussed. Analysis and comparison of PSD in moraine (ML) and ice-dammed lakes (ID-LL) landscapes were not studied. Since the landscape of ice-dammed lakes origin [...] Read more.
In the literature, mainly particle-size distribution (PSD) analyses in the soil catenas, of e.g., moraine and riverine landscapes were discussed. Analysis and comparison of PSD in moraine (ML) and ice-dammed lakes (ID-LL) landscapes were not studied. Since the landscape of ice-dammed lakes origin has diversified relief and is under intensive agricultural use, the aspects of erosion are of great importance. The changes in PSD were studied in 14 soil catenas (toposequences) of eroding soils at the upper slope (US) as well as colluvial soils at the middle (MS) and lower (LS) slopes and in the depressions (D). The PSD of the fine fractions (<2 mm) was analysed according to the hydrometer method. In order to describe the effect of agricultural use on the variability of PSD in soil surface horizons, sedimentological and granulometric indices were calculated. In the studied moraine landscape, the content of coarse silt fraction was increasing in the catenal sequence from 9.7% in the US to 17.7% in the D. Similar relationships were revealed for the fine silt content. Significant differences were found between the average contents of coarse and fine silt fractions at the US as well as the LS and the D. However, such a relation was not found in the soil catena in the ice-dammed lake landscape. Eroded and colluvial soil materials were very poorly sorted with a standard deviation index of 2.65–3.69. Humus horizons of analysed soils had very fine, fine skewed PSD, mesokurtic and platykurtic distribution (ML), symmetrical, fine skewed and platykurtic distribution (I-DLL). The cluster analysis enabled the separation of two groups of soils: one group in the moraine landscape and the other in the ice-dammed lakes landscape. The PSD in studied soils was similar only among the soils within one type of landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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17 pages, 1124 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Enzyme Activity on Carbon Sequestration and the Cycle of Available Macro- (P, K, Mg) and Microelements (Zn, Cu) in Phaeozems
by Joanna Lemanowicz, Agata Bartkowiak, Aleksandra Zielińska, Iwona Jaskulska, Magdalena Rydlewska, Katarzyna Klunek and Magdalena Polkowska
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010172 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
The study objective was to determine the relationship of selected enzyme activities with carbon sequestration and N, P, K, Mg, Zn and Cu contents in Phaeozem soils. Soil samples were taken from a 10 ha area. A selection of their physical and chemical [...] Read more.
The study objective was to determine the relationship of selected enzyme activities with carbon sequestration and N, P, K, Mg, Zn and Cu contents in Phaeozem soils. Soil samples were taken from a 10 ha area. A selection of their physical and chemical properties and the contents of the available forms of selected macro- and microelements were determined. The activities of dehydrogenases (DEH), catalase (CAT), peroxidases (PER), alkaline (AlP) and acid (AcP) phosphatase, β-glucosidase (BG) and proteases (PR) were also determined. The relationship between enzymatic soil fertility indices (AlP/AcP, BIF, GMea, TEI, BA12 and BA13) and selected soil parameters was also determined. The research used principal component analysis (PCA) to distinguish significantly correlated parameters of a Phaeozem used for agricultural purposes. The study area showed low TOC and K contents and average P and Mg contents. Significant positive correlations were found between the TOC content and activity of the tested enzymes, evidencing that soil enzymes are an important parameter in carbon sequestration and soil nutrient dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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19 pages, 2249 KiB  
Article
Wheat Crop Yield and Changes in Soil Biological and Heavy Metals Status in a Sandy Soil Amended with Biochar and Irrigated with Drainage Water
by Mohieyeddin M. Abd El-Azeim, Ahmad M. Menesi, Mahmoud M. Abd El-Mageed, Joanna Lemanowicz and Samir A. Haddad
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101723 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
The current research aims to study the impacts of adding corncob biochar to a sandy soil irrigated with drainage water on wheat productivity, heavy metals fate, and some soil properties that reflect healthy soil conditions. This research consists of two separate experiments under [...] Read more.
The current research aims to study the impacts of adding corncob biochar to a sandy soil irrigated with drainage water on wheat productivity, heavy metals fate, and some soil properties that reflect healthy soil conditions. This research consists of two separate experiments under field (lysimeters) and pot incubation conditions conducted on sandy soil irrigated with drainage water and treated with corncob biochar at the rate of 0.0, 1, 2, and 3% as mixing or mulching. Results specified that drainage water electrical conductivity value (5.89 dS m−1) lies under the degree of restriction on use of “Severe”, indicating that nonstop irrigation with such drainage water may cause a severe salinity problem in soil in the long run. A comparison of heavy metal concentrations of biochar-treated soils with the control showed that total heavy metals had accumulated significantly in the topsoil layer. Most of the available heavy metal concentrations in all soil leachate fractions were below the method detection limits. Mean concentrations of Ni, Cd, and Pb in wheat crops were far below the concentrations considered phytotoxic to wheat plants. More than 90% of the Ni, Cd, and Pb contained in the drainage water of the Al-Moheet drain were significantly present (p ≤ 0.05) and adsorbed by biochar in the top 20 cm of soil lysimeters, indicating the high biochar adsorptive capacity of heavy metals. Total counts of bacteria and fungi gradually and significantly increased over the soil incubation time despite irrigation with contaminated drainage water. Soil resistance index (SRI) values for microbial biomass were positive throughout the experiment and increased significantly as the application rate of corncob biochar increased. These results indicated the high feasibility of using corncob biochar at a rate of 3% to temporarily improve the health of sandy soil despite irrigation with drainage water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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18 pages, 2522 KiB  
Article
Soil Fertility Improvement and Carbon Sequestration through Exogenous Organic Matter and Biostimulant Application
by Bozena Debska, Karol Kotwica, Magdalena Banach-Szott, Ewa Spychaj-Fabisiak and Erika Tobiašová
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091478 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
One of the main tasks in the search for environmentally friendly crop-growing methods is to increase soil fertility by improving its physical, chemical and biological parameters. The aim of this study was to determine the effect that the long-term annual application of different [...] Read more.
One of the main tasks in the search for environmentally friendly crop-growing methods is to increase soil fertility by improving its physical, chemical and biological parameters. The aim of this study was to determine the effect that the long-term annual application of different types of soil fertility agents (exogenous organic matter: 1. manure, 2. straw in combination with nitrogen fertilization and liming and 3. the addition of biostimulants) had on organic matter properties, including humic acid (HAs) properties. The research was carried out on the basis of soil samples from a ten-year pot experiment which was set up as single-factor pot experiment with four replications. PVC pots with perforated bottoms were filled with soil samples taken from the tilled layer of an arable field where winter wheat was grown in monoculture. The pots were exposed directly to the weather and were left without vegetation. The soil samples were assayed for the content of total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen and fractional composition of humus. HAs were extracted with the Schnitzer method and analyzed for the elemental composition, spectrometric parameters in the FT-IR and UV-VIS range and hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties. In addition, EPR spectra were produced. The results showed that the content of organic matter compared to soil without additives increased with the use of manure and the use of straw in the CaO variant and in the form of a mulch. The content of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) ranged from 124.6 to 286.1 mg kg−1 and had strong positive correlation with TOC content. The values of the ratio of carbon content in humic acids to carbon content in fulvic acids (CHAs/CFAs) ranged from 0.71 to 0.99. The use of a biostimulator—with or without the addition of straw—increased carbon sequestration in humic acid molecules, as well as their oxidation level and their share of hydrophobic fractions with the longest retention time. Thus, the addition of UGmax intensifies humification processes, leading to the formation of stable humic acid molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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16 pages, 1303 KiB  
Article
Dairy Slurry Application to Stubble-Covered Soil: A Study on Sustainable Alternatives to Minimize Gaseous Emissions
by Arejacy Antonio Silva, Mário Carvalho, João Coutinho, Ernesto Vasconcelos and David Fangueiro
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071021 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
The development of sustainable application practices, which do not demand incorporation into the soil, is necessary to encourage slurry use in conservation agriculture (CA). Incorporation is the most common practice to reduce nitrogen losses from the applied slurry. However, in CA, soil disturbance [...] Read more.
The development of sustainable application practices, which do not demand incorporation into the soil, is necessary to encourage slurry use in conservation agriculture (CA). Incorporation is the most common practice to reduce nitrogen losses from the applied slurry. However, in CA, soil disturbance must be avoided. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate strategies to reduce gaseous emissions from dairy slurry applied to stubble-covered soil without incorporation. We evaluated (1) effects on ammonia (NH3) emissions of pretreatment by acidification (ADS), irrigation (IR) and placement under the stubble (US); and (2) effects of ADS, IR, US and delayed fertilization (RDS T16) on greenhouse gases (GHG). The results of the evaluated strategies were compared to raw slurry (RDS) and ammonium sulphate (MS). Additionally, in experiment 2, the results were compared to ammonium sulphate (MB) and slurry injection (IN), both in bare soil. ADS, US and IR decreased NH3 emissions by 66%, 60% and 32.5%, respectively, with total N emissions NH3 emissions accounting for more than 79% of N losses in slurry-based treatments. Late application reduced N2O emissions by 48%. GHG emissions from ADS, US and IR were similar to those from MS, MB and IN. ADS, US and IR are the most suitable strategies for slurry application in CA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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14 pages, 1472 KiB  
Article
Enzymatic Activity of Soil after Applications Distillery Stillage
by Agata Bartkowiak, Joanna Lemanowicz, Magdalena Rydlewska, Olga Drabińska and Karol Ewert
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050652 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the fertilizing value of rye stillage used in the cultivation of winter triticale cv. ‘Grenado’. The research was performed in 2018 (autumn, before the application of the stillage), 2019, and 2020 (spring and autumn after stillage application) on [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the fertilizing value of rye stillage used in the cultivation of winter triticale cv. ‘Grenado’. The research was performed in 2018 (autumn, before the application of the stillage), 2019, and 2020 (spring and autumn after stillage application) on Luvisoil at the depth levels of 0–20 and 20–40 cm. Each year, the basic soil parameters were analyzed, i.e., pH in 1M KCl, organic carbon (Corg), available phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu). Enzymes were also accounted: alkaline phosphatase (AlP), acid phosphatase (AcP), and dehydrogenases (DEH). The use of stillage resulted in a significant increase in the content of P, K, and Mg and the activity of AlP, AcP, and DEH in the soil. It significantly increased the Corg content and did not have a significant effect on pH. The obtained results indicate that the response of the enzymatic activity to the distillery stillage depended on both the sampling season soil and the depth. However, it is necessary to systematically monitor the pH of the soil and at the same time to rationally apply mineral fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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Review

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20 pages, 1932 KiB  
Review
Transformation of Organic Soils Due to Artificial Drainage and Agricultural Use in Poland
by Andrzej Łachacz, Barbara Kalisz, Paweł Sowiński, Bożena Smreczak and Jacek Niedźwiecki
Agriculture 2023, 13(3), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13030634 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2580
Abstract
Organic soils that had been drained in order to obtain fertile agricultural land underwent changes leading to the formation of mursh (also known as moorsh). The mursh-forming process is a generic soil process that occurs in drained (artificially or naturally) organic soils, and [...] Read more.
Organic soils that had been drained in order to obtain fertile agricultural land underwent changes leading to the formation of mursh (also known as moorsh). The mursh-forming process is a generic soil process that occurs in drained (artificially or naturally) organic soils, and leads to the changes in soil morphology, soil physical properties (including water retention capability), physicochemical properties, and chemical and biological properties. The aim of the paper is to present scientific knowledge on mursh soils, especially those that are not available to the wider audience. We firstly reviewed scientific literature on the mursh (moorsh) forming process of drained organic soils used for agriculture. We described the specific character of organic soils, differences between mursh and peat, the origin of the mursh-forming process, and the classification of organic soils (Histosols). Additionally, we described the changes in organic matter, such as the loss of soil carbon, increase of availability of plant nutrients, and leaching of biogens to groundwater. We revealed that the mineral matter in organic soils can be an indicator for distinguishing various types of murshes. We have highlighted the current gaps in the research that need to be filled in. The mursh-forming process is inherently related to the mineralization of soil organic matter and leads to a reduction of organic carbon in soil. Mursh has many unfavorable properties with regards to agriculture and environmental management. These properties are mainly related to decreased water storage capacity, which significantly limits the hydrological function of organic soils. The use of drained organic soils is a trade-off between environmental quality and agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cropping System Impact on Soil Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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