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Effects of returning corn straw and fermented corn straw to fields on the soil organic carbon pools and humus composition
Soil  (IF5.841),  Pub Date : 2021-10-25, DOI: 10.5194/soil-2021-105
Yifeng Zhang, Sen Dou, Batande Sinovuyo Ndzelu, Rui Ma, Dandan Zhang, Xiaowei Zhang, Shufen Ye, Hongrui Wang

Abstract. In our previous studies, we filtered out fungus (Trichoderma reesei) to have the best ability to transform corn straw into a humic acid-like substance through laboratory incubation experiments. In order to further verify our former findings, we set up a 360 day-field experiment that included three treatments applied under equal C mass: (i) corn straw returned to the field (CS), (ii) fermented corn straw treated with Trichoderma reesei returned to the field (FCS-T), and (iii) blank control treatment (CK). Soil organic carbon (SOC), soil labile organic C components, soil humus composition, and the management levels of SOC pools under the three treatments were analyzed and compared. The results showed that the SOC content of CS and FCS-T treatments increased by 12.71 % and 18.81 %, respectively, compared with CK at 360 d. The humic acid carbon (HA-C) content of the FCS-T treatment was 0.77 g/kg higher than in the CS treatment. Application of FCS-T appeared to promote the significant increase of SOC, carbon pool activity index (CPAI) and carbon pool management index (CPMI) through accumulation of HA-C, humin carbon (HM-C), and easily oxidizable organic carbon (EOC) contents. Application of fermented corn straw treated with Trichoderma reesei (FCS-T) is more valuable and conducive to increasing soil EOC and humus C content than direct application of corn straw.