Emissions of CH4 and CO2 from paddy fields as affected by tillage practices and crop residues in central China
Quantifying carbon (C) sequestration in paddy soils is necessary to help better understand the effect of agricultural practices on the C cycle. The objective of the present study was to assess the effects of tillage practices [conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT)] and the application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer (0 and 210 kg N ha(-1)) on fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2), and soil organic C (SOC) sequestration during the 2009 and 2010 rice growing seasons in central China. Application of N fertilizer significantly increased CH(4) emissions by 13%-66% and SOC by 21%-94% irrespective of soil sampling depths, but had no effect on CO(2) emissions in either year. Tillage significantly affected CH(4) and CO(2) emissions, where NT significantly decreased CH(4) emissions by 10%-36% but increased CO(2) emissions by 22%-40% in both years. The effects of tillage on the SOC varied with the depth of soil sampling. NT significantly increased the SOC by 7%-48% in the 0-5 cm layer compared with CT. However, there was no significant difference in the SOC between NT and CT across the entire 0-20 cm layer. Hence, our results suggest that the potential of SOC sequestration in NT paddy fields may be overestimated in central China if only surface soil samples are considered.