Effects of no-tillage management on soil biochemical characteristics in northern China
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Field experiments (15 years) were carried out to study the effects of no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) management practices on the soil chemical properties, microbial biomass, soil enzymatic activities and winter wheat yield on a cinnamon soil in Shanxi, on the Chinese Loess Plateau. Compared to CT, NT increased soil organic carbon, soil total nitrogen and soil total phosphorus in the 0-100 mm layer by 25, 18 and 7%, respectively. Microbial biomass C and N contents under NT were 41 and 57% greater than under CT on the same layer. In general, higher enzymatic activities were found in the more superficial layers of soil under NT than under CT in the same layer. Winter wheat yield was c. 20% higher under NT than under CT. These findings have implications for understanding how conservation tillage practices improve soil quality and sustainability in the rainfed dryland farming areas of northern China.
Journal of Agricultural Science
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Agricultural Land Management