Soil carbon fractionation is a valuable indicator in assessing stabilization of soil organic matter and soil quality. However, limited studies have addressed how different vegetation stand ages under intercropping agroforestry systems, could affect organic carbon (OC) accumulation in bulk soil and its physical fractions. A field study thus investigated the impact of citrus plantation age (15-, 25-, and 45-year citrus) on the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC) and SOC fractions and yields of Stropharia rugoso-annulata (SRA) in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, Chongqing, China. Results indicated that the intercropping practice of SRA with citrus significantly increased the SOC by 57.4–61.6% in topsoil (0–10 cm) and by 24.8–39.9% in subsoil (10–30 cm). With a significantly higher enhancement under the 25-year citrus stand than the other two stands, all these citrus stands of three ages also resulted in a significant increase of free particulate OC (fPOC, 60.1–62.4% in topsoil and 34.8–46.7% in subsoil), intra-micro aggregate particulate OC (iPOC, 167.6–206.0% in topsoil and 2.77–61.09% in subsoil), and mineral-associated OC (MOC, 43.6–46.5% in topsoil and 26.0–51.5% in subsoil). However, there were no significant differences in yields of SRA under three citrus stands. Our results demonstrated that citrus stand ages did play an important role in soil carbon sequestration and fractionation under a citrus/SRA intercropping system, which could therefore provide a sustainable agroforestry system to enhance concurrently the SOC accumulation while mitigating farmland CO2 emission.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 22, 2017
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