Long-term nutrient management effects on soil aggregation and C stabilization in Vertisols of Central India


Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email: contact@vegetosindia.org
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00539-4
First Page: 1347
Last Page: 1356
Views: 1603

Keywords: Black soils, Nutrient management, Aggregation, Carbon storage, Carbon preservation capacity


Intensive tillage practices have lowered soil organic carbon content and impaired soil physical quality, emphasizing the importance of conservation-oriented activities. We investigated the effects of long-term application of farmyard manure (FYM) or gliricidia, either alone or in combination with NPK, on nitrogen (N) substitution basis on aggregate stability and carbon distribution in different aggregate fractions after 35 years of cotton-greengram intercropping in a cracking clayey Black soil (Vertisols). The results revealed that irrespective of treatments, the fraction of macro-aggregates (> 0.25 mm) was higher than that of micro-aggregates. The partial substitution of N by FYM/Gliricidia in NPK (INM) increased water stable aggregates by roughly 15% compared to control and 6.5% over NPK treatment. The structural indices such as mean weight diameter, geometric mean diameter, and aggregate ratio were highest (0.89, 0.87, and 3.87, respectively) in INM-based treatments. There was a higher organic carbon content in macro-aggregates, particularly in 2.0–1.0 mm aggregate fraction followed by > 2.0 mm, whereas micro-aggregates had the lowest in < 0.10 mm aggregate fraction. The INM-based treatments had higher carbon preservation capacity, particularly in all macro-aggregates fractions, compared to unfertilized control and NPK. Overall, aggregate-associated carbon of all sizes had a substantial positive correlation with macro-aggregates, mean weight diameter, and aggregate ratio but was negatively correlated with micro-aggregates. It is concluded that supplementing Gliricidia/FYM with NPK promotes soil aggregation and increases carbon in macro-aggregates. This will help in sustainable cotton-greengram productivity in the region.

Black soils, Nutrient management, Aggregation, Carbon storage, Carbon preservation capacity

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This study was conducted under the aegis of the “All India Coordinated Research Project for Dryland Agriculture (AICRPDA) ”, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola, Maharashtra. The authors thank the ICAR- Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad (Telangana), for funding the project.

Author Information

Ramteke Pratik
Akola, India
Gabhane V. V.
Akola, India