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Soil carbon (C) sequestration plays an important role in mitigating global climate change, and certain land utilization strategies can exert a pronounced effect on carbon storage. Land use practices, such as planting previously cropped lands into perennial grasslands, can increase soil C sequestration; however, the temporal response of soil C pools to such changes in land use are likely complex and not well quantified. In the current study, a space-for-time approach was used to assess the response of soil C sequestration and microbial community composition during a five-year grazed pasture rotation following three years of vegetable production on a central Kentucky farm. After 5 years in pasture, soil organic C and N in the top 15 cm increased 20.6% and 20.1%, respectively, from year 1 levels, and particulate organic matter C (POM C) increased 53.5%. A carbon mineralization (CM) assay indicated that the potential release of CO also increased with time in pasture rotation. When compared to permanent pasture (not previously used for vegetable production), soil microbial community composition differed in rotation years 1-3 but became similar in years 4 and 5. Multi-response permutation procedure (MRPP) analysis showed that CM and POM were key factors affecting microbial community composition. Soil microbial community composition also varied with time of year (season), but to a lesser degree than with pasture duration. Overall, incorporation of perennial pasture into cropping systems can have profound effects on microbial community composition and function, increasing soil organic C, and consequently enhancing the potential for C sequestration; however, whether these increases in C storage persist throughout the full cropping sequence (i.e., once the pasture has been returned to vegetables) and/or how these changes influence subsequent vegetable production remains to be evaluated.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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The collective designation of three organizations with common membership: the European Economic Community (Common Market), the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). It was known as the European Community until 1994. It is primarily an economic union with the principal objectives of free movement of goods, capital, and labor. Professional services, social, medical and paramedical, are subsumed under labor. The constituent countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. (The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1997, p842)
Enumeration by direct count of viable, isolated bacterial, archaeal, or fungal CELLS or SPORES capable of growth on solid CULTURE MEDIA. Each colony (i.e., microbial colony-forming unit) represents the progeny of a single cell in the original inoculum. The method is used routinely by environmental microbiologists for quantifying organisms in AIR; FOOD; and WATER; by clinicians for measuring patients' microbial load; and in antimicrobial drug testing.
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