Soil organic matter variation of topsoil under intensive tillage: The case of sanhu farm, Hubei province, China

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Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role both to condition soil properties and to mitigate climate change. SOM change pattern after intensive tillage is still not well revealed. Taking Sanhu Farm, Jiangling County, Hubei Province, China as a case area, based on topsoil survey samples of 1990, 1994 and 2000 respectively, the spatial distribution pattern and temporal change of SOM content was analyzed. The results show that (1) SOM content successively decreased with the increase of land exploitation history; (2) topsoil SOM value of the three survey years showed a similar spatial pattern whereby the highest SOM value was distributed in the center, and SOM value decreased incrementally as the distance from the center increased, which showed the SOM values were negatively correlated to the altitude of study area; (3) there was an overall tendency for the maximum or minimum value of SOM to approach to the average value over time; (4) SOM concentration changes were influenced by crop systems changes related to the price of crops and related policies. The study depicts SOM variability after the reclamation from virgin land to arable land at a landscape scale, which may contribute to research revealing spatial distribution patterns and controlling elements of SOM change.

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Applied Ecology and Environmental Research

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