Analyzing and modelling the effect of long-term fertilizer management on crop yield and soil organic carbon in China
The Science of the total environment | 11 Feb 2018
J Zhang, J Balkovič, LB Azevedo, R Skalský, AF Bouwman, G Xu, J Wang, M Xu and C Yu
This study analyzes the influence of various fertilizer management practices on crop yield and soil organic carbon (SOC) based on the long-term field observations and modelling. Data covering 11 years from 8 long-term field trials were included, representing a range of typical soil, climate, and agro-ecosystems in China. The process-based model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model) was used to simulate the response of crop yield and SOC to various fertilization regimes. The results showed that the yield and SOC under additional manure application treatment were the highest while the yield under control treatment was the lowest (30%-50% of NPK yield) at all sites. The SOC in northern sites appeared more dynamic than that in southern sites. The variance partitioning analysis (VPA) showed more variance of crop yield could be explained by the fertilization factor (42%), including synthetic nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) fertilizers, and fertilizer NPK combined with manure. The interactive influence of soil (total N, P, K, and available N, P, K) and climate factors (mean annual temperature and precipitation) determine the largest part of the SOC variance (32%). EPIC performs well in simulating both the dynamics of crop yield (NRMSE = 32% and 31% for yield calibration and validation) and SOC (NRMSE = 13% and 19% for SOC calibration and validation) under diverse fertilization practices in China. EPIC can assist in predicting the impacts of different fertilization regimes on crop growth and soil carbon dynamics, and contribute to the optimization of fertilizer management for different areas in China.
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