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Sugar beet rotation effects on soil organic matter and calculated humus balance in Central Germany

  • Autor/in: Götze, P.; J. Rücknagel, A. Jacobs, B. Märländer, H.-J. Koch, B. Holzweißig, M. Steinz, O. Christen
  • Jahr: 2016
  • Zeitschrift: European Journal of Agronomy
  • Seite/n: 198-207


In order to quantify the influence of land use systems on the level of soil organic matter (SOM)to develop recommendations, long-term field studies are essential. Based on a crop rotation exper-iment which commenced in 1970, this paper investigated the impact of crop rotations involvingincreased proportions of sugar beet on SOM content. To this end, soil samples were taken in 2010 and2012 from the following crop rotation sequences: sugar beet–sugar beet–winter wheat–winter wheat(SB–SB–WW–WW = 50%), sugar beet–sugar beet–sugar beet–winter wheat (SB–SB–SB–WW = 75%), sugarbeet–grain maize (SB–GM = 50%) and sugar beet-monoculture (SB = 100%); these were analysed in termsof total organic carbon (TOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) content, MBC/TOC ratio and the TOCstocks per hectare. In addition, humus balances were created (using the software REPRO, reference period12 years) in order to calculate how well the soil was supplied with organic matter. In the field experi-ment, harvest by-products (WW and GM straw as well as SB leaves) were removed. After 41 years, nostatistically significant differences were measured between the crop rotations for the parameters TOC,MBC, MBC/TOC ratio and the TOC stock per hectare. However, the calculated humus balance was sig-nificantly affected by the crop rotation. The calculated humus balance became increasingly negative inthe order SB–SB–WW–WW, SB–SB–SB–WW, SB monoculture and SB–GM, and correlated with the soilparameters. The calculated humus balances for the reference period did not reflect the actual demandfor organic matter by the crop rotations, but instead overestimated it.
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