ROTATION EFFECT OF PULSE CROPS ON NITROGEN FIXATION AND CARBON INPUT TO SOIL
Pulse crops included in a crop rotation can reduce nitrogen (N) requirements via biological N2 fixation (BNF) and provide greater carbon (C) inputs to soil than non-pulse crops in rotation. The goal of this research was to estimate the BNF and C input to soil by various pulse crops (chickpea, lentil and field pea) grown in rotation with pulse crops and non-pulse crops. Soil cores from three crop rotations (chickpea-wheat, lentil-wheat and pea-wheat) were collected from Swift Current, SK. Additional soil cores from two rotations (canola-wheat and wheat-canola) were extracted from a field used for commercial cropping in Central Butte, SK. The 15N dilution method and continuous labelling with depleted 13CO2 were used to estimate BNF and 13C input to soil by pulse crops grown in a greenhouse. The continuous labelling with depleted 13CO2 was effective in depleting 13C in plants. The movement of 13C from plant to soil C pools via rhizodeposition was also observed. However, an accurate amount of 13C transferred was not measurable. Different pulse crop performed differently in rotation. Pea had the greatest amount of BNF and produced the most residue-C (pods, stems, leaves and roots) compared to chickpea and lentil. The crop grown in the first year of the three-year rotation also influenced the pulse crops grown in the third year of the rotation. Cropping the same first year and third year pulse crop in rotation (chickpea-wheat-chickpea and lentil-wheat-lentil) performed better than growing different first year and third year pulse crops in rotation (pea-wheat-chickpea and pea-wheat-lentil). Pulse crops grown immediately after wheat yielded better and fixed more N than those after canola. Growing a pulse crop after canola is not recommended in this soil zone.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorKnight, J D.
CommitteeFarrell, Richard; Lemke, Reynald
Copyright DateJanuary 2016
continuous labelling with 13CO2