Li, X. H., Han, X. Z., Li, H. B., Song, C., Yan, J. and Liang, Y. 2012. Soil chemical and biological properties affected by 21-year application of composted manure with chemical fertilizers in a Chinese Mollisol. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 419-428. The effects of 21-yr of application of chemical fertilizers, composted pig manure (CPM) alone, and chemical fertilizers combined with compost on soil chemical and biological properties were investigated. Soil samples (0-20cm) were collected from a long-term fertilization experiment under corn (Zea mays L.) production in 2006, prior to seeding, at the corn tasseling stage and following harvest. Fertilizer treatments were: no fertilizer (CK), nitrogen fertilizer alone (N), N phosphorus (NP), N P potassium (NPK), CPM, N CPM, N P CPM (NP CPM), and N P K CPM (NPK CPM). Long-term application of N alone resulted in a reduction of soil pH by 0.38 units and reduced the available P concentration compared with CK. An increase in soil pH was seen with CPM alone and NPK CPM. Both fertilizers sources, singly and combined, increased the total N and available N concentrations. Total P and total K concentrations were greatest with the NPK CPM treatment. All fertilizer treatments increased the soil organic carbon (SOC), light fraction organic carbon (LFOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) concentrations significantly (P < 0.05) at the tasseling stage. The NPK CPM treatment showed the greatest increase in SOC (12%), LFOC (78%) and MBC (44%) concentrations, compared with CK. Soil enzyme activities (invertase, urease, acid and alkaline phosphatases) tended to be greater at tasseling than other sampling dates, with highest enzyme activities in the NPK CPM treatments. These findings suggest that a long-term application of CPM combined with NPK is an efficient strategy to maintain or increase soil quality in Mollisols for sustainable agriculture.
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Vol. 92 • No. 3