Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2016, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (2): 101-106.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.02.004

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Carbon Mineralization Associated with Soil Aggregates as Affected by Short-term Tillage

GUO Linlin1, NISHIMURA Taku2, IMOTO Hiromi2, SUN Zhigang1, *   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
  • Received:2016-01-15 Revised:2016-02-25 Online:2016-04-12 Published:2016-04-12
  • Contact: * Tel: 86-010-64889523, Email:
  • Supported by:

    This research was supported by the 100 Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China (31570472), and the Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFJ-EW-STS-054)


Tillage practice has received much attention due to its effects on greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields. The understanding of carbon mineralization associated with soil aggregates helps to explore the influence mechanisms of tillage practice on soil carbon dynamics. Total carbon and carbon mineralization rates associated with various sizes of soil aggregates under no-tillage and tillage treatments were studied with a volcanic ash soil. Total carbon content in microaggregates (<0.25 mm) was higher than that in macroaggregates (>0.25 mm) for both the no-tillage and tillage treatments, since microaggregates of the volcanic ash soil include more fine silts and clay particles absorbing more organic agents. The carbon mineralization rate and total carbon were highly correlated (R2 = 0.6552, P = 0.002) for both treatments, suggesting that soil aggregate size is an important factor to influence the carbon mineralization rate. The no-tillage system showed the advantage of improving soil structure for volcanic ash soil. A larger proportion of microaggregates with relatively high carbon mineralization might contribute to the greater carbon loss from tilled soils. Unlike aggregate size, short-term tillage showed no significant effects on carbon mineralization rates associated with aggregates in a specific size class.