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Organic cultivation of jasmine and tea increases carbon sequestration by changing plant and soil stoichiometry

By Weiqi Wang, Qingwen Min, Jordi Sardans i Galobart, Chun Wang, Ma. Dolores Asensio Abella, Mireia Bartrons Vilamala and Josep Peñuelas

Abstract

Organic cultivation methods would be a good alternative to conventional cultivation, avoiding the use of industrial fertilizer and reducing the risk of eutrophication, but its impacts on soil elemental composition and stoichiometry warrants to be clearly stated. This study was conducted to determine the effects of long-term organic cultivation on soil elemental composition, stoichiometry, and C storing capacity and CO² emissions in the plant-soil systems of jasmine (Jasminum spp.) and tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) Ktze.] plantations in Fujian and other regions in China. We examined the impact of organic cultivation on the concentrations, contents and stoichiometric relationships among C, N, P, and K. Organic cultivation was associated with lower plant N and P concentrations, and P mineralomasses and with higher total plant C/N, C/P, C/K, and N/P ratios and higher soil N and P concentrations and contents at some depths. Organic cultivation was thus associated with a shift of P from plants to soil and with a higher nutrient-use efficiency in biomass production, mainly of P. Soil CO² emissions were higher under organic cultivation, but the soil was able to accumulate more C with no changes in C storage in plant biomass, suggesting that organic cultivation could increase the overall C sequestration, thereby mitigating climate change and enhancing soil nutrient content. Our results thus showed that the organic cultivation of jasmine and tea in Fujian can improve soil fertility and C accumulation, reduce the use of industrial fertilizers and phytosanitary products, and improve product quality without loss of economical profits

Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.2134/agronj2015.0559
OAI identifier: oai:ddd.uab.cat:150812

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