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Straw Decomposition in Irrigated Soil: Comparison of Twenty-Three Cereal Straws

Smith, J.H. and Peckenpaugh, R.E. (1986) Straw Decomposition in Irrigated Soil: Comparison of Twenty-Three Cereal Straws. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 50(4):928-932.

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The objective of this research was to evaluate field decomposition
of 23 cereal grain straws. Straw samples of `Fieldwin' and 'Owens'
soft white spring wheats (Triticum aestivum L.) 'Borah' and 'McKay'
hard red spring wheat; 'Nugaines', 'Daws', 'Lewjain', Stephens',
and 'Hill 81' soft white winter wheats; 'Weston'; 'Manning', 'Neeley'
hard red winter wheats; 'Advance', 'Steptoe', 'Lud', 'Pirolene', and
'Klages' spring barleys (Hordeum vulgare L.); 'Kamiak', 'Boyer', and
'Schuyler' winter barleys; Waid durham wheat (Triticum durum
Desf.); and 'Flora' and 'Palouse' triticales (Triticale hexaploide Lart.);
were buried in field plots. The straw bags were removed at intervals
during 1 yr and analyzed for the amount of decomposition, and C
and N contents. Final decomposition ranged from 54% for the Borah
wheat straw to 75% for the Lud barley straw with about half of the
straws decomposing 64 or 65%. The hard red spring wheat and
triticale straws decomposed the slowest and two spring barley straws
decomposed most rapidly, but no completely systematic differences
were observed for different genera of straws. The original straw N
concentrations ranged from 2.2 to 12.5 g/kg. Nine straws lost N
during the incubation period from September to November while
eight increased in N concentration during this time. In the next three
incubation periods, from November to the following October, nearly
every straw sample increased in N concentration. The total N weight
in the straw increased to the May sampling and then decreased
thereafter. This pattern indicates that the straw was releasing N as
it was mineralized and became available for utilization by the growing
corn crop. Carbon/N ratios ranged widely in the initial straw
samples, becoming more nearly uniform as the decomposition process
developed. The C/N ratios remained fairly high avg 41 for the
final sampling even though the straw in every case had released N
into the soil during the last sampling period. Regression analysis of
total decomposition and change in weight of N in the wheat straw
samples for the first 67-d incubation in the field showed a linear
relationship with decomposition during the year, decreasing with
increasing N loss in the early stage.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0579
Subjects: Soil
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:52
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017 20:15
Item ID: 460