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Chemistry - Ecology

Growing Season Carbon Dioxide Exchange in Flooded Non-Mulching and Non-Flooded Mulching Cotton
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Author: Zhi-guo Li et al.

by Zhi-guo Li, Run-hua Zhang, Xiu-jun Wang, Fang Chen, Chang-yan Tian

There is much interest in the role that agricultural practices might play in sequestering carbon to help offset rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, limited information exists regarding the potential for increased carbon sequestration of different management strategies. The objective of this study was to quantify and contrast carbon dioxide exchange in traditional non-mulching with flooding irrigation (TF) and plastic film mulching with drip irrigation (PM) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) fields in northwest China. Net primary productivity (NPP), soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) were measured during the growing seasons in 2009 and 2010. As compared with TF, PM significantly increased the aboveground and belowground biomass and the NPP (340 g C m-2 season-1) of cotton, and decreased the Rh (89 g C m-2 season-1) (p<0.05). In a growing season, PM had a higher carbon sequestration in terms of NEP of ~ 429 g C m-2 season-1 than the TF. These results demonstrate that conversion of this type of land use to mulching practices is an effective way to increase carbon sequestration in the short term in cotton systems of arid areas.