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Discrepancies exist on the impact of tillage on soil CO2 emissions and on the main soil and environmental controls. Results from a meta-analysis using 174 paired observations comparing CO2 emissions over entire seasons or years from tilled (untilled) soils across different climates, crop types and soil conditions show that on average: (1) tilled soils emit 21 % more CO2 than untilled soils; (2) the difference increase to 29 % in sandy soils from arid climates with low soil organic carbon content.
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Articles | Volume 13, issue 12
Biogeosciences, 13, 3619–3633, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3619-2016
Biogeosciences, 13, 3619–3633, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3619-2016

Research article 21 Jun 2016

Research article | 21 Jun 2016

No-tillage lessens soil CO2 emissions the most under arid and sandy soil conditions: results from a meta-analysis

Khatab Abdalla et al.

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Cited articles

Adams, M., Crawford, J., Field, D., Henakaarchchi, N., Jenkins, M., McBratney, A., de Remy de Courcelles, V., Singh, K., Stockmann, U., and Wheeler, J.: “Managing the soil-plant system to mitigate atmospheric CO2”, Discussion paper for the Soil Carbon Sequestration Summit, 31 January–2 February 2011, The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, 2011.
Ahmad, S., Li, C., Dai, G., Zhan, M., Wang, J., Pan, S., and Cao, C.: Greenhouse gas emission from direct seeding paddy field under different rice tillage systems in central China, Soil Till. Res., 106, 54–61. 2009.
Al-Kaisi, M. M. and Yin, X.: Tillage and crop residue effects on soil carbon and carbon dioxide emission in corn–soybean rotations, J. Environ. Qual., 34, 437–445. 2005.
Alluvione, F., Halvorson, A. D., and Del Grosso, S. J.: Nitrogen, tillage, and crop rotation effects on carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from irrigated cropping systems, J. Environ. Qual., 38, 2023–2033, 2009.
Almaraz, J. J., Mabood, F., Zhou, X., Madramootoo, C., Rochette, P., Ma, B. L., and Smith, D. L.: Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide fluxes in corn grown under two tillage systems in southwestern Quebec, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 73, 113–119, 2009a.
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Short summary
Discrepancies exist on the impact of tillage on soil CO2 emissions and on the main soil and environmental controls. Results from a meta-analysis using 174 paired observations comparing CO2 emissions over entire seasons or years from tilled (untilled) soils across different climates, crop types and soil conditions show that on average: (1) tilled soils emit 21 % more CO2 than untilled soils; (2) the difference increase to 29 % in sandy soils from arid climates with low soil organic carbon content.
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