This review evaluated the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization and conservation tillage systems on SOC stocks. N fertilizer additions had significant positive impact on SOC content, but the magnitude of this effect differed as a result of varying cropping systems: as cropping intensity increased, measured SOC content between fertilized and control treatment also increased. Significant differences of measured SOC stocks were detected between no till and conventional till, as well as reduced till and conventional till. However, no significant difference was observed between reduced till and no till. The differences of measured SOC content between no till and conventional till appeared to be significantly associated with treatment duration. Crop rotation system, soil texture, and mean annual precipitation did not have significant effects on SOC stocks produced from conventional tillage to no till. The results of this study confirmed that adoption of N fertilizer additions and conservational tillage systems can contribute to increased SOC level and thereby have the potential to mitigate the enhanced greenhouse gas effect. However, the evaluation of net carbon dioxide mitigation potential of these two recommended management practices should be carried out under a full carbon cycle analysis from carbon input to carbon output.
Part of the book: Maize Germplasm