Carbon decomposition process of the residual biomass in the paddy soil of a single-crop rice field

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Kazuya Okada and Toru Iwata, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan
In cultivated fields, residual organic matter is plowed into soil after harvest and decaying in fallow season. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 is generated by the decomposition of the substantial organic matter and released into the atmosphere. In some fields, open burning is carried out by tradition, when carbon in residual matter is released into atmosphere as CO2. However, burning effect on carbon budget between crop lands and atmosphere is not entirely considered yet.

In this study, coarse organic matter (COM) in paddy soil of a single-crop rice field was sampled on regular intervals between January, 2011 and August, 2014 The amount of carbon release from residual matter was estimated by analyzing of the variations in carbon content of COM. Effects of soil temperature (Ts) and soil water content (SWC) at the paddy field on the rate of carbon decomposition was investigated. Though decreasing rate of COM was much smaller in winter season, it is accelerated at the warming season between April and June every year. Decomposition was resisted for next rice cultivated season despite of highest soil temperature.

In addition, the observational field was divided into two areas, and three time open burning experiments were conducted in November, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In each year, three sampling surveys, or plants before harvest and residuals before and after the burning experiment, were done. From these surveys, it is suggested that about 48±2% of carbon contents of above-ground plant was yield out as grain by harvest, and about 27±2% of carbon emitted as CO2 by burning. Carbon content of residuals plowed into soil after the harvest was estimated 293±1 and 220±36gC/m2 in no-burned and burned area, respectively, based on three-years average. It is estimated that 70 and 60% of the first input amount of COM was decomposed after a year in no-burned and burned area, respectively.