Pig slurry incorporation with tillage does not reduce short-term soil CO2 fluxes
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Tillage and organic fertilization impact short-term soil CO2 fluxes. However, the interactive effect of these two management practices has been rarely studied under field conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of tillage (NT, no-tillage, and CT, conventional tillage) and
fertilization strategy (PS, pig slurry, and MF, mineral fertilizer) on short-term soil CO2 fluxes in a rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystem. Soil CO2 fluxes were measured several times during two tillage and pre-sowing fertilization periods in 2012 and 2013 (7 and 6 times in 2012 and 2013, respectively). In the two years studied, tillage and fertilization significantly affected soil CO2 fluxes, but the interaction between both factors was not significant. The application of PS resulted in a sharp and immediate increase in the soil CO2 flux. One hour after the application of the organic fertilizer, soil CO2 emissions increased from 0.05 to 0.70 g CO2 m−2 h−1 and from 0.08 to 0.82 g CO2 m−2 h−1 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Unlike fertilization, 1 h after tillage similar soil CO2 fluxes were observed in CT and NT plots. However, after 7 h, larger fluxes were observed in CT compared with NT in both years. Cumulative CO2 flux during the first 24 h after fertilization and tillage was about three- and two-fold greater in PS than in MF and in CT than in NT, respectively. The results of this study showed that in rainfed Mediterranean systems, soil management and fertilization have a noteworthy impact on short-term soil CO2 losses though no interactive effects were observed between both management practices.