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Erosion of topsoil decreases the yield and nutrient uptake of maize and soybean grown in Mollisols
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  • Lili Guo,
  • Yue Yang,
  • yue zhao,
  • Yansheng Li,
  • yueyu sui,
  • Caixian Tang,
  • Jian Jin,
  • Xiaobing Liu
Lili Guo
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Yue Yang
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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yue zhao
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Yansheng Li
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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yueyu sui
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Caixian Tang
La Trobe University
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Jian Jin
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Xiaobing Liu
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Abstract

We established three simulated erosion severities with topsoil depths of 10, 20 and 30 cm in a Mollisol farmland under a maize-soybean rotation system with no-tillage. After three consecutive years of field experiment, the decrease in topsoil thickness from 30 to 10 cm resulted in 9−22% of decrease in maize yield but not soybean. Compared to the 30 and 20-cm topsoil thickness, the 10-cm topsoil significantly lowered root and shoot biomass of maize at the jointing (V7) and milk stages (R3) and of soybean at the mid-seed filling stage (R6). Compared to the 30-cm topsoil, the 10-cm topsoil decreased available nitrogen and phosphorus in soil by 42% and 36% under maize, and by 25% and 19% under soybean, respectively, while the shallow topsoil also decreased N, P and K uptake per unit root length with the decreases being less for maize than soybean. Compared to the 30-cm topsoil, the 10-cm and 20-cm topsoil significantly increased the activities of urease, phosphatase and invertase in maize-grown soil, but not in soybean-grown soil except for the activity of urease in 10-cm topsoil. Maize was more sensitive to soil erosion than soybean due to the greater decreases in soil nutrient availability and its capability of nutrient uptake. The greater stimulation of nutrient mineralization processes in soil did not alleviate the nutrient constraint to maize yield under severe erosion conditions.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

18 May 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
18 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
18 May 2020Assigned to Editor
22 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
12 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
15 Jul 20201st Revision Received
15 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
15 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed