Short-Term Effects of Maize Rhizosphere and N-Fertilization on Stable Organic Matter in a Tropical Soil

  •  Rafael da Silva Teixeira    
  •  Rafael Silva Santos    
  •  Rodrigo Nogueira de Sousa    
  •  Ivan Francisco de Souza    
  •  Thalles Guimarães Reis    
  •  João José de Miranda Milagres    
  •  Ivo Ribeiro da Silva    


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of maize rhizosphere in the dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) fractions (particulate organic matter—POM and mineral associated organic matter—MAOM) under different soil nitrogen (N) availability. The experiment was laid out as a factorial scheme 2 × 2: (i) without (-Plant) and with maize plant (+Plant); (ii) without (-N) and with N fertilization (+N) throughout 56 d under greenhouse conditions. Soil surface CO2-C efflux was monitored by static PVC chambers, and soil- and root-derived CO2-C efflux was determined using the mass-balance approach. In the absence of plants, N addition reduced total soil CO2-C efflux over the 56-d experiment and increased MAOM-C. This was followed by an increase of 366% in microbial biomass (MB-C), indicating a high C assimilation by soil microbes. In the presence of plants, there was evidence of positive rhizosphere priming effect (RPE) at 42-d after planting when N was applied. The new C input by rhizodeposition promoted an increase of 495% and 50% in MB-C under -N and +N addition, respectively. The short-term effect of maize rhizosphere appeared to preserve native SOM and allowed higher incorporation of microbial residues-derived C into the MAOM.

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