The significance of below-ground fractions when considering N and C partitioning within chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

K. Yasmin, G. Cadisch, E. M. Baggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this controlled environment experiment was to quantify the distribution of leaf-fed-15N and canopy fed-13C within nodulating, non-nodulating or N fertilized non-nodulating Cicer arietinum L. and in their surrounding rhizosphere soil, excluding soil + root respiration. Nodulating chickpea partitioned 32% of its total N and 27% of its total recoverable C below-ground, of which only 50% of N and 36% of C were in the clean root fraction. Non-nodulating chickpea allocated equal recoverable C but slightly less N (28%) below-ground but lost less C from plant induced below-ground respiration. The importance of this below-ground partitioning for crop systems C and N balances is highlighted by their large (45% and 33%, for N and C, respectively) contribution to the total plant derived residue (recyclable) fraction. Recovered 15N and 13C were greater (P < 0.05) in the outer-rhizosphere (459 μg 15N and 3.2 mg 13C core-1) than in the inner-rhizosphere soil (detached from roots during freeze-drying; 18 μg 15N and 67 μg 13C core-1) in relation with the relative size of these compartments. This highlights the significance of the outer-rhizosphere soil when estimating C and N budgets and quantifying rhizodeposition, and the benefit of a double (15N, 13C) isotope approach to determine this flow against large background soil C and N pools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
Number of pages13
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume327
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • 13C-enrichment
  • 15N-enrichment
  • Below-ground biomass
  • Cicer arietinum
  • Isotope recovery
  • Rhizosphere

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