Soil carbon dynamics in corn-based agroecosystems : results from carbon-13 natural abundance
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We used natural 13C abundance in soils to calculate the fate of C4-C inputs in fields cropped to continuous corn (Zea mays L.). Soil samples were collected from eight cultivated and six adjacent, noncultivated sites of the Corn Belt region of the central USA. The amount of organic C in cultivated soils declined an average of 68%, compared with adjacent, noncultivated sites. The δ 13C of cultivated soil profiles that had been under continuous corn for 8 to 35 yr increased in all depth increments above that of the noncultivated profiles. The percentage of soil organic C (SOC) derived from corn ...