Soil carbon under arable and mixed dairy cropping in a long-term trial in SE Norway

Riley, Hugh
Henriksen, Trond Maukon
Torp, Torfinn
Korsaeth, Audun
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Taylor & Francis Group - Informa UK Limited
Soil organic carbon (SOC) was studied at 0–45 cm depth after 28 years of cropping with arable and mixed dairy rotations on a soil with an initial SOC level of 2.6% at 0–30 cm. Measurements included both carbon concentration (SOC%) and soil bulk density (BD). Gross C input was calculated from yields. Averaged over all systems, topsoil SOC% declined significantly (−0.20% at 0–15 cm, p = 0.04, −0.39% at 15–30 cm, p = 0.05), but changed little at 30–45 cm (+0.11%, p = 0.15). Declines in topsoil SOC% tended to be greater in arable systems than in mixed dairy systems. Changes in BD were negatively related to those in SOC%, emphasizing the need to measure both when assessing SOC stocks. The overall SOC mass at 0–45 cm declined significantly from 98 to 89 Mg ha−1, representing a loss of 0.3% yr−1 of the initial SOC. Variability within systems was high, but arable cropping showed tendencies of high SOC losses, whilst SOC stocks appeared to be little changed in conventional mixed dairy with 50% ley and organic mixed dairy with 75% ley. The changes were related to the level of C input. Mean C input was 22% higher in mixed dairy than in arable systems.
The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 2022, available online at: (Article DOI).10.1080/09064710.2022.2047770 . © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Keywords: arable; bulk density; C input; cropping system; dairy; organic agriculture; Europe; Norway; humid continental climate; loam soil; soil organic carbon; soil organic matter.
Hugh Riley, Trond Maukon Henriksen, Torfinn Torp & Audun Korsaeth (2022) Soil carbon under arable and mixed dairy cropping in a long-term trial in SE Norway, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 72:1, 648-659, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2022.2047770