Effects of the Ratio of Substituting Mineral Fertilizers with Manure Nitrogen on Soil Properties and Vegetable Yields in China: A Meta-Analysis

Plants (Basel). 2023 Feb 20;12(4):964. doi: 10.3390/plants12040964.


Substituting mineral fertilizers (MFs) with manure nitrogen (N) can not only reduce environmental pollution, but also improve soil quality. However, the effects of various manure N substitution ratios (SRs, the ratio of manure N over total N applied) on soil properties and vegetable yields in China are poorly studied. Here, through a meta-analysis of 667 observations, we assessed the effects of three manure N SRs (low (SR ≤ 35%), medium (35% < SR ≤ 70%), and high (SR > 70%)) on vegetable yields and soil properties (soil organic carbon, SOC; soil total nitrogen, STN; microbial biomass carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), MBC/N; and available phosphorus and potassium, (AP/AK)) in the 0-20 cm soil under different climatic conditions, initial soil properties, and management practices. The results show that the SOC and STN contents increased by 28.5% and 21.9%, respectively, under the medium SRs compared to the MF, which were the highest among the three SRs. Both soil MBC and MBN increased with the increase in the SRs, and the increased ratios in the high SRs reached 203.4% and 119.3%, respectively. In addition, the AP also increased with the increase in the SR, but the AK was not significantly changed with the low and medium SRs compared with the MF. Overall, the medium SR produced the highest vegetable yield among the three SRs with an increase of 18.6%. Additionally, a random forest analysis indicated that the N application rate, planting years, and mean annual precipitation were the most important factors influencing vegetable yield. In conclusion, the SR of 35-70% is more conducive to increasing soil nutrient contents significantly and improves vegetable yields in Chinese vegetable fields.

PMID:36840312 | PMC:PMC9959476 | DOI:10.3390/plants12040964


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