Optimising Exogenous Organic Matter use in cropping systems of a francilian region : evolution of soil organic carbon stocks and substitution of mineral fertiliser

Abstract : The use of Exogenous Organic Matter (EOM) in agriculture could be an efficient way to substitute mineral fertilisation and increase soil organic matter (SOM) enhancing soil fertility and storing carbon (C). It could also cause nitrogen (N) pollutions such as nitrate leaching and gas emissions. Better understanding of C and N fate after EOM applications on cropped soils would allow improving these benefits while limiting environmental impacts. This thesis aims at: (i) predicting EOM impacts when applied on cropped soils, (ii) studying the effects of various scenarios of EOM applications in terms of C storage, synthetic N saving and N pollutions in the context of the Plain of Versailles region (221 km²) and taking into account soil diversity, crop successions and soil organic C contents, (ii) studying the potential for improving these benefits at the regional scale with an optimal distribution of EOM. The CERES-EGC crop model was used to simulate the effects of repeated applications of EOM over 13 years on both soil C and N dynamics in the soil-crop-water-air system of the long-term field experiment QualiAgro located within the region. The sub-model NCSOIL was parameterised from C and N mineralisation kinetics of EOM measured in laboratory conditions. When transposing the parameters into the CERES-EGC model, C storage at the field scale was well simulated, together with crop N uptake and yields, as well as soil mineral N contents. The kinetics of C and N mineralisation of the 18 EOM available in the region were used along with EOM biochemical fractionations for parameterising the NCSOIL model. The soil type did not significantly change EOM parameters. Four groups of EOM were distinguished based on their C and N dynamics: (i) stable composts, (2) more reactive and less mature composts and stable manures, (3) manures with reactive OM corresponding to horse manures and (4) very reactive EOM as sludges, litters that should be used as fertilisers. Numerous scenarios of EOM applications, constrained on the phosphorus and N quantities they bring (and limiting the input in trace elements), were simulated for 20 years in all regional contexts of soil, crop successions and soil organic C contents. The soil type was the main factor controlling C storage and N leaching while it was crop successions for N saving. Some composts allowed C storage up to 1.1 t C ha-1 yr -1 reaching 63% of C applied. N saving of 74 kg N ha-1 yr -1 were possible with a dried sewage sludge and a compost. N substitution could reach more than 90% of N applied with EOM, these high percentages being related with the indirect effect of EOM on soil OM and the hypothesis made for N substitution An optimisation model was developed to select EOM application scenario for each crop plot (soil x crop succession x initial soil OC content x area) accounting for EOM availability in the region with the objectives of maximising C storage or synthetic N saving or minimising N leaching at the regional scale. Applying preferentially the most stable EOM on soils with the highest potential for C storage i.e. with the highest calcareous and clay contents, up to 0.47 t C ha-1 yr-1 could be stored. Applying preferentially fertilising EOM on crop succession with maize and amending EOM on succession with rapeseed, up to 53 kg N ha-1 yr -1 could be saved.
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Paul-Emile Noirot-Cosson. Optimising Exogenous Organic Matter use in cropping systems of a francilian region : evolution of soil organic carbon stocks and substitution of mineral fertiliser. Ecology, environment. AgroParisTech, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016AGPT0011⟩. ⟨tel-01646806⟩

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