Soil organic matter recovery in semiarid grasslands: implications for the Conservation Reserve Program
Although the effects of cultivation on soil organic matter and nutrient supply capacity are well understood, relatively little work has been done on the long-term recovery of soils from cultivation. We sampled soils from 12 locations within the Pawnee National Grasslands of northeastern Colorado, each having native fields and fields that were historically cultivated but abandoned 50 years ago. We also sampled fields that had been cultivated for at least 50 years at 5 of these locations. Our results demonstrated that soil organic matter, silt content, microbial biomass, potentially mineralizable ...
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