Assessing C–N balance and soil rejuvenation capacity of vermicompost application in a degraded landscape: A study in an alluvial river basin with Cajanus cajan

Subhasish Das, Rangbamon Teron, Buddhadeb Duary, Satya Sundar Bhattacharya, Ki Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The value and potential of organic-dependent agriculture has gradually become realized worldwide despite scarcity of data on its ability to rejuvenate land quality. In this work, a popular cultivar of Cajanus cajan was grown in a nutrient-fatigued area with vermicompost (VC) and farmyard manure (FYM) to partially replace chemical fertilization (CF) (reduced by 10 and 50%) over a four-year period. C–N mineralization kinetic equations were applied for the first time to assess the efficacy of vermicompost-based nutrient schemes on C–N balance in arable soil. The results suggested that 10 and 50% replacement of chemical fertilization with vermicompost was helpful to significantly improveC- and N-based mineralization in the cultivated soil. In addition, the gains of humified C (humic and fulvic acid) content (such as 4-and 10-fold increases) were achieved under CF50/VC50 and CF90/VC10 treatments, respectively. In the CF50/VC50 treatment, there was apparent improvement in soil organic C storage (SOCstr) (42.6–57.4%), water holding capacity, and microbial health along with reduction in bulk density (6.10–13.0%). Moreover, improvement in soil quality was strongly evident in terms of crop production with the application of CF50/VC50. Overall, this study successfully validated that vermicompost can be used effectively to achieve sustainable agricultural growth by efficiently arresting land degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108591
JournalEnvironmental research
Volume177
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cajanus cajan
  • C–N balance
  • Mineralization kinetics
  • SOC storage
  • Vermicompost

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