Dhakal, M.; Singh, G.; Cook, R.L.; Sievers, T. Modeling Hairy Vetch and Cereal Rye Cover Crop Decomposition and Nitrogen Release. Agronomy2020, 10, 701.
Dhakal, M.; Singh, G.; Cook, R.L.; Sievers, T. Modeling Hairy Vetch and Cereal Rye Cover Crop Decomposition and Nitrogen Release. Agronomy 2020, 10, 701.
Empirical models help us understand the process of plant residue decomposition and nutrient release into the soil. The objective of this study was to determine an appropriate model to describe the decomposition of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop (CC) residue and nitrogen (N) release. Data pertaining to above and belowground CC residue mass loss and N release for up to 2633 cumulative decomposition degree days (112 d) after litterbag installation were obtained from two cropping system experiments, one conducted in 2015 and the other in 2017 and 2018 at the humid subtropical environment of southern IL, USA. Six exponential and two hyperbolic models were fit to percent mass and N remaining data to find the one with minimum Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and residual sum of squares. Modified three-parameter single exponential and two- or three-parameter hyperbolic models best met the assumed criteria of selection for above and belowground CC residue, respectively. Fitting a double exponential model to a combined data for percent mass and N remaining, which identified two mass and N pools, a fast and a slow pool with different rate constants. A five-parameter double exponential with an asymptote met the preset criteria and passed all tests for normally distributed population, constant variance, and independence of residuals at α = 0.05 when fit to combined data of hairy vetch shoot mass and N remaining. However, a two-parameter hyperbolic and three-parameter asymptotic hyperbolic model provided the best fit to a combined data of cereal rye shoot mass and N remaining, respectively. Both hyperbolic decay models showed a good fit for belowground mass decomposition and N release for both CCs. Cereal rye had poorer fit than hairy vetch for mass and N remaining of both above and belowground mass. The best-selected decay models can be used to estimate the decomposition and N release rates of hairy vetch and cereal rye above and belowground residue in a similar environment.
cover crop; cereal rye; hairy vetch; decomposition; Nitrogen release; exponential and hyperbolic models; Akaike Information Criterion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.