Soil organic carbon in long–term experiments: comparative analysis in Slovakia and Serbia
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Soil organic carbon plays an important role in a long-term agroecosystem productivity, in the global C cycle, maintaining a soil nutrient pool and improving its availability. The objective of this study is the assess the impacts of long–term cropping practices on SOC dynamics in Slovakia and Serbia. Soil C sequestration is a complex process that is influenced by many factors, such as agricultural practice, climatic and soil conditions. For the both location the initial SOC decline was followed with the C stabilization and possible increase where proper practices were used. More intensive crop management systems that maintained residue cover provided the greatest benefit towards increasing the quantity of mineralizable nutrients within the active fraction of soil organic carbon (SOC), as well as increasing C sequestration as SOC. Long–term field experiments have contributed significantly to our current knowledge of soil quality and have been used to study the influence of crop management, fertilizer application and tillage practices on SOC content.