Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (12): 1728-1738.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0339

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Non-additive effect of mixed decomposition of maize and potato straw

CHEN Lin-Kang1,2, ZHAO Ping1, WANG Ding1,2, XIANG Rui1, LONG Guang-Qiang1,*()   

  1. 1College of Resources and Environmental Science, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
    2Yunnan Scientific Observation Station for Cultivated Land Conservation of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2022-08-22 Accepted:2022-10-31 Online:2023-12-20 Published:2022-11-02
  • Contact: *(
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41967004);Top-Ranking Talent Program of Yunnan Province(A3012021073)


Aims The mixed decomposition of organic residues is crucial to the material cycle in terrestrial ecosystems. This study focuses on the decomposition process of mixed straw in farmland ecosystems.
Methods In this study, a 6-month litter bag experiment on the decomposition of maize (Zea mays) straw, potato (Solanum tuberosum) straw and maize-potato mixed straw was set up in maize monoculture, potato monoculture and maize-potato intercropping plots respectively. Biolog-Eco microplate method was applied to evaluate the microbial carbon metabolic activity as influenced by straw type and decomposition environment.
Important findings The results showed that the mixture of potato straw and maize straw resulted in a synergistic effect on the decomposition process. The decomposition rate and microbial metabolic activity of mixed straw were higher than those of single straw type, which facilitated the utilization of carbohydrate and carboxylic acid substrates by microorganisms. Such synergistic effect is weakened over time. Random Forest and structural equation modeling showed that soil dissolved organic carbon, nitrate nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen contents and straw carbon to nitrogen ratio were key factors driving straw decomposition. In general, straw decomposition is promoted by straw mixing.

Key words: mixed straw, intercropping, microbial metabolic activity, decomposition of organic material, non-additive effect