Effect of Mineralization of Plant and Animal Residues on Aggregate Stability

Omer Ali Fattah1, Jabbar Kathem Kassim 2 ,and Kamal  Hama Karim1

1 Soil and Water Science Department, College of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimani City, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.

2 Soil and Water Resources, College of Agriculture, University of Wasit, Kut , Iraq

Original: 31/12/2017, Revised: 04/02/2018, Accepted: 06/02/2018, Published online:

DOI Link:  https://doi.org/10.17656/jzs.10711


The study aims to elucidate the impact of different organic inputs (plants straws and animal residues) on the rate of biodegradation and stability of aggregates in a silty loam soil. A laboratory experiment was performed by using four levels (0, 1, 2, and 100%) of  three types of plants straws (wheat, corn and legume) and three types of animal manure (cow, sheep, and poultry) which  is incubated at 28ᴼ C for different periods of times (7,14, 21, 28, 42, 56. 70,84,and 112) days. The experiment was setup in completely randomize design with three replicates for each addition level.  The results indicated that the mineralized carbon increased gradually with increasing residual percentage and incubation period. The amount of mineralized carbon is increased with the incubation time, but it was obvious in the first 56 days of incubation. The highest degradation percent was observed at lower C: N ratio epically with poultry and legumes. The accumulative mineralized carbon increased with increasing the amount of residual added. Addition of organic substrates significantly improved soil organic C contents, but the type and source of inputs had different impacts.  In addition, higher macro- aggregates in the crop residue- and farmyard manure-treated soils resulted in a higher aggregate mean weight diameter (MWD), which also had higher soil organic C contents. The order of MWD values were wheat < corn < legume < cow < sheep < poultry. The value increased in MWD by 154 and 291% in raised level of poultry manure from zero to 1 and 2% respectively.

Key Words: Plant straw, Animal Manure, Aggregate stability, Mineralized carbon, Mean weight diameter


[1] Tejada M, Gonzalez J.L. Influence of two organic amendments on the soil physical properties, soil losses, sediments and runoff water quality. Geoderma 145:325-334. (2008).

[2] Bastida F, Kandeler E, Moreno JL, Ros M, García C, Hernández T. Application of fresh and composted organic wastes modifies structure size and activity of soil microbial community under semiarid climate. Appl. Soil Ecol. 40:318-329. (2008).

[3] Fernández JM, Plaza C, García-Gil JC, Polo, A. Biochemical properties and barley yield in a semiarid Mediterranean soil amended with two kinds of sewage sludge. Appl. Soil Ecol. 42:18-24. (2009).

[4] Nelson PN, Oades J.M. Organic matter, sodicity and soil structure. In sodic soils. Eds. M E. (1998).

[5] De Gryze S, Six J, Brits C, Merckx R. A quantification of short-term macroaggregate dynamics: influences of wheat residue input and texture. Soil Biol. Biochem. 37:55-66. (2005).

[6] Abiven S, Menasseri S, Chenu C. The effects of organic inputs over time on soil aggregate stability: A literature analysis. Soil Biol. Biochem. 41:1-12. (2009).

[7]- Carter, M. R. and Gregorich, E.G. Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis, Second Edition, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. (2008),

[8] Kay,B.D. Soil structure and organic carbon: A review. In: Lal, R., et al (ed.), Soil processes and the carbon cycle. pp 169-197. CRC press. Boca Raton, FL.(1998)

[9] Talgre L., Lauringson E., Roostalu H., Astover A., Makke A. Green manure as a nutrient source for succeeding crops. Plant, Soil and Environment, 58: 275–281. (2012).

[10] Tisdal, J.M., and Oades, J.M. Organic matter and water stable aggregate in soil. J. Soil Sci., 33: 141-163. (1982).

[11] Debosz, K., Petersen, S.O., Kure, L.K., and Ambus, P. Evaluating effects of sewage sludge and house hold compost on soil physical, chemical and microbiological properties. App. Soil Ecol., 19:237-248. (2002).

[12] Zhang, P.; Wei, T.; Jia, Z.K.; Han, Q.F.; Ren, X.L. Soil aggregate and crop yield changes with different rates of straw incorporation in semiarid areas of northwest China. Geoderma 230–231, 41–49. (2014).

[13] Wu, Z.J.; Zhang, H.J.; Xu, G.S.; Zhang, Y.H.; Liu, C.P. Effect of returning corn straw into soil on soil fertility. J. Chin. Appl. Ecol. 5, 539–542. (2002).

[14] Ji, B.Y.; Hu, H.; Zhao, Y.L.; Mu, X.Y.; Liu, K.; Li, C.H. Effects of deep tillage and straw returning on soil microorganism and enzyme activities. Sci. World J. 451- 493.

[14] Christensen, B.T. Straw incorporation and soil organic matter in macro-aggregates and particle size separates. J. Soil. Sci. 37, 125–135. (1986).

[16] Tan, D.S.; Jin, J.Y.; Huang, S.W.; Li, S.T.; He, P. Effect of long-term application of K fertilizer and wheat straw to soil on crop yield and soil K under different planting systems. Agric. Sci. China, 6, 200–207.(2007)

[17] Zhang, J.; Wen, X.X.; Liao, Y.C.; Liu, Y. Effects of different amount of maize straw incorporation on soil fertility and yield of winter wheat. Acta Metall. Sin.16, 612–619. (2010).

[18] Lynch, J.M., and E. Bragg. Microorganisms and soil aggregate stability. Adv. Soil Sci. 2:133-171, (1985).

[19] Aoyama M., Angers D.A., N’Dayegamiye A., Bissonnette N. Protected organic matter in water-stable aggregates as affected by mineral fertilizer and manure applications. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 79: 419–425. (1999):

[20] Mohanty M., Sinha N.K., Hati K.M., Painuli D.K., and Chaudhary R.S.(2012). Stability of soil aggregates under different vegetation covers in a Vertisol of central India. J. Agric. Physics., 12, 133-142.

[21] Król A., Lipiec J., Turski M., and Kuoe J.E. ffects of organic and conventional management on physical properties of soil aggregates. Int. Agrophys., 27, 15-21. (2013).

[22] Carter, M.R., Gregorich, E.G., Angers, D.A., Donald, R.G., and Bolinder, M.A. (1998). Organic C and N storage and organic C fraction, in adjacent cultivated and Forested soils eastern Canada. Soil Tillage Res., 47:253-261. (1998).

[23] Miller, R. H. and Keeney, D. R. "Methods of soil analysis part 2 Chemical and microbiological properties", 2nd Ed, American Society of Agronomic, Inc. (1982).

[24] Kilmer, V.J. and Alexander, L.T. Methods of making mechanical analysis of soils. Soil Science, 68, 15-24.Kilmer and Alexander, (1949).

[25] Bremner, J.M. and Mulvaney, C.S. Nitrogen-Total. In Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, Page, A.L., Miller, R.H. and Keeney, D.R. Eds., American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin, 595-624. (1982)

[26] Walkley, A. and I.A. Black. An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci. 37:29-38. 1934.

[27] Yoder R. E. A direct method of aggregate analysis of soils and a study of the physical nature of erosion losses. Soc. Am. Agro. J. 28, 337-351. (1936)

[28] Whitbread AM. The effects of cropping system and management on soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics, soil structure and the productivity of wheat. PhD thesis. University of New England Armadale. (1996).

[29] Blair N. Impact of cultivation and sugarcane trash management on soil carbon fractions and aggregate stability for a Chromic Luvisol in Queensland, Australia. Soil and Tillage Research 55, 183-191. (2000).

[30] Cambardella C.A. and Elliott E.T. Particulate organic matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 56, 777-783. (1992).

[31] Oades, J.M., The role of biology in the formation, stabilization and degradation of soil structure. Geoderma, 56: 377-400. (1993).

[32] Broersma K, Robertson JA, Chanasyk D.S. The effects of diverse cropping systems on aggregation of a Luvisolic soil in the Peace River region. Can J Soil Sci. 77:323–329.(1997).

[33] Albiach R, Canet R, Pomares F, Ingelmo F. Organic matter components and aggregate stability after the application different amendments to a horticultural soil. Biores. Technol. 76:125-129. (2001).

[34] Ferreras L, Gomez E, Toresani S, Firpo I, Rotondo R. Effect of organic amendments on some physical, chemical and biological properties in a horticultural soil. Bioresour. Technol. 97:635-640. (2006).

[35] Le Guillou C, Angers DA, Leterme P, Menasseri, A.S. Differential and successive effects of residue quality and soil mineral N on water-stable aggregation during crop residue decomposition. Soil Biol. Biochem. 43:1955-1960. (2011).

[36] Piccolo A, Piettramellara G, Mbagwu J.S.C. Use of humic substances as soil conditioners to increase aggregate stability. Geoderma 75:265–277. (1997).