Soil properties and not inputs control carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus ratios in cropped soils in the long-term

Stoichiometric approaches have been applied to understand the relationship between soil organic matter dynamics and biological nutrient transformations. However, very few studies explicitly considered the effects of agricultural management practices on soil C : N : P ratio. The aim of this study was to assess how different input types and rates would affect the C : N : P molar ratios of bulk soil, organic matter and microbial biomass in cropped soils in the long-term. Thus, we analysed the C, N and P inputs and budgets as well as soil properties in three long-term experiments established on different soil types: the Saria soil fertility trial (Burkina Faso), the Wagga Wagga rotation/stubble management/soil preparation trial (Australia), and the DOK cropping system trial (Switzerland). In each of these trials, there was a large range of C, N and P inputs which had a strong impact on element concentrations in soils.

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