Winter cover crops are cultivated during cold fallow season in temperate countries for green manure and animal feed. Literature on incorporated biomass composition in relation to soil respiration like CH4-C and CO2-C is not available. Therefore, soil respiration as affected by variable biomass composition was determined from paddy soil. Soil respiration rate (1280-1341 kg ha-1) was significant when 197 and 204 day-old plants were incorporated. The CH4–C and CO2-C respiration rates were significantly correlated with cellulose, lignin, protein, and ash. However, CH4-C respiration was negatively related with CO2-C respiration. These implies that biomass composition is influenced by age of cover crops that ultimately dictates paddy soil respiration rates.
Key words: Rice field, biomass composition, age of biomass, CH4-C, CO2-C.
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