Simulating the effect of potassium fertilization on carbon sequestration in soil

Bnayahu Bar-Yosef, Jiftah Ben Asher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The impact of horticultural management on carbon sequestration in soils has been limited so far to tillage and nitrogen fertilization. Our objective was to evaluate by mathematical modeling the effect of potassium fertilization on CO2 binding in cropland soils. The developed model integrates three subunits: (1) A published simulator of crop dry-matter (DM) production in response to N, P, K fertilization, but not DM partitioning; (2) a published soil-crop-atmosphere model predicting crop yield and DM partitioning as a function of N but not K fertilization; (3) an original model computing the organic-inorganic carbon transformations, inorganic-carbon reactions and transport in soil, CO2 diffusion, and soil carbon sequestration. The model described the K-fertilization effect on C binding in soil as a function of the soil pH, the Ca2+ concentration in the soil solution, hydraulic properties, air temperature, and crop DM production, and partitioning characteristics. In scenarios of corn (Zea mays L.) growth in clayey soil and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in loam soil, the computed K-induced CO2 sequestration amounted to ≈14.5 and 24kg CO2 (kg K)-1, respectively (0 vs. 100kg ha-1 K application). The soil CO2 sequestration declined by 8% when corn grew in sandy instead of clayey soil and by 20% when the temperature was 10°C higher than the temperature prevailing in mild semiarid zones. All predicted CO2-sequestration results were approximately 30-fold higher than the 0.6kg CO2 emitted perkg of K manufactured in industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-386
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CO diffusion
  • Carbonates
  • Corn
  • Mineralization
  • Organic carbon
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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