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Cover Crops and Cover Crop Mixes: Stratification of Biological Effects

The potential nutrient cycling benefits from legumes (e.g. N2-fixation) and the high biomass potential of cereal rye are well known. Further studies are warranted to evaluate bi-culture mixtures and their effects on soil nutrient stratification and microbial enzyme activity because these two properties may be differently expressed (enhanced) by legume/grass mixes. The objectives of this study were: (1) show different cover crops and cover crop mixes containing grasses and legumes differentially stratify carbon and N; (2) show the change in microbial enzyme activity in soils planted with individual cover crops relative to cover crop mixes; 3) determine the persistence of any changes after a summer annual crop.

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