E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Carbon Input into Agricultural Soils"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Martin Wiesmeier

Chair of Soil Science, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Emil-Ramann-Str. 2, 85354 Freising, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil organic matter; soil carbon stocks; distribution and drivers of SOC; soil fractionation; carbon input; carbon sequestration; sustainable soil management; digital soil mapping; temperate agroecosystems; semi-arid grasslands
Guest Editor
Dr. Christopher Poeplau

Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Interests: soil carbon fluxes; stocks and quality and their drivers in agricultural ecosystems; human impact on soil carbon (land management and land-use change); soil carbon dynamic (modeling, stable isotopes); interaction of nutrient cycles and the carbon cycle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In agricultural soils, plant-derived input of carbon from above- and below-ground crop residues and rhizodeposition is of major importance for soil organic matter formation and related soil functions. Precise estimations of carbon inputs are mandatory to monitor the supply of soil organic matter in agricultural soils and model soil carbon dynamics under a changing climate. However, reliable quantitative data on the carbon input into cropland and grassland soils is still barely available. In particular, knowledge on root-derived carbon input is scarce.  We invite researchers to contribute original research, as well as review articles, that address aspects related to carbon input into agricultural soils.

Dr. Martin Wiesmeier
Dr. Christopher Poeplau
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Rhizodeposition
  • Root biomass
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Root/shoot ratio

Published Papers (1 paper)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-1
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessArticle Effects of Conservation Tillage and Nutrient Management Practices on Soil Fertility and Productivity of Rice (Oryza sativa L.)–Rice System in North Eastern Region of India
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1816; doi:10.3390/su9101816
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
PDF Full-text (956 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Over centuries and even today, traditional farming practices are well performed without any ecological degradation. However, management practice such as conservative tillage combined with nutrient and residue could increase the crop production as well as soil fertility. A three-year replicated study was conducted
[...] Read more.
Over centuries and even today, traditional farming practices are well performed without any ecological degradation. However, management practice such as conservative tillage combined with nutrient and residue could increase the crop production as well as soil fertility. A three-year replicated study was conducted to assess the effects of agronomic modification of traditional farming practices on productivity and sustainability of rice (wet season)–rice (dry season) system (RRS). The replacement of farmers practice (T2) with conservation effective tillage (no-till (NT)) and integrated nutrient management (INM) practice along with 30% residue retention (T5) enhanced the straw, root and biomass yield of both wet season rice (WR), dry season rice (DR) and system as a whole over T2. Treatment T5 recorded significantly lower soil bulk density (ρb) and higher pH than the T2 after three years of the experiment. Further, treatment T5 increased total soil organic carbon (2.8%), total soil organic carbon stock (2.8%), carbon sequestration rate (336.5 kg ha−1 year−1), cumulative carbon stock (142.9%) and carbon retention efficiency (141.0%) over T2 of 0–20 cm depth after three year. The soil microbial biomass carbon concentration was significantly the highest under T5. Similarly, the dehydrogenase activity was the maximum under T5. Adoption of conservation tillage and nutrient management practice involving NT and INM along with residue retention can enhance the system productivity, and C and N sequestration in paddy soils is thereby contributing to the sustainability of the RRS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Input into Agricultural Soils)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Soil organic matter (1988-2016) in a comparison of cropping systems in Norway
Author: Hugh Riley
Abstract: Long-term field trials provide opportunities for studying the effects of agronomic management factors, such as crop rotation, manure and fertilizer use, tillage intensity etc., on both soil quality and soil organic matter (SOM). The Apelsvoll Cropping System Experiment (APSE) provides a comparison of conventional, integrated and organic cropping systems, with both arable and mixed dairy rotations. A systematic characterisation of soil properties at the start of the experiment confirmed that variation in soil organic concentration had important effects on several soil moisture storage properties. A later study revealed that SOM concentrations and soil aggregate stability had declined after 15 years of arable management with autumn ploughing, whilst with shallow tillage and the use catch crops both these parameters were maintained at levels similar to those in ley cropping systems with the use of animal manure. These studies showed negative correlation between SOM concentration and soil bulk density (BD). Whilst management practices often affect the stratification of SOM, such correlation may imply that the total amount of SOM within the soil is less affected, as has been shown for reduced tillage in several European studies. Whilst SOM concentration is important for soil structure, it is the total amount of carbon stored in the soil that is of relevance in relation to climate change. A further soil sampling of the same plots in the APSE was performed in 2016, after 28 years of contrasting management. The aim of the present paper will be to compare both SOM and BD on these three sampling occasions, and to reveal whether there have been any overall effects of contrasting cropping systems on the total amount of carbon stored within the soil.

Title: Composition of plant-derived carbon in forest floor, agricultural and post-agricultural paddy fields
Author: Seiji SHIMODA
Abstract: Difference in recycling of organic matter and nutrients is a fundamentally important process among land use that significantly affects the carbon (C) budget. This study hypothesized that land use alters the vegetation nutrient and the plant-derived C and N into soils. We selected pairs of forest (FF), agricultural (AP) and post-agricultural (PP) paddies adjacent to each other in consideration of levels (n=4) at typical terraced paddies in a mountainous village, Japan, and compared plant-derived C contents. Vertical profile of the ratio of light fraction (LF) soil C (>1.6 g g-1) may suggest the contribution of plant-derived C into soils. The LF soil C was larger FF than PP and AP at the depth of 0-0.05 m due to long-term input of plant residue, because floor litter C accumulated significantly (2.5 times) larger in FF than AP. Although the concentration of LF soil C was similar between AP and PP, that of LF soil N was significantly higher in PP than AP at the depth of 0-0.05 m. Periodic agricultural disturbance in AP maintain the LF soil N through tillage depth, while N supplied into surface soil and reduced with the depth after the cessation of agricultural land use.

Title: Potential soil carbon mineralization and mineralization kinetics under diverse cover crop residues
Author: Rajan Ghimire
Abstract: Global warming and environmental degradation associated with agriculture raise concern on how alternative agricultural practices can improve in soil organic matter cycling and agroecosystem resilience. This study aims to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization and their kinetics under different residue management. A laboratory incubation study was conducted on soil samples manipulated with three rates (0, 5 and 10 Mg ha-1) of pea (P), oat (O), and canola (Cn) residues. Two kinetic models were fitted to observed SOC mineralization data for estimating labile organic carbon (C0), and decomposition rate constants (k) for CC residues amended soils. The best model was selected based on AICC, RMSE, NRMSE, and r-value. The CC residues stimulated cumulative SOC mineralization (Cmin) irrespective of CC type and rate of residue addition. The C0 varied with the residue amount while k varied with CC type. The C0 was 297% to 858% greater with 10 Mg ha-1 and 297% to 456% greater with 5 Mg ha-1 residue addition while k was 122% to 297% greater with 10 Mg ha-1 and 94% to 240% greater with 5 Mg ha-1 residue addition compared to the treatment with no residue addition. The CC residues can increase SOC cycling in agroecosystems.

Journal Contact

Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Special Issue Edit a special issue Review for Sustainability
Back to Top