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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: 31 January 2018

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
E-Mail
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.

Keywords

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

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Cover Crop Residue Amount and Quality Effects on Soil Organic Carbon Mineralization
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2316; doi:10.3390/su9122316 (registering DOI)
Received: 16 September 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Decline in soil organic carbon (SOC) and the associated impacts on crop production under conventional farming raises concerns on how alternative management practices increase SOC sequestration and improve agricultural sustainability. This study aimed to understand SOC mineralization kinetics with different cover crop (CC)
[...] Read more.
Decline in soil organic carbon (SOC) and the associated impacts on crop production under conventional farming raises concerns on how alternative management practices increase SOC sequestration and improve agricultural sustainability. This study aimed to understand SOC mineralization kinetics with different cover crop (CC) residue amendments. Soil samples were collected from a fallow and three CC (pea, oat, and canola) plots. Soil samples from the CC plots were manipulated with zero, five, and 10 Mg ha−1 of the respective CC residues. All soil samples were incubated for eight weeks, SOC mineralization was monitored, and the first order kinetic and parabolic equation models were fitted to the observed data for estimating labile SOC (C0), and the decomposition rate constant (k). Subsequent comparisons of fitted model parameters were based on the first order kinetic model. The C0 varied with the residue amount while k varied with CC type. C0 was 591–858% greater with 10 Mg ha−1 and 289–456% greater with five Mg ha−1 residue additions while k was 122–297% greater with 10 Mg ha−1 and 94–240% greater with five Mg ha−1 residue additions when compared to the fallow treatment. The CC residue stimulated cumulative carbon mineralization (Cmin) irrespective of CC type, suggesting that cover cropping has potential to improve SOC cycling in agroecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Input into Agricultural Soils)
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Open AccessArticle Land Use Alters the Plant-Derived Carbon and Nitrogen Pools in Terraced Rice Paddies in a Mountain Village
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1973; doi:10.3390/su9111973
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
In Japan, terraced paddies in mountain villages are symbolic of the traditional landscape, but they are gradually being abandoned. To compare plant-derived C and N among land uses, we compared adjacent forest floor (FF), agricultural paddy (AP), and post-agricultural paddy (PP) sites. Long-term
[...] Read more.
In Japan, terraced paddies in mountain villages are symbolic of the traditional landscape, but they are gradually being abandoned. To compare plant-derived C and N among land uses, we compared adjacent forest floor (FF), agricultural paddy (AP), and post-agricultural paddy (PP) sites. Long-term litter accumulation could explain the significantly higher litter C and belowground biomass C in FF than in AP and PP. The low-density-fraction (LF) soil C was significantly higher in FF than in PP and better reflected land use than the whole-soil C. The AP soil held more N than FF and PP at 20–30 cm, associated with higher LF soil N. Periodic tillage in AP maintains the LF soil N, but N supplied to the surface soil reduced with depth following abandonment. Differences in recycling of organic matter and nutrients among land uses are crucial to plant-derived C and N contents of soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Input into Agricultural Soils)
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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
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Abstract
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)
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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.

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