Special Issue "Enhancing Soil Health to Mitigate Soil Degradation"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2014)
Dr. Douglas L. Karlen
National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, 2110 University Boulevard, Ames, IA 50011-3120, USA
Interests: soil quality; soil health; soil security; sustainable bioenergy feedstock production and logistics; management of agricultural landscapes; sustainable agriculture in general
Five of the top ten problems facing humanity (http://cnst.rice.edu/content.aspx?id=246) over the next 50 years (food, water, energy, environment and poverty) are directly related to the health of soil resources. Several different factors, including: (a) excessive tillage; (b) inappropriate crop rotations; (c) excessive grazing or crop residue removal; (d) deforestation; (e) mining and/or fracking; and (f) construction or urban sprawl, have contributed to the global problem of soil degradation. Understanding and implementing sustainable agricultural and land management practices that improve soil health is essential for mitigating and reversing these trends, if we are to successfully meet the needs of more than 9.5 billion people who will be sharing our fragile planet by the middle of the 21st century.
The overall focus for this special issue will be on agricultural factors contributing to soil degradation and suggested strategies for mitigating and reversing those trends. The discussion will be anchored by invited contributions reflecting perspectives from Africa, Australia, China, Eastern Europe, India, Latin America, North America, Russia, and Western Europe. Voluntary contributions will be evaluated, and if well written and able to pass a rigorous peer review, will be incorporated into the issue to provide a global perspective on soil degradation and strategies to mitigate its devastating effects.
This special issue will draw upon published literature addressing soil quality and/or soil health, soil and crop management strategies to mitigate soil degradation, and future research needs and strategies that will steadily improve the fragile layer that lies between us and starvation. Your participation and contributions to this important endeavor are welcomed and encouraged.
Dr. Douglas L. Karlen
Following is a list of “reference papers” that are relevant for the SI topic
1. Karlen, D.L.; Mausbach, M.J.; Doran, J.W.; Cline, R.G.; Harris, R.F.; Schuman, G.E. Soil quality: A concept, definition, and framework for evaluation. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 1997, 61, 4–10.
2. Karlen, D.L.; Andrews, S.S.; Doran, J.W. Soil Quality: Current Concepts and Applications. Adv. Agron. 2001, 74, 1–40.
3. Karlen, D.L.; Ditzler, C.A.; Andrews, S.S. Soil quality: why and how? Geoderma 2003, 114, 145–156.
4. Andrews, S.S.; Flora, C.B.; Mitchell, J.P.; Karlen, D.L. Growers’ perceptions and acceptance of soil quality indices. Geoderma 2003, 114, 187–213.
5. Karlen, D.L.; Andrews, S.S.; Weinhold, B.J.; Doran, J.W. Soil quality: Humankind’s foundation for survival. J. Soil Water Conserv. 2003, 58, 171–179.
6. Andrews, S.S.; Karlen, D.L.; Cambardella, C.A. The soil management assessment framework: A quantitative soil quality evaluation method. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2004, 68, 1945–1962.
7. Zobeck, T.M.; Halvorson, A.D.; Wienhold, B.J.; Acosta-Martinez, V.; Karlen, D.L. Comparison of two soil quality indexes to evaluate cropping systems in northern Colorado. J. Soil Water Conserv. 2008, 63, 329–338.
8. Wienhold, B.J.; Andrews, S.S.; Kuykendall, H.; Karlen, D.L. Recent advances in soil quality assessment in the United States. J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci. 2008, 56, 237–246.
9. Fernandez-Ugale, O.; Virto, I.; Bescansa, P.; Imaz, M.J.; Enrique, A.; Karlen, D.L. No-tillage improvement of soil physical quality in calcareous, degradation-prone, semiarid soils. Soil Tillage Res. 2009, 106, 29–35.
10. Imaz, M.J.; Virto, I.; Bescansa, P.; Enrique, A.; Fernandez-Ugalde, O.; Karlen, D.L. Soil quality indicator response to tillage and residue management on semi-arid Mediterranean cropland. Soil Tillage Res. 2010, 107, 17–25.
11. Wilhelm, W.W.; Hess, J.R.; Karlen, D.L.; Johnson, J.M.F.; Muth, D.J.; Baker, J.M.; Gollany, H.T.; Novak, J.M.; Stott, D.E.; Varvel, G.E. Balancing Limiting factors and economic drivers for sustainable Midwest agricultural residue feedstock supplies. Ind. Biotech. 2010, 6, 271–287.
12. Karlen, D.L.; Dinnes, D.L.; Singer. J.W. Midwest Soil and Water Conservation: Past, Present and Future. In Soil and Water Conservation Advances in the US: Past Efforts—Future Outlook; Zobeck, T.M., Schillinger, W.F., Ed.; United State Department of Agriculture: Washington, DC, USA, 2010; pp. 131–162.
13. Herrick, J.E.; Brown, J.R.; Bestelmeyer, B.T.; Andrews, S.S.; Baldi, G.; Davies, J.; Duniway, M.; Havstad, K.M.; Karl, J.; Karlen, D.L.; Peters, D.P.C.; Quinton, J.N.; Riginos, C.; Shaver, P.L.; Steinaker, D.; Twomlow, S. Revolutionary land use change in the 21st century: Is (Rangeland) science relevant? Rangel. Ecol. Manag. 2012, 65, 590–598.
14. Stott, D.E.; Karlen, D.L.; Cambardella, C.A.; Harmel, R.D. A soil quality and metabolic activity assessment after 57 years of agricultural management. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 2013, 77, 903–913.
15. Karlen, D.L.; Kovar, J.L.; Cambardella, C.A.; Colvin, T.S. Thirty-year tillage effects on crop yield and soil fertility indicators. Soil Tillage Res. 2013, 130, 24–41.
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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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.
- soil resource management
- soil health
- soil quality
- soil security
- sustainable agriculture
- soil degradation
- landscape management
- conservation agriculture
- visual soil assessment