Special Issue "Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)
Dr. Ranjan Bhattacharyya
Global soil health is deteriorating due to the direct and indirect effects of climate change, increasing population and resource degradation. Conservation agriculture (CA) is increasingly promoted around the world as an alternative strategy to address soil degradation resulting from organic matter and nutrient content depletion, sustain crop productivity with lower production costs and reduce environmental footprints (Kassam et al. 2009). “Conservation agriculture” refers to a set of principles rooted in sound science. These principles include: (1) causing minimum disturbance to the soil surface through no- or minimum-tillage; (2) keeping the soil surface covered with crop residues, such as mulch and cover crops; and (3) adopting crop sequences/rotations in appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Adoption of CA has the potential to increase soil organic carbon stocks through sequestration of atmospheric carbon, thus helping to curb global warming.
Experiences from several locations have shown that adoption of conservation tillage effects soil health (mainly, C and N accumulation, soil aggregation, water retention, nutrient cycling, and soil enzymes), but CA is not simply conservation tillage (Reicoskky, 2015). To fully understand the impact of CA, which also uses fewer resources and can therefore be more carbon efficient, an in-depth, systematic review on soil processes, soil quality parameters, and dynamics of plant nutrients under diverse agro-ecosystems is needed. Thus, this Special Issue will assess the sustainability of CA technologies for maintaining or increasing crop productivity, improving soil health including plant available water supplies, and reducing potential negative environmental quality impacts (i.e., erosion, leaching and runoff) on arable land. Papers are invited on these aspects from all over the globe. The selected papers for this Special Issue were subject to a peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.
Dr. Ranjan Bhattacharyya
Prof. Dr. Michael A. Fullen
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.
Kassam, A.H.; Friedrich, T.; Shaxson, T.F.; Pretty, J.N. The spread of Conservation Agriculture: Justification, sustainability and uptake. Int. J. Agric. Sustain. 2009, 7, 292–320.
Reicoskky, D.C. Conservation tillage is not conservation agriculture. J. Soil Water Conserv. 2015, 70, 103A–108A, doi:10.2489/jswc.70.5.103A.
- soil organic matter dynamics
- C and N sequestration
- soil quality/health
- nutrient cycling enzymes
- soil conservation
- soil hydraulic processes
- soil thermal processes
- root water uptake
- soil aggregation and root traits
- nutrient cycling mechanisms