Soil organic carbon (SOC) improvement has become a sustainable strategy for enhancing soil resilience and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the rice cropping system. For tropical soils, the SOC accumulation was limited by the unfavorable environment, likely the sandy soil area in Northeast (NE) Thailand. This review aims to quantify and understand SOC in sandy paddy fields of NE Thailand. The existing research gap for alternative management practices is also highlighted to increase ecological and agronomic values. We review previous studies to determine the factors affecting SOC dynamics in sandy paddy fields, in order to enhance SOC and sustain rice yields. High sand content, up to 50% sand, was found in 70.7% of the observations. SOC content has ranged from 0.34 to 31.2 g kg−1
for the past four decades in paddy rice soil of NE Thailand. The conventional and alternative practice managements were chosen based on either increasing rice crop yield or improving soil fertility. The lack of irrigation water during the mild dry season would physically affect carbon sequestration as the soil erosion accelerates. Meanwhile, soil chemical and microbial activity, which directly affect SOC accumulation, would be influenced by nutrient and crop residue management, including chemical fertilizer, manure and green manure, unburned rice straw, and biochar application. Increasing SOC content by 1 g kg−1
can increase rice yield by 302 kg ha−1
. The predicted carbon saturation varied tremendously, from 4.1% to 140.6% (52% in average), indicating that the sandy soil in this region has the potential for greater SOC sequestration. Our review also suggests that broadening the research of rice production influenced by sandy soil is still required to implement adaptive management for sustainable agriculture and future food security.
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