Special Issue "Soil Organic Carbon"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Emeritus Prof. Lynette Abbott
Website
Guest Editor
UWA School of Agriculture and Environment M079 & UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth WA 6009 Australia
Interests: soil health; soil biological fertility; arbuscular mycorrhizas; soil amendments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil organic carbon plays a key role in productive agriculture. Relationships among fractions of carbon within the soil matrix are both complex and dynamic. An understanding of processes associated with the loss and retention of soil organic carbon should underpin soil management decisions. Studies of soil organic carbon can enhance predictions about the nature of many important soil processes, including nutrient turnover, water retention, water repellence, disease suppression, soil stability, soil erosion, and microbial transformations of agricultural chemicals.

The organic component of soil influences the habitat of organisms that contribute to soil biological fertility. Both living and dead fractions of soil organic matter have important roles that can differ among soil types and fluctuate according to environmental conditions. Soil processes—including the biological transformation of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus—are increasingly influenced by climate change, and are of great significance in regions where rainfall is decreasing as well as in regions where rainfall is increasing.

The roles of soil organisms in sustainable agriculture have strong links to both physical and chemical soil properties. Plant residues, including roots, are primarily responsible for organic matter additions to soil, but soil amendments such as compost, manures, and a wide range of biostimulants are also commonly used in some regions. All agricultural practices have both short- and long-term impacts that are of critical importance to the management of soil organic carbon.

Emeritus Prof. Lynette Abbott
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. Agriculture 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 1000 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

  • Soil organic carbon
  • Soil biological fertility
  • Soil amendments
  • Climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Soil Organic Carbon Depletion from Forests to Grasslands Conversion in Mexico: A Review
Agriculture 2018, 8(11), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8110181 - 18 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Land use change from forests to grazing lands is one of the important sources of greenhouse gas emissions in many parts of the tropics. The objective of this study was to analyze the extent of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss from the conversion [...] Read more.
Land use change from forests to grazing lands is one of the important sources of greenhouse gas emissions in many parts of the tropics. The objective of this study was to analyze the extent of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss from the conversion of native forests to pasturelands in Mexico. We analyzed 66 sets of published research data with simultaneous measurements of soil organic carbon stocks between native forests and pasturelands in Mexico. We used a generalized linear mixed effect model to evaluate the effect of land use change (forest versus pasture), soil depth, and original native forest types. The model showed that there was a significant reduction in SOC stocks due to the conversion of native forests to pasturelands. The median loss of SOC ranged from 31.6% to 52.0% depending upon the soil depth. The highest loss was observed in tropical mangrove forests followed by highland tropical forests and humid tropical forests. Higher loss was detected in upper soil horizon (0–30 cm) compared to deeper horizons. The emissions of CO2 from SOC loss ranged from 46.7 to 165.5 Mg CO2 eq. ha−1 depending upon the type of original native forests. In this paper, we also discuss the effect that agroforestry practices such as silvopastoral arrangements and other management practices like rotational grazing, soil erosion control, and soil nutrient management can have in enhancing SOC stocks in tropical grasslands. The results on the degree of carbon loss can have strong implications in adopting appropriate management decisions that recover or retain carbon stocks in biomass and soils of tropical livestock production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Carbon)
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Open AccessReview
SOC Stock Changes and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Following Tropical Land Use Conversions to Plantation Crops on Mineral Soils, with a Special Focus on Oil Palm and Rubber Plantations
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090133 - 01 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The increasing global demand for vegetable oils has resulted in a significant increase in the area under oil palm in the tropics during the last couple of decades, and this is projected to increase further. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil discourages the [...] Read more.
The increasing global demand for vegetable oils has resulted in a significant increase in the area under oil palm in the tropics during the last couple of decades, and this is projected to increase further. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil discourages the conversion of peatlands to oil palm and rubber plantations. However, our understanding of the effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of land use conversion is incomplete, especially for mineral soils under primary forests, secondary forests, rubber and other perennial plantations in the tropics. In this review we synthesised information on SOC stocks and GHG emissions from tropical mineral soils under forest, oil palm and rubber plantations and other agroecosystems across the tropical regions. We found that the largest SOC losses occurred after land use conversion from primary forest to oil palm and rubber plantations. Secondary forest and pasture lands showed lower SOC losses as well as total GHG (CO2, N2O and CH4) emissions when converted to oil palm and rubber plantations. However, due to the limited data available on all three GHG emissions, there remains high uncertainty in GHG emissions estimates, and regional GHG accounting is more reliable. We recommend long-term monitoring of oil palm and other perennial plantations established on tropical mineral soils on different soil types and regions on SOC stock changes and total GHG emissions and evaluate appropriate management practices to optimise production and sustainable economic returns, and minimise environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Organic Carbon)
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