Special Issue "Soil Carbon Sequestration for Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Abad Chabbi
Website
Guest Editor
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), URP3F, F-86600 Lusignan, France
Interests: biogeochemistry; landuse changes; agroecosytems; grassland; climate change; sustainability; carbon storage; nutrient availability; stoichiometry; plant-soil system
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cornelia Rumpel
Website
Guest Editor
CNRS, Campus AgroParisTech, Batiment EGER, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
Interests: soil biogeochemistry; soil C sequestration; black carbon; biochar; soil biology; deep soil horizons; organic soil amendments; grassland management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 4 per 1000 initiative was launched in 2015 as a global initiative to promote the adoption of economically viable and ecologically sound agricultural practices towards carbon sequestration and food security. Despite doubts in terms of feasibility and contribution to climate change mitigation, the soil remains at the heart of the political and socioeconomic debate.

In this Special Issue, we invite contributions dealing with sustainable agricultural practices and their effects on soil organic matter quantity and quality addressing the link between soil organic matter, climate change, and food security. We encourage submissions addressing the effect of practices on climate change adaptation of agricultural production. Moreover, we are interested in papers dealing with socioeconomic aspects and incentives favoring the transition of agricultural systems towards sustainability.

Dr. Abad Chabbi
Dr. Cornelia Rumpe
Guest Editors

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. Agronomy 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 1600 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 carbon sequestration
  • Soil organic matter
  • Food security
  • Climate change
  • Sustainable agricultural practices

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessing Soil Organic Carbon in Soils to Enhance and Track Future Carbon Stocks
Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081139 - 05 Aug 2020
Abstract
Soils represent the largest terrestrial sink of carbon (C) on Earth, yet the quantification of the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) is challenging due to the spatial variability inherent in agricultural soils. Our objective was to use a grid sampling approach to [...] Read more.
Soils represent the largest terrestrial sink of carbon (C) on Earth, yet the quantification of the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) is challenging due to the spatial variability inherent in agricultural soils. Our objective was to use a grid sampling approach to assess the magnitude of SOC variability and determine the current SOC stocks in three typical agricultural fields in Maryland, United States. A selected area in each field (4000 m2) was divided into eight grids (20 m × 25 m) for soil sample collection at three fixed depth intervals (0–20 cm, 20–40 cm, and 40–60 cm). Soil pH in all fields was significantly (p < 0.05) greater in the surface soil layer (6.2–6.4) than lower soil layers (4.7–5.9). The mean SOC stocks in the surface layers (0–20 cm: 1.7–2.5 kg/m2) were 47% to 53% of the total SOC stocks at 0–60 cm depth, and were significantly greater than sub-surface layers (20–40 cm: 0.9–1.3 kg/m2; 40–60 cm: 0.8–0.9 kg/m2). Carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio and stable C isotopic composition (δ13C) were used to understand the characteristics of SOC in three fields. The C/N ratio was positively corelated (r > 0.96) with SOC stocks, which were lower in sub-surface than surface layers. Differences in C/N ratios and δ13C signatures were observed among the three fields. The calculated values of SOC stocks at 0–60 cm depth ranged from 37 to 47 Mg/ha and were not significantly different in three fields likely due to the similar parent material, soil types, climate, and a short history of changes in management practices. A small variability (~10% coefficient of variation) in SOC stocks across eight sampling grids in each field suggests that re-sampling these grids in the future can lead to accurately determining and tracking changes in SOC stocks. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Defining Targets for Reversing Declines of Soil Carbon in High-Intensity Arable Cropping
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10070973 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is declining globally due to intensification of agriculture. Reversing declines should reduce soil erosion, maintain yields, raise the soil’s atmospheric carbon sink, and improve habitat for biodiversity. Commercial fields were sampled in a diverse European Atlantic zone cropland to [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is declining globally due to intensification of agriculture. Reversing declines should reduce soil erosion, maintain yields, raise the soil’s atmospheric carbon sink, and improve habitat for biodiversity. Commercial fields were sampled in a diverse European Atlantic zone cropland to relate SOC status to cropping intensity and to define a realistic target for restoration. SOC (%C by mass) decreased from 4% to 2% as the proportion of high-intensity crops increased from zero to 55% (linear regression, F pr. < 0.001). In further sampling in and around high-intensity fields, mean SOC increased from 2.4% in cultivated soil to 3.3% in field margins and 4.8% in nearby uncultivated land (F pr. < 0.001). Three broad zones of SOC in close spatial proximity were then defined: 1) high-intensity arable from 1% to 3%, 2) mid-intensity arable and arable-grass from 3% to 5% and 3) uncultivated and semi-natural land from 5% upwards. C:N ratio was constrained around 12, unaffected by cropping intensity, but slightly lower in fields than in margins and uncultivated land (F pr. < 0.001). A feasible target SOC of just above 3% was defined for high-intensity sites. There should be no biophysical obstacle to raising SOC above 3% in the high-input sector. Results argue against treating cropland of this type as uniform: assessment and restoration should be implemented field by field. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Residue Returning on Soil Organic Carbon Storage and Sequestration Rate in China’s Croplands: A Meta-Analysis
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050691 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
Crop residue returning (RR) is a promising option to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage, which is linked to crop yield promotion, ecologically sustainable agriculture, and climate change mitigation. Thus, the objectives of this study were to identify the responses of SOC storage [...] Read more.
Crop residue returning (RR) is a promising option to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage, which is linked to crop yield promotion, ecologically sustainable agriculture, and climate change mitigation. Thus, the objectives of this study were to identify the responses of SOC storage and sequestration rates to RR in China’s croplands. Based on a national meta-analysis of 365 comparisons from 99 publications, the results indicated that RR increased SOC storage by 11.3% compared to residue removal (p < 0.05). Theoretically, when combined with low nitrogen fertilizer input rates (0–120 kg N ha−1), single cropping system, paddy-upland rotation, lower mean annual precipitation (0–500 mm), alkaline soils (pH 7.5–8.5), other methods of RR (including residue chopping, evenly incorporating, and burying) or long-term use (>10 yrs), an increase in SOC storage under RR by 11.6–15.5% could be obtained. The SOC sequestration rate of RR varied from 0.48 (Central China) to 1.61 (Southwest China) Mg C ha−1 yr−1, with a national average value of 0.93 Mg C ha−1 yr−1. Higher SOC sequestration rates enhanced crop production. However, decreases in SOC sequestration rate were observed with increases in experimental durations. The phenomenon of “C saturation” occurred after 23 yrs of RR. Overall, RR can be used as an efficient and environmentally friendly and climate-smart management practice for long-term use. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Do Soil Warming and Changes in Precipitation Patterns Affect Seed Yield and Seed Quality of Field-Grown Winter Oilseed Rape?
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040520 - 06 Apr 2020
Abstract
Increasing air and soil temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns as consequences of climate change will affect crop production in agricultural ecosystems. The combined effects of soil warming and altered precipitation on the productivity and product quality of oil crops are not yet [...] Read more.
Increasing air and soil temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns as consequences of climate change will affect crop production in agricultural ecosystems. The combined effects of soil warming and altered precipitation on the productivity and product quality of oil crops are not yet well studied. Winter oilseed rape (OSR) (Brassica napus L., cv. Mercedes) was field-grown under elevated soil temperature (+2.5 °C), reduced precipitation amount (−25%), reduced precipitation frequency (−50%) both separately and in combination in order to investigate effects on crop development, seed yield, and seed quality. Soil warming accelerated crop development during early plant growth and during spring. At maturity, however, plants in all treatments were similar in quantitative (aboveground biomass, seed yield) and qualitative (protein and oil content, amino acids, fatty acids) parameters. We observed the long-term effects of the precipitation manipulation on leaf size, leaf senescence and biomass allocation. Seed yield was not affected by the altered climatic factors, perhaps due to adaptation of soil microorganisms to permanent soil warming and to relatively wet conditions during the seed-filling period. Overall, OSR performed well under moderate changes in soil temperature and precipitation patterns; thus, we observed stable seed yield without negative impacts on nutritive seed quality. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Rice Residue Retention and Foliar Application of K on Water Productivity and Profitability of Wheat in North West India
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030434 - 21 Mar 2020
Abstract
The rice–wheat cropping system being the backbone of food security in South-Asia has resulted in soil health deterioration, declining water table, and air pollution affecting livability index of the region. The effect of rice residue retention (RRR), irrigation levels and foliar application of [...] Read more.
The rice–wheat cropping system being the backbone of food security in South-Asia has resulted in soil health deterioration, declining water table, and air pollution affecting livability index of the region. The effect of rice residue retention (RRR), irrigation levels and foliar application of K on wheat grain yield (GY), water use efficiency (WUE) and profitability was tested over three years. RRR increased wheat GY (5224 kg ha−1), above-ground biomass (AGBM = 11.9 t ha−1), tillers per square meter (TPM = 469) and grains per meter square (GrPMS = 13,917) significantly. Relative water content (RWC = 93.8) and WUE (2.45 k gm−3) were also increased significantly by RRR. Consequently, profitability (Net return = 624.4 $ and Benefit to cost (B:C) ratio) was enhanced. Foliar application of K enhanced GY (5151 kg ha−1), AGBM (12 t ha−1), RWC (94.1), SPAD (52.2), WUE (2.40 kg m−3), net returns (625.2 $) and BC ratio (1.62) significantly. RRR increased GY (15.66%) and WUE (17.39%) with additional revenue of 151 $ with only one irrigation at the CRI stage (ICS). RRR adopted over 10% of the area can earn 187 million-US$ annually. RRR if adopted over existing practice on a large area would reduce environmental degradation with an enhanced income to small and marginal farmers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Digestate on Soil Organic Carbon and Plant-Available Nutrient Content Compared to Cattle Slurry and Mineral Fertilization
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030379 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Digestate contains many valuable nutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K); however, it is characterized by relatively little organic matter. The objective of this study was to assess the four-year impact of digestate (Dig) application, digestate + straw (Dig + St), [...] Read more.
Digestate contains many valuable nutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K); however, it is characterized by relatively little organic matter. The objective of this study was to assess the four-year impact of digestate (Dig) application, digestate + straw (Dig + St), cattle slurry (Csl), and mineral fertilization (NPK) on soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), mineral N (Nmin), and the content of plant-available P and K. Fertilization did not have any significant influence on SOC, TN, and SOC/TN parameters. Yet, in comparison with control, there was an upward trend in the concentration of SOC and TN in the topsoil, where fertilizers were applied. In contrast to SOC and TN, fertilizer treatment significantly affected the content of P, K, and Nmin, and the differences depended on the soil depth and the fertilizer used. On average, the highest content of P was obtained in Csl treatment, but the highest content of K was observed in Dig + St. The effect of treatment on Nmin in spring was as follows: NPK = control < Csl = Dig + St < Dig. Straw plowing increased the bio-immobilization of N with digestate and, at the same time, lowered the content level of nitrates in soil. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Soil Carbon Budget Account for the Sustainability Improvement of a Mediterranean Vineyard Area
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030336 - 02 Mar 2020
Abstract
Sustainable viticulture is suggested as an interesting strategy for achieving the objectives of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in terms of mitigation and adaptation. However, knowledge and quantification of the contribution of sustainable vineyard management on climate change impact are needed. Although [...] Read more.
Sustainable viticulture is suggested as an interesting strategy for achieving the objectives of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in terms of mitigation and adaptation. However, knowledge and quantification of the contribution of sustainable vineyard management on climate change impact are needed. Although it is widely assessed by several authors that the agricultural stage has a great impact in the wine chain, very few studies have evaluated the greenhouse gas emission in this phase including the ability of soil to sequester carbon (C) or the off-farm C loss by erosion. This work aimed to provide a vineyard carbon budget (vCB) tool to quantify the impact of grape production on GHG emission including the effects of environmental characteristics and agricultural practices. The vCB was estimated considering four different soil management scenarios: conventional tillage (CT), temporary cover crop with a leguminous species in alternate inter-rows (ACC), temporary cover crop with a leguminous species (CC), permanent cover crop (PCC). The estimation of vCB was applied at territory level in a viticulture area in Sicily (2468 ha of vineyard) using empirical data. Results of the present study showed that the environmental characteristics strongly affect the sustainability of vineyard management; the highest contribution to total CO2 emission is, in fact, given by the C losses by erosion in sloping vineyards. Soils of studied vineyards are a source of CO2 due to the low C inputs and high mineralization rate, except for soil managed by CC which can sequester soil C, contributing positively to vCB. The highest total CO2 emission was estimated in vineyards under CT management (2.31 t ha−1y−1), followed by CC (1.27 t ha−1y−1), ACC (0.69 t ha−1y−1) and PCC (0.64 t ha−1y−1). Findings of vCB applied at territory level highlighted the key role of the evaluation of carbon budget (CB) on a larger scale to identify the CO2 emission in relation to climatic and environmental factors. The present study could contribute to provide suggestions to policymakers and farmers for reducing GHG emissions and promote more sustainable grape production practices. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Rotation Patterns on Soil Organic Carbon in China’s Arid and Semi-Arid Regions
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020160 - 22 Jan 2020
Abstract
The practice of crop rotation can significantly impact carbon sequestration potential. In exploring whether crop rotation has the potential to improve soil carbon sequestration in China’s Loess Plateau, soil organic carbon (SOC), soil water content (SWC), soil bulk density (SBD), and soil pH [...] Read more.
The practice of crop rotation can significantly impact carbon sequestration potential. In exploring whether crop rotation has the potential to improve soil carbon sequestration in China’s Loess Plateau, soil organic carbon (SOC), soil water content (SWC), soil bulk density (SBD), and soil pH were compared across the 0–1.0 m soil profile, under four crop rotation patterns: lentil–wheat–maize, wheat–potato–lentil, wheat–maize–potato, and wheat–flax–pea. The lentil–wheat–maize and wheat–maize–potato rotations have been practiced over the past 20 years, while the wheat–potato–lentil and wheat–flax–pea rotations were established in 1978 (~40 year rotations). The results showed that under the 20-year lentil–wheat–maize rotation, SOC was not significantly different to that of the wheat–maize–potato rotation, at 6.81 g kg−1 and 6.91 g kg−1, respectively. However, under the lentil–wheat–maize rotation, SWC (9.81%) and SBD (1.19 Mg m−3) were significantly higher, but soil pH (8.42) was significantly lower than the same metrics under wheat–maize–potato rotation (8.43% and 1.16 Mg m−3, and 8.50, respectively). For the 40-year rotations, SWC (9.19%) and soil pH (8.41) under the wheat–potato–lentil were not significantly different to that of the wheat–flax–pea (8.87%, and 8.40, respectively). SOC (6.06 g kg−1) was significantly lower, but SBD (1.18 Mg m−3) was significantly higher under the wheat–potato–lentil than the wheat–flax–pea (7.29 g kg−1, and 1.15 Mg m−3, respectively) rotations. Soil carbon sequestration for the lentil–wheat–maize and wheat–potato–lentil rotations was co-influenced by SWC, SBD, and soil pH, while for wheat–maize–potato and wheat–flax–pea rotations, it was co-influenced by SWC and soil pH. The economic value of the four studied crops is, in order: potato > maize > wheat > flax. The results of the present study suggest that the lentil–wheat–maize and maize–flax–pea rotations are the most suitable patterns to optimize simultaneous economic and ecological development of the study area. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop