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Veni, Vidi, Vermi... II. EARTHWORMS IN ORGANIC FIELDS RESTORE SOM & H2O AND FIX CO2

Blakemore, R.J. (2017) Veni, Vidi, Vermi... II. EARTHWORMS IN ORGANIC FIELDS RESTORE SOM & H2O AND FIX CO2. Vermecology Occasional Papers, 2 (2), pp. 1-26. [Submitted]

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Summary

Earthworm proliferations of 57–122% (mean +78.5%) under adjacent (i.e., same soil/climate) organic vs. conventional fields related to improved soil quality and higher yields of 16–80% (mean +39.1%) in winter wheat, tropical paddy rice and sugarcane. Soil moisture differences ranged -11–41% (mean +12.0%) while soil carbon in SOM humus ranged 26–128% (mean +64.9%). Correlation (r >0.835) of earthworms is with crop yield and both soil H2O & C storage hence atmospheric CO2 reduction via photosynthesis / humification.
A 1,000 yr-old pasture at Haughley had highest earthworms (424 m-2), stored 222 t ha-1 carbon in its soil organic matter (SOM), plus moisture capacity was 90.9% above an adjacent arable field.
Relating to global climate change, extrapolation to areas given over to each of the three crops if all organically converted gives CO2 equivalents (CO2e) of 49.2, 2.8 and 1.1 Gt (total 53.1 Gt) C storage for wheat, rice and sugarcane, respectively. Wheat alone, albeit projected, exceeds global emission (~40 Gt CO2); rice matches Eurozone’s (2.5 Gt); and sugarcane either Japan (1.2 Gt) or UK + Australia combined (0.5 + 0.4 Gt). Extra carbon stored (53.1 Gt CO2e) would equal ~7.3 ppm atmospheric CO2 reduction. Pasture management offers yet greater potential remedy, here calculated as optimal 222 t ha-1 x 3.6 Gha total grass = 800 Gt C (x 3.667 conversion factor = 2,934 Gt CO2e) about equal to present atmospheric values of 3,000 Gt CO2 and 400 ppm. Even at same human emission/consumption rates, humus solves carbon sequestration whilst also providing food.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:broadacre crops, carbon, glomalin, climate, food security, soil health, humus, water.
Agrovoc keywords:
LanguageValueURI
EnglishUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Farming Systems
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Crop husbandry
Soil
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: International Organizations
Related Links:https://veop.wordpress.com/
Deposited By: Blakemore, Dr Robert
ID Code:31189
Deposited On:17 Aug 2017 09:38
Last Modified:17 Aug 2017 09:38
Document Language:English
Status:Submitted
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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