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Managing soil carbon for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Mediterranean cropping systems: A meta-analysis

Aguilera, Eduardo; Lassaletta, Luis; Gattinger, Andreas and Gimeno, Benjamín S. (2013) Managing soil carbon for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Mediterranean cropping systems: A meta-analysis. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 168, pp. 25-36.

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Online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880913000303


Mediterranean croplands are seasonally dry agroecosystems with low soil organic carbon (SOC) content and high risk of land degradation and desertification. The increase in SOC is of special interest in these systems, as it can help to build resilience for climate change adaptation while contributing to mitigate global warming through the sequestration of atmospheric carbon (C). We compared SOC change and C sequestration under a number of recommended management practices (RMPs) with neighboring conventional plots under Mediterranean climate (174 data sets from 79 references). The highest response in C sequestration was achieved by those practices applying largest amounts of C inputs (land treatment and organic amendments). Conservation tillage practices (no-tillage and reduced tillage) induced lower effect sizes but significantly promoted C sequestration, whereas no effect and negative net sequestration rates were observed for slurry applications and unfertilized treatments, respectively. Practices combining external organic amendments with cover crops or conservation tillage (combined management practices and organic management) showed very good performance in C sequestration. We studied separately the changes in SOC under organic management, with 80 data sets from 30 references. The results also suggest that the degree of intensification in C input rate is the main driver behind the relative C accumulation in organic treatments. Thus, highest net C sequestration rates were observed in most eco-intensive groups, such as “irrigated”, “horticulture” and controlled experiments (“plot scale”).

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Soil organic carbon, Carbon Sequestration, Mediterranean, Tillage, Organic amendments, Organic farming, Climate Impact of Organic Agriculture, Klimawandel und biologischer Landbau
Agrovoc keywords:
EnglishSoil organic carbonUNSPECIFIED
Englishcarbon sequestrationhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_331583
EnglishOrganic amendmentshttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_12965
EnglishOrganic farmingUNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Spain > University of Sevilla
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Spain > Other organizations
France > Other organizations
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:26363
Deposited On:12 Jun 2014 08:59
Last Modified:05 Jan 2021 10:59
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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