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Title: Soil organic matter in the sustainable agriculture: Source or sink of carbon?
Authors: Grego, Stefano
Lagomarsino, Alessandra
Keywords: Soil Organic Matter;Soil Quality
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Transworld Research Network
Source: Grego S., Lagomarsino A. 2008. Soil organic matter in the sustainable agriculture: Source or sink of carbon? In: Marinari S., Caporali S. (eds). Soil Carbon Sequestration Under Organic Farming in the Mediterranean Environment. Kerala, Ed. Transworld Research Network 3: 39-51
Stocks of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) are
controlled by the balance between carbon inputs
derived from plant production and outputs through
decomposition processes mediated by heterotrophs.
The importance and function of SOM is largely due to
its dynamic nature, being continuously synthesised,
mineralised and rearranged. Besides CO2 production,
SOM decomposition provides metabolic energy for
microorganisms and mineral nutrients available for
plant uptake. Intensive agriculture stimulates the rate
of decomposition, because the physical disturbance exposes oxygen diffusion and enhancing C mineralisation. Moreover, a large amount
of crop products are removed, thus subtracting C to the ecosystems. Raising
the soil C content means increasing the C input, decreasing the output or a
combination of the two through improved land management. In particular, in
agricultural soils, increasing C inputs is the major pathway for increasing soil
C storage, without depleting nutrients released through SOM mineralization.
This could be achieved by the use of animal manure, crop residues, sewage
sludge and compost, improving rotations with higher C inputs to the soil and
reducing soil disturbance with zero tillage practices.
ISBN: 978-81-7895-327-4
Appears in Collections:DABAC - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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