[permaculture] Emerging land use practices rapidly increase soil organic matter | Nature Communications

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 18:50:48 EDT 2019


Emerging land use practices rapidly increase soil organic matter | Nature
Communications
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms7995
Abstract

The loss of organic matter from agricultural lands constrains our ability
to sustainably feed a growing population and mitigate the impacts of
climate change. Addressing these challenges requires land use activities
that accumulate soil carbon (C) while contributing to food production. In a
region of extensive soil degradation in the southeastern United States, we
evaluated soil C accumulation for 3 years across a 7-year chronosequence of
three farms converted to management-intensive grazing. Here we show that
these farms accumulated C at 8.0 Mg ha−1 yr−1, increasing cation exchange
and water holding capacity by 95% and 34%, respectively. Thus, within a
decade of management-intensive grazing practices soil C levels returned to
those of native forest soils, and likely decreased fertilizer and
irrigation demands. Emerging land uses, such as management-intensive
grazing, may offer a rare win–win strategy combining profitable food
production with rapid improvement of soil quality and short-term climate
mitigation through soil C-accumulation.


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