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Soil carbon dynamics and soil carbon sequestration under different agricultural management practices in a Mediterranean changing climate

  • 1 August, 2023
  • Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management
  • prof.dr. C.J. Ritsema
  • dr.ir. L. Fleskens

The increasing global demand for food has resulted in the adoption of intensive agricultural practices that compromise the sustainability of future food production due to severe environmental degradation. Climate change and resource limitations, such as water and fertilizers, further challenge the agricultural systems, negatively affecting crop yields and their spatial distribution. However, although agriculture is one of the sectors most affected by climate change, it can also contribute to its mitigation through carbon sequestration in soils. The Mediterranean region, in particular, is experiencing soil degradation and desertification due to intensive agricultural management, jeopardizing the soil’s ability to provide ecosystem services, such as food production and carbon storage. As a result, improved soil management practices are necessary to support sustainable food production systems, as promoted by the European Green Deal and Common Agricultural Policy.
This work aims to investigate soil carbon dynamics and sequestration in agricultural soils in the Mediterranean region and their potential changes under a changing climate. The specific objectives include i) the assessment of soil carbon dynamics and crop productivity under different agricultural management practices; ii) understanding the influence of climate change on carbon dynamics; and iii) providing management recommendations to improve soil carbon storage under current and future climate settings.

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Pedro Manuel Cardoso Ribeiro Moreira Soares

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