Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2008
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Citation: Dell, C.J. 2008. Review of Soil Carbon Management: Economics, Environmental and Societal Benefits. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37:1999 Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: The book provides a “big picture” look at the processes and benefits of soil carbon (c) management. The book is targeted to policy makers and gives policy recommendations in addition to providing technical information. The first section of the book contains a summary of current programs that foster soil C management, farmers’ perspectives on no-till farming, and a chapter addressing the economics of farming methods that conserve soil C. The second section of the book outlines on-site benefits. It includes chapters giving historical information on crop and grazing land management, outlining soil C gains with organic farming, and describing the improvement in soil properties with added C. The third section of the book addresses off-site benefits. Chapters in this section discuss the relation between soil erosion and soil C sequestration; water quality improvements; benefits to wildlife; and, the role of non-agricultural soils in the global C cycle. Chapter authors throughout the book effectively show that managing soil to sequester c is not only a value step towards reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and mitigating climate change, but it is part of a larger soil conservation package. Overall the book is a valuable contribution. While intended for policy makers, it provides information and prospective that researchers and teachers are not likely to obtain the in soil science research literature.