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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326880

Research Project: Soil and Crop Management Systems for Improved Natural Resource Quality and Efficiency

Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research

Title: Intensified agroecosystems and changes in soil carbon dynamics

Author
item ALHAMEID, ABDULLAH - South Dakota State University
item TOBIN, COLIN - South Dakota State University
item MAIGAA, AMADOU - South Dakota State University
item KUMARA, SANDEEP - South Dakota State University
item Osborne, Shannon
item SCHUMACHER, THOMAS - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2016
Publication Date: 3/15/2017
Citation: Alhameid, A., Tobin, C., Maigaa, A., Kumara, S., Osborne, S.L., Schumacher, T. 2017. Intensified agroecosystems and changes in soil carbon dynamics. p. 195-214. In M.M. Al-Kaisi, B Lowery (ed) Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosystems. Academic press. 2017.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Land use change, intensive farming systems and poor land management practices can reduce soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil health. One way to address these concerns is by increasing ecological intensification in agroecosystems for environmental and economic benefits. This chapter will discuss the benefits of diverse crop rotations, cover crops, integrated crop-livestock systems on improving soil health parameters. Literature shows multiple benefits of these practices on improving soil health. For example, introducing legumes in the crop rotation can improve crop yield and nutrient cycling. Long-term diverse crop rotations, cover crops and no-till (NT) systems have been shown to increase SOC and increase microbial activity. Complex crop rotations can produce economic and environmental benefits through increased availability of water, nutrient supply, and nutrient availability to plants. The NT management under diverse crop rotations reduces SOC turnover, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Integrated crop-livestock systems are another example of diversification that improves SOC and nutrient cycling, decreases N losses, and benefits the environment. In conclusion, diversified systems, including some discussed in this book chapter, have the potential to improve soils and environmental quality and if adopted sustainably, these systems can enhance food security.