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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pendleton, Oregon » Soil and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353760

Research Project: Maximizing Long-term Soil Productivity and Dryland Cropping Efficiency for Low Precipitation Environments

Location: Soil and Water Conservation Research

Title: Measurements and models to identify agroecosystem practices that enhance soil organic carbon under changing climate

Author
item Gollany, Hero
item Venterea, Rodney - Rod

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2018
Publication Date: 7/2/2018
Citation: Gollany, H.T., Venterea, R.T. 2018. Measurements and models to identify agroecosystem practices that enhance soil organic carbon under changing climate. Journal of Environmental Quality. 47:579-587. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2018.05.0213.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2018.05.0213

Interpretive Summary: Adapting to the anticipated impacts of climate change is a pressing issue facing agriculture, as precipitation and temperature changes are expected to have major effects on agricultural production in many regions of the world. These changes will also affect soil organic matter decomposition and associated soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, which have the potential to feedback to climate change and affect agroecosystem resiliency. This special issue brings together multiple efforts to assess effects of climate change on SOC stocks around the globe in grassland, pasture, and crop agroecosystems under varying management practices. The overall goal of these efforts is to identify optimum practices to enhance SOC accumulation. Fourteen of the 20 contributions apply dynamic process-based models to assess climate and/or long-term management impacts on SOC stocks, and four papers use statistical SOC models across landscapes or regions. Also included are one meta-analysis and one long-term study. The models in this collection performed well when reliable input data were available, indicating the usefulness of process-based SOC modeling efforts to inform management decisions to enhance SOC stocks. The findings confirm that most agroecosystems have the potential to store SOC through improved management; however, the findings also indicate limitations to improving SOC stocks particularly for dryland agriculture unless crop yield and crop biomass increases under projected climate change. In this article, we summarize the highlights of these papers and assess their broader implications for future research to enhance agroecosystem SOC accumulation and resiliency of agriculture production to climate change.

Technical Abstract: Adapting to the anticipated impacts of climate change is a pressing issue facing agriculture, as precipitation and temperature changes are expected to have major effects on agricultural production in many regions of the world. These changes will also affect soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and associated stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC), which have the potential to feedback to climate change and affect agroecosystem resiliency. This special issue brings together multiple efforts to assess effects of climate change on SOC stocks around the globe in grassland, pasture, and crop agroecosystems under varying management practices. The overall goal of these efforts is to identify optimum practices to enhance SOC accumulation. Fourteen of the 20 contributions apply dynamic process-based models to assess climate and/or long-term management impacts on SOC stocks, and four papers use statistical SOC models across landscapes or regions. Also included are one meta-analysis and one long-term study. The models in this collection performed well when reliable input data were available, indicating the usefulness of process-based SOC modeling efforts to inform management decisions to enhance SOC stocks. The findings confirm that most agroecosystems have the potential to store SOC through improved management; however, the findings also indicate limitations to improving SOC stocks particularly for dryland agriculture unless crop yield and crop biomass increases under projected climate change. In this article, we summarize the highlights of these 20 papers and assess their broader implications for future research to enhance agroecosystem SOC accumulation and resiliency to climate change.