Sequestering organic carbon in soils through land use change and agricultural practices: a review

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wu, L. 2023. Sequestering organic carbon in soils through land use change and agricultural practices: a review. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering - FASE. 10 (2), pp. 210-225.

AuthorsWu, L.

Climate change vigorously threats human livelihoods, places and biodiversity. To lock atmospheric CO2 up through biological, chemical and physical processes is one of the pathways to mitigate climate change. Agricultural soils have a significant carbon sink capacity. Soil carbon sequestration (SCS) can be accelerated through appropriate changes in land use and agricultural practices. There have been various meta-analyses performed by combining data sets to interpret the influences of some methods on SCS rates or stocks. The objectives of this study were: (1) to update SCS capacity with different land-based techniques based on the latest publications, and (2) to discuss complexity to assess the impacts of the techniques on soil carbon accumulation. This review shows that afforestation and reforestation are slow processes but have great potential for improving SCS. Among agricultural practices, adding organic matter is an efficient way to sequester carbon in soils. Any practice that helps plant increase C fixation can increase soil carbon stock by increasing residues, dead root material and root exudates. Among the improved livestock grazing management practices, reseeding grasses seems to have the highest SCS rate.

KeywordsAgroecosystems; Climate change; Negative emissions technology; Net zero
Year of Publication2023
JournalFrontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering - FASE
Journal citation10 (2), pp. 210-225
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Mar 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Oct 2022
PublisherHigher Education Press

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