WIT Press


The Potential Impact Of Agricultural Management Change On Soil Restoration Of The Cereal-growing Regions Of Central Spain

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/GEO080041

Volume

100

Pages

10

Page Range

37 - 46

Published

2008

Size

580 kb

Author(s)

D. L. Boellstorff

Abstract

Practices that restore degraded agricultural soils are important for improving overall environmental quality. In order to implement best practices that maintain agricultural productivity and in the process restore soils and environmental quality, there needs to be better understanding of how soil management affects soil factors associated with and leading to soil degradation and desertification. This study presents new information about how agricultural land management changes affect soil restoration and SOC levels for cereal-growing regions of central Spain. The results show extensification of agricultural practices using long term pasture rotations (e.g. 5-year) may improve soil degradation via the restoration of SOC levels. Keywords: soil restoration, crop rotation, soil organic carbon, semi-arid, Mediterranean, carbon sequestration. 1 Introduction Cropland agriculture comprises a significant percentage of the world’s arid and semi-arid regions. In these areas, the precipitation limitations, climate variability and anthropogenic factors can lead to soils being vulnerable to degradation and desertification. Soil degradation can be defined as the loss of productivity or utility resulting from natural or anthropogenic factors (Lal [16]; Lal et al. [20]) and generally results from a set of interconnected processes, each often categorized as being mainly a physical, chemical or biological soil process. The factors that affect the level of degradation in semi-arid cereal-cultivated central

Keywords

soil restoration, crop rotation, soil organic carbon, semi-arid, Mediterranean, carbon sequestration.