Climate drives global soil carbon sequestration and crop yield changes under conservation agriculture

Wenjuan Sun, Josep G. Canadell, Lijun Yu, Lingfei Yu, Wen Zhang, Pete Smith, Tony Fischer, Yao Huang* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conservation agriculture has been shown to have multiple benefits for soils, crop yield and the environment, and consequently, no-till, the central practice of conservation agriculture, has rapidly expanded. However, studies show that the potential for carbon (C) sequestration in no-till farming sometimes is not realized, let alone the ability to maintain or improve crop yield. Here we present a global analysis of no-till induced changes of soil C and crop yield based on 260 and 1,970 paired studies, respectively. We show that, relative to local conventional tillage, arid regions can benefit the most from conservation agriculture by achieving a win-win outcome of enhanced C sequestration and increased crop yield. However, more humid regions are more likely to increase SOC only, while some colder regions have yield losses with soil C loss as likely as soil C gains. In addition to site-specific characteristics and management, a careful assessment of the regional climate is needed to determine the potential benefits of adopting conservation agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3325-3335
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume26
Issue number6
Early online date8 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • climate
  • conservation agriculture
  • crop yield
  • meta-analysis
  • soil organic carbon
  • win-win outcome
  • MATTER
  • METAANALYSIS
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
  • BULK-DENSITY
  • VARIABILITY
  • ORGANIC-CARBON
  • FERTILIZER
  • NO-TILL
  • IMPACTS
  • STRATIFICATION

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry

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