Soil carbon sequestration rates under Mediterranean woody crops using recommended management practices

A meta-analysis

José Luis Vicente-Vicente, Roberto Garcia-Ruiz, Rosa Francaviglia, Eduardo Aguilera, Pete Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mediterranean woody crops, such as olive and almond farming,
and vineyards are usually cultivated in soils low in organic matter, with
limited water availability and frequently on medium to steep slopes.
Therefore, when conventionally cultivated, soils of these cropping
systems are net sources of CO2 (throughout soil erosion and organic
carbon mineralization). A promising option to sequester carbon (C) in
these cropping systems is the implementation of recommended management
practices (RMPs), which include plant cover in the inter-row area,
minimum or no tillage and off- and on-farm organic matter amendments.
However, the effects of RMPs on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in these
cropping systems are widely overlooked, despite the critical importance
of estimating their contribution on CO2 emissions for policy decisions in
the agriculture sector in Mediterranean regions. We therefore conducted a
meta-analysis to derive a C response ratio, soil C sequestration rate and
soil C sequestration efficiency under RMPs, compared to conventional
management of olive and almond orchards, and vineyards (144 data sets
from 51 references). RMPs included organic amendments (OA), plant cover
(CC) and a combination of the two (CMP). The highest soil C sequestration
rate (5.3 t C ha-1 yr-1) was observed following the application OA in
olive orchards (especially after olive mill pomace application), whereas
CC management achieved the lowest C sequestration rates (1.1, 0.78 and
2.0 t C ha-1 yr-1, for olive orchards, vineyards and almond orchards,
respectively). Efficiency of soil C sequestration was greater than 100%
after OA and CMP managements, indicating that: i) some of the organic C
inputs were unaccounted for, and ii) a positive feedback effect of the
application of these amendments on SOC retention (e.g. reduction of soil
erosion) and on protective mechanisms of the SOC which reduce CO2
emissions. Soil C sequestration rate tended to be highest during the
first years after the change of the management and progressively
decreased. Studies performed in Mediterranean sub-climates of low annual
precipitation had lower values of soil C sequestration rate, likely due
to a lower biomass production of the crop and other plant cover. Soil C
sequestration rates in olive farming were much higher than that of
vineyards, mainly due to the application of higher annual doses of
organic amendments. The relatively high sequestration rate combined with
the relative large spatial extent of these cropping system areas suggests
that the adoption of RMPs is a sustainable and efficient measure to
mitigate climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment
Volume235
Early online dateNov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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meta-analysis
soil carbon
carbon sequestration
management practice
crop
crops
soil
orchards
ground cover plants
almonds
vineyards
soil organic carbon
orchard
vineyard
cropping systems
organic carbon
soil organic matter
farming systems
cropping practice
pomace

Keywords

  • soil organic carbon
  • carbon sequestration
  • Mediterranean woody crops
  • recommended management practices

Cite this

Soil carbon sequestration rates under Mediterranean woody crops using recommended management practices : A meta-analysis. / Vicente-Vicente, José Luis ; Garcia-Ruiz, Roberto; Francaviglia, Rosa ; Aguilera, Eduardo; Smith, Pete.

In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 235, 01.11.2016, p. 204-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vicente-Vicente, José Luis ; Garcia-Ruiz, Roberto ; Francaviglia, Rosa ; Aguilera, Eduardo ; Smith, Pete. / Soil carbon sequestration rates under Mediterranean woody crops using recommended management practices : A meta-analysis. In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment. 2016 ; Vol. 235. pp. 204-214.
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note = "This work was supported by the projects: CARBOLIVAR (P11-RNM-7186) funded by Consejer{\'i}a de Innovaci{\'o}n, Ciencia y Empresa of Junta de Andaluc{\'i}a and GEISpain project (CGL2014‐52838‐C2‐1‐R) funded by Ministerio de Econom{\'i}a y Competitividad, both including European Union ERDF funds. This work was also supported by the FPU 2012 grant program of the Ministerio de Educaci{\'o}n, Cultura y Deporte of Spain. Dr. Roberto Garcia-Ruiz and Eduardo Aguilera gratefully acknowledge support by the Sustainable Farm Systems project (SSHRC 895-2011-1020) funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.",
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N1 - This work was supported by the projects: CARBOLIVAR (P11-RNM-7186) funded by Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa of Junta de Andalucía and GEISpain project (CGL2014‐52838‐C2‐1‐R) funded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, both including European Union ERDF funds. This work was also supported by the FPU 2012 grant program of the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte of Spain. Dr. Roberto Garcia-Ruiz and Eduardo Aguilera gratefully acknowledge support by the Sustainable Farm Systems project (SSHRC 895-2011-1020) funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

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N2 - Mediterranean woody crops, such as olive and almond farming,and vineyards are usually cultivated in soils low in organic matter, withlimited water availability and frequently on medium to steep slopes.Therefore, when conventionally cultivated, soils of these croppingsystems are net sources of CO2 (throughout soil erosion and organiccarbon mineralization). A promising option to sequester carbon (C) inthese cropping systems is the implementation of recommended managementpractices (RMPs), which include plant cover in the inter-row area,minimum or no tillage and off- and on-farm organic matter amendments.However, the effects of RMPs on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in thesecropping systems are widely overlooked, despite the critical importanceof estimating their contribution on CO2 emissions for policy decisions inthe agriculture sector in Mediterranean regions. We therefore conducted ameta-analysis to derive a C response ratio, soil C sequestration rate andsoil C sequestration efficiency under RMPs, compared to conventionalmanagement of olive and almond orchards, and vineyards (144 data setsfrom 51 references). RMPs included organic amendments (OA), plant cover(CC) and a combination of the two (CMP). The highest soil C sequestrationrate (5.3 t C ha-1 yr-1) was observed following the application OA inolive orchards (especially after olive mill pomace application), whereasCC management achieved the lowest C sequestration rates (1.1, 0.78 and2.0 t C ha-1 yr-1, for olive orchards, vineyards and almond orchards,respectively). Efficiency of soil C sequestration was greater than 100%after OA and CMP managements, indicating that: i) some of the organic Cinputs were unaccounted for, and ii) a positive feedback effect of theapplication of these amendments on SOC retention (e.g. reduction of soilerosion) and on protective mechanisms of the SOC which reduce CO2emissions. Soil C sequestration rate tended to be highest during thefirst years after the change of the management and progressivelydecreased. Studies performed in Mediterranean sub-climates of low annualprecipitation had lower values of soil C sequestration rate, likely dueto a lower biomass production of the crop and other plant cover. Soil C sequestration rates in olive farming were much higher than that ofvineyards, mainly due to the application of higher annual doses oforganic amendments. The relatively high sequestration rate combined withthe relative large spatial extent of these cropping system areas suggeststhat the adoption of RMPs is a sustainable and efficient measure tomitigate climate change.

AB - Mediterranean woody crops, such as olive and almond farming,and vineyards are usually cultivated in soils low in organic matter, withlimited water availability and frequently on medium to steep slopes.Therefore, when conventionally cultivated, soils of these croppingsystems are net sources of CO2 (throughout soil erosion and organiccarbon mineralization). A promising option to sequester carbon (C) inthese cropping systems is the implementation of recommended managementpractices (RMPs), which include plant cover in the inter-row area,minimum or no tillage and off- and on-farm organic matter amendments.However, the effects of RMPs on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in thesecropping systems are widely overlooked, despite the critical importanceof estimating their contribution on CO2 emissions for policy decisions inthe agriculture sector in Mediterranean regions. We therefore conducted ameta-analysis to derive a C response ratio, soil C sequestration rate andsoil C sequestration efficiency under RMPs, compared to conventionalmanagement of olive and almond orchards, and vineyards (144 data setsfrom 51 references). RMPs included organic amendments (OA), plant cover(CC) and a combination of the two (CMP). The highest soil C sequestrationrate (5.3 t C ha-1 yr-1) was observed following the application OA inolive orchards (especially after olive mill pomace application), whereasCC management achieved the lowest C sequestration rates (1.1, 0.78 and2.0 t C ha-1 yr-1, for olive orchards, vineyards and almond orchards,respectively). Efficiency of soil C sequestration was greater than 100%after OA and CMP managements, indicating that: i) some of the organic Cinputs were unaccounted for, and ii) a positive feedback effect of theapplication of these amendments on SOC retention (e.g. reduction of soilerosion) and on protective mechanisms of the SOC which reduce CO2emissions. Soil C sequestration rate tended to be highest during thefirst years after the change of the management and progressivelydecreased. Studies performed in Mediterranean sub-climates of low annualprecipitation had lower values of soil C sequestration rate, likely dueto a lower biomass production of the crop and other plant cover. Soil C sequestration rates in olive farming were much higher than that ofvineyards, mainly due to the application of higher annual doses oforganic amendments. The relatively high sequestration rate combined withthe relative large spatial extent of these cropping system areas suggeststhat the adoption of RMPs is a sustainable and efficient measure tomitigate climate change.

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