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      Climate-smart soils.

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          Abstract

          Soils are integral to the function of all terrestrial ecosystems and to food and fibre production. An overlooked aspect of soils is their potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Although proven practices exist, the implementation of soil-based greenhouse gas mitigation activities are at an early stage and accurately quantifying emissions and reductions remains a substantial challenge. Emerging research and information technology developments provide the potential for a broader inclusion of soils in greenhouse gas policies. Here we highlight 'state of the art' soil greenhouse gas research, summarize mitigation practices and potentials, identify gaps in data and understanding and suggest ways to close such gaps through new research, technology and collaboration.

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          Most cited references 83

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          Solutions for a cultivated planet.

          Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world's future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture's environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing 'yield gaps' on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.
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            Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property.

            Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains more than three times as much carbon as either the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. Yet it remains largely unknown why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily--and this limits our ability to predict how soils will respond to climate change. Recent analytical and experimental advances have demonstrated that molecular structure alone does not control SOM stability: in fact, environmental and biological controls predominate. Here we propose ways to include this understanding in a new generation of experiments and soil carbon models, thereby improving predictions of the SOM response to global warming.
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              Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis

               L. Guo,  R. Gifford (2002)
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
                [2 ] Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
                [3 ] Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
                [4 ] Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
                [5 ] School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
                [6 ] W. K. Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
                [7 ] Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Nature
                1476-4687
                0028-0836
                Apr 07 2016
                : 532
                : 7597
                27078564 nature17174 10.1038/nature17174

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