Soil C sequestration can be made a win-win proposition. It is an important objective of both adaptive and mitigative strategies to minimize or reverse the effects of global climate change, although they approach this aim differently. The adaptive strategy by increasing the SOC pool would enhance soil microbial activity and would accentuate soil physical, chemical, and biological quality. Soil quality improvements could negate some or most of the adverse effects of climate change on crop growth and yield. Technological options related to enhancement of the SOC pool through adaptive strategies include conversion from plow tillage to no till, incorporating cover crops in the rotation cycle, using compost and other biosolids, adoption of agroforestry practices, and growing adapted species that tolerate climatic extremes. Mitiga-tive strategies focus on SOC because this has a strong potential to reduce the rate of enrichment of atmospheric concentration of CO2. Technological options related to enhancement of the SOC pool using mitigative strategies include restoration of degraded soils and ecosystems, desertification control, conversion of marginal agricultural soils from crop and pastures to forests or any other perennial vegetation, and adoption of RMPs on agricultural lands.
In this regard, the impact of agricultural intensification in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, and Central America and the Caribbean becomes central. This strategy would include growing improved varieties, returning crop residues and other biomass to the soil, improving soil fertility through a judicious combination of fertilizers and manures that enhance microbial processes in soil, and adoption of conservation-effective measures that improve water and nutrient-use efficiency.
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