No till soil organic carbon sequestration could be overestimated when slope effect is not considered

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5 Citations (Scopus)


No tillage (NT) soil management has been considered a strategy for the implementation of environmental sustainability and a possible tool of soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. Considering the wide range of data on SOC change after NT application in relation to conventional tillage (CT) in different studies, further researches are needed over a diverse range of soil and climate before a proper estimation of the benefits can be provided by the NT. A data set composed of cereal cropping system studies, comparing the SOC content under CT and NT was compiled from the literature using the scientific repositories “Scopus” and “Science direct”. This aims to i) discriminate and quantify the variation of SOC in relation to morphology (Flat area (FA) and Slope Area (SA)) and climates (Aridity index (Ai)); ii) provide a reliable forecast of C sequestration by NT in a specific environment. The results from collected datasets showed that SOC ratio between NT and CT was higher in sloping than flat areas and was also in correlation with the Ai. The average annual increase of SOC in NT in comparison to CT was 0.32 Mg ha−1y−1 and 0.21 Mg ha−1y−1 for SA and FA, respectively. The regression of the relative ratio (RRNT/CT) against Ai both for FA and SA showed a high statistical significance for FA. For SA the lack of significance is due to no response of the dependent variables to Ai changes and to the prevalent effect that NT has on the soil C erosion processes. These results highlighted that in SA, the SOC sequestration by NT is overestimated. These results provide concrete examples of the importance to discriminate soil morphology and climate when recommending NT soil management for soil C sequestration in order to individuate areas where NT can maximize its potentiality as a mitigation tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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