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Soil carbon insures arable crop production against increasing adverse weather due to climate change

Droste, Nils and May, Wilhelm and Clough, Yann and Börjesson, Gunnar and Brady, Mark and Hedlund, Katarina (2020). Soil carbon insures arable crop production against increasing adverse weather due to climate change. Environmental Research Letters. 15 , 124034
[Research article]

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Abstract

Intensification of arable crop production degrades soil health and production potential through loss of soil organic carbon. This, potentially, reduces agriculture's resilience to climate change and thus food security. Furthermore, the expected increase in frequency of adverse and extreme weather events due to climate change are likely to affect crop yields differently, depending on when in the growing season they occur. We show that soil carbon provides farmers with a natural insurance against climate change through a gain in yield stability and more resilient production. To do this, we combined yield observations from 12 sites and 54 years of Swedish long-term agricultural experiments with historical weather data. To account for heterogenous climate effects, we partitioned the growing season into four representative phases for two major cereal crops. Thereby, we provide evidence that higher soil carbon increases yield gains from favourable conditions and reduces yield losses due to adverse weather events and how this occurs over different stages of the growing season. However, agricultural management practices that restore the soil carbon stock, thus contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, usually come at the cost of foregone yield for the farmer in the short term. To halt soil degradation and make arable crop production more resilient to climate change, we need agricultural policies that address the public benefits of soil conservation and restoration.

Authors/Creators:Droste, Nils and May, Wilhelm and Clough, Yann and Börjesson, Gunnar and Brady, Mark and Hedlund, Katarina
Title:Soil carbon insures arable crop production against increasing adverse weather due to climate change
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Research Letters
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:15
Article number:124034
Number of Pages:13
ISSN:1748-9326
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
Keywords:soil organic carbon, soil biodiversity, arable crop production, climate change, agricultural long-term experiments
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109151
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109151
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1088/1748-9326/abc5e3
Web of Science (WoS)000619795100001
ID Code:22705
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Mar 2021 12:43
Metadata Last Modified:05 Mar 2021 12:51

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