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Biogeochemical constraints on climate change mitigation through regenerative farming

Abstract

This review suggests that most of the management practices associated with regenerative agriculture are not likely to lead to a large net sequestration of organic carbon in soils. Some improved management practices, such as increased fertilizer use, manuring, and applications of biochar, are constrained by biogeochemical stoichiometry and the availability of organic inputs. Other management practices, such as fertilizer applications, irrigation, and applications of ground silicate minerals, entail ancillary and off-site emissions of carbon dioxide that reduce the net sequestration of carbon in soils. Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, even with best management practices, is only likely to offer a small net storage of carbon that can be marketed as a credit to emissions from other sectors of the economy.

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Correspondence to William H. Schlesinger.

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Schlesinger, W.H. Biogeochemical constraints on climate change mitigation through regenerative farming. Biogeochemistry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-022-00942-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-022-00942-8

Keywords

  • Biochar
  • Carbon credits
  • Carbon sequestration
  • CO2 fertilization
  • Cover cropping
  • Enhanced weathering
  • Fertilizer
  • Irrigation
  • Manuring
  • No-till
  • Soil warming