Soils and sustainable agriculture. A review
- 1k Downloads
Enhancing food production and supporting civil/engineering structures have been the principal foci of soil science research during most of the 19th and the first seven or eight decades of the 20th century. Demands on soil resources during the 21st century and beyond include: (i) increasing agronomic production to meet the food needs of additional 3.5 billion people that will reside in developing countries along with likely shift in food habits from plant-based to animal-based diet, (ii) producing ligno-cellulosic biomass through establishment of energy plantations on agriculturally surplus/marginal soils or other specifically identified lands, (iii) converting degraded/desertified soils to restorative land use for enhancing biodiversity and improving the environment, (iv) sequestering carbon in terrestrial (soil and trees) and aquatic ecosystems to off-set industrial emissions and stabilize the atmospheric abundance of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, (v) developing farming/cropping systems which improve water use efficiency and minimize risks of water pollution, contamination and eutrophication, and (vi) creating reserves for species preservation, recreation and enhancing aesthetic value of soil resources. Realization of these multifarious soil functions necessitate establishment of inter-disciplinary approach with close linkages between soil scientists and chemists, physicists, geologists, hydrologists, climatologists, biologists, system engineers (nano technologists), computer scientists and information technologists, economists, social scientists and molecular geneticists dealing with human, animal and microbial processes. While advancing the study of basic principles and processes, soil scientists must also reach out to other disciplines to address the global issues of the 21st century and beyond.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Breslau K. (2006) It can pay to be green, clean air means profits at the climate exchange, Newsweek, 22 May 2006, 45.Google Scholar
- Cassman K., Eidman V., Simpson E. (2006) Convergence of agriculture and energy, CAST Commentary QTA 2006-3, CAST, DeMoines, IA, 12 p.Google Scholar
- Clay J. (2004) World Agriculture and The Environment: A Commodity by Commodity Guide to Impacts and Practices, Island Press, Washington, DC, 570 p.Google Scholar
- Kondratyev K.Y., Krapivin V.F., Varotsos C.A. (2003) Global carbon cycle and climate change, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 388 p.Google Scholar
- Oldeman L.R. (1994) The global extent of soil degradation, in: Greenland D.J., Szabolcs I. (Eds.), Soil Resilience and Sustainable Land Use, CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 99–118.Google Scholar
- USEPA (2006) Municipal solid waste (online). Available at www.epa.gov/ epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/facts.htm. USEPA, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Weisz P.B. (2004) Bad choices and constraints on long-term energy supplies, Physics Today, July 2004, 47–52.Google Scholar