Legumes for Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling: An Organic Approach

  • Sandeep Kumar
  • Ram Swaroop MeenaEmail author
  • Rahul Datta
  • Sunil Kumar Verma
  • Gulab Singh Yadav
  • Gourisankar Pradhan
  • Ali Molaei
  • G. K. M. Mustafizur Rahman
  • H. A. Mashuk


Food security, land degradation, eliminating the threats of climate change, soil sustainability, and crop productivity are the critical challenges in the coming years. Therefore, the sustainability of the agricultural production system is becoming a central component in enhancing food security and environmental sustainability. Legume crops could play a significant role in this perspective by carrying out numerous services in keeping with principles of sustainability. Incorporating legume crops into crop rotation is essential for implementing and integrating the conservation and improvement of soil health, quality, and fertility with diverse aspects of crop and livestock production into the natural farming systems. The source of nutrition to subsequent crops to maintain a continuous nitrogen (N) supply chain greatly varies with regard to the inclusion of legumes in the cropping system. The crop rotation, including pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), improved the total N content in the uppermost soil strata by around 100 μg g−1 soils, in comparison with 25 μg g−1 soils in cropping systems without inclusion of grain legume in the crop rotation. Carefully planned diverse crop rotations diminish the prevalence of insect pests, pathogens, diseases, and weeds. This potential for reducing the attacks by insect pests, diseases, weeds, that positively shape the soil fertility, as a result were reported to boost successive cereal production by 15% to 25%. By means of the complex interactions among the various crop production inputs, the conservation and improvement of soil fertility in crop rotation depends on the long-term integrated approach, in spite of conventional agriculture.


Crop productivity Crop rotation Legumes Nitrogen fixation Organic agriculture Soil fertility 



Biological nitrogen fixations




Carbon dioxide


Greenhouse gases


Intergovernmental panel on climate change








Soil organic carbon


Soil organic matter


United Nations


Water use efficiency


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandeep Kumar
    • 1
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rahul Datta
    • 3
  • Sunil Kumar Verma
    • 2
  • Gulab Singh Yadav
    • 4
  • Gourisankar Pradhan
    • 2
  • Ali Molaei
    • 5
  • G. K. M. Mustafizur Rahman
    • 6
  • H. A. Mashuk
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyInstitute of Agricultural Sciences (BHU)VaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Geology and PedologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Division of Crop ProductionICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionLembucherraIndia
  5. 5.Department of Soil Science, Faculty of AgricultureFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  6. 6.Department of Soil ScienceBangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU)GazipurBangladesh

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