A Generalizable Framework for Spatially Explicit Exploration of Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration on Global Marginal Land

❔ What is the potential of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) sequestration on global marginal land?

🌱 Soil organic carbon sequestration transfers atmospheric CO2 into a land unit, through plants, plant residues and other organic solids stored as part of the soil organic matter. This can be achieved for example in farmland, by applying a series of good management practices, such as reducing tillage or growing cover crops.

🌍 A study by NEGEM partners Ariane Albers and Lorie Hamelin published in Scientific Reports – Nature, examines the potential of SOC sequestration on global marginal land featuring low SOC stocks, considering a set of biophysical (climatic, and edaphic) and land conservation constraints. It proposes a spatially explicit modelling framework to:
✔️ Identify suitable matches of target areas and plant species at global scale,
✔️ Quantify their potential contribution to long-term SOC sequestration between 2020 and 2100.

The study finds that:
📌 Despite its potentially low productivity, marginal land should be considered as an untapped resource for SOC sequestration, in addition to the management of SOC in agricultural and forest land.

🌾 A wide range of crops such as industrial hemp, neem, cup plant, maize, banana, sunn hemp and cotton, could contribute to SOC sequestration on marginal land in specific conditions and target areas.

📈 The best-case combinations of crops per target areas showed a net SOC stock potential increase ranging between 2.57 and 158.04 tons per hectare by 2100 (or 0.03–1.98 tons/ha/year).

Full article https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-14759-w

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