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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Soil Carbon

Soil Carbon

Science, Management and Policy for Multiple Benefits

Edited by S A Banwart, The University of Sheffield, UK, E Noellemeyer, The National University of La Pampa, Argentina, E Milne, University of Leicester, UK and Colorado State University, USA

December 2014 / Hardback / 420 Pages / 9781780645322 £95.00 / €125.00 / $180.00
With 10% online discount: £85.50 / €112.50 / $162.00
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Main Description

This book brings together the essential evidence and policy opportunities regarding the global importance of soil carbon for sustaining Earth's life support system for humanity. Covering the science and policy background for this important natural resource, it describes land management options that improve soil carbon status and therefore increase the benefits that humans derive from the environment. Written by renowned global experts, it is the principal output from a SCOPE rapid assessment process project.

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  • I: Foreword
  • II: Acknowledgements
  • III: Executive Summary
  • Part I: Introduction, Overview and Integration
  • 1: The global challenge for soil carbon
  • 2: Soil carbon, a critical natural resource: Wide-scale goals, urgent actions
  • 3: Soil carbon transition curves: reversal of land degradation through management of soil organic matter for multiple benefits
  • 4: From potential to implementation: An innovation framework to realise the benefits of soil carbon
  • 5: A strategy for taking soil carbon into the policy arena
  • Part II: Soil Carbon in Earth’s Life Support System
  • 6: Soil formation
  • 7: Soil carbon dynamics and nutrient cycling
  • 8: Soil hydrology and reactive transport of carbon and nitrogen in a multi-scale landscape
  • Part III: The Multiple Benefits of Soil Carbon
  • 9: Climate change mitigation
  • 10: Soil carbon and agricultural productivity: Perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa
  • 11: Soil as a support of biodiversity and functions
  • 12: Water supply and quality
  • 13: Wind erosion of agricultural soils and the carbon cycle
  • 14: Historical and sociocultural aspects of soil organic matter and soil organic carbon benefits
  • 15: The economic value of soil carbon
  • Part IV: Quantification and Reporting of Soil Carbon
  • 16: Measuring and monitoring soil carbon
  • 17: Modelling soil carbon
  • 18: Valuation approaches for soil carbon
  • Part V: Influence of Human Activity on Soil Carbon
  • 19: Current soil carbon loss and land degradation globally: Where are the hotspots and why there?
  • 20: Climate change and soil carbon impacts
  • 21: Impacts of land-use change on carbon stocks and dynamics in central-southern South American biomes: Cerrado, Atlantic forest and southern grasslands.
  • Part VI: Managing Soil Carbon for Multiple Benefits
  • 22: Basic principles of soil carbon management for multiple ecosystem benefits
  • 23: Managing soil carbon for multiple ecosystems benefits: positive exemplars – Latin America
  • 24: Managing soil carbon for multiple benefits: positive exemplars - North America
  • 25: Managing soil carbon in Europe: paludicultures as a new perspective for peatlands
  • 26: Managing soil organic carbon for multiple benefits: The case of Africa
  • 27: Benefits of SOM in agro-ecosystems: A case of China
  • 28: Assessment of organic carbon status in Indian soils
  • Part VII: Governance of Soil Carbon
  • 29: Policy frameworks
  • 30: National implementation case study: China
  • 31: Avoided land degradation and enhanced soil C storage: Is there a role for carbon markets?
This book was published by CABI on World Soil Day, 5 December 2014,
ahead of the International Year of Soils.CABI is an international not-for-profit organisation that provides
information and scientific expertise to solve problems in farming and the environment.

This book tackles the key issue of soil carbon. It's an academic text of 31 chapters bringing together scientific evidence and policy opportunities regarding soil carbon and its role in sustaining Earth's life-support system. Starting with a look at the global challenges for soil carbon, the authors examine soil science and how the management of soil organic matter has the potential to reverse land degradation. There are several urgent short-term actions that need to be taken to achieve the long-term goals of climate change mitigation, improving farmland productivity and biodiversity, and improved local and global environments.
The vital aspect of managing soil carbon is considered in detail and there is a fascinating section looking at positive examples from around the world, including the peatlands of Europe, the savannah of Kenya, and studies of paddy field soils in India. The final section considers soil carbon governance.
It's a valuable reference book with all the latest evidence relating to soil carbon in one place and detailed references. An essential read for those involved in research and policy work relating to soil and the environment.