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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984

Abstract

LA SCALA JUNIOR, N.; DE FIGUEIREDO, EB.  and  PANOSSO, AR. A review on soil carbon accumulation due to the management change of major Brazilian agricultural activities. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.3, suppl., pp.775-785. ISSN 1519-6984.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842012000400012.

Agricultural areas deal with enormous CO2 intake fluxes offering an opportunity for greenhouse effect mitigation. In this work we studied the potential of soil carbon sequestration due to the management conversion in major agricultural activities in Brazil. Data from several studies indicate that in soybean/maize, and related rotation systems, a significant soil carbon sequestration was observed over the year of conversion from conventional to no-till practices, with a mean rate of 0.41 Mg C ha-1 year-1. The same effect was observed in sugarcane fields, but with a much higher accumulation of carbon in soil stocks, when sugarcane fields are converted from burned to mechanised based harvest, where large amounts of sugarcane residues remain on the soil surface (1.8 Mg C ha-1 year-1). The higher sequestration potential of sugarcane crops, when compared to the others, has a direct relation to the primary production of this crop. Nevertheless, much of this mitigation potential of soil carbon accumulation in sugarcane fields is lost once areas are reformed, or intensive tillage is applied. Pasture lands have shown soil carbon depletion once natural areas are converted to livestock use, while integration of those areas with agriculture use has shown an improvement in soil carbon stocks. Those works have shown that the main crop systems of Brazil have a huge mitigation potential, especially in soil carbon form, being an opportunity for future mitigation strategies.

Keywords : greenhouse gas; mitigation strategies; soil carbon stock; carbon dioxide; agriculture.

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