The intensive land use invariably has several negative effects on the environment and crop production if conservative practices are not adopted. Reduction in soil organic matter (SOM) quantity means gas emission (mainly CO2, CH4, N2O) to the atmosphere and increased global warming. Soil sustainability is also affected, since remaining SOM quality changes. Alterations can be verified, for example, by soil desegregation and changes in structure. The consequences are erosion, reduction in nutrient availability for the plants and lower water retention capacity. These and other factors reflect negatively on crop productivity and sustainability of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Conversely, adoption of "best management practices", such as conservation tillage, can partly reverse the process - they are aimed at increasing the input of organic matter to the soil and/or decreasing the rates at which soil organic matter decomposes.
Brazil; climate change; greenhouse effect; soil organic matter; management practices