Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of long-term experiments for Europe and China
ISRIC – World Soil Information, carried out a review of long-term experiments for Europe and China to assess effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality. This work was done in the framework of the EU-China funded project iSQAPER. Some highlights of this research are: 1) yields were lower under no tillage and organic agriculture as compared to conventional practice, but these practices had environmental benefits, 2) soil organic matter increased under no-tillage, and as a result of organic matter addition, crop rotation and organic farming, 3) the number of earthworms was the most sensitive indicator for the paired practices, 4) whereas soil pH appears to be the least sensitive indicator. The study was based on data of 30 long-term experiments collected from 13 iSQAPER case study sites in Europe and China, complemented with data from 42 long-term experiments across China and more than 300 observations of long-term trials published in the literature. Additonal details are provided in the paper.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union under Horizon-2020 Programme grant agreement No. 635750 (iSQAPER project, http://www.isqaper-project.eu/), the Ministry of Sciences and Technology, P.R. of China (Agreement No. 2016YFE011270), and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI. The work would not have been possible without the close collaboration between research organisations across Europe and China, willing to share data from a wide range of agricultural long-term experiments.
Bai Z, Caspari T, Gonzalez MR, Batjes NH, Mäder P, Bünemann EK, de Goede R, Brussaard L, Xu M, Ferreira CSS, Reintam E, Fan H, Mihelič R, Glavan M and Tóth Z 2018. Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of long-term experiments for Europe and China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 265, 1-7.