The carbon sequestration dilemma in rice soils | MED-Amin network |

By Pauline Chivenge and Bjoern Ole Sander (Rice Today), 10/12/2018.

Is it possible to sequester carbon in rice soils while reducing greenhouse gas emissions? What are the trade-offs and synergies between soil organic carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions?

Soil organic carbon is an important component of the global carbon cycle as it constitutes the largest pool of terrestrial carbon, which is approximately two and three times that in the atmosphere and vegetation, respectively. Intensive cropping systems are typically depleted of soil organic carbon, containing 25-75% of that in natural ecosystems. Hence, there is vast potential and need to increase storage, i.e., the sequestration of carbon, in these systems through the implementation of best-fit management practices depending on local conditions.

The sequestration of carbon in soils is generally considered a win-win situation because it mitigates greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Additionally, soil organic carbon is a measure of soil quality and gives an indication of sustainability in cropping systems. Soil organic carbon is a major component of soil organic matter, which is important for the supply of plant nutrients.