The mulching of agricultural soils has been identified as a viable solution to sequester carbon into the soil, increase soil health, and fight desertification. This is why it is a promising solution for carbon farming in Mediterranean areas. Models are used to project the effects of agricultural practices on soil organic carbon in the future for various soil and climatic conditions, and to help policy makers and farmers assess the best way to implement carbon farming strategies. Here, we modified the widely used RothC model to include mulching practices and their direct and indirect effects on soil organic matter input, soil temperature changes, and soil hydraulic balance. We then calibrated and tested our modified RothC (RothC_MM) using the dataset collected in two field mulching experiments, and we used the tested RothC_MM to estimate the expected soil carbon sequestration due to mulching by the year 2050 for the Valencian Community (Spain). Our results show that RothC_MM improved the fit with the experimental data with respect to basic RothC; RothC_MM was able to model the effects of mulch on soil temperature and soil water content and to predict soil organic carbon (SOC) and CO2 observations taken in the field.

A Modified Version of RothC to Model the Direct and Indirect Effects of Rice Straw Mulching on Soil Carbon Dynamics, Calibrated in Two Valencian Citrus Orchards

Pesce, Simone
Methodology
;
Balugani, Enrico
Conceptualization
;
Marazza, Diego
Supervision
;
2024

Abstract

The mulching of agricultural soils has been identified as a viable solution to sequester carbon into the soil, increase soil health, and fight desertification. This is why it is a promising solution for carbon farming in Mediterranean areas. Models are used to project the effects of agricultural practices on soil organic carbon in the future for various soil and climatic conditions, and to help policy makers and farmers assess the best way to implement carbon farming strategies. Here, we modified the widely used RothC model to include mulching practices and their direct and indirect effects on soil organic matter input, soil temperature changes, and soil hydraulic balance. We then calibrated and tested our modified RothC (RothC_MM) using the dataset collected in two field mulching experiments, and we used the tested RothC_MM to estimate the expected soil carbon sequestration due to mulching by the year 2050 for the Valencian Community (Spain). Our results show that RothC_MM improved the fit with the experimental data with respect to basic RothC; RothC_MM was able to model the effects of mulch on soil temperature and soil water content and to predict soil organic carbon (SOC) and CO2 observations taken in the field.
2024
Pesce, Simone; Balugani, Enrico; De Paz, José Miguel; Marazza, Diego; Visconti, Fernando
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/960876
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