Soil Carbon in Agricultural Systems

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a key indicator of soil fertility and strongly influences hydrologic processes in agricultural systems. Yet its relationship with outcomes such as productivity and yield resilience has been poorly quantified. That is, we don’t know how changes in SOC relate to agricultural outcomes like crop production, crop nutritional value, and resilience to climate perturbations. Our lab explores SOC as a driver of agricultural productivity and resilience. Our work in this area includes manipulative greenhouse experimentation as well as large landscape level assessments using publicly available data. We are also working on developing an open access tool for rapid quantification of soil carbon in the field (www.quickcarbon.org). The goal of our research is to provide knowledge and capacity to effectively manage SOC in agricultural systems.

Relevant Publications
E. E. Oldfield, Wood, S. A., Palm, C. A., and Bradford, M. A., How much SOM is needed for sustainable agriculture?, FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol. 13, p. 527, 2015.