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  1. 1. Soil organic carbon, which makes up about 60% of the soil organic matter on average, has beneficial effects on many physical, chemical and biological functions of soil quality. It helps support the productivity and diversity of all living organisms in the soil. It influences water-holding capacity, aeration, soil aggregation, and other physical aspects. It affects cation exchange capacity, the supply and availability of other nutrient elements, buffering capacity and other chemical parameters of soil. Soil organic matter, with soil carbon, holds vast amounts of organic compounds, nutrients, trace elements, and cations that are essential to plant growth and biological activity.IT services
  2. 2. Soil organic carbon is also important for another reason: it serves as arepository for carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas The amount ofcarbon in the soil has been estimated to be at least two times greaterthan carbon in the atmosphere and in vegetation The problemsassociated with climate change might be alleviated if more carbonremains captured in the soil as organic carbon Plants get IT servicescarbon mainly by absorbing CO2 from the air and they use it with water tomanufacture organic material Eventually, carbon may comprise at least50% of plant structure
  3. 3. When plants and animals die, decomposition breaks down their organicmaterial and releases them into the soil Soil organic carbon is usuallydivided into different fractions, determined by the ease of decompositionCrop residues and the like are easily broken down and the organiccarbon is used in biological activity Particulate organic carbon breaksdown more slowly and plays a key role in soil structure; it also contributesto energy and nutrients needed in biological activity Humus decomposesmuch more slowly and is especially crucial in providing nutrient elements
  4. 4. Finally, there is the very stable fraction of recalcitrant organic carbon,usually charcoal, which resists further decomposition and serves as acarbon sink The manner in which land is used and managed affects thesoils ability to retain organic carbon Soil organic carbon is reduced byfarm management practices that raise the decomposition rate of soilorganic materials and/or reduce carbon inputs Such practices includefallowing, overgrazing, burning or removal of stubble, and excessivecultivation (tillage)
  5. 5. Essentially, these practices increase the rate of decomposition andexpose the soil to erosion — processes that release carbon dioxideinto the air instead of allowing carbon to be assimilated into other organiccompounds in the soil Soil organic carbon is increased by farmingpractices that increase carbon inputs and/or decrease losses of organicmaterial The practices involved include direct applications of livingorganisms (earthworms) or dead organic materials, animal manure,composts, reduced tillage and stubble retention for green manureTheoretically, any practice that raises crop yields will increase soil organiccarbon storage because there is greater absorption of atmosphericcarbon
  6. 6. Thus, practices like crop rotation, crop intensification through multiplecropping, and improved cultivars are useful, provided inorganic fertilisersare not used to boost yields Many farmers have found that adopting farmmanagement practices that increase soil organic carbon helps themachieve higher profitability and better sustainability The mitigating effectson climate change provide an added bonus
  7. 7. IT services