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20 November 2020 Challenges and Potentials for Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration in Forage and Grazing Systems
Reshmi Sarkar, Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Charles Long, Anil Somenahally
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Forage and grazing (FG) systems can store a substantial amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) under appropriate land use management and reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Increasing SOC levels along with many interlinked ecosystem services are essential for increased productivity and sustainability of FG lands (FGLs). Although adoption of improved management practices (MPs) that support SOC sequestration (SOCq) is necessary, clear understandings of challenges and opportunities which are sometimes unique to individual FGLs, are also important for implementation of MPs. The objective of this forum paper is to explore the latest scientific knowledge on opportunities to address major challenges for increasing SOCq in FGLs. In intensively managed FGLs where the goal is often to maximize yields, lands are heavily fertilized and thus, usually drive towards SOC loss. Diversifications of both forage and grazing species along with strategic grazing plans have been proven as effective MPs for increasing SOCq. However, challenge of maintaining productivity levels still remains. Implementing improved grazing for nutrient cycling and integrating forage diversification for increased biodiversity are found to improve soil health attributes, which are critical for SOCq. However, to achieve this, we also need to consider site- and soil- specific factors. Extreme climatic events often lead to a decline in soil fertility status, SOCq and overall productivity of FGL systems. To address these challenges, uses of models to simulate the FGL systems and have definite choices of suitable MPs are helpful. However, we must be able to access a wide range of datasets to develop system-level adaption strategies that are effective in mitigating these adverse effects. Ultimately, participatory research with novel views and improved perceptions based on the value of SOCq and long-term benefits of the implementation of the best MPs and developing education and outreach materials to enrich the producers' knowledge gaps are helpful for climate-resilient FGL systems.

© 2020 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reshmi Sarkar, Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Charles Long, and Anil Somenahally "Challenges and Potentials for Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration in Forage and Grazing Systems," Rangeland Ecology and Management 73(6), 786-795, (20 November 2020).
Received: 21 October 2019; Accepted: 1 April 2020; Published: 20 November 2020

Best Management Practices
Challenges of forage-grazing ecosystem
Forage-grazing lands
simulation modeling
soil carbon sequestration
Soil-health improvement
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