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IMPACT OF CONVERTING PASTURELAND INTO REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE ON SOIL ORGANIC MATTER QUALITY AND QUANTITY

Grant number: 23/11425-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino Cerri
Grantee:Beatriz Policarpo de Freitas
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The soil is crucial for regulating gas exchange in the atmosphere, especially the mitigation of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the primary greenhouse gases. Changes in land use and the intensification of production systems can lead to the loss of soil carbon (C). The use of conservation management practices contributes to increasing soil carbon content, which is essential for the development of sustainable agriculture. The present project aims to assess the impact of converting pasture areas (PA) into regenerative agriculture (AR) on the dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM). The work will be conducted in Sapezal - MT, Itirapina - SP, and Faxinal Guedes - SC. Soil samples will be collected at nine points for each land use, down to a depth of 1 meter. To quantify the levels of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in the soil under the effects of land use change, an elemental analyzer will be used to assess quantitative aspects of SOM. Furthermore, the physical fractionation of the total soil organic matter, using techniques that differentiate aggregation, composition, permanence, and function (e.g., MOAP and MOP), will allow for a more sensitive identification of changes in SOM under different land uses, management practices, durations, and understanding SOM dynamics. Ultimately, the data will be integrated to evaluate the effects of converting PA into AR and the different levels of production system intensification. This will quantify the impacts on SOM, carbon stocks, stabilization, and persistence in the soil, thereby enabling the identification of management practices with the potential to mitigate carbon in tropical and subtropical regions of Brazil, ensuring sustainable agricultural development.

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