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Impact of historical land use and soil management change on soil erosion and agricultural sustainability during the Anthropocene

AuthorsVanwalleghem, Tom ; Gómez Calero, José Alfonso ; Infante Amate, Juan; González de Molina, Manuel; Vanderlinden, Karl; Guzmán, Gema ; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente
KeywordsAgricultural sustainability
Soil erosion
Land use change
Soil management
Issue DateMar-2017
CitationAnthropocene 17: 13-29 (2017)
AbstractSince prehistoric times, farmers have faced the challenge of balancing the demand for increasing food production from existing soil resources with conservation of these resources. Land use change from natural vegetation to agricultural land and intensification of agricultural soil management are closely linked to increased rates of soil erosion. This review analyzed and quantified the effects of changes in past land use and agricultural soil management on soil erosion. At a global scale, the period of the first significant land use change closely corresponds to a first wave of soil erosion. Equally important, however, are changes in past soil management. As shown by numerous case studies, changes in management under the same land use can convert sustainable agroecosystems into highly degraded systems. As soil erosion rates, soil profile truncation, agricultural yield, and biomass production are closely related, considering the interactions and feedback effects is important when modelling this system. This paper shows how modelling the dynamics of past soil erosion and agricultural sustainability raises similar challenges to those of quantifying future changes in climate or agricultural systems.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2017.01.002
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
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