Monday, January 21, 2008

The Benefits of Soil Carbon

Soil carbon improves the fertility and health of soil which is the source of life.

Soil carbon:
• increases soil’s ability to transfer nutrients to plants, for greater productivity which can improve farmersincomes.
• increases soil’s water-holding capacity, holding the water until it can be used by the plants rather than letting it run off into waterways.
• increases soil stability which means greater resistance to erosion, which in turn means cleaner waterways.
• reduces recharge to groundwater and can reduce or eliminate salination
• has a direct relationship with biodiversity: soil organic matterc ontributes to the health of soil microbial "wildlife" and micro-flora which are the very start of the food chain.

Greater diversity at this level translates into greater diversity above and below the ground.
Carbon is a major component of soil and catchment health. (Footnote 5)


5. Reed, D. Economic and Societal Benefits of Soil Carbon Management: Policy Implications and Recommendations, Soil Carbon Management, Kimble, et. Al. CRC Press, 2007

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