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Human impacts on soils: tipping points and knowledge gaps

Nikolaidis Nikolaos

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Extent4 pagesen
TitleHuman impacts on soils: tipping points and knowledge gapsen
CreatorNikolaidis Nikolaosen
CreatorΝικολαιδης Νικολαοςel
Content SummarySoil ecosystem functions are derived from plant, animal and microorganism communities and the non-living environment interacting as a unit. Human activities have effected soil ecosystem functions and in many cases caused soil ecosystem collapse. This review provides a synthesis of current knowledge of human impacts on soil ecosystems, with a special focus on knowledge gaps regarding soil ecosystem shifts and tipping points, using the island of Crete, Greece as an example. Soil ecosystem shifts are abrupt changes that occur at “tipping points” and have long-lasting effects on the landscape and both the biotic and abiotic structure of the soil. These shifts can occur due to climate change, land use change, fertilization, or above-ground biodiversity decline. The environmental pressures in the agricultural land of Crete, place the island very close to tipping points, and make it an “ideal” area for soil ecosystem shifts. Reversing the trend of the shift while using the soil ecosystem services, means that we need to add significantly more organic matter to the soil compared to the amount added under set-aside conditions. Potential nutrient supply and demand calculations indicate that fertilizer demand in Crete can be satisfied by recycling of bio-residue and livestock excreta produced on the island. Soil fertility improves faster if, in addition to bio-fertilization, farmers use traditional agricultural practices such as crop rotations and legume row plantings within olive trees and orchards. A renewed soil fertility paradigm shift requires a “holistic” management of biotic-soil-water resources in order to provide sufficient and of appropriate type organic matter to the plant-microorganism system to maximize food production.en
Type of ItemPeer-Reviewed Journal Publicationen
Type of ItemΔημοσίευση σε Περιοδικό με Κριτέςel
Date of Item2015-04-28-
Date of Publication2011-
SubjectSoil ecosystems shiftsen
SubjectEcosystem shift driversen
SubjectDegradation, Soilen
Subjectsoil degradationen
Subjectdegradation soilen
SubjectSoil fertility restorationen
Bibliographic CitationN. P. Nikolaidis, "Human impacts on soils: tipping points and knowledge gaps," Applied Geochemistry, vol. 26, Suppl., pp. S230-S233, Jun. 2011 doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.03.111.en

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