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Integration of Sustainable Agriculture Approaches for Food Security under Climate Change II

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 44122

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Instituto de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad Valenciana, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: climate change; plant stress; crop wild relatives; crop modelling; agronomy; genomics; priming; rationing; salinity; transgenics; stability analysis; growth regulators

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent studies having established that climate change has a significantly adverse effect on food security. Moreover, the impact of climate change is becoming prominent in our daily lives. Similarly, climate change—being a significant constraint to a balanced environment and food security—and crop production influence each other, leading virtually all researchers to search for superior adaptation strategies for plant life under this problem. Nevertheless, crop production methods and technologies are available for combating the effects of climate change. Modern techniques and tools, such as the use of wild species, new agronomical practices, genomic tools, genetic engineering and the use of growth regulators, are some strategies used to combat the effects of climate change on crop production. With the advancement of these approaches, it has become easier to uncover methods for specific crops and the stresses hampering their production. Moreover, there are several approaches targeted for regions and, sometimes, there is a need to incorporate several strategies to achieve targets. In this Special Issue, prominent researchers are invited to communicate their original research and review articles exploring the “Integration of Sustainable Agriculture Approaches for Food Security under Climate Change”. The Special Issue critically follows the policies of Sustainability, concerning the submission, publication, review process, etc. We kindly ask that you review these before attempting a submission.

Dr. Prashant Kaushik
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • agriculture
  • agronomical amendments
  • biological control
  • climate change and agriculture
  • crop modelling
  • genomics
  • mycorrhiza
  • organic farming
  • plant growth regulators
  • plant stresses
  • seed priming
  • stability analysis
  • stress tolerance
  • wild species

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2345 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems under Conservation Agriculture Practices: Impact on Yield, Productivity and Profitability of Wheat
by Arun Kumar, Kulvir Singh Saini, Hemant Dasila, Rakesh Kumar, Kavita Devi, Yashpal Singh Bisht, Manish Yadav, Shivani Kothiyal, Aaradhana Chilwal, Damini Maithani and Prashant Kaushik
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097468 - 01 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
The continuous rice–wheat cropping system in South Asia has caused irreversible environmental damage, raising concerns about the long-term sustainability of the region’s agricultural systems. To address this issue, farm experiments were conducted for two successive years (2019–20 and 2020–21) to assess the impact [...] Read more.
The continuous rice–wheat cropping system in South Asia has caused irreversible environmental damage, raising concerns about the long-term sustainability of the region’s agricultural systems. To address this issue, farm experiments were conducted for two successive years (2019–20 and 2020–21) to assess the impact of different cropping systems under conservation agriculture (CA) practices on the yield, productivity, and profitability of wheat. Results showed that the highest grain yield of wheat was observed in scenarios Sc6, Sc4, and Sc2, which involved full CA permanent-bed soybean (PB)–permanent-bed wheat (PB)–permanent-bed summer moong (PB), full CA permanent-bed maize (PB)–permanent-bed wheat (PB)–permanent-bed summer moong (PB), and partial CA puddled transplanted rice–Happy Seeder wheat–zero-till summer moong (ZT). Additionally, the highest irrigation water productivity (IWP), wheat grain macronutrient uptake, net return, and benefit–cost ratio (B:C ratio) were recorded under Sc6, full CA permanent-bed soybean (PB)–permanent-bed wheat (PB)–permanent-bed summer moong (PB) compared to farmers’ practice puddled transplanted rice (PTR)–conventional-till wheat–summer moong (Sc1) during both years. The system productivity also increased in scenarios Sc2, Sc4, and Sc6 (by 9.72%, 9.65%, and 14.14% in the first year and 10.68%, 14.14%, and 15.55% in the second year) compared to Sc1—farmers’ practice puddled transplanted rice (PTR)–conventional-till wheat–summer moong, Sc3—farmers’ practice fresh-bed maize (FB)–conventional-till wheat–summer moong, and Sc5–farmers’ practice fresh-bed soybean (FB)–conventional-till wheat (CT)–summer moong. The findings suggest that the conservation agriculture soybean–wheat–summer moong (Sc6) on permanent-bed cropping systems with inclusion legumes can be a potential option to enhance yield attributes, productivity, and profitability, as well as the sustainability of natural resources in the region while decreasing environmental footprints. Full article
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27 pages, 4405 KiB  
Article
Soil Heavy Metal Absorption Potential of Azolla pinnata and Lemna gibba with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Farming
by Bimal Manuranga Herath, Chaturanga Bamunuarachchige, Steven L. Stephenson, Abdallah M. Elgorban, Suhail Asad, Jaturong Kumla, Nakarin Suwannarach, Samantha C. Karunarathna and Pinnaduwage Neelamanie Yapa
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054320 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
This study assessed the potential uptake of soil-contaminated heavy metals by Azolla pinnata and Lemna gibba in combination with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in traditional and improved rice varieties. Total levels of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As) [...] Read more.
This study assessed the potential uptake of soil-contaminated heavy metals by Azolla pinnata and Lemna gibba in combination with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in traditional and improved rice varieties. Total levels of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As) in soil, rice roots, shoots, grains, A. pinnata, and L. gibba were estimated using ICP-MS. The percentage colonization in AMF-inoculated and AMF-uninoculated rice varied from 1.13–30.67% and 1.33–5.42%, respectively. These findings suggested that AMF provide protection to rice plants against the combined toxicity of Cd, As, Pb, and Hg in rice field soil. The combined interaction of AMF, organic fertilizer, and A. pinnata decreased heavy metal accumulation in rice roots, shoots, and grains in both tested varieties. The intake and subsequent accumulation of Cd, As, Pb, and Hg in the rice grains differed significantly (p < 0.05) between the two rice varieties. Furthermore, it was revealed that the AMF-inoculated rice plants reduced the translocation of heavy metals from root to shoot. Therefore, it can be concluded that heavy metal absorption and accumulation in rice can be reduced by the application of AMF, organic fertilizer, and A. pinnata together in rice farming. Full article
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15 pages, 1028 KiB  
Article
A Field Evaluation of Sodium Silicate and Bacillus subtilis on the Growth and Yield of Bananas following Fusarium Wilt Disease Infection
by Md Aiman Takrim Zakaria, Siti Zaharah Sakimin, Mohd Razi Ismail, Khairulmazmi Ahmad and Susilawati Kasim
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3141; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043141 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
A field investigation was conducted in a Fusarium-infected area to evaluate the effectiveness of silicate compounds with antagonist bacteria on morpho-physiological growth performance in bananas. The roots of banana plants were treated by drenching the soil with four different treatments: control (without [...] Read more.
A field investigation was conducted in a Fusarium-infected area to evaluate the effectiveness of silicate compounds with antagonist bacteria on morpho-physiological growth performance in bananas. The roots of banana plants were treated by drenching the soil with four different treatments: control (without any treatment), CBZ (Carbendazim fungicide alone), SS + BS (integration sodium silicate with Bacillus subtilis), and CBZ + SS + BS (integration CBZ, SS, and BS). All treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The results confirm that plant height, pseudo-stem diameter, and canopy diameter markedly increased from weeks 2 to 10 after transplantation. Amendment with these elements induced a higher total chlorophyll content, which contributed to the increased rate of leaf gas exchange and biochemical changes for controlling Fusarium wilt disease infection. From these findings, the CBZ + SS + BS application in the farm had significantly reduced disease incidence by 16.07% and disease severity by 14.28%. The same treatment achieved the greatest disease reduction by 63.05%. Therefore, the integration between CBZ + SS + BS had good significant effects in controlling Fusarium wilt disease and enhanced the morpho-physiological growth performance with an average yield production of about 24.72 kg per fruit bunch. Full article
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22 pages, 5895 KiB  
Article
Land- and Water-Based Adaptive Farming Practices to Cope with Waterlogging in Variably Elevated Homesteads
by Md. Moshiur Rahman, Tapan Kumar Chakraborty, Abdullah Al Mamun and Victor Kiaya
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032087 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Waterlogging is a major problem in the south-western region of Bangladesh; this study was conducted in the eight most affected areas in order to enhance agricultural production by applying Land- and Water-based adaptive and alternative Farming Practices (LWFP). The study was designed to [...] Read more.
Waterlogging is a major problem in the south-western region of Bangladesh; this study was conducted in the eight most affected areas in order to enhance agricultural production by applying Land- and Water-based adaptive and alternative Farming Practices (LWFP). The study was designed to support target (research) farmers by raising one part of their homestead to use for living and agricultural farming, with the other part excavated to store rainwater and use for aquaculture. The study selected two groups of control farmers: those with ponds and those without. The study was conducted in two phases (i.e., phase 1—pilot phase and phase 2—extended phase), with each year divided into three cropping seasons: summer, rainy, and winter. The study found that the research farmers’ income was significantly higher from vegetables (both pilot and extended phases: p < 0.001), dike crops (both pilot and extended phases: p < 0.001), fish (both pilot and extended phases: p < 0.001), livestock (pilot phase: p < 0.01 and extended phase: p < 0.001), and poultry (pilot phase: p < 0.05 and extended phase: p < 0.001) compared to the control farmers. Moreover, the research supported the empowerment of women, which was not found in the control farms. Overall, the research program was embraced by the local communities as a very successful model. Furthermore, the study showed how waterlogging marginally affects very poor people, and that they can cope with this severe problem by adopting various farming practices. Therefore, the application of this research approach is suggested for similarly affected areas. Full article
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13 pages, 2366 KiB  
Article
Foliar Application of Gibberellin Alleviates Adverse Impacts of Drought Stress and Improves Growth, Physiological and Biochemical Attributes of Canola (Brassica napus L.)
by Nosheen Noor Elahi, Sadia Raza, Muhammad Shahid Rizwan, Bedur Faleh A. Albalawi, Muhammad Zubair Ishaq, Hafiz Munir Ahmed, Sajid Mehmood, Muhammad Imtiaz, Umer Farooq, Muhammad Rashid and Allah Ditta
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010078 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2052
Abstract
Under the current climate change scenario, water stress is one of the key factors that reduce the production of crops. Gibberellic acid (GA3) is an efficient endogenous plant hormone that shows a vital role in plant growth and development. Production of [...] Read more.
Under the current climate change scenario, water stress is one of the key factors that reduce the production of crops. Gibberellic acid (GA3) is an efficient endogenous plant hormone that shows a vital role in plant growth and development. Production of canola (Brassica napus L.) and its oil contents are severely affected under drought stress. The present study was conducted to investigate the potential of GA3 in alleviating drought stress in canola. Three levels of GA3 (G0 = 0 mg L−1, G1 = 100 mg L−1, and G2 = 150 mg L−1) as foliar applications were applied under two drought-stress conditions (D1 for three days of drought stress and D2 for six days of drought stress) on two canola varieties (Punjab canola and Faisal canola). Irrigation was applied after 3 weeks of germination, while foliar application of GA3 was done at intervals of 4 and 5 weeks after germination. When comparing the output of all the GA3 treatments, it was noticed that in G0 = 0 mg L−1 (control plants), water-stress conditions markedly reduced plant production and seed oil contents but increased protein and linoleic acid. With the application of G2 = 150 mg L−1, the maximum values of plant height (90.83 cm), no. of siliqua plant−1 (15.50), seed siliqua−1 (15.55), siliqua length (5.08 cm), relative water contents (77.60%), yield plant−1 (0.46 g), chlorophyll a (0.62), carotenoid contents (39.52), and oleic acid contents (60.20) were recorded under drought stress. Based on these results, it is concluded that the adverse effect of drought stress on different yield parameters of canola could be ameliorated by the exogenous application of GA3 through foliar application at a dose of 150 mg L–1. Moreover, the same treatment improves the quality parameters, i.e., the oleic acid contents of the oil, obtained from the canola. Full article
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15 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Salinity Stress and the Influence of Bioinoculants on the Morphological and Biochemical Characteristics of Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.)
by Anand Kumar, Alpa Yadav, Parmdeep Singh Dhanda, Anil Kumar Delta, Meenakshi Sharma and Prashant Kaushik
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14656; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114656 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is an economically important crop cultivated globally for fulfilling human requirements. However, the productivity of the faba bean has declined due to poor management of soil, particularly under salt stress. Salt stress is a major constraint to [...] Read more.
Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is an economically important crop cultivated globally for fulfilling human requirements. However, the productivity of the faba bean has declined due to poor management of soil, particularly under salt stress. Salt stress is a major constraint to crop productivity worldwide. Therefore, the objective of the present investigation is to check the behavior of faba bean genotypes on the basis of morphological and biochemical traits in response to salinity. In this study, we studied seven different treatments (including control) applied to faba bean under salt stress. Bioinoculants such as Trichoderma viride, Pseudomonas flourescens, Glomus mosseae, and Gigaspora gigantean, each separately and in combination, were tested for their efficacy under salinity stress. Data recorded on days to flowering (48.92 ± 1.15), days to maturity (144.56 ± 1.95), plant height (141.93 ± 4.81 cm), number of branches per plant (4.87 ± 0.09), number of clusters per plant (18.88 ± 0.24), number of pods per plant (48.33 ± 1.06), pod length (5.31 ± 0.02 cm), catalase (222.10 ± 2.76 mg), hydrogen peroxide (24 ± 4.58 mol/g), malondialdehyde (45 ± 1.00 mol/g), electrolyte leakage (54.67 ± 5.03), chlorophyll (51.67 ± 3.06 mg/g), proline content (2.96 ± 0.12 mg/g), and on other parameters indicated the combined inoculation of all the species (consortium) was taken to be highly effective even under salt stress. Overall, the consortium treatment comprising all of the bioinoculants was observed to be the most efficient treatment in improving all the morphological and biochemical traits of faba bean under salt stress. Although, other treatments also demonstrated considerable effects on faba bean as compared to one without bioinoculants under salt stress. Full article
15 pages, 1763 KiB  
Article
Foliar Application of Salicylic Acid Improved Growth, Yield, Quality and Photosynthesis of Pea (Pisum sativum L.) by Improving Antioxidant Defense Mechanism under Saline Conditions
by Safina Naz, Ahmer Bilal, Bushra Saddiq, Shaghef Ejaz, Sajid Ali, Sakeena Tul Ain Haider, Hasan Sardar, Bushra Nasir, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Rahul Kumar Tiwari, Milan Kumar Lal, Awais Shakoor, Mohammed Naseer Alyemeni, Naveed Mushtaq and Muhammad Ahsan Altaf
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114180 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Pea is an important legume crop because of its higher bioactive compounds, and its seeds are famous as functional foods. However, the yield of pea is still limited because of multiple biotic and abiotic stresses which prevailed during the growth period. Saline conditions [...] Read more.
Pea is an important legume crop because of its higher bioactive compounds, and its seeds are famous as functional foods. However, the yield of pea is still limited because of multiple biotic and abiotic stresses which prevailed during the growth period. Saline conditions significantly hamper pea growth, yield, and quality among abiotic stresses. Salicylic acid is effective for the activation of oxidative, non-oxidative, osmolytes, and metabolites. Hence, the present study was conducted at exogenous application of salicylic acid (control, 1 µM, 2 µM, and 3 µM) to mitigate the adverse effects of salt stress (control, 25 mM, 50 mM, and 100 mM NaCl) in pea plants grown in the year 2019–2020. The aim of the present study was to evaluate pea performance under saline conditions by salicylic acid sprays. Pea growth and yield were significantly decreased at 100 mM NaCl compared with the control and other salinity levels. Moreover, the growth and yield of pea were improved under exogenous application of salicylic acid treatment at 3 µM than others. Quality traits, i.e., carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and phenolic content, were decreased at 100 mM NaCl, and these quality traits were significantly improved under salicylic acid treatment of 3 µM. Chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance were reduced at 100 mM NaCl. In contrast, photosynthetic pigments, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance were enhanced at 3 µM salicylic acid. The increases in SOD, CAT, POD, and APX were observed at 100 mM NaCl and 3 µM salicylic acid. The current study proved that exogenous application of salicylic acid concentrations had the potential to mitigate the salinity’s adverse effects by maintaining the physiological and metabolic activities of pea plants. Full article
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15 pages, 2968 KiB  
Article
Differential Physiological Traits, Ion Homeostasis and Cane Yield of Sub-Tropical Sugarcane Varieties in Response to Long-Term Salinity Stress
by Pooja Dhansu, Ravinder Kumar, Ashwani Kumar, Krishnapriya Vengavasi, Arun K. Raja, Srinivasavedantham Vasantha, Mintu Ram Meena, Neeraj Kulshreshtha and Shashi K. Pandey
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013246 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1161
Abstract
Sugarcane grown under a wide range of agro-climatic conditions accounts for ~80% of the sugar production worldwide. Since sugarcane productivity is severely affected by abiotic stresses and hence, an experiment was conducted for two consecutive years during 2020 and 2021 on popular sub-tropical [...] Read more.
Sugarcane grown under a wide range of agro-climatic conditions accounts for ~80% of the sugar production worldwide. Since sugarcane productivity is severely affected by abiotic stresses and hence, an experiment was conducted for two consecutive years during 2020 and 2021 on popular sub-tropical sugarcane varieties. The experiment was laid out in two-factorial RBD consisting of nine sugarcane genotypes (Co 98014, Co 0118, Co 0238, Co 05011, Co 06034, Co 09022, Co 12029, Co 15023 and Co 15027) and salinity treatments (Control, ECiw ~ 4, 8 and 12 dS m−1) in 5 replications. Two budded setts were planted in pots and irrigated with saline water of respective levels till formative phase and observed the build-up in electrical conductivity of soil extract (ECse) from 0.48 (control) to 2.99, 4.81 and 7.08; while further saline irrigation increased the ECse values to 4.48, 6.24 and 9.33 dS m−1 in treatments ECiw ~ 4, 8 and 12 dS m−1, respectively. Increase in soil EC decreased plant survival by 24.1, 47.0 and 79.6% under continued irrigation of ECiw ~ 4, 8, 12 dS m−1 with respect to control. Continued saline irrigation caused significant reduction in growth, which was associated with reduction in relative water content (RWC) and gas exchange traits. RWC decreased by 4.91 to 21.9%, chlorophyll content by 8.46 to 32.75%, photosynthetic rate (Pn) by 16.85 to 91.44%, stomatal conductance by 14.96 to 84.25%, transpiration rate by 14.13% to 89.8% and chlorophyll fluorescence by 5.33 to 42.67% from ECiw ~ 4 to 12 dS m−1, respectively. Significant variations in Na+ and K+ ion content was observed under elevated saline condition in roots, leaves and juice extract of genotypes. Na+/K+ ratio, an important trait for screening salinity tolerance, increased in all genotypes as compared to control, the increase was predominant in susceptible varieties. Single cane weight (SCW) was drastically affected by saline irrigation, with a reduction of 36.4, 68.5 and 83.5% at ECiw ~ 4, 8 and 12 dS m−1, respectively as compared to control, with similar declining trend in juice quality. Based on our results, Co 0238, Co 0118 and Co 98014 were tolerant to salinity stress by maintaining higher Pn, lower leaf Na+/K+ ratio, higher SCW and higher juice sucrose content. Full article
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12 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Application of Trichoderma viride and Pseudomonas fluorescens to Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) Improves Both Its Seedling Quality and Field Performance
by Shilpa Vij, Neha Sharma, Meenakshi Sharma, Tapan Kumar Mohanta and Prashant Kaushik
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7583; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137583 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3003
Abstract
Inoculating cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) plants with bio-control agents and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can considerably improve seedling quality, growth, yield, and yield-related parameters over time. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the bio-fertilizer efficiency of a bio-control agent (Trichoderma viride [...] Read more.
Inoculating cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) plants with bio-control agents and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can considerably improve seedling quality, growth, yield, and yield-related parameters over time. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the bio-fertilizer efficiency of a bio-control agent (Trichoderma viride) alone or in combination with PGPR (Pseudomonas fluorescens). Accordingly, various seedling quality and yield parameters were studied, and the results suggested that all the co-inoculation treatments displayed beneficial effects. Still, the combination of Trichoderma viride and Pseudomonas fluorescens showed the maximum increment in all the parameters considered, i.e., seedling emergence, seedling height, stem diameter, leaf area, root length, seedling vigour index, seedling fresh weight, seedling dry weight, total chlorophyll content, plant height at 30 DAT, plant height at 60 DAT, leaf numbers, leaf area index, root length, root dry weight, number of non-wrapping leaves, number of wrapping leaves, head weight, head diameter, and head yield. The findings appear to offer a viable bio-control technique for crop protection as bio-fertilizers bundled in a single formulation. Full article
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13 pages, 15152 KiB  
Article
Root System Architecture and Symbiotic Parameters of Summer Mung Bean (Vigna Radiata) under Different Conservation Agriculture Practices
by Arun Kumar, Kulvir Singh Saini, Lalit Kumar Rolaniya, Love Kumar Singh and Prashant Kaushik
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3901; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073901 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2459
Abstract
Root system architecture plays a vital role in plant growth, development, and adaptation by absorbing water and nutrients and providing mechanical support for growing plants. Unfortunately, little information is available in the literature on the root dynamics of summer mung bean under conservation [...] Read more.
Root system architecture plays a vital role in plant growth, development, and adaptation by absorbing water and nutrients and providing mechanical support for growing plants. Unfortunately, little information is available in the literature on the root dynamics of summer mung bean under conservation agriculture conditions. In this study, field experiments were conducted during the summer seasons of two consecutive years (2020 and 2021) to investigate the root system dynamics of summer mung bean under different conservation agriculture practices. The highest stem and system width, depth to width length, number of nodal roots, taproot diameter, secondary root length (both right and left) of summer mung bean were recorded in the Soybean (permanent bed; PB)-Wheat(PB)-Summer mung (PB)(+Residual; +R) based cropping systems, followed by Maize(PB)-Wheat(PB)-Summer mung (PB)(+R), while, the lowest values of above parameters were recorded in the Puddled Transplanted Rice–Conventional till (PTR-CT)Wheat-Summer mung (-R). Further, the pod length, number of seeds per pod, number of pods per plant, seed yield and symbiotic parameters (including number of nodules per plant, leghaemoglobin content) and root dry weight were recorded highest in Soybean (PB)-Wheat (PB)-Summer mung (PB)(+R). Interestingly, the yield of summer mung bean increased around 13.4–29.5% when residues were retained on the soil surface with treatments involving residual removal. The soil dehydrogenase enzyme activity increased significantly under Soybean (PB)-Wheat (PB)-Summer mung (PB)(+R) based cropping system as compared to PTR-CT Wheat-Summer mung (-R). In addition, the number of pods per plant exhibited a significantly positive correlation with yield during both crop seasons. Overall, this study suggests that the inclusion of summer mung in soybean-based cropping systems may substantially improve the root architecture and soil quality and increase crop yield under conservation agriculture. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

41 pages, 1433 KiB  
Review
Regenerative Agriculture—A Literature Review on the Practices and Mechanisms Used to Improve Soil Health
by Ravjit Khangura, David Ferris, Cameron Wagg and Jamie Bowyer
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032338 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 23693
Abstract
Conventional farming practices can lead to soil degradation and a decline in productivity. Regenerative agriculture (RA) is purported by advocates as a solution to these issues that focuses on soil health and carbon sequestration. The fundamental principles of RA are to keep the [...] Read more.
Conventional farming practices can lead to soil degradation and a decline in productivity. Regenerative agriculture (RA) is purported by advocates as a solution to these issues that focuses on soil health and carbon sequestration. The fundamental principles of RA are to keep the soil covered, minimise soil disturbance, preserve living roots in the soil year round, increase species diversity, integrate livestock, and limit or eliminate the use of synthetic compounds (such as herbicides and fertilisers). The overall objectives are to rejuvenate the soil and land and provide environmental, economic, and social benefits to the wider community. Despite the purported benefits of RA, a vast majority of growers are reluctant to adopt these practices due to a lack of empirical evidence on the claimed benefits and profitability. We examined the reported benefits and mechanisms associated with RA against available scientific data. The literature suggests that agricultural practices such as minimum tillage, residue retention, and cover cropping can improve soil carbon, crop yield, and soil health in certain climatic zones and soil types. Excessive use of synthetic chemicals can lead to biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. Combining livestock with cropping and agroforestry in the same landscape can increase soil carbon and provide several co-benefits. However, the benefits of RA practices can vary among different agroecosystems and may not necessarily be applicable across multiple agroecological regions. Our recommendation is to implement rigorous long-term farming system trials to compare conventional and RA practices in order to build knowledge on the benefits and mechanisms associated with RA on regional scales. This will provide growers and policy-makers with an evidence base from which to make informed decisions about adopting RA practices to realise their social and economic benefits and achieve resilience against climate change. Full article
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