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Special Issue "Soil Carbon Management: Improving Soil Health and Mitigating Climate Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 491

Special Issue Editors

University of Goettingen
Interests: sustainable soil management; soil microbial functions; agroecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes; rhizosphere traits of staple food crops
Department for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel
Interests: fate of soil organic matter; carbon and nutrient cycling in soil (N, P); rhizosphere processes; microbial transformations of SOM; soil structure development; isotopic analyses; biomarker approaches
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Interests: sustainable agriculture; soil fertility; plant nutrition; nutrient management; nutrient cycling; C, N, P isotopes; microplastics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Soil and Environment Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Shambat Code 13314, Khartoum North, Sudan
Interests: land degradation and development; nutrient cycling; waste management in soil
Prof. Dr. Carolina Merino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de La Frontera, Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN-UFRO), Temuco, Chile
Interests: carbon sequestration in the soil, geomicrobiology; greenhouse gas quantification; Isotope based studies in soil-plants systems
Prof. Dr. Mutez Ali Ahmed
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chair of Soil Physics, Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth Country: Germany

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2015 the FAO celebrated the "International Year of Soils", to increase the awareness of soils globally as a key ecosystem compartment and major sinks of carbon that form the basis of 95% of the global food production and at the same time is responsible for essential ecosystem services.

Soil health and quality are tightly coupled to high biodiversity in soils, where biotic activity functions are the driving forces of nutrients cycling are crucial for crop growth and development. Intensive agricultural management increases C losses through decreases of physical protection of OM with the consequent threat of microbial functions, thus decreasing long-lasting soil health and quality. Loss of functional diversity in soils is followed by loss of diversity in nutrients cycling, and consequently, crop production and the soils' contribution to further ecosystem services are impacted. Recovery times, at best of several decades, may replenish such losses in soil fertility and health.

Besides their vital role in food production, soil carbon stocks are strongly related to climate change in a highly dynamic feedback loop. On the one hand, globally, climate change is threatening soil carbon stocks, e.g., by permafrost thawing or desertification, leading to enhanced soil carbon losses as CO2. On the other hand, soils under sustainable management bear incredible potential to function as a sink for carbon, a crucial indicator for an extremely high soil buffering capacity, thus mitigating detrimental changes imposed by climate change, therefore maintaining or even increasing soil health and quality.

However, sustainable management of the soil carbon pool is highly dependent on local factors (e.g., demand for staple food production in the region, climatic conditions, and the soil type). As a result, global upscaling and estimation of soils' potential to function as a carbon sink under the assumption of sustainable management practices are crucial and still highly uncertain.

This Special Issue aims at improving global knowledge on management impacts on soil carbon stocks (positive/negative changes), nutrient cycles, implications for soil health, and mitigation strategies. Providing sustainable alternatives for stable food production while maintaining or even improving carbon stocks for optimum soil health.

Prof. Dr. Michaela A. Dippold
Prof. Dr. Sandra Spielvogel
Prof. Dr. Zang Huadong
Prof. Dr. Mubarak Abdelrahman Abdalla
Prof. Dr. Carolina Merino
Prof. Dr. Mutez Ali Ahmed
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • soil C stabilization
  • soil biota
  • microbial functions
  • ecosystem services
  • sustainable agricultural management practices
  • global food security
  • climate change

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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