The impact of livestock integration in cropping systems and conversion of croplands to grazing for soil health and resilience is not always clear. This is because the interactions of soil biology, climate, and different land use contexts are complex. We studied the effects of cropland and grassland management systems on several indicators of soil health, including soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and microbial community size, structure, and activity in the soil surface. The study results suggest that light grazing and grassland restoration in semi-arid systems have the potential to improve soil health and resilience by increasing soil organic carbon and microbial community responses related to nutrient cycling.
Visit our soil health webpage for more on our work in this topic area.
Publication: Ghimire, R., V.R. Thapa, A. Cano, V. Acosta-Martinez (2019). Soil organic matter and microbial community responses to semiarid croplands and grasslands management. Applied Soil Ecology 141: 30-37.