Exploring land use scenarios by long-term simulation of soil organic matter in central Argentina

P.A. Tittonell, J. de Grazia, S. de Hek, E. Bricchi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Frequently, agriculture intensification by means of high-input technologies and agroecosystem simplification led to unsustainable farming systems. Increasing spatial-temporal diversity in agroecosystems has been shown as a promising alternative for restoring degraded land. A methodological approach is discussed here, based on preliminary results of experiences in a region of strong biophysical gradients. The CENTURY model is validated under local conditions and used as monitoring tool. The impact of an increased agrodiversity on soils with contrasting inherent properties is exemplified by running three land use scenarios for two case-study sites for the next 50 years and evaluating trends in soil organic matter (SOM) contents. Field survey and simulation results suggested that: (1) reference values for SOM levels for monitoring soil health should be defined considering main agroecological factors; (2) simulation models may help identifying adequate ranges of variation for them; (3) and model outputs may complement experimentation and represent a didactic tool to be used for decision-making and knowledge-transfer processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-389
JournalSpanish Journal of Agricultural Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • indicators
  • management

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