Recognition of the importance of soil organic matter (SOM) in soil health and quality is a major part of fostering a holistic, preventive approach to agricultural management. Students in agronomy, horticulture, and soil science need a textbook that emphasizes strategies for using SOM management in the prevention of chemical, biological, and physical problems.
Soil Organic Matter in Sustainable Agriculture gathers key scientific reviews concerning issues that are critical for successful SOM management. This textbook contains evaluations of the types of organic soil constituents—organisms, fresh residues, and well-decomposed substances. It explores the beneficial effects of organic matter on soil and the various practices that enhance SOM. Chapters include an examination of the results of crop management practices on soil organisms, organic matter gains and losses, the significance of various SOM fractions, and the contributions of fungi and earthworms to soil quality and crop growth.
Emphasizing the prevention of imbalances that lead to soil and crop problems, the text also explores the development of soils suppressive to plant diseases and pests, and relates SOM management to the supply of nutrients to crops. This book provides the essential scientific background and poses the challenging questions that students need to better understand SOM and develop improved soil and crop management systems.
Significance of soil organic matter to soil quality/health – an overview. Organic matter management strategies. Soil organic matter fractions and their relevance to soil quality/health. Stimulatory effect of humic substances on plant growth. The role of soil organic matter and soil quality in Soil-Plant-Disease Interactions. Contributions of fungi to soil organic matter in agroecosystems. Connecting belowground and aboveground food webs: The role of organic matter in biological buffering. Tillage and Residue Management Effects on Soil Organic Matter. Strategies for Managing Soil Organic Matter to Supply Plant Nutrients. Soil and Crop Management Effects on Soil Microbiology. Interactions between Organic Matter, Earthworms and Microorganisms in Promoting Plant Growth.