Regional perspectives and challenges of soil organic carbon management and monitoring – A Special Issue from the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon 2017
Regional perspectives and challenges of soil organic carbon management and monitoring – A Special Issue from the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon 2017
Editor(s): P. A. Finke, P. de Ruiter, V. Alcántara, J. House, and A. Cowie
The importance of soil organic carbon (SOC) management and monitoring has been widely recognized in the context of climate change mitigation, adaptation and food security. Though manifold studies on SOC measurement and sequestration have been published, an interdisciplinary focus to promote large-scale application is rare and there exists a clear bias towards northern and western countries. The Global Symposium on SOC held at FAO in March 2017, co-organized by FAO, GSP/ITPS, UNCCD-SPI, IPCC and WMO, succeeded in bringing scientists and policy makers from 111 countries together to exchange knowledge on and review the potential of possible implementation paths to maintain and/or increase SOC in all the regions of the world to achieve the multiple objectives of climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security and land degradation neutrality. This special issue of SOIL is one of the outcomes of the symposium.

The effect of agricultural management and land use on SOC and the challenges related to the preservation and accrual of SOC stocks will be presented from three different regional perspectives: tropical soils in sub-Saharan Africa, drylands with a focus on the Near East and North Africa, and the subhumid South American Chaco. Contributions related to measuring and monitoring SOC will elaborate on emerging technologies to account for SOC and C balances, namely proximal sensing and isotopic partitioning techniques. SOC assessment and mapping studies on national scales show and test the use of different methods depending on data availability and environmental conditions while at the same time stressing the need to strengthen technical capacities for improving the estimations and reporting of SOC stocks on a country basis. Also, an innovative approach, which includes socio-economic assessments and stakeholder engagement processes, is part of this special issue. A concept for the establishment of laboratory networks will also be presented to highlight the importance of harmonization to move towards more solid and accurate assessments of SOC stocks within and between countries over time. The special issue aims at providing different perspectives from different regions with heterogeneous resources and priorities that have, nevertheless, the common goal of preserving and, wherever possible, increasing the SOC stocks.

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07 Nov 2018
Spatial assessments of soil organic carbon for stakeholder decision-making – a case study from Kenya
Tor-Gunnar Vågen, Leigh Ann Winowiecki, Constance Neely, Sabrina Chesterman, and Mieke Bourne
SOIL, 4, 259–266,,, 2018
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01 Nov 2018
Effect of deforestation and subsequent land use management on soil carbon stocks in the South American Chaco
Natalia Andrea Osinaga, Carina Rosa Álvarez, and Miguel Angel Taboada
SOIL, 4, 251–257,,, 2018
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26 Sep 2018
Challenges of soil carbon sequestration in the NENA region
Talal Darwish, Thérèse Atallah, and Ali Fadel
SOIL, 4, 225–235,,, 2018
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01 Aug 2018
No silver bullet for digital soil mapping: country-specific soil organic carbon estimates across Latin America
Mario Guevara, Guillermo Federico Olmedo, Emma Stell, Yusuf Yigini, Yameli Aguilar Duarte, Carlos Arellano Hernández, Gloria E. Arévalo, Carlos Eduardo Arroyo-Cruz, Adriana Bolivar, Sally Bunning, Nelson Bustamante Cañas, Carlos Omar Cruz-Gaistardo, Fabian Davila, Martin Dell Acqua, Arnulfo Encina, Hernán Figueredo Tacona, Fernando Fontes, José Antonio Hernández Herrera, Alejandro Roberto Ibelles Navarro, Veronica Loayza, Alexandra M. Manueles, Fernando Mendoza Jara, Carolina Olivera, Rodrigo Osorio Hermosilla, Gonzalo Pereira, Pablo Prieto, Iván Alexis Ramos, Juan Carlos Rey Brina, Rafael Rivera, Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Ronald Roopnarine, Albán Rosales Ibarra, Kenset Amaury Rosales Riveiro, Guillermo Andrés Schulz, Adrian Spence, Gustavo M. Vasques, Ronald R. Vargas, and Rodrigo Vargas
SOIL, 4, 173–193,,, 2018
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05 Jun 2018
Separation of soil respiration: a site-specific comparison of partition methods
Louis-Pierre Comeau, Derrick Y. F. Lai, Jane Jinglan Cui, and Jenny Farmer
SOIL, 4, 141–152,,, 2018
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15 May 2018
Proximal sensing for soil carbon accounting
Jacqueline R. England and Raphael A. Viscarra Rossel
SOIL, 4, 101–122,,, 2018
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