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Surveys to increase soil fertility, reduce desertification risk, optimize plant nutrition and carbon recycle

The soil constitutes one from the more important natural resources, since it provides the base for the agricultural production, the livestock-farming and the forest production while contributes in the mitigation of climate change with the storage of CO2. However, food production via non sustainable crop and livestock farming can lead to soil deterioration, due to loss of nutrients and organic matter, compaction and erosion.

Soil deterioration depends on the soil type and its management. Moreover, there is increasing demand of land for various non agricultural uses, like the urban expansion,  as well as the land used to develop new infrastructures. Furthermore, the increased demand for biofuel rival the production of food and the most productive soils are used for the substitution of coal fuels by biofuels, as a policy measure to mitigate climate change and cover of energy requirements (van Noordwijk et al., 2015).

Last century, the intensification of agriculture was supported from inputs coming from not renewable energy resources (i.e synthetic fertilizers). Despite that this practice increases to a large extent the crop productivity, it has world-wide negative effects in the ecosystems, resulting from the deforestation, the soil erosion, the industrial pollution, the quality degradation of surface and ground waters and the loss of biodiversity (including genetic erosion) (Canellas et al., 2015). Environmental degradation caused by land clearing and breaking to pieces is more important, since that threatens the biodiversity (Dirzo and Raven, 2003).

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