About this Research Topic
Among the “Great Challenges” for the 21st century, global food security, use of renewable raw materials and production of energy from biomass are important for the agricultural sector. Basic as well as applied science is required to reach sustainable increase in food production, novel products from agriculture and new perspectives for rural landscapes. Future land use must embrace efficient production and utilization of biomass for improved economic, environmental and social outcomes. At least 30 % of the agricultural soils worldwide need to be transformed to a state of higher quality. Accordingly, reconverting poor, marginal or neglected soils and unlocking their potential for productivity are high on the agenda. Specifically, recovery of soils from pollution, drought or other reasons for low productivity requires research on (a) identification of crucial soil components and processes (b) identification and assessment of plant species producing high biomass on marginal and/or contaminated soil, (c) the optimum composition for compost and biogas production, (d) degradation and absorption of pollutants by selected species.
This Research Topic will combine cropping and soil amendment experiments, precision agricultural and crop modeling tools, experimental biomass conversion to energy, the assessment of greenhouse gas and nutrient emission and other environmental indicators, as well as socioeconomic models. Only a holistic approach will enable the identification of common traits and at the same time enable the development and dissemination of production chains for sustainable intensification which are adapted to the environmental and socio-economic diversity, and polluted sites including grassland, set aside land, brownfields, and otherwise marginal lands into sustainable agricultural production across the world is a major issue. Such an approach does not necessarily have to be in conflict with ecosystem conservation and the role of non-crop land for carbon sequestration. Innovative systems-based tools for the development and implementation of integrated food and non-food production have to be developed and discussed. Furthermore, utilizing and developing models characterizing fluxes of matter, productivity and socio-economy will be ever so important to implement sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems of agriculture.
This call is open for interdisciplinary papers on novel crop production systems, carbon sequestration in arable land, modelling sustainability and socioeconomics, as well as soil improvement by amendments and crop rotation schemes and on the ecology of marginal soils.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.