Impact of agriculture on the Si biogeochemical cycle

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in News |

Impact of agriculture on the Si biogeochemical cycle

The cycles of C and Si are closely related to the weathering of silicates. In both cycles, terrestrial plants make significant contributions to the weathering budget and soil formation. The perturbation of the terrestrial Si cycle by human occupation has become a challenging issue because of possible impact on the equilibrium of aquatic ecosystems and
agriculture sustainability. The recycling of Si stored in plants as phytoliths may control the Si cycle in the short-term. A review of the recent literature shows that the biogeochemical cycling of Si that is generally not impacted by atmospheric input or fertilisation, is significantly altered by agriculture through the depletion of the phytoliths pool.

We present here new evidence that the exportation of straw can lead to the depletion of the soil phytoliths pool in 10 years. In order to maintain the current levels of Si in crops, the contribution of other soil silicates such as clay minerals to the phytoavailable silica pool may become a key parameter, when straw is exported.

Impact of agriculture on the Si biogeochemical cycle
Impact of agriculture on the Si biogeochemical cycle
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