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Soil carbon science for policy and practice

Soil-based initiatives to mitigate climate change and restore soil fertility both rely on rebuilding soil organic carbon. Controversy about the role soils might play in climate change mitigation is, consequently, undermining actions to restore soils for improved agricultural and environmental outcomes.

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Fig. 1: Pathways through which knowledge in soil science can flow to inform soil restoration by rebuilding soil organic carbon (SOC).

graphic by Luminant Design.


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This work was part of the ‘Managing Soil Carbon’ working group for the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). We thank Luminant Design LLC for figure development and production.

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The manuscript emerged from the SNAPP working group, of which the authors were participants. M.A.B. wrote the initial draft, which was refined by C.J.C., E.E.O., D.A.K., S.A.W., D.B., J.S., J.F. and J.L., prior to further development by all authors. C.J.C. developed the initial draft of the figure.

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Correspondence to Mark A. Bradford.

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Bradford, M.A., Carey, C.J., Atwood, L. et al. Soil carbon science for policy and practice. Nat Sustain 2, 1070–1072 (2019).

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