Challenges of measuring complexity

Analysis

Source

The potential and uncertainty around carbon sequestration in soils is large. "There are too many individual components with too many complex interactions to deal explicitly with the individual; yet the individual details affect the dynamics of the system as a whole, so general statistical properties yield an incomplete picture"

Stockdale et al. (2019)

Standard methods for evaluating the effects of land use4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 on greenhouse gas emissions systematically underestimate the opportunity of land to store carbon if it is not used for agriculture.

Searchinger et al. (2018)

Meta-analyses of refereed publications show that, on average, organic yields are often lower than conventional. But the yield gap is prevalent when practices used in organic mimic conventional, that is, when the letter of organic standards is followed using an input mentality akin to conventional chemical-intensive agriculture”

Rodale Institute (2014, p. 15)

Current soil C studies focusing on the surface alone, significantly underestimate the stock of decadally cycling C, especially for deeply rooted ecosystems. Studies ignoring subsurface C dynamics therefore underpredict the responses of soil C to changes in climate, land use, and vegetation.

Ota et al. (2013)

The mean and median global technical potentials for SCS of 4.28 and 3.677 GtCO2 yr−1 (n = 23) represent good global estimates of the technical global potential for SCS, with ranges of 2.91–5.65 (using mean values of range minimums/maximums) or 2.28–5.34 (using median values of range minimums/maximums) GtCO2 yr−1 (n = 17)

Fuss et al. (2018)

Unpicking the relationship between soil health and human health is incredibly complex and multi-causal. Specific review of literature on phytochemicals at pg 506-507.

Provenza et al. (2015)

No consistent approach to mapping degraded land and lack of systematic data collected at country level.

Gibbs & Salmon (2015)

Effectively, soil data collection by government has “largely ceased” (Soils Research, Development and Extension Working Group, 2011) While the availability of data from public organizations has improved through the implementation of open data policies (Productivity Commission, 2016), soil data that are held in public institutions and used to generate soil information are often outdated, incomplete, inconsistent or unavailable (Lobry de Bruyn & Andrews, 2016) leading to mapping below international standards (National Committee on Soil and Terrain, 2013). An exacerbating trend is the decline of soil knowledge and expertise in Australia.

Robinson et al. (2019)

Classifying farming systems using concepts such as “ecological”, “sustainable intensification” or “agro-ecolo-gy” is not satisfactory because the concepts “overlap in...definitions, principles and practices, thus creating...confusion in their meanings, interpretations and implications”. Proposed a useful framework that distinguishes between organic input farming and biodiversity based farming with very low/no-inputs.

Therond et al. (2017)

New approaches are being developed to model the link between remote sensed ground cover and wind erosion.

Chappell et al. (2017)

Land degradation increases the vulnerability of agroecological systems to climate change and reduces the effectiveness of adaptation options. Yet these interactions have largely been omitted from climate impact assessments and adaptation planning.

Webb et al. (2017)

Due to their ecological importance, there is a need to more accurately understand ECM fungal mediated C and N movement within forest ecosystems such that we can better model and predict their role in soil processes both now and under future climate scenarios. There are a number of hurdles that we must overcome, however, before this is achievable such as understanding how the evolutionary history of ECM fungi and their inter- and intra- species variability affect their function. Further, there is currently no generally accepted universal mechanism that appears to govern the flux of nutrients between fungal and plant partners. Here, we consider the current state of knowledge on N acquisition and transport by ECM fungi and how C and N exchange may be related or affected by environmental conditions such as N availability.

Stuart & Plett (2020)

As applied to wheat production in France, traditional LCA shows a maximum GWP impact of 500 kg CO2-eq for 1 ton of wheat production, whereas the GWP impact of wheat production over time with our approach to dynamic LCA and its cumulative effects increases to 18,000 kg CO2-eq for 1 ton of wheat production.

Laratte et al. (2014)

Discusses incorporation of new understanding of SOM (eg role of microbial biomass) into SOM models.

Buchkowski et al. (2019)

Need both production and consumption accounting approach. Consumption-based accounting approach enables the quantification of the embodied emissions in New Zealand’s trade activities, and it indicated that a large proportion of GHG emissions are embodied in New Zealand’s trade activities

Chandrakumar et al. (2019)