Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 26, Number 1, January-March 2006
Page(s) 21 - 28
Published online 24 January 2006
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 26 (2006) 21-28
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2005053

Influence of land use on carbon sequestration and erosion in Mexico, a review

J.D. Etcheversa, C. Pratb, C. Balbontína, M. Bravoc and M. Martíneza

a  Colegio de Postgraduados, IRENAT, 56230 Montecillo, Mexico
b  IRD, MTD, 500 rue J.F. Breton, 34093 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
c  CENAPROS-INIFAP, AP 7-116, 58260 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

(Accepted 26 January 2005; published online 24 January 2006)

Abstract - To reduce the impact of human activities on soil erosion and to increase C sequestration, a series of alternative systems have been tested in recent years on hillside agriculture in Mexico. Among other systems, conservation tillage and intercropping staple crops and fruit trees have been successful. Since accumulation of C occurs in those systems, it is concluded that the rate of C entrance to the soil-plant exceeds the rate of C exit. The identification and understanding of the structure of such a system, its components, and the role of each one of these components, is fundamental to intervening in order to enhance reduction of soil erosion and C sequestration. A summary of experiments on this subject collected in Mexico is presented in the present paper. The most striking findings are: hillside agricultural systems can store, and probably sequester, as much C as secondary native forestry systems, and soil erosion and C losses are small when proper management systems are applied.

Corresponding author: J.D. Etchevers

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006