SP 4 - Identification of optimized soil management approaches to maintain / build up soil organic matter
Soil organic matter is decisive for sustainable agriculture, as it improves soil structure, which leads to a reduction of soil erosion, and is important for the nutrient and water supply of the crops. With that soil organic matter is also a decisive parameter for securing crop yield. To develop effective approaches to sustain soil fertility in Kazakhstan, a comprehensive information on the soil organic matter stocks, transformations and stabilization in dependence on land-use, agricultural practice and climatic conditions is enormously required. Therefore, SP 4 aims at quantifying the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stocks and analyzing the main properties of soil organic matter caused by different agricultural practices and soil degradation status (primarily associated with erosion and salinity). Process studies will investigate the consequences of climate change on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus contents and the interaction of changing soil moisture and organic matter contents with respect to soil structure.