Abstract

Agriculture might serve as a mitigation solution through carbon (C) sequestration in soil, in tree biomass and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Increased C is beneficial for some soil structures and functions, improving the use of water and in turn the crop adaptation. This study reports on the synergy between mitigation and adaptation in agriculture through the paradigm of the olive (Olea europaea). Through data on net ecosystem productivity and soil respiration, the role of olive groves to store C in tree biomass (from 0.36 to 2.78 t CO2 ha−1 yr−1) and into soil (∼8.5 t CO2 ha−1 yr−1) is reviewed. The influence of some management practices on that role is also discussed. The overall climatic impact of olive fruit and oil production has been evaluated also considering GHG emissions by field operations (e.g., pruning, mulching of cover crop, fertilization, harvest, etc.) and by the extraction and bottling of oil. Soil C as interface between climate change mitigation and adaptation has been delineated, linking C-induced improvements in soil properties to increased water storage and reduced run-off and erosion. The outcomes may strengthen the environmental role of agriculture and promote synergistic mitigation and adaptation policies assisting in soil and water resources conservation.

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