Crop and Soil Sciences Calendar
Seminar – Dr. Alan Franzluebbers
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“Soil, Ecology and Management – Searching for Signs of Life”
Dr. Alan Franzluebbers
USDA-ARS, Crop & Soil Sciences Dept., N.C. State University
Traditional agricultural management has put production and environmental protection at odds. On the other hand, conservation agricultural systems recognize the important balance needed to make production profitable and preserve environmental integrity. Conservation agricultural systems rely on ecological principles that avoid the disturbance of soil, enhance nutrient cycling through soil organic matter, utilize the flow of energy from the sun along a dissipation gradient, and consider humans as participants of an ecosystem managed holistically. Achieving production and environmental goals simultaneously suggests that the vitality of soil be in the highest condition possible within a given environment or landscape setting. Vitality of soil suggests a healthy condition, one that teems with microbial life, supports a diversity of internal soil functions, and promotes vigorous plant growth. This seminar presents examples of research exploring interactions of soil, ecology, and management, primarily through the measurement of a suite of carbon and nitrogen fractions in soil.