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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Soil carbon sequestration rates under Mediterranean woody crops using recommended management practices: A meta-analysis

Published source details

Vicente-Vicente J.L., García-Ruiz R., Francaviglia R., Aguilera E. & Smith P. (2016) Soil carbon sequestration rates under Mediterranean woody crops using recommended management practices: A meta-analysis. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 235, 204-214


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Soil: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

A meta-analysis from 2016 of 24 studies in orchards and vineyards in Spain found more organic matter in soils with winter cover crops, compared to soils with conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with cover crops, compared to conventional tillage (data reported as the response ratio: 1.35). Methods: The Scopus database was searched for publications in January 2016, using the keywords, “olive” or “vineyard” or “almond” or the scientific names of these species, and the keywords “soil organic carbon” or “soil organic matter”. Together with publications from another meta-analysis(16), 24 replicated, controlled studies from 2005 to 2015 were meta-analysed. In these studies, soil samples were collected from depths of 0–10 to 0–90 cm in almond orchards, olive orchards, and vineyards in Mediterranean climates in Spain. Plots with cover crops mostly had resident vegetation over the winter, which was controlled by mowing, grazing, or using herbicide in the spring, or reduced tillage in spring and autumn. In plots without cover crops, resident vegetation was controlled throughout the year by using herbicide and/or conventional tillage. It was not clear whether these results were a direct effect of cover crops, tillage, herbicide, mowing, or grazing.