Intensification of industrial agricultural practices has resulted in some of the most profound global impacts in the Anthropocene. These include eutrophication of lakes, rivers, and oceans from nutrient loading, degradation of arable land from the loss of fertile organic soils through erosion, and loss and degradation of soil organic matter from mechanical impacts on the soil, among others. As we prepare to feed additional 2 billion people by 2050 along with the emerging practices of farming for bioenergy production, these practices will intensify further whose goal is to overcome bio-geo-physical rate limitations and rate limiting states to enhance agricultural productivity. These rate-enhancing efforts generally target the fast response production processes, creating an imbalance with the slower assimilative processes in the Critical Zone that cascade through complex inter-dependencies across carbon, soil, water, nutrient and ecological systems. These imbalances modify stores and create gradients for flux, which over time reorganize the landscape, both in structure and function. In this presentation we show how these reorganizations are occurring in the Critical Zone of intensively managed landscapes, and argue that an integrated understanding of such profound changes are necessary for developing sustainable solutions for maintaining agricultural productivity and mitigating agriculture based environmental impacts.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||AGU 2016 fall meeting|
|State||Published - 2016|