Conservation Agriculture as a Sustainable System for Soil Health: A Review

Rodríguez, Belén Cárceles
Durán-Zuazo, Víctor Hugo
Rodríguez, Miguel Soriano
García-Tejero, Iván F.
Ruiz, Baltasar Gálvez
Tavira, Simón Cuadros
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Soil health is a term used to describe the general state or quality of soil, and in an agroecosystem, soil health can be defined as the ability of the soil to respond to agricultural practices in a way that sustainably supports both agricultural production and the provision of other ecosystem services. Conventional agricultural practices cause deterioration in soil quality, increasing its compaction, water erosion, and salinization and decreasing soil organic matter, nutrient content, and soil biodiversity, which negatively influences the productivity and long-term sustainability of the soil. Currently, there are many evidences throughout the world that demonstrate the capability of conservation agriculture (CA) as a sustainable system to overcome these adverse effects on soil health, to avoid soil degradation and to ensure food security. CA has multiple beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. In addition, CA can reduce the negative impacts of conventional agricultural practices on soil health while conserving the production and provision of soil ecosystem services. Today, agricultural development is facing unprecedented challenges, and CA plays a significant role in the sustainability of intensive agriculture. This review will discuss the impact of conservation agricultural practices on soil health and their role in agricultural sustainability.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Soil Systems, 2022, available online at: . Keywords: conservation agriculture; indicators; soil health; soil quality; sustainability.
Cárceles Rodríguez, B.; Durán-Zuazo, V.H.; Soriano Rodríguez, M.; García-Tejero, I.F.; Gálvez Ruiz, B.; Cuadros Tavira, S. Conservation Agriculture as a Sustainable System for Soil Health: A Review. Soil Syst. 2022, 6, 87. soilsystems6040087