Concerns about increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide (CO 2), have raised worldwide interest in the potential of agricultural soils to be carbon (C) sinks. In Australia, studies that have quantified the effects of improved management practices in croplands on soil C have generally been inconclusive and contradictory for different soil depths and durations of the management changes. We therefore quantitatively synthesised the results of Australian studies using meta-analytic techniques to assess the technical and economic feasibility of increasing the soil C stock by improved management practices. Our results indicate that the potential of these improved practices to store C is limited to the surface 0-10 cm of soil and diminishes with time. None of these widely adopted practices is currently financially attractive under Australia's new legislation known as the Carbon Farming Initiative.
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