The carbon cycle and land management

The amount of carbon that humans add to the atmosphere is small relative to the large amounts exchanged naturally between the land and the atmosphere, but it significantly changes the balance.

The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is influenced by agricultural activities such as:

  • cultivating soils
  • applying nitrogen fertiliser
  • grazing livestock

Land that is in good condition generally stores more carbon in the soil than degraded land with less vegetation cover. It is also usually more productive for cropping or grazing. So it is good practice to maintain or increase the amount of carbon stored in landscapes and the condition of agricultural land, as this will have a range of environmental and productivity benefits.

Download The carbon cycle and land management [PDF 3.42 MB].

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