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Augmentation de la diversité des cultures comme solution pour atténuer les réponses du carbone du sol, des communautés microbiennes et de l’utilisation de pesticides à l’évolution des régimes de précipitations

En cours (2022‑2026)

Agricultural systems in northeastern North America will soon experience increases in spring and fall flooding and more frequent and longer droughts during the summer growing seasons. At the same time, pressure is mounting to manage agricultural systems to mitigate climate change and lessen environmental impacts through soil carbon sequestration and reduced reliance on external inputs (e.g., pesticides) by leveraging the soil-crop microbiome.

We propose to examine crop diversity as a solution to A) reduce negative impacts of agriculture on soil organic matter and pesticides in the environment, as mediated by the soil microbial community; and B) increase resiliency to changing precipitation patterns. We will establish controlled legume-grain cropping system trials along a crop species/functional diversity gradient combined with altered precipitation, achieved by manipulating reduced and increased precipitation conditions. Within these trials over a 4-year period, we will determine if increased crop diversity supports higher microbial diversity and soil organic matter storage, and, in turn, if this results in pesticide use reduction, and attenuates the affects of altered precipitation. We will also develop a predictive crop-soil model from our research trials to inform decisions about management options under a changing climate. A major expected benefit from this project will be to provide realistic timelines and quantify the magnitude of the interactive climate-diversity responses. This will help growers and policy makers to manage their expectations related to soil health and agronomic responses to near-future changes in precipitation. Our controlled research trials, in combination with modeling, will allow us to monitor the magnitude, direction, and rate at which soil health, specifically SOM and microbial communities, and pesticide reliance respond to the interactions of crop diversity and precipitation patterns.

Our project will also increase the research potential of 7 highly qualified persons, preparing them to be solution oriented and lead their field in addressing agriculture under a changing climate. Our outcomes will benefit a diversity of end-users including: the legume and grain seed industry; government agencies with research and policy interests in soil health, climate change, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration; private and non-profit sectors developing carbon credit markets, and Québec producers interested in diversifying their farm-scape and minimizing the impacts of variable climatic conditions.

Région(s) administrative(s) de la tenue du projet

06 - Montréal