Terrestrial ecosystem functioning affected by agricultural management systems: A review

Muhammad Sanaullah*, Muhammad Usman, Abdul Wakeel, Sardar Alam Cheema, Imran Ashraf, Muhammad Farooq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


With increasing world population, there is an evident pressure on food production demand at the expense of environment. Maximizing yields at environmental cost is quite high especially in terms of soil and water deterioration. Traditional/conventional agricultural system is complemented with intensive tillage, mono-cropping and inappropriate crop residue management with deleterious impacts on the environment. Such agricultural practices have substantially contributed to climate change due to resulting greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. In recent decades, “conservation agriculture”, is being adopted which employs no or minimum tillage, diversified crop rotation and efficient crop residues management. Such approaches are associated to the decreased GHGs emissions due to low consumption of fossil fuels and fertilizers (especially N2O emissions from nitrogenous fertilizers). However, increased use of pesticides in conservation agriculture can be an important threat to the environment. This review collates impacts of both agricultural management systems on terrestrial ecosystem functioning in terms of soil quality and environmental sustainability. Impacts of conventional and conservation systems on soil health, carbon sequestration, GHGs emissions, cropping patterns, weed dynamics and environmental degradation are critically evaluated and research gaps are highlighted. Future research directions have been identified to promote the research regarding sustainable agriculture development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104464
JournalSoil and Tillage Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Climate change
  • Conservation agriculture
  • Conventional agriculture
  • Cropping systems
  • Environment degradation
  • Terrestrial ecosystem functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Terrestrial ecosystem functioning affected by agricultural management systems: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this