Maximizing soil organic carbon stocks under cover cropping: insights from long-term agricultural experiments in North America
Cover crops are widely advocated for increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) levels, thereby benefiting soil health improvement and climate change mitigation. Few regional-scale studies have robustly explored SOC stocks under cover cropping, due to limited long-term experiments. We used the unique experimental data from the North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements conducted in 2019 to address this issue. This study included 19 agricultural research sites with 36 pairs of cover cropping established between 1896–2014. Explanatory variables related to site-specific environmental conditions and management practices were collected to identify and prioritize contributing factors that affect SOC stocks with cover crops, by coupling the Boruta algorithm and structural equation modeling. As the raw data of 19 cover cropping research sites have not been allowed to share online, only R syntax was uploaded. Here, we have shared the R script for meta-analysis using the metafor package (Viechtbauer 2020), Boruta analysis using boruta package (Kursa and Rudnicki 2010), and structural equation modeling using lavaan package (Rosseel 2012, 2023).
Steps to reproduce
All statistical analyses were performed in RStudio (Ver 4.1.2).