agroecology; system re-design; soil carbon sink; cropping systems diversification and simulation models; soil GHG emissions; climate change adaptation and mitigation; spontaneous flora and soil microbial diversity and functionality
Our research group have gained significant experience in the designing of organic systems in accordance with the principles of agroecology (system diversification strategies, also agroforestry, use of on-farm/system fertilization inputs, conservative agriculture), in the framework of national and EU projects (eg, the Core Organic Soilveg and Greenresilient; the H2020 Agrocycle and Diverfarming projects, the EJP soil program).
We would be part of a consortium, offering our experience in collaborating with different mixed systems case studies (real farms involved in Participatory Action Research activities held by CREA-AA):
1) Agroforestry system with animal (beef) and woody components;
2) Poultry-orchards agroforestry systems.
Our research expertise covers a multidisciplinary range. Among these:
- soil fertility and soil quality assessment (N-P dynamics in the soil-plant system; organic matter inputs and soil content monitoring; soil metabolic activity)
- system above and belowground biodiversity and functionality assessment (diversity and functional traits analysis of spontaneous flora communities and microbial communities. Particularly, bacterial and fungi diversity via NGS sequencing and functional biodiversity via soil enzyme activity study.
- simulation of Soil C and N dynamics using biophysical models to assess mitigation and adaptation strategies to different scenarios.
Ciaccia, C., Armengot Martinez, L., Testani, E., Leteo, F., Campanelli, G., & Trinchera, A. (2020). Weed Functional Diversity as Affected by Agroecological Service Crops and No-Till in a Mediterranean Organic Vegetable System. Plants, 9(6), 689.
Testani, E., Ciaccia, C., Campanelli, G., Leteo, F., Salvati, L., & Canali, S. (2019). Mulch-based no-tillage effects on weed community and management in an organic vegetable system. Agronomy, 9(10), 594.
Farina, R., Testani, E., Campanelli, G., Leteo, F., Napoli, R., Canali, S., & Tittarelli, F. (2018). Potential carbon sequestration in a Mediterranean organic vegetable cropping system. A model approach for evaluating the effects of compost and Agro-ecological Service Crops (ASCs). Agricultural Systems, 162, 239-248.
Bleuler M., Farina R., Francaviglia R., Di Bene C., Napoli R., Marchetti A. 2017. Modelling the impacts of different carbon sources on the soil organic carbon stock and CO2 emissions in the Foggia province (Southern Italy). Agricultural systems 157:258-268.
Farina R., Marchetti A., Francaviglia R., Napoli R., Di Bene C. 2017. Modeling regional soil C stocks and CO2 emissions under Mediterranean cropping systems and soil types. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment 238:128-141.
Pinzari F., Cuadros J., Migliore M., Napoli R., & Najorka J. (2018). Manganese translocation and concentration on Quercus cerris decomposing leaf and wood litter by an ascomycetous fungus: an active process with ecosystem consequences? FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(8).
The Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) is the biggest institution totally devoted to agriculture research and experimentation in Italy. The Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA) is one of the 12 CREA research centres and it has four branches (Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Bari) and 5 experimental farms. The Centre conducts studies and research on agricultural and forest ecosystems for their characterization and space-time modelling through an inter- and multidisciplinary approach with the aim of supporting their sustainable management.