Filippo Milazzo1, Richard M. Francksen2, Mohamed Abdalla3, Simone Ravetto Enri4, Laura Zavattaro5, Marco Pittarello5, Stanislav Hejduk6, Paul Newell-Price7, René L. M. Schils8, Pete Smith3 and Tom Vanwalleghem1
Grasslands are at risk of degradation due to unsustainable management practices and climate change. Here, we review the principal soil quality indicators (SQIs) to evaluate the sustainability of different grassland management practices globally. We discuss the importance of SQI assessment and the Soil Quality Minimum Dataset (MDS) specifically in the context of grasslands. We then review two potential solutions, the first of which is adopting grazing management, whereby sustainable grazing management plans (GMPs) offer great potential. The other solution is the development and adoption of novel grassland species, which may improve either drought resistance or infiltration rates, erosion and flooding. Sustainable grassland soil management can promote ecosystem service delivery and improve the resilience of the entire grassland ecosystem to anthropogenic change.
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