Sustainable Agriculture and Biogeochemistry (SAB) Group

Sustainable Agriculture and Biogeochemistry (SAB)

We aim to promote the sustainability of agricultural systems in a context of climate change. Our research lies at the interface of soil biogeochemistry, soil microbial ecology, ecosystem science and agronomy, and combines experimental work in long-term field trials, urban agroecosystems and greenhouses with modeling and global observational datasets.


Research lines:
  • Soil carbon in agricultural and natural ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem services in natural, agricultural and urban systems.
  • Recycling of organic wastes in agriculture.
  • Soil biodiversity, crop microbiome and sustainable agriculture.

  •     Soil carbon in agricultural and natural ecosystems


    García-Palacios, P., Crowther, T.W., Dacal, M., Hartley, I.P., Reinsch, S., Rinnan, R., Rousk, J., van den Hoogen, J., Ye, J.S. & Bradford, M.A. 2021. Evidence for large microbial-mediated losses of soil carbon under anthropogenic warming. Nature Reviews Earth and Environment 2: 507-517. [pdf]

    Panettieri, M., Guigue, J., Chemidlin Prevost-Bouré, N., Thévenot, M., Lévêque, J., Le Guillou, C., Maron, P.A., Santoni, A.L., Ranjard, L., Mounier, S., Menasseri, S., Viaud, V., Mathieu, O., 2020. Grassland-cropland rotation cycles in crop-livestock farming systems regulate priming effect potential in soils through modulation of microbial communities, composition of soil organic matter and abiotic soil properties. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 299, 106973. [pdf]

    Panettieri, M., Courtier-Murias, D., Rumpel, C., Dignac, M.-F., Almendros, G., Chabbi, A., 2020. Land-use perturbations in ley grassland decouple the degradation of ancient soil organic matter from the storage of newly derived carbon inputs. SOIL 6 435–451. [pdf]

    Plaza, C., Pegoraro, E., Bracho, R., Celis, G., Crummer, K.G., Hutchings, J.A., Hicks Pries, C.E., Mauritz, M., Natali, S.M., Salmon, V.G., Schädel, C., Webb, E.E., Schuur, E.A.G., 2019. Direct observation of permafrost degradation and rapid soil carbon loss in tundra. Nature Geoscience 12, 627-631. [pdf]

    Dacal, M., Bradford, M.A., Plaza, C., Maestre, F.T., García-Palacios, P., 2019. Soil microbial respiration adapts to ambient temperature in global drylands. Nature Ecology and Evolution 3, 232-238. [pdf]

    Plaza, C., Zaccone, C., Sawicka, K., Méndez, A.M., Tarquis, A., Gascó, G., Heuvelink, G.B.M., Schuur, E.A.G., Maestre, F.T., 2018. Soil resources and element stocks in drylands to face global issues. Scientific Reports 8, 13788. [pdf]


  •     Ecosystem services in natural, agricultural and urban systems


    Panettieri, M., Jiménez-González, M.A., Sosa, L.L. De, Almendros, G., Madejón, E. 2021. Chemical diversity and molecular signature of soil humic fractions used as proxies of soil quality under contrasted tillage management. Spanish J. Soil Sci. 11, 39–54. [pdf]

    Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y., Gross, N., Saiz, H., Maestre, F.T., Ruiz, S., Dacal, M., Asensio, S., Ochoa, V., Gozalo, V., Cornelissen, J.H.C., Deschamps, L., García, C., Maire, V., Milla, R., Salinas, N., Wang, J., Singh, B.K., García-Palacios, P. 2021. Functional rarity and evenness are key facets of biodiversity to boost multifunctionality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 118: e2019355118. [pdf]

    Moreno-Jiménez, E., Plaza, C., Saiz, H., Manzano, R., Flagmeier, M., Maestre, F.T., 2019. Aridity and reduced soil micronutrient availability in global drylands. Nature Sustainability 2, 371-377. [pdf]

    García-Palacios, P., Gross, N., Gaitán, J. & Maestre, F.T. 2018. Climate mediates the biodiversity–ecosystem stability relationship globally. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 115: 8400-8405 [pdf].


  •     Recycling of organic wastes in agriculture


    Domínguez, M.T., Panettieri, M., Madejón, E., Madejón, P. 2020. Thistle crops in marginal lands after compost addition: Plant biomass and effect on soil physical, chemical and biological properties. Land Degradation and Development 31 1167-1175. [pdf]

    Suárez, L., Benavente-Ferraces, I., Plaza, C., de Pascual-Teresa, S., Suárez-Ruiz, I., Centeno, T.A., 2020. Hydrothermal carbonization as a sustainable strategy for integral valorisation of apple waste. Bioresource Technology 309, 123395.

    Giannetta, B., Plaza, C., Siebecker, M.G., Aquilanti, G., Vischetti, C., Plaisier, J.R., Juanco, M., Sparks, D.L., Zaccone, C., 2020. Iron speciation in organic matter fractions isolated from soils amended with biochar and organic fertilizers. Environmental Science and Technology 54, 5093–5101.


  •     Soil biodiversity, crop microbiome and sustainable agriculture


    Garland, G., Edlinger, Banerjee, S., Degrune, F., García-Palacios, P., Pescador, D.S., Herzog,, C., Romdhane, S., Saghai, A., Spor, A., Wagg, C., Hallin, S., Maestre, F.T., Philippot, L, Rillig, M.C., van der Heijden, M.G.A. 2021. Crop cover is more important than rotational diversity for soil multifunctionality and cereal yields in European cropping systems. Nature Food 2: 28-37. [pdf].

    Delgado-Baquerizo, M., Eldridge, D.J., Liu, Y.-R., Sokoya, B., Wang, J.-T., Hu, H.-W. He, J.-Z., Bastida, F., Moreno, J.L., Bamigboye, A.R., Blanco-Pastor, J.L., Cano-Diáz, C., Illán, J.G., Makhalanyane, T.P., Siebe, C., Trivedi, P., Zaady, E., Verma, J.P., Wang, L., Wang, J., Grebenc, T., Peñaloza-Bojacá, G.F., Nahberger, T.U., Teixido, A.L., Zhou, X.-Q., Berdugo, M., Duran, J., Rodríguez, A., Zhou, X., Alfaro, F., Abades, S., Plaza, C., Rey, A., Singh, B.K., Tedersoo, L., Fierer, N., 2021. Global homogenization of the structure and function in the soil microbiome of urban greenspaces. Science Advances 7, eabg5809.

    Panettieri, M., de Sosa, L.L., Domínguez, M.T., Madejón, E., 2020. Long-term impacts of conservation tillage on Mediterranean agricultural soils: shifts in microbial communities despite limited effects on chemical properties. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 304, 107144. [pdf]

    Ye, J.S., Bradford, M.A., Maestre, F.T, Li, F.M., García-Palacios, P. 2020. Compensatory thermal adaptation of soil microbial respiration rates in global croplands. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 34: e2019GB006507. [pdf].