911324 Soil management in tropical and subtropical developing regions

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Diaz-Pines, Eugenio
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


The course will provide an insight into soil management in the tropics and subtropics. The interlinkages between soil and land management with crop productivity and food security will be presented, along with the environmental effects of agricultural practices and soil degradation. Special attention will be given to adaptation and mitigation to climate change of agricultural activities in the frame of sustainable soil use and the sustainable development goals (SDG)
The course will consist of a combination of frontal lectures with some interactive discussions & group dynamics. Case studies will be used as a basis for explaining aspects of soil management.
The course will include following aspects:
- Soil in the tropics: Introduction to soil formation processes and soil types
- Soil functions in tropical forests
- Land Use Change and forest degradation
- Low-input agriculture and smallholder farming systems
- Relevant tropical crops and production systems: Rice, soybean, oil palm, agroforestry, etc
- Intensification/Extensification and sustainable agriculture
- Livestock and grazed bushlands/grasslands
- Tropics and global change

It is planned to hold the course with physical presence. However, and due to the situation with regard to the COVID-19, the course may be moved online anytime.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

After completion of the course, the attendees are expected to be able, with regard to the tropics and subtropics in developing regions, to:
- Describe the main, general, environmental and social features
- Outline the feedbacks between climate and ecosystems (managed or natural)
- Identify and describe major limitations for food production
- Explain the role of the soil for the sustainable use of resources
- Evaluate case studies for selected production systems (…smallholders, rice, extensive livestock)
- Critically assess options for increasing sustainability of agricultural production systems (e.g. sustainable intensification, conservation agriculture, agroforestry)
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.