Greenhouse gases produced by human activities are the main cause of climate change, being CO2 the primary gas emitted. Soil and vegetation are the main sink carbons in terrestrial ecosystems; changes in land use (i.e. natural forest to crops) promote the release of CO2 from both vegetation biomass and soil humus (old carbon) via decomposition.
In Yucatan, carbon credits are paid to farmers that protect old natural patches of vegetation. However, home gardens, agroecosystems with high potential of preserving soil carbon are still not considered. In order to prove the importance of agroecosystems on soil carbon conservation, in this study we will assess the loss and reformation of soil carbon between home gardens and natural vegetation by monitoring the total carbon and the isotope composition of soils; additionally, we will investigate whether or not the monitoring of hyphae colonization and presence of spores could be a useful indicator to assess soil carbon status under different land uses, soil types and soil management.