Towards more sustainable cropping systems: lessons from native Cerrado species

Hans Lambers, Patricia de Britto Costa, Rafael S. Oliveira, Fernando A. O. Silveira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Our aim was to explore the potential of Cerrado, a biodiversity hotspot which is a reservoir of genetic resources of agriculture-relevant traits to be used towards enhancing the sustainable use of agriculture in the region. We searched for pertinent articles dealing with all relevant aspects of Cerrado that we cover in our review. We focus on P-acquisition and P-use strategies, aluminium resistance, and plant water relations. We review results from a wide range of sources, to develop a case to curtail further destruction of native Cerrado vegetation, and works towards more sustainable crop and pasture systems in the region. We highlight many genetic resources that have tremendous potential to improve sustainable crop yield, while maintaining the key ecosystem services provided by the Cerrado that support agriculture. We conclude that the Cerrado is a rich source of plant species and plant traits to deal with environmental constraints such as soils with a low availability of P, a low pH, high availability of Al, and a low availability of water. Allowing species extinction to continue will make many untapped resources unavailable for future generations for incorporation into agriculture. Rather than allow further destruction to continue, scientists should explore relevant traits in native Cerrado species towards sustainable yields of currently used land.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalTheoretical and experimental plant physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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