The impact of soil degradation on soil functioning
Convener: Erik Cammeraat  | Co-Conveners: Luigi Paolo D'Acqui , Jay Jabro , John Quinton , Bas van Wesemael 
Oral Programme
 / Fri, 07 May, 08:30–12:00  / Room 8
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Fri, 07 May, 13:30–15:00  / Halls X/Y

Soils are fundamental to Man's existence on Earth. They are essential for food, fuel and fiber production, regulate production of greenhouse gases, and help to protect and conserve water resources. Soils also provide a habitat for biota, can safeguard our cultural heritage and archaeology, are the foundation for the built environment and supply us with raw materials for a variety of industries. The need to protect all these functions is now being recognized in political circles: the European Union has drafted a Soil Framework Directive, US Senate has adopted a resolution on soil and nine European countries have put in place soil protection legislation. However, a significant threat to soil and its functionality is degradation, whether by erosion, salinity or compaction. Delivering on new soil policies will require us to understand the impact of soil degradation and develop robust methodologies to quantify, monitor and mitigate these impacts on all soil functions.
The session will address soil degradation at various scales ranging from fine scale processes and functions such as the role of aggregates in soils, field scale processes of degradation, soil compaction as well as regional scale aspects of soil functions and threats to soils.
This session will assess the extent of our current understanding of the significance of soil degradation for different soil functions at various scales, and examine some of the challenges that lie ahead in delivering soil protection frameworks.

Key-note speakers:

Luca Montanarella: The impact of soil degradation on soil functioning in Europe
Prem Bindraban: Analytical tools for assessing land degradation and its impact on soil quality
Yves Le Bissonnais: Aggregate stability as an indicator of soil erodibility and soil physical quality: review and perspectives