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Monitoring and modelling transfer processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum across scales (co-organized)
Convener: Nunzio Romano  | Co-Conveners: Rafael Angulo-Jaramillo , Martine van der Ploeg , Mathieu Javaux 
 / Fri, 02 May, 13:30–17:00
 / Attendance Fri, 02 May, 10:30–12:00

Soil is a critically important component of the earth's biosphere, not only because of its role in food production, but also because of its crucial role in the hydrological cycle. For a better understanding of the functional interactions between natural resources (like soil, water, and plants) and related sustainability problems, the scientific community is becoming aware that more interdisciplinary approaches are required.
Progress has been achieved in advancing scientific knowledge on the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (SPAC) and understanding the controls on hydrologic fluxes as well as how these controls vary spatially and temporally with scale. Researches on water and nutrient transfer within SPAC at various scales are receiving substantial stimulus, both experimentally and theoretically, from soil scientists, plant physiologists, ecologists, and climatologists. At smaller scale, better understanding of root water uptake has increased knowledge on transport processes in plants and their influence on soil-root and leaf-atmosphere interactions. At larger scale, monitoring and parameterising water transfer in SPAC deal even more with questions of differences in space-time resolution among the available information and deriving grid-averaged equivalent parameters to represent ecohydrologic processes at different space-time scales. How to integrate at the problem scale the numerous small scale biological, chemical and physical processes which control root uptake, water flow and solute transport through SPAC is the key challenge we would like to address.
This session aims at creating a forum for scientists of different disciplines to share experiences on the above and related subjects. We solicit contributions to the following topics (but not limited to):
- Understanding plant uptake under water and nutrient scarcity and its impact on solute transport;
- Water fluxes through the soil and plant: from the single root to field scale;
- Advanced techniques for monitoring variables of soil water balance and vegetation dynamics;
- Use of methods to parameterise soil hydraulic behaviour across heterogeneous landscapes;
- Modelling water transfer in SPAC, with influence of vegetation patterns and possible effects of preferential flow through soil macropores;
- Novel experimental techniques and geochemical approaches for assessing below-ground plant processes;
- Searching for suitable agro-environmental indicators enabling the pressures exerted on ecosystems to be quantified;
- Bridging the gap between biology and soil physics through numerical modelling.