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Impact of agriculture on soil ecosystem services
Convener: Hans-Jörg Vogel  | Co-Conveners: Stephen Crittenden , Nicolas Brüggemann , Michael Schloter , María José Marqués Pérez , Guénola Pérès 
 / Wed, 26 Apr, 08:30–10:15
 / Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Agricultural soils are increasingly under pressure due to the ever increasing demands of crop production for food and bioenergy. It is a formidable challenge to maintain or even increase the productivity of soils and, at the same time, to preserve all other basic soil functions beyond plant production. These soil functions are in the same way indispensable for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems: reactor for nutrient cycling, filter and buffer for water, storage of carbon and habitat for an overwhelming biodiversity. They emerge from complex interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes in soil. Because of their complex nature, there are no simple and direct means to quantify soil functions as required for any scientific analysis. Instead, a systemic perspective is required to evaluate the impact of agricultural systems on soil functions.
The intention of this session is threefold. We seek contributions which (i) broaden and advance our perspective on soil functions, (ii) enhance our current process understanding of how soil management practices impact one or more of the basic soil functions, and (iii) show how to quantify soil functions based on suitable proxies or indicators.