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Biogeochemistry and hydrology of hydromorphic soils
Convener: Daniel Said-Pullicino  | Co-Conveners: Claudio Zaccone , Arianna Facchi , Angelika Koelbl , Vanessa Wong 
 / Thu, 12 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Thu, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Hydromorphic soils, estimated to globally extend over a surface of about 680 Mha, are characterised by a permanent or temporary state of water saturation as a result of natural conditions or anthropic influence. These highly dynamic environments can form under a wide range of hydrological, geological and topographical conditions, but because of the overriding influence of anoxic conditions, often share similar biogeochemical and morphological properties.

From a hydrological point of view, water saturation can occur due to wetting from the surface, to the presence of a shallow groundwater, or to complex situations linked to a strong interaction between surface submergence and groundwater fluctuations. Hydromorphic soils, that act as important sources, sinks and transformers of elements and redox-sensitive substances, have profound influence on global biogeochemical cycles, although they are also subjected to rapid changes as a result of management, variations in sea level where these environments intersect with the coastal zone, and climate change and variability.

Our understanding of these soils may benefit from an improved insight into the interactions between hydrological features, redox-driven processes and feedback mechanisms, element cycling, microbial community structures, and implications on their ecological and environmental functions. We therefore invite interdisciplinary contributions to all aspects of hydromorphic soils (paddy soils, floodplains, estuarine and coastal plains, marshes, swamps, fens, bogs, acid sulphate soils), specifically those improving our understanding of the key factors regulating hydrology, organic matter turnover and its influence on carbon source/sink functions (including emissions of greenhouse gases and dissolved organic matter dynamics), mineral transformations, colloid mobility and soil development, nutrient/contaminant dynamics, and microbial community structure and function, amongst others.

Solicited Speaker: Prof. Bernd Lennartz, Universität Rostock, Germany