Tree mortality and forest vulnerability across different biomes and climatic conditions: the need of multidisciplinary approaches at various scales
The assessment of forest vulnerability and resilience in the sight of global ecological, social and economic changes is a relevant issue. In recent decades, forest vulnerability is rapidly increasing worldwide and forecasting changes in tree health is becoming a challenge. Forest dieback episodes have been recorded in all biomes affecting different tree and shrub species. These dieback cases are revealing the high vulnerability of some species, particularly conifers, manifested as a loss in tree vigour, growth decline and sometimes tree death. Tree mortality commonly involves multiple, interacting factors, ranging from drought to insect pests and diseases, often making the determination of a single cause unrealistic. The need of understanding and predicting changes in tree mortality, growth and recruitment in response to dieback is essential to improve vegetation and C cycle models. Furthermore how adaptive forest management may be applied to improve the resistence and resiliance of forest stands subjected to dieback and mortality events needs to be better understood.
There is a common agreement on the key role of interdisciplinary research and the combined use of complementary tools to improve the monitoring and projection of forest vulnerability and dieback.
This session focuses on efforts to improve our understanding on: i) causes and mechanisms related to forest vulnerability and dieback; ii) potential changes in tree species composition, forest structure and extent of dieback under current and future climate change scenarios; iii) evaluation of which functional anatomical traits and hydraulic properties make some tree species or stands and tree populations more prone to environmental-induced dieback and decline IV) assesment of the role and interaction of insect disease and other abiotic factors on mortality; v) how trees die from drought and how to quantitatively assess tree mortality rates and the magnitude of tree mortality episodes associated to climate change events.
Contributions will focus on an integrated multi-scale (from cells to plant communities, ecosystems and global approaches), multi-temporal (from xylogenesis to long-term forecasting) and interdisciplinary (microscopy and individual Plant physiology to remote) frameworks. Contributions will focus also on modelling the mechanisms or relationships that use climate variability and trends as main drivers for forest planning and management.
Natural Disturbances in Forest Ecosystems: linking natural processes with human needs
Natural disturbances are a primary driver of forest dynamics, thus shaping their composition and structure, and determining succession trajectories. Humans have always interacted with natural disturbances, and are in turn affected by the hazards posed by these events.
With the multitude of functions and services simultaneously and increasingly required from forest ecosystems, it is crucial to improve our understanding of the impact of natural disturbances on forests, also in light of the potential alterations introduced by different global change drivers, mostly due to anthropogenic activities.
Further attention is required to the many ways in which multiple disturbances (of biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic origin) interact with each other, thereby modifying the likelihood of occurrence and the effects of one another.
Despite an increasing awareness of the fundamental ecological role of natural disturbances, forest management still requires solid scientific input on how to increase the resistance and resilience of forests, and manage naturally disturbed landscapes to promote forest regeneration.
This complex situation calls for multi-scale, multi temporal, and multidisciplinary studies, taking advantage of field (in-situ) and remote sensing approaches, in order to capture the large heterogeneity and variability of the patterns and processes involved. In this session, we invite contributions from all fields in order to promote knowledge on disturbance ecology and to implement sustainable forest management.
Intact Amazon forest – a natural laboratory of global significance
The Amazon forest is the world’s largest intact forest landscape. Due to its large biodiversity, carbon storage capacity, and role in the hydrological cycle, it is an extraordinary interdisciplinary natural laboratory of global significance. In the Amazon rain forest biome, it is possible to study atmospheric composition and processes, biogeochemical cycling and energy fluxes at the geo-, bio-, atmosphere interface under near-pristine conditions for a part of the year, and under anthropogenic disturbance of varying intensity the rest of the year. Understanding its current functioning at process up to biome level is elemental for predicting its response upon changing climate and land use, and the impact this will have on global scale.
This session aims at bringing together scientists who investigate the functioning of the Amazon and comparable intact forest landscapes across spatial and temporal scales by means of remote and in-situ observational, modeling, and theoretical studies. Particularly welcome are also presentations of novel, interdisciplinary approaches and techniques that bear the potential of paving the way for a paradigm shift.
Forest ecosystems are changing under climate change, and forests in mountain regions could be particularly sensitive to those changes. This poses substantial challenges to forest and landscape management, as mountain forests provide important ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification and protection from natural hazards. Yet, our understanding of how mountain forests might be impacted from climate change is still patchy. The aim of the session consequently is to compile current knowledge on climate change impacts on mountain forests ecosystems across the globe. Mountain forests are defined in a broad sense, covering all biomes from the tropics to the boreal zone. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to, changing disturbance regimes, impacts on ecosystem functions and services, changing structure and growth, and effects of human land use and changing societal demands on mountain forests. We hope to gather a broad transect of mountain forests ecosystems, synthesizing current challenges and future trends of mountain forest research.
Forests under stress: improving our understanding on how trees respond and adjust to a drier and warmer climate
Higher temperature and altered precipitation regimes will affect the exchange of energy, carbon, water and nutrients between plants and the environment. Both, the gradual increase in temperature as well as the increased frequency of extreme events such as hot droughts will have strong impact on plants and terrestrial ecosystem functioning. To persist and thrive under projected climate conditions, plants will need to undergo rapid adjustments in their functions, including developmental, morphological and physiological shifts. Although clearly acknowledged, the hydrological and biogeochemical consequences of climate change impacts, plants acclimation responses and their potential role in increasing plants resistance to extreme climate events are not yet fully understood.
In this session, we would like to bring together speakers from different ecoregions that are currently conducting research on forest responses to drought and warming. We invite contributions in tree physiology, forest ecology, hydrological and biogeochemical processes that span a range of scales going from local to global studies. Cross-disciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged. Contributions may address any geographic area of the world from the cellular to the landscape level and use in-situ manipulative experiments, field observations, remote-sensing and modelling approaches. With this session, we want to encourage discussion between plant physiologists, forest ecologists, soil biogeochemists, ecosystem scientists and large-scale modelers in the context of how shifts in forest functions and structures under warming and drying conditions could inform us on the future of these ecosystems under projected climate.
Forest CH4 and N2O cycles and gas transport processes
Exchange of important greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in forest ecosystems has traditionally focused on gas flux measurements between the soil and the atmosphere only. Soils act as substantial sources and sinks of both gases. However, the processes underlying the production and consumption of these gases are still not fully known and their understanding is a pre-supposition for improving the estimations of the gas fluxes within the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Over the last years, it has become evident that trees may play an important, and until recently overlooked, role in the net exchange of these GHGs in forests. Trees can contribute to ecosystem exchange by uptake and transport of soil-produced CH4 and N2O to the atmosphere, in-situ production (and perhaps consumption?) of both gases in plant tissues, and alternation of carbon- and nitrogen-turn-over in adjacent soil. However, the contribution of these individual processes to the net ecosystem GHGs exchange is still unclear and seems to depend on tree species, forest ecosystem type, environmental parameters and seasonal dynamics. Wetland tree species may be important CH4 sources, whereas some upland tree species are even known to be sinks for CH4. High N2O emissions have been particularly detected from trees grown under increased N2O concentrations in soils. The question thus remains whether mature trees exchange N2O with the atmosphere under low soil N2O concentration. First studies detected even N2O uptake by upland trees.
This session seeks to bring together scientists working on the exchange of CH4 and N2O in forest ecosystems at any relevant scale, and from the full climatic and hydrological forest range. We therefore welcome contributions on microbial processes in soils, plant tissues and microtopographic forms; measurements of soil gases and modelling of gas transport, incl. innovative approaches for soil gas sampling; gas transport processes in soils and trees incl. methodological aspects (application of stable/radioactive isotopes); flux measurements on the forest floor/soil, on cryptogams, on tree stems and at the leaf and canopy level; micrometeorological measurements using flux towers, and satellite, inverse and numerical modelling studies that seek to integrate our understanding of CH4 and N2O exchange in soils, trees and forest ecosystems. To understand the complexity of gas turn-over and transport processes in soils and trees in its entirety, related studies on other important gases as carbon dioxide (CO2), and biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) and nitrous acid (HONO), which are important precursors of atmospheric chemistry, will be also included in the session.
Key-note speaker: Prof. Dr. Ülo Mander, University of Tartu, Estonia
The following sessions were merged into this session:
BG2.8 Forests and the CH4 and N2O cycles
BG2.51 Transport processes of trace gases in soils: measurements, modelling and ecological implications
To have some time together after our session we reserved a table at the Brandauers Bierbögen at 19:30 on Thursday 11.04 to meet, chat and discuss ideas and life, and have something to eat and drink.
Reactive gases and aerosols in plant canopies (co-sponsored by ILEAPS)
Plant ecosystems exchange reactive trace gases, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particles. While some of these compounds are anthropogenically produced, many are biotic in origin and are emitted in-situ or produced from rapid photochemistry in the canopy. The oxidation products include low-volatility organic compounds that readily partition to the aerosol phase, particularly in the presence of anthropogenic pollutants such as ammonium, nitrate and sulphate. In addition to being strong sources, soil and leaves represent major sinks of these reaction products, with deposition to the surface also as a function of surface wetness and uptake into the leaf via the stomata. The canopy region thus represents a dynamic and rapidly changing environment in which a myriad biological, chemical and physical processes occur over very short time and spatial scales. Advanced techniques of flux measurements provide good knowledge of the overall net fluxes of these compounds above canopies, while additional in-canopy measurements enable more detailed study and understanding of the individual processes and reactions driving these fluxes. These rapidly advancing measurements can support parametrization of models for a mechanistic understanding of in-canopy dynamics of deposition and emission of these reactive gases, which can in turn allow fuller interpretation of in-situ measurements and inform the design of field experiments to test specific hypotheses. This session, sponsored by ILEAPS (Integrated Land Ecosystem Atmosphere Process Study), encourages the submission of contributions based on in-situ measurements and/or modeling that improve our understanding of biosphere-atmosphere exchange of reactive gases and aerosols and in-canopy processes.
Biogeochemical cycles and ecohydrology in changing tropical systems
Tropical ecosystems play an important role for the regional and global climate system through the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHG), water and energy and provide important ecosystem services that we as humans depend on, such as wood, foods, and biodiversity. Historic and recent human activities have, however, resulted in intensive transformation of tropical ecosystems impacting on the cycling of nutrients, carbon, water, and energy.
Here we invite contributions that provide insights on how land-use and land-use change influences biogeochemical cycles and ecohydrology in tropical ecosystems at the plot, landscape, and continental scale. Examples include nitrogen and carbon cycles in soil and vegetation, the exchange of GHG between soil and atmosphere as well as ecosystem and atmosphere, changes in the energy balance, impacts on the water cycle, scaling issues from plots to country to continent; and the influence of management activities (i.e. fertilization, drainage, etc.) on GHG fluxes.
The session covers forests, but also managed land-use systems such as agriculture, pastures or oil palm plantations. Experimental studies (chamber or eddy covariance flux measurements, stable isotopes, sap flux), inventories, as well as remote sensing or modelling studies are welcomed.
Constraining present and future global vegetation dynamics and carbon stocks
The terrestrial vegetation carbon balance is controlled not just by photosynthesis, but by respiration, carbon allocation, turnover (comprising litterfall, background mortality and disturbances) and wider vegetation dynamics. However, these processes have proved extremely challenging to observe and quantify at large scales and over long time periods. Existing large-scale empirical products of vegetation carbon fluxes and stocks have large uncertainties and/or data gaps. Furthermore, the observed changes in vegetation properties are often the result of a number of interacting processes and can be driven by changes in CO2, climate, natural disturbances or human activities. Thus, our current understanding of the environmental controls on vegetation dynamics and properties, and in turn their impact on carbon stocks in biomass and soils, is limited and the behaviour of large-scale vegetation models remains underconstrained. This gives rise to high uncertainty as to whether terrestrial vegetation will continue to act as a carbon sink under future environmental changes, or whether increases in autotrophic respiration or carbon turnover, e.g. through accelerated background tree mortality or by more frequent and more severe disturbance events (e.g. drought, fire, insect epidemics), will counteract this negative feedback to climate change. We welcome contributions that make use of observational approaches, vegetation models, or model-data integration techniques to advance understanding of the effects of environmental change on vegetation dynamics and carbon stocks and fluxes at local, regional or global scales and/or at long time scales.
Keynote: Prof Shaun Quegan, University of Sheffield.
Scaling terrestrial ecosystem carbon and water response from leaf to continent with observations and simulations
Global terrestrial carbon and water budgets are changing with an unprecedented rate. Observations and simulations of the terrestrial carbon and water budget are fundamental to forecasting the biosphere-atmosphere interaction under a changing climate. Although in reality, physical and physiological processes underlying carbon and water fluxes occur over a continuum of scales, most research efforts address a single scale. Therefore, the estimated change systematically depends on the scale of observation and is a significant contributor to the output uncertainties. This, along with the ever-increasing variety of observation methods, simulation and computation techniques, pose a challenge to inform process understanding by observations that are captured at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
In this session, we aim to review challenges associated with scaling processes of carbon and water fluxes from the leaf to the ecosystem, and eventually global scale. More specifically, we call for recent efforts in the systematic quantification of uncertainties associated with different scales in modelling exercises, transferability between measurement captured at the leaf (e.g. gas exchange), tree (e.g. sap flux, dendrometers) to ecosystem level (eddy covariance towers, UAVs, aircrafts and satellites), and modelling studies, which help in bridging observational datasets from multiple temporal and spatial scales.
Nitrogen transformations in soil and sediments: processes and upscaling
Despite more than 100 years of research into the biochemistry and ecology of microbial N transformations, our understanding of how plants, microbiota and their physical environment shape the N cycle remains fragmentary. At the same time, we are in the midst of a global experiment, augmenting the N cycle to unprecedented levels. Relevant current research addresses, but is not limited to, N transformation processes connecting stable and reactive pools in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the balance between N retaining and dissipating processes, transport and fate of reactive N in the environment and emission and uptake of gaseous N.
This session is open for contributions advancing our understanding of N-transformation processes on all scales, ranging from the micro-site to the watershed. Both field and laboratory studies are welcome. We are particularly interested in contributions reflecting recent methodological advancements in measuring (or inferring) N-transformation rates and their underlying biotic and abiotic components. Studies addressing spatiotemporal variabilities (“hot spots” and “hot moments”) and modeling approaches aiming to overcome variability and scale boarders are highly welcome.
Terrestrial ecosystem responses to global change: integrating experiments and models to understand carbon, nutrient, and water cycling
Human activities are altering a range of environmental conditions, including atmospheric CO2 concentration, climate, and nutrient inputs. However, understanding and predicting their combined effect on ecosystem structure and functioning and biogeochemical cycles is challenging. Divergent future projections of terrestrial ecosystem models reflect open questions about fundamental processes and missing observational constraints. Models are routinely tested and calibrated against data from ecosystem flux measurements, remote sensing, atmospheric inversions and ecosystem inventories. While these constrain the current mean state of the terrestrial biosphere, they provide limited information on the sensitivity of ecophysiological, biogeochemical, and hydrological processes to environmental changes. Observational and ecosystem manipulation studies (e.g., Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE), nutrient addition or warming experiments) can provide unique insights and inform model development and evaluation.
This session focuses on how ecosystem processes respond to changes in CO2 concentration, atmospheric conditions, water and nutrient availability. It aims at fostering the interaction between experimental and modelling communities by advancing the use of observational and experimental data for model evaluation and calibration. We encourage contributions from syntheses of multiple experiments, model intercomparisons and evaluations against ecosystem manipulation experiments, pre-experimental modelling, or the use of observations from "natural experiments". Contributions may span a range of scales and scopes, including plant ecophysiology, soil organic matter dynamics, soil microbial activity, nutrient cycling, plant-soil interactions, or ecosystem dynamics.
From pole to pole, peatlands contain up to 30% of the world’s soil carbon pool, illustrating their role in the global carbon cycle. Currently peatlands are under various pressures such as changing climate, land-use or nutrient loading with unknown consequences for their functioning as carbon sinks and stores and the uptake or release of the greenhouse gasses carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Simultaneously, increasing amount of restoration activities, aiming to return peatlands back to their original state are ongoing. It is, however, not clear how the carbon reservoir will react to these pressures and how resilient these ecosystems are. This session will focus on the observed or predicted changes on the biogeochemistry at peatlands, caused by climate change, nutrient loading or land-use. We invite studies concentrating, for example, on the effects of climate change on GHG flux or nutrient dynamics on pristine and managed peatlands, impact of drainage or restoration and subsequent vegetation succession on biogeochemistry, atmosphere-biosphere interaction, or studies on carbon stock changes demonstrating the impact of land-use or climate change. Experimental and modelling studies of both high- and low latitude peatlands are welcomed.
Klaus-Holger Knorr, Professor, University of Münster, Germany
Franziska Koebsch, Dr., Rostock Universität, Germany
Michael Waddington, Professor, McMaster University, Canada
Minna Väliranta, Dr, University of Helsinki, Finland
Terrestrial ecosystems can be either greenhouse gas (GHG) sources or sinks. Ecosystem management in i.e. forests, croplands, grassland, mires, rangelands amongst others largely affect the net GHG exchange, encouraging both sources and sinks, or even leading to changes in the sign of the net GHG budget. With this session we aim at understanding how management activities in terrestrial ecosystems modify GHG exchanges of the three major GHGs: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). We are particularly looking for in-situ measurements (both short and long-term) on either a single GHG, or studies that jointly assess the three of them. Direct comparison studies of managed vs. unmanaged systems are further encouraged. We further invite contributions that aim at combining measurements with modeling approaches, and/or those that are trying to disentangle how management practices modify the processes responsible for GHG production and consumption at the soil, plant or ecosystem level. As an output if this session we anticipate, (1) learning about individual approaches currently being used to better understand the effects of management activities on GHG budgets, and (2) to consolidate information and develop standardized guidelines for existing and future studies allowing for direct comparison of individual results.
The Critical Zone comprises the Earth's permeable near-surface layer from the top of the canopy to the bottom of the groundwater(see also: criticalzone.org/national/research/the-critical-zone-1national). It is the Zone where hydrosphere, atmosphere, pedosphere and geosphere interact with the biosphere. This fragile skin of the Earth, which supports the life and survival of humans maintaining food production and drinking water quality, is endangered by threats like climate change and land use change.
This multidisciplinary session will bring together scientists from all disciplines that contribute to our understanding of the Critical Zone from the molecular to the global scale and from fast to slow processes. We invite empirical and theoretical studies, as well as presentation of novel methods, aiming to reveal the processes connecting surface and subsurface und assessing the depth of the surface influence and potential feedbacks.
Denudational hillslope and fluvial processes, sedimentary budgets, and landscape responses to global environmental changes
Denudation, including both chemical and mechanical processes, is of high relevance for Earth surface and landscape development and the transfers of solutes, nutrients and sediments from slope and headwater systems through the main stem of drainage basin systems to ocean basins. Denudational slope and fluvial processes are controlled by a range of environmental drivers and can be significantly affected by man-made activities. Only if we have a better quantitative knowledge of drivers, mechanisms and rates of Holocene to contemporary denudational processes across a range of different climatic environments, an improved assessment of the possible effects of global environmental changes (e.g., higher frequencies of extreme rainfall events, accelerated permafrost thawing, rapid glacier retreat), anthropogenic impacts and other disturbances (e.g., land use, fires, earthquakes) on denudation can be achieved.
This session combines contributions on denudational hillslope and fluvial processes, sedimentary budgets and landscape responses to environmental changes in different morphoclimates, including both undisturbed and anthropogenically modified landscapes. The presented studies apply a diverse set of tools and data analyses, including up to date field measurements and monitoring techniques, remotely sensed/GIS-based analyses, modelling, geochemical and fingerprinting measurements and techniques, dendrochronological approaches, and cosmogenic radionuclide dating.
This session is organized by the I.A.G./A.I.G. Working Group on Denudation and Environmental Changes in Different Morphoclimatic Zones (DENUCHANGE).
Geomorphic processes in the context of land cover dynamics, climate variability and evolving topographic patterns
Analysing the geomorphic response to environmental change is crucial to improve the understanding, interpretation and prediction of surface process activity. Environmental drivers such as land cover and land use change, climate variability and tectonic activity are mutable in space and time, which renders the analysis of their impact on Earth surface dynamics anything but trivial. In turn, geomorphic processes have a strong impact on both natural ecosystems and artificially transformed land surfaces, with consequences ranging from increasing environmental diversity to economic damage.
This session aims to cluster latest advances in land surface research that address interrelationships between land cover dynamics, climate, evolving topography and geomorphic processes. Herein, the focus is set on the analysis, modelling and prediction of land surface processes that are linked to:
1) Natural and anthropogenic land cover dynamics, including land use changes, management practices, cultivation of field crops or grassland management, soil reinforcement of different vegetation types and parameterisation of prediction models.
2) Climate variability on a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from freeze-thaw cycles, monsoonal precipitation and extreme climatic events to Plio-Pleistocene glacial cycles and Late-Pleistocene to Holocene climatic changes.
Studies are welcome that pay heed on the geomorphic response to changes in land cover or climate, as well as the resulting feedbacks between land cover, climate and Earth surface dynamics over different temporal and spatial scales.
Soil biogeochemical data-modeling integration focuses on:
- soil hydrology and its links with soil respiration and biogeochemistry
- biogeochemical processes studied in feedbacks with soil structure and by high-resolution imaging
- biogeochemical models development and up-scaling issues
Water is a critical driver for soil biogeochemical processes. Hydrologic connections within the soil pore network facilitate flow and transport that enable microbial processing of soil organic materials, and other redox-associated biogeochemical processes. As extreme events such as droughts and storms increase in frequency, a focused understanding of the coupling between water, microorganisms, and biogeochemistry is needed to improve both empirical understanding and simulation models of C cycling processes at all scales. Dormant microorganisms may revive, or functional shifts in microbial activities may occur, that can be related to changing hydrologic states. Studies that couple hydrology to soil structure, microbial C cycling and biogeochemistry are welcome, as are those that emphasize ‘omics-based diagnostics or metrics for monitoring and predicting soil microbial community activities and biodiversity in response to hydrologic changes.
Analytical methods are the foundation of every scientific discipline. Therefore have they very important role in soil science and in all other related disciplines. From the choice of analytical method there depends the accuracy of researches and quality of the findings, and according to this the novelty and usefulness for society. Today we can see the usage of a very wide spectrum of methods and techniques in soil science from quite simple classical methods up to high-precision methods based on high-tech instruments. The wise usage of analytical methods and techniques allows the investigation of the processes and mechanisms in soils and to assess the status of the environment. Unfortunately, the importance of their utilisation in soil analysis is often underestimated. The main purpose of our session is to emphasize the importance of the analytical methods used to achieve the results in soil research.
The aim of this session is to present the usage of different laboratory methods and techniques in soil research and give possibility for researchers to exchange their experiences. The special goal of this session will be to promote a wider use of innovative analytical methods and hyphenated instrumental techniques for separation and determination of chemical and biochemical compounds of both known and unknown structures in mineral and organic soils, sediments, substrates and composts. Modern analytical methods and hyphenated techniques can be utilized for the investigation of the processes and mechanisms in soils like formation, transformation, and conversion.
The session is an opportunity to present the works describing the usage of wide range of equipment, from smartphones to MS in the analysis of soils. The session is not limited to these techniques or methods. Works describing the methods of soil physical analysis are accepted also. The studies connected with methodology of soil chemical analysis and particularly soil organic matter are welcome.
Building Inter- and Transdisciplinary Bridges in Soil Science: Honoring Lily Pereg 1964–2019
Soil structure, function and ecosystem services are discussed within each soil discipline: biology, chemistry and physics and it is recognised that each one of these soil disciplines have great importance in determining the overall soil health and characteristics. Moreover, there is an interrelationship between soil biota and the chemical and physical properties of the soil. For example, soil chemical composition can influence the survival of organisms in the soil and in return, soil organisms may change soil pH, aggregate stability and rate of organic matter decomposition. Healthy, bio-diverse, fertile soil that is rich in nutrients and elements required for food security and proper human nutrition can lead to personal physical fitness as well as social wellbeing for both the individual and broader society. Despite sessions and discussions within each soil discipline, there is very little talk between disciplines and one of the main reasons is the difficulties of the members of one discipline to understand the jargon used by another.
The aim of this session is to bring experts and ECSs from the different soil disciplines to present on soil structure, function and ecosystem services where the only rule is that jargon is not allowed! Our main objective is to facilitate discussion and feed soil information between the biology, chemistry and physics disciplines.
We have dedicated our session to the work of Professor Lily Pereg who was the initiator of this session and President of Soil System Sciences Division at EGU until she died tragically and unexpectedly earlier this year.
Change across soil interfaces: examining soil functions and processes
The soil environment hosts a vast array of interfaces, ranging from those between microbes and aggregates, bulk soils and roots, to the interactions of soils with the bedrock and atmosphere. A range of physical, biological and chemical processes occur at these interfaces across different spatial and temporal scales, sustaining a wealth of ecosystem functions and services.
Soil systems are therefore dynamic environments. The behaviour and response of these complex systems to short-term perturbation and long-term environmental change pose fascinating challenges for soil scientists. Many of the major drivers of environmental change are anthropic in origin, including accelerated climatic change and shifts in land use and management. To ensure soils continue to provide valuable functions and services it is vitally important that we study the wide variety of soil interfaces and understand how the processes occurring across them may respond to current and potential future environmental change scenarios.
In this session we hope to bring together researchers at all career stages from different sub-disciplines of soil science to discuss these interactions and how these are affected by broader changes within the environment. Soil systems encompass an exceptional array of biogeochemical components; as such we welcome studies from a wide range of researchers using empirical or modelling-based approaches. We especially encourage contributions which present research encompassing different components of the soil system and the interactions between soil processes and the wider environment.
Soils under industrial and agricultural impact and their improvement to enhance the quality of food production and human health
Pre-anthropogenic evolution of biosphere based on mechanisms of struggle for life created dynamic stability of the Earth ecosystems comprised of species with maximum matching to all the biogeochemical niches. Intellect specific of only one species changed biosphere to support civilizations but at the same time interfered natural processes and transformed the state of the organized natural biogeochemical cycles. As a result, soil as the main basis of nutrients and biomass production is subjected to physical and chemical degradation and needs reclamation. To survive and develop as a species, Man should escape short-term decisions and use his knowledge and scientifically based approaches to find the ways for stable existence in changeable noosphere.
The main idea of the present session is to discuss the problem of optimization of eco-geochemical state of anthropized soil to improve the quality of agricultural and forestry production and, finally, human health in conditions of inevitable man-made contamination.
We invite specialists in soil science and all stakeholders to:
1) present their ideas and experience in assessment of the ecological and health risk due to soil contamination in their regions, countries and localities;
2) discuss how we should evaluate soil contamination in conditions of: a) natural nutrients deficiency; b) soil over-fertilization; soil pollution;
3) clear up what levels of elements concentration may be treated as pollution and demonstrate theoretical approaches and modern technologies that may be considered optimum in reclamation of technogenically transformed soils to improve their ecological quality and to contribute to human health.
Agriculture is an important sector of any economy of the world. Agriculture productions are highly dependent on the climate change and variability. Changes in hydro-meteorological variables can influence crop yield and productivity at many places. Further, climate change can influence nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability and other terrestrial parameters related to the agricultural productivity. Changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods could pose challenges for farmers and ranchers and threaten food safety. Further, changes in climate can influence meteorological conditions and thus can influence the crop growth pattern. It may also influence irrigation scheduling and water demand of the crops. The effects of climate change also need to be considered along with other evolving factors that affect agricultural production, such as changes in farming practices and technology.
The purpose of the proposed session is to gather scientific researchers related to this topic aiming to highlight ongoing researches and new applications in the field of climate change and agriculture. In this framework, original works concerned with the development or exploitation of advanced techniques for understanding the impact of climate change on agriculture will be invited.
The conveners of this session will encourage both applied and theoretical research in this area.
Soil moisture and soil--water constitutive laws, measurement and comprehension of their environmental effects
The continuum approach is a classical framework to describe and understand the soil—water dynamics and the soil effective—stress state in unsaturated soils. This approach is greatly dependent on the soil—water constitutive laws, viz soil—water retention curve, relative hydraulic conductivity, and those derived by these two principal ones. They link the real soil and its model. Advancements along their development and the comprehension of their role stand at the intersection of experimental measurements, mathematical representation and modelling, numerical solutions, theoretical understandings and practical applications. The growing possibility of monitoring soil moisture with rather simple tools has allowed to perform many field experiments devoted to understand the links between environmental variables and soil moisture. Also, climate change research has boosted this field of knowledge. Many terrestrial critical zone observatories have been installed, therefore new information both at the local and at the catchment scale is now available. Many open issues still exist in understanding the role of soil moisture in the environment, in combination with other factors such as soil and air temperature, air humidity, carbon and nitrogen availability, etc. Also, it is necessary the study of the structure of time and spatial variability of soil moisture itself, for example to combine the different scales of measurements. Usually soil moisture is measured at the local scale, but hydrogeophysics allows to have larger scale measurements and micrometeorological tools such as eddy covariance provide even larger scale estimation of gas and energy fluxes. The cosmic ray have increasing applications and the remote sensing images are powerful tools, therefore interesting issues regard the spatial upscaling, and the sampling frequency.
We invite contributions related to the understanding of the soil--water constitutive laws and to soil moisture monitoring, both finalised to understand the effects of its time and spatial variability, and to study soil moisture itself.
Scientists working both in the biogeosciences, and in soil sciences field are encouraged to participate, for example with study related to the implications of soil moisture on carbon and nitrogen dynamics, as well as on root and plant growth. The growing possibility of monitoring soil moisture with rather simple tools has allowed to perform many field experiments devoted to understand the links between environmental variables and soil moisture. Also, climate change research has boosted this field of knowledge. Many terrestrial critical zone observatories have been installed, therefore new information both at the local and at the catchment scale is now available.
Tree rings are a key terrestrial archive providing insight into past climate conditions at annual and intra-annual resolution and from local to hemispheric scales. Tree ring proxies are also important indicators of plant physiological responses to changing environments and of long-term ecological processes. In this broad context we welcome contributions using one or more of the following approaches to either study the impact of environmental change on growth and physiology of trees and forest ecosystems or to assess and reconstruct past environmental change: (i) traditional dendrochronological methods including studies based on tree ring width and density, (ii) stable isotopes in tree rings and related plant compounds, (iii) dendrochemistry, (iv) quantitative wood anatomy, (v) sap flow, dendrometer and related monitoring data analyses, and (vi) mechanistic modelling, all at different temporal and spatial scales.
Dissolved and particulate organic matter – linking terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
Dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOM, POM) are key components of the global C cycle and important as potential sources of CO2, and for the long-term preservation of carbon stabilized in subsoils and sediments. DOM and POM are key sources of energy for microbial metabolism within terrestrial ecosystems, the aquatic continuum, and ultimately the ocean. Despite recent evidence showing this lateral transport of carbon is linked to anthropogenic perturbations, efforts to integrate DOM and POM fluxes across the terrestrial-aquatic continuum are just emerging. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of DOM and POM in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems remains challenging due to complex interactions of biogeochemical and hydrological processes at different scales, i.e. from the molecular to the landscape scale.
This session aims to improve our understanding of organic matter processing at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We solicit contributions dealing with amounts, composition, reactivity and fate of DOM and POM and its constituents (i.e. C, N, P, S) in soils, lakes, rivers and the coastal ocean as well as the impact of land use change and climatic change on these processes. For example, it is important to recognize the key role of peatlands as sources of organic matter for many streams and rivers as well as soil erosion induced lateral fluxes of sediment and carbon at the catchment scale when assessing C dynamics across the terrestrial-aquatic continuum. Therefore, we aim to bring together scientists from various backgrounds, but all devoted to the study of dissolved and/or particulate organic matter using a broad spectrum of methodological approaches (e.g. molecular, spectroscopic, isotopic, 14C, other tracers, and modeling).
Globally, 10–20% of peatlands have been drained for agriculture or forestry, and they emit close to 5% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. There are countries in Europe that have more than 60% of their agricultural emissions originating from cultivated organic soils, and the fate of South-East Asian peatlands is of global concern. Drainage causes losses of specialized species and further ecosystem services such as nutrient retention. However, most peatland-rich countries address peatlands poorly in national emission reporting and climate change mitigation strategies.
Innovative mitigation measures that sustain economically viable biomass production while reducing negative environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions, fire risk and supporting ecosystem services of organic soils are currently vigorously studied. Management measures include, but are not limited to, productive use of wet peatlands (“paludiculture”), improved water management in conventional agriculture and innovative approaches in conservation-focused rewetting projects. Production systems where peatland water table is 40 cm below the surface or higher, can generate food (e.g. fish, berries, mushrooms), feed (e.g. fodder for livestock), fiber (for construction, furniture) and fuel, and raw materials for chemical industry. How to implement these innovations in practice and integrate them into national GHG inventories remains a challenge.
We invite studies addressing peat-preserving management practices on organic soils as well as their implementation into GHG inventories. Work on all spatial scales from the laboratory to the national level addressing biogeochemical as well as biological aspects and both experimental and modelling studies are welcome. Especially research on development of traditional systems with details on commodities with viable value chains and income generation would be of interest. Furthermore, we invite contributions that address policy coherence and identify policy instruments for initiating and implementing new management practices on organic soils.
This session is organized as a joined effort of Global Research Alliance “Peatland Management” working group, Global Peatlands Initiative, Greifswald Mire Center, Thünen Institute and RePeat (REstoration and prognosis of PEAT formation in fens - linking diversity in plant functional traits to soil biological and biogeochemical processes 2016-2019; BiodiVErSA) and PeatWise (Wise use of drained peatlands in a bio-based economy: development of improved assessment practices and sustainable techniques for mitigation of greenhouse gases 2017-2020; FACCE ERA-GAS) – projects.
Exchange of GHG and reactive gases in agricultural ecosystems
Managed agricultural ecosystems (grassland and cropland) are an important source and/or sink for greenhouse gases (GHG) as well as reactive trace gases. Due to the simultaneous influence of management activities (e.g. fertilizer application, harvest, grazing) and various environmental drivers, the flux patterns are often complex and difficult to attribute to individual drivers. Management related mitigation options may result in trade-offs between different GHG (CO2, CH4, N2O) or between emission of GHG and reactive gases like NH3.
The session addresses experimentalists and modelers working on fluxes and exchange processes on plot, field, landscape, and regional scale. It is open to a wide range of studies including the development and application of new devices, methods, and model approaches as well as field observations and process studies.
Particularly welcome are studies on the full carbon, nitrogen or GHG budgets, as well as studies comparing GHG and reactive gas exchange. We also encourage contributions about N2O, NH3 and NO emission factors.
Emerging constraints of photosynthesis (including chlorophyll fluorescence), respiration, and transpiration at ecosystem to global scales
Gross photosynthetic CO2 uptake is the single largest component of the global carbon cycle and a crucial variable for monitoring and understanding global biogeochemical cycles and fundamental ecosystem services. Nowadays routine measurements of the net biosphere-atmosphere CO2 exchange are conducted at the ecosystem scale in a large variety of ecosystem types across the globe. Gross photosynthetic and ecosystem respiratory fluxes are then typically inferred from the net CO2 exchange and used for benchmarking of terrestrial biosphere models or as backbones for upscaling exercises. Uncertainty in the responses of photosynthesis and respiration to the climate and environmental conditions is a major source of uncertainty in predictions of ecosystem-atmosphere feedbacks under climate change. On the other hand transpiration estimates both at ecosystem to global scales are highly uncertain with estimates ranging from 20 to 90 % of total evapotranspiration. The most important bottleneck to narrow down the uncertainty in transpiration estimates is the fact that direct measurements of transpiration are uncertain and techniques like eddy covariance measure only the total evapotranspiration.
During the last decade, technological developments in field spectroscopy, near surface remote sensing, isotope flux measurements and quantum cascade lasers have enabled alternative approaches for constraining ecosystem-scale photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. On the other hand a variety of approaches have been developed to directly assess the gross fluxes of CO2 and transpiration by using both process based and empirical models, and machine learning techniques.
In this session we aim at reviewing recent progress made with novel approaches of constraining ecosystem gross photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration and at discussing their weaknesses and future steps required to reduce the uncertainty of present-day estimates. To this end we are seeking contributions that use emerging constrains to improve the ability to quantify respiration and photosynthesis processes, transpiration and water use efficiency, at scales from leaf to ecosystem and global. Particularly welcome are studies reporting advancements and new developments in CO2 and evapotranspiration flux partitioning from eddy covariance data, the use of carbonyl sulfide, stable isotopes approaches, with a special attention on sun-induced fluorescence, whose studies at various scales have flourished in the last years, addressing a large panel of fundamental challenges. The assessment of photosynthesis from space-based measurements of fluorescence will also be the focus of the FLEX mission, currently under implementation by the European Space Agency. This session welcomes presentations contributing to a better knowledge on vegetation fluorescence, including its measurement, modelling, interpretation, new instruments and applications from local to global scales. Modelling studies which enhance our fundamental understanding of ecosystem-atmosphere CO2 exchange at global scale or make use of these emerging new constraints in data assimilation schemes are also welcome.
Global Earth observation for improved understanding of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics
Monitoring and modeling of vegetation and ecosystem dynamics is fundamental in diagnosing and forecasting Earth system states and feedbacks. However, the underlying ecosystem processes are still relatively poorly described by Earth system models. Confronting terrestrial biogeochemical models at multiple temporal and spatial scales with an ever-increasing amount and diversity of Earth observation data is therefore needed.
To this end, the rapidly growing amount of satellite data has fostered the development of novel global satellite products of vegetation and ecosystem properties (such as fluorescence, microwave vegetation optical depth, biomass, multi-sensor climate data records, new high resolution products), which complement more traditional products, like NDVI, LAI or fAPAR. In this session, we present the most recent advances in:
(1) the production of global land surface biophysical and biochemical variables from satellite observations;
(2) assessment of plausibility, validation and intercomparisons of these products;
(3) their use in studying global ecosystem dynamics related to, e.g., climate variability and change;
(4) benchmarking and improvement of global vegetation models through statistical analysis and model-data integration techniques.
The latter may consider methodological foci or include applications related to the monitoring and modeling of terrestrial vegetation and ecosystem dynamics for timescales from days to decades, also including multiple data streams.
Carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems: mechanisms, responses and biogeochemical implications
Carbon allocation is a key process in ecosystems: it is coupled with plant growth, fuels metabolism and plays a crucial role for carbon sequestration in standing biomass and soil organic matter. While the importance of carbon allocation for plant and ecosystem functioning and the carbon balance is widely recognized, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms, responses to global changes and wider biogeochemical implications. Open questions include: 1) what drives carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems?; 2) what is the fate of newly assimilated carbon?; 3) what determines the allocation of nonstructural carbon to growth, metabolism and storage?, 4) how does carbon allocation affect nutrient and water relations in plant and ecosystems?; and 5) how do allocation patterns change under changing environmental conditions and what are the consequences for biogeochemical cycles? This session invites contributions from observational, experimental and modelling studies.
Silicon in the critical zone under global change: towards an integrated view from ecological, agronomical and geochemical perspectives
Silicon (Si) is crucial in numerous biochemical and geochemical processes. Earlier scientific literature on Si cycling focused on abiotic weathering processes, while in recent years, scientists have become more aware of the significant role of biotic controls. Silicon plays a key role in processes governing soil formation and soil-plant feedback interactions. Vegetation, soil organisms, including fauna, microorganisms and fungi, strongly affect Si dynamic in terrestrial ecosystems but the mechanisms are still poorly understood. In particular, Si has numerous beneficial effects on both plant structure, function as well as resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses motivating studies focusing on Si functional ecology and silica biomineralization. The global Si cycle is receiving increased attention because of its links with the carbon cycle as well as other major biogeochemical cycles and toxic elements. A better understanding of the terrestrial Si cycle is thus critical, especially as drastic and subtle changes in the terrestrial Si cycle are occurring worldwide in response to global change.
This session aims at compiling recent work focusing on biogeochemical Si cycling under global change, its functions in terrestrial ecosystems as well as its evolution in the recent past. This session bridges advances from soil sciences, ecology, plant physiology, agronomy, biogeochemistry (including isotopes studies) and paleontology. We invite studies tackling biotic and abiotic interactions at different time and spatial scales affecting the Si cycle and its interactions with other biogeochemical cycles. We encourage interdisciplinary studies as well as contributions from both field and laboratory experiments encompassing biogeochemical processes, molecular mechanisms to improve our understanding of the role of Si in ecosystem processes. Meta-analyses and paleo-environmental studies using phytoliths are also welcome.
Sustainable agriculture is needed to ensure that both present and future societies will be food secure without exacerbating adverse environmental change. Current agricultural production systems are already challenged by several factors, such as climate change, availability and accessibility of water and other inputs, socio-economic conditions, and changing and increasing demand for agricultural products. Agriculture is also expected to contribute to climate change mitigation, to minimize pollution of the environment, and to preserve biodiversity.
Assessing all these challenges requires studying alternative land management options at local to global scales and to assess agricultural production systems rather than individual products.
This session will focus on the modeling of agricultural systems under global change, addressing challenges in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, sustainable intensification, and environmental impacts of agricultural production across scales. We welcome contributions on methods and data, assessments of climate impacts and adaptation options, environmental impacts, GHG mitigation, and economic evaluations.
Mining and industrial activities, particularly in the past, have left waste deposit sites and contaminated former fertile soils in many countries. Due to future shortage of arable areas as well as raw materials, the recovery of raw materials as well as remediation for future agricultural utilization, and prevention of hazardous leachings to the groundwater continues to be a goal of current and future research. Bioremediation and biomining techniques are considered as cost-effective and environmentally friendly, “green” technologies for the in situ restoration of the health and productive capacity of soils, mitigating environmental impacts of impaired soils, and last but not least, the gain of raw materials (e.g. by phytoextraction). However, optimization of these technologies requires a sound understanding of related biogeochemical processes and the consequences of site management.
This session aims to bring together contributions of all aspects of biomining and bioremediation research including the effects of rhizosphere processes, soil management and microbial leaching.
This includes, among others:
-advances in the understanding of functions of plant-soil-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere
-factors influencing the mobility and leaching of target elements or soil contaminants
-distribution of target elements inside the organisms
-final recovery of metals from accumulator plants or leachates
We welcome presentations of laboratory and field research results as well as theoretical studies. We intend to bring together scientists from multiple disciplines. Young researchers are especially encouraged to submit their contributions.
Land use and land cover change effects on surface biogeophysics, biogeochemistry and climate
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) has the capacity to alter the climate by disrupting land-atmosphere fluxes of carbon, water and energy. Much attention has been devoted to the biogeochemical impacts of LULCC, yet there is an increasing awareness that the biogeophysical mechanisms should also be considered in climate change assessments of LULCC impacts on weather and climate. Characterizing biogeophysical land-climate interactions remains challenging due to their complexity and uncertainty. While from the biogeochemical perspective converting forest into grassland leads to warming the climate, from the biogeophysical side it typically entails a rapid increase in albedo and a concomitant decrease in evapotranspiration that may ultimately lead to a cooling or a warming effect, depending on which of the two processes dominates and depending on the size and pattern of the LULCC perturbation. Recent advances exploiting Earth system modelling and Earth observation tools are opening new possibilities to better describe LULCC and its effects at multiple temporal and spatial scales. This session welcomes studies that improve our general understanding of climate perturbations connected to LULCC from both biogeophysical and biogeochemical standpoints, and particularly those focusing on their intersection. Both observation-based and model-based analyses at local to global scales are welcome.
Hazard and risk assessment of climate related impacts on Agricultural and Forested Ecosystems using Remote Sensing and modelling
Significant recent changes in climate are linked to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and weather-related events such as heat and cold waves, floods, wind and snow storms, droughts, wildfires, tropical storms, dust storms, etc. This underscores the critical need for: (i) monitoring such events; (ii) evaluating the potential risks to the environment and to society, and; (iii) planning in terms of adaptation and/or mitigation of the potential impacts. The intensity and frequency of such extreme weather and climate events follow trends expected of a warming planet, and more importantly, such events will continue to occur with increased likelihood and severity.
Agricultural and forested areas cover large surfaces over many countries and are a very important resource that needs to be protected and managed correctly for both the environment and the local communities. Therefore, potential impacts deriving from a changing climate and from more frequent and intense extreme events can pose a serious threat to economic infrastructure and development in the coming decades, and also severely undermine food, fodder, water, and energy security for a growing global population.
Remote Sensing that includes the use of space, aerial and proximal sensors provide valuable tools to monitor, evaluate and understand ecosystem response and impacts at local, regional, and global scales based on spatio-temporal analysis of long-term imagery and related environmental data. Further, studies allowing the quantitative or qualitative evaluation of the risks, including integrating environmental and socio-economical components are particularly important for the stakeholders and decision-makers at all administrative levels. Thus, it is important to better understand links between climate change/extreme events in relation to associated risks for better planning and sustainable management of our resources in an effective and timely manner.
Relevant abstracts will be encouraged to submit a full paper to a related special issu in the journal NHESS (Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences - https://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/special_issue980.html).
We especially encourage, but not limit, the participation of Early Career Scientists interested in the field of Natural Hazards.
The session is organized in cooperation with NhET (Natural hazard Early career scientists Team).
Soils as a non-point source of contamination by emerging contaminants, including pesticides or their degradation products
The world annual consumption of pesticides has amounted to 2.7 × 106 tons in recent years. Agricultural land is the first recipient of pesticides after its application; even if the pesticides are applied in accordance with the regulations, only a minor amount reaches its objectives, while the rest represent possible environmental contaminants and short or long-term harvest products, with a wide range of possible negative impacts. For many pesticides or their degradation products, soils become the non-point source of groundwater contamination (leaching of soluble compounds and compounds linked to colloids) and / or surface water (runoff of soluble compounds, compounds bound to colloids and soil particles, transport from groundwater). On the other hand, these pesticides represent a potential risk for soil biota, such as nematodes, microorganisms and plants.
The purpose of the session is to share the knowledge generated by researchers whose interest lies in the role of soil in the destination and the behavior of emerging contaminants, including pesticides.
This session will include contributions from different areas:
1. Development, validation and application of analytical methods for pesticides and their degradation / transformation products in water, soil, sediment, air and food samples for direct consumption or fresh consumption.
2. Studies of adsorption, desorption, physical transport, synergies, etc. between soil and organic pollutants of agricultural production (pesticides, pharmaceutical products, other emerging pollutants, which favor their environmental availability.
3. Field tests, monitoring and modeling of environmental destinations of pesticides.
4. Effects of mixtures of pesticides and pesticides on non-target organisms and interactions of various classes of pesticides detected in the natural environment.
5. Evaluation of risks of environmental contamination by pesticides.
6. Assessments regarding climate change on the fate and behavior of pesticides.
The scientific session “Soils as a non-point source of contamination by pesticides or their degradation products” will provide an opportunity to research teams working in different parts of the world to discuss their findings within the settings of a large conference.
Water, isotope and solute fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere interface: Investigations from the canopy to the root zone
During the passage of precipitation through the soil-plant-atmosphere interface, water and solutes are redistributed by the plant canopy, subsurface flow and transport processes. Many of these dynamic interactions between vegetation and soil are not yet well understood. This session brings together the vibrant community addressing a better understanding of ecohydrological processes taking place between the canopy and the root zone. Innovative methods investigating throughfall, stemflow, hydraulic redistribution, and root water uptake in various environments shed light on how water and solutes are routed in the thin layer covering the terrestrial ecosystems. The session further covers open questions and new opportunities within the ecohydrological community regarding methodological developments such as the analysis of stable isotope, soil moisture, throughfall or solute dynamics.