Sustaining soil functions in organic and inorganic farming – soil quality assessment, processes and models
Convener: Sara KönigECSECS | Co-conveners: Chris Collins, Marta María Moreno Valencia, Taru SandénECSECS, Jaime Villena, A. Sanz-Cobena, Maria Arróniz
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 14:00–18:00 (CEST)

Soils provide many essential functions which are indispensable for terrestrial ecosystems and the health of human societies. Beyond the production of biomass these functions are nutrient cycling, filter and buffer for water, climate regulation and habitat for an overwhelming biodiversity.
In view of an increasing pressure on agricultural soils and the need for sustainable soil management all these functions need to be taken into account, especially in organic farming fields. They emerge from complex interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes in soil. This need to be understood and disentangled to predict soil quality and the impact of agricultural soil management on soil functions by the use of indicators and simulation models.
Various international project consortiums are working on related research questions, such as the Soil Security Programme (SSP), BonaRes or LANDMARK. With this session, we aim to bring together the expertise of those and similar projects to combine the gained knowledge and identify still open research gaps for future work.
We seek contributions which (i) enhance our current process understanding of how soil management practices impact one or more soil functions, (ii) show how to quantify soil functions based on suitable proxies or indicators, (iii) present modelling approaches for simulating one or more soil functions, and (iv) demonstrate how soil functions resist and recover from perturbations. Advanced information technologies in modern decision support systems integrated along with large and complex databases, models, tools, and techniques, to improve the decision-making process in soil quality management are also welcome.

This session has been promoted by:
Sustainable Agro-ecosystems (AGRISOST,
International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC,

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