Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions AS–GM
Disciplinary sessions GMPV–TS

Session programme


SSS – Soil System Sciences

Programme group chair: Claudio Zaccone

SSS9 – Soils, Forestry and Agriculture

Programme group scientific officers: Jose Alfonso Gomez, Marta María Moreno Valencia, Amandine Pastor


Viticulture is one of the most important agricultural sectors of Europe with an average annual production of 168 million hectoliters (54% of global consumption). The concept of “Terroir” links the quality and typicity of wine to the territory, and, in particular, to specific environmental characteristics that affect the plant response (e.g. climate, geology, pedology). The environmental factors that drive the terroir effect vary in space and time, as well as soil and crop management.
Understanding the spatial variability of some environmental factors (e.g. soil) is very important to manage and preserve terroirs and face the current and future issue of climate change. In this sense, it is important to stress that in the last decade, the study of terroir has shifted from a largely descriptive regional science to a more applied, technical research field, including: sensors for mapping and monitoring environmental variables, remote sensing and drones for crop monitoring, forecast models, use of microelements and isotopes for wine traceability, metagenome approach to study the biogeochemical cycles of nutrients.
Moreover, public awareness for ecosystem functioning has led to more quantitative approaches in evidencing the relations between management and the ecosystem services of vineyard agroecosystems. Agroecology approaches in vineyard, like the use of cover crops, straw mulching, and organic amendments, are developing to improve biodiversity, organic matter, soil water and nutrient retention, preservation from soil erosion.
On those bases, the session will address the several aspects of viticultural terroirs:
1) quantifying and spatial modelling of terroir components that influence plant growth, fruit composition and quality, mostly examining climate-soil-water relationships; 2) terroir concept resilience to climate change; 3) wine traceability and zoning based on microelements and isotopes; 4) interaction between vineyard management practices and effects on soil and water quality as well as biodiversity and related ecosystem services.

Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Veronica De Micco | Co-conveners: Antonello Bonfante, Rossano Ciampalini, Simone Priori, João Andrade Santos
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

China and European Union faces the challenge of increasing yield and the quality of produced food while simultaneously enhance the provision of ecosystems services from agricultural areas, some of them severely degraded. This is a transversal challenge encompassing all kind of agricultural systems which need to optimize the use of soil resources, particularly soil and water, while simultaneously adapt to changing climate and market conditions. Currently there are many initiatives, among them several EU funded projects, related to generate basic and applied science to meet this challenge.
In this frame, this session will try to promote discussion and networking among researchers working or interested in this issue from different background, focusing on recent and past development of SWC, especially related to:
i) Comparison of strategies to optimize soil and water use in different EU and Chinese agricultural systems under different environmental conditions and scales.
ii) Interaction between basic and applied science to deliver viable technological packages for addressing these challenges for stakeholders.
iii) Synergies between digital agriculture and basic and applied research for more sustainable agricultural systems in EU and China.

Convener: Jose Alfonso Gomez | Co-conveners: Ferdinando Branca, Ian C. Dodd, Luuk Fleskens, Weifeng Xu
| Attendance Mon, 04 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

Soil is the largest carbon (C) reservoir in terrestrial ecosystems with twice the amount of atmospheric C and three times the amount in terrestrial vegetation. Carbon related ecosystem services include retention of water and nutrients, promoting soil fertility and productivity and soil resistance to erosion. In addition, changes in the soil C can have strong implications for greenhouse gas emissions from soil with implications in environmental health.

Drivers controlling C pools and its dynamics are multiple (e.g. land use/vegetation cover, climate, texture and bedrock, topography, soil microbial community, soil erosion rates, soil and other environment management practices, etc. ) and some of them are mutually interacting. Also, rate of net soil C loss can be high in some environments due to both climatic constrains or management. Thus, investigation of C dynamics should be addressed with regards to the climate change and climatic extreme events to provide a better understanding of carbon stabilization processes and thus support decision making in soil management and climate adaptation strategies.

The present session highlights the importance of soil C changes, and the interaction among the mechanisms affecting C concentration and stocks in soil. Discussion about the proxies to measure and model C stocks, with special emphasis to cropping systems and natural/semi-natural areas, is encouraged. These proxies should be approached at varying the availability of soil and environment information, including, e.g., soil texture, rainfall, temperature, bulk density, land use and land management, or proximal and remote sensing properties. Studies presented in this session can aim to a wealth of aims, including soil fertility, provision of ecosystem services, and their changes, and the implication for economy, policy, and decision making.

Types of contribution appreciated include, but are not limited to, definitive and intermediate results; project outcomes; proposal of methods or sampling and modelling strategies, and the assessment of their effectiveness; projection of previous results at the light of climate change and climatic extremes; literature surveys, reviews, and meta-analysis. These works will be evaluated at the light of the organisation of a special issue in an impacted journal

Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Sergio Saia | Co-conveners: Laura QuijanoECSECS, Calogero Schillaci, Viktoriia Hetmanenko, Jorge Alvaro-Fuentes
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

Intensive agricultural practices are worldwide drivers of soil, water and atmosphere pollution. In this optic, there is an urgent need to implement sustainable methodologies which help to preserve these fundamental non-renewable environmental resources.
One of the main issues related to intensive agriculture is the excess use of N and P fertilizers coupled with the low fertilizer efficiency. When their application surpasses the crop uptake, the excess N and P is leached into waterways or, in the specific case of N, volatilized as harmful or greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Nevertheless, during the last decades several organic and inorganic amendments (e.g. zeolites, biochar, manure, etc.) have been recognized as an efficient strategy for soil, water and air preservation. Specifically, the application of different inorganic and organic soil amendments has been found to improve soil quality, soil organic matter, aggregate stability, nutrient retention, plant N use efficiency, influence microbial activity and population as well as soil gaseous emissions. Soil amendments are also effective in improving soil water retention, which can be beneficial when extreme events such as drought occurs. Furthermore, the high immobilization potential of pollutants by these soil amendments make them an attractive tool for the recovery of contaminated areas and disturbed landscapes. With this session we aim to focus on the current research and latest advances on a wide spectrum of soil inorganic and organic amendments in agriculture as well as for the restoration of degraded soils, covering biological, chemico-physical, biochemical and environmental aspects.
Submission of abstracts from PhD students and early career scientists are particularly encouraged.

Convener: Giacomo FerrettiECSECS | Co-conveners: Paloma CamposECSECS, José María De la Rosa, Giulio GalaminiECSECS, Katharina Maria Keiblinger
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

According to the Global Wildfire Information System, every year approximately 350 million hectares of land are affected by wildfires. This global phenomenon is responsible for substantial environmental, social and economic losses, which together with land abandonment, droughts, absence of appropriate land management and urban development planning, are expected to aggravate land degradation. In addition, wildfires are becoming a persistent threat, since the fire risk is expected to increase in a context of a warmer and drier climate.
This increased land degradation as a consequence of wildfires has also been highlighted in the latest Climate Change and Land, IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. The impacts of wildfires on soils and ecosystems severely affect ecosystem services supply such as raw material and water provisioning, carbon storage, erosion and flood control, and habitat support, which are essential for human life. Therefore, attention of researchers, stakeholders and decision makers worldwide is urgently needed.
The aim of this session is to join researchers that study the effects of wildfires on ecosystems from wildfire prevention to post-fire mitigation. We warmly invite studies that approach:
i. prescribed and/or experimental fires;
ii. fire severity and burn severity;
iii. fire effects on vegetation, soils and water;
iv. post-fire hydrological and erosive response;
v. post-fire management and mitigation;
either by means of laboratory, field experiments, and/or numerical modelling.

Public information:
Short summary and feedback of the session
Our session aimed at bringing together researchers who study the effects of wildfires on ecosystems from wildfire prevention to post-fire mitigation. Overall, all the objectives of the session were addressed, and the main outcomes from this session agree in the need for a multidisciplinary approach to implement adequate pre-and post-fire management. It should be highlighted that many advances are being made:
• at the level of using remote-sense technologies to address wildfire risk and fuel connectivity within rural-urban interfaces;
• in the development of direct and indirect techniques to determine/estimate impacts of fires in soil properties;
• more than in the past, we can now observe more studies addressing post-fire mitigation treatments;
• the same way, several advances were made in modeling post-fire hydrological response and soil erosion processes.

Co-organized by GM4/NH7
Convener: Diana VieiraECSECS | Co-conveners: Jantiene BaartmanECSECS, Marcos Francos, Antonio Girona-GarcíaECSECS, Paulo Pereira
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

• Efficiency and productivity of water irrigation
• Scale-dependent and driven resilience in irrigated landscapes
• Resilience in coupled natural and human systems where ground and surface water and land are limiting resources for irrigation
• Traditional, novel, and transitional technologies for irrigation management and improvement
• Pros and cons of marginal water use in irrigated agriculture
• Better agronomic and irrigation management practices for soil biodiversity and natural ecosystems improvements and recovery.
• Information technologies , complex system integration and proximal and remote sensing in irrigated agriculture as alternatives to tackle current irrigation problems
• Agro-hydrological models and decision support systems to improve decisions in irrigation management and in safe surface water-groundwater interactions.

Co-organized by HS13
Convener: Leonor Rodriguez-Sinobas | Co-conveners: Daniele Masseroni, María Fátima Moreno Pérez, Giuseppe Provenzano, Alejandro Pérez-Pastor
| Attendance Fri, 08 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

Terrestrial (semi-)natural and managed ecosystems like forests, grasslands, croplands and wetlands are important sources and/or sinks for greenhouse gases (GHGs: CO2, CH4, N2O) as well as for other trace gases (VOCs, NH3, NO, HONO, Rn, He, etc.). Soils sustain complex patterns of life and act as biogeochemical reactors. Production and consumption of gases and their transport in the soil result in typical patterns of gas concentrations that play a fundamental role affecting many soil functions, such as root and plant growth, microbial activity, and stabilization of soil organic carbon. Plants can contribute to ecosystem exchange by uptake and transport of soil-produced gases to the atmosphere, in-situ production and consumption of 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 many aspects as plant/tree species, ecosystem type, soil type and conditions, environmental parameters and seasonal dynamics.
Due to the simultaneous influence of various environmental drivers and in case of managed land also management activities, the flux patterns in soil-plant-atmosphere systems are often complex and difficult to attribute to individual drivers. However, it is clear that Interactions between soil, vegetation and the atmosphere exert a crucial role controlling the global budget of these gases and need to be well understood to make any predictions for future.
The session addresses experimentalists and modellers working on trace gas fluxes and their dynamics, production and consumption processes, transport mechanisms and interactions in terrestrial ecosystems at any relevant scale, and from the full climatic and hydrological ecosystem range. We welcome also contributions presenting methodological aspects, development and application of new devices and methods, and modelling studies that seek to integrate our understanding of trace gas exchange in terrestrial ecosystems.

Public information:
EGU this year is different than it used to be. We will be able to use the “Sharing Geoscience Online” platform to present and exchange about our research data and results.
But EGU is not only sharing scientific content, but it is also meeting people. We always had session dinners in our session, where people could meet, have a drink, and exchange ideas about science and life in general.

We want to continue this tradition.
We will have a “Session-Dinner”-at-home online on Thursday, May 7, 19:00 (Vienna Time)

If you are interested in joinnig us, you are welcome - please let me know, and I ll share the link:


Kind regards


Co-organized by SSS9
Convener: Katerina Machacova | Co-conveners: Christof Ammann, Bernard Longdoz, Martin Maier, Jukka Pumpanen, Kaido Soosaar, Barbara Kitzler, Nicholas Nickerson
| Attendance Fri, 08 May, 08:30–12:30 (CEST)

In many parts of the world, weather represents one of the major uncertainties affecting performance and management of agricultural systems. Due to global climate changes the climatic variability and the occurrence of extreme weather events is likely to increase leading to substantial increase in agricultural risk and destabilisation of farm incomes. This issue is not only important for farm managers but also for policy makers, since income stabilisation in agriculture is frequently considered as a governmental task.

The aim of this session is to discuss the state of the art research in the area of analysis and management of weather-related risks in agriculture. Both structural and non-structural measures can be used to reduce the impact of climate variability including extreme weather on crop production. While the structural measures include strategies such as irrigation, water harvesting, windbreaks etc., the non-structural measures include the use of the medium-range weather forecast and crop insurance.

The topic is at the borderline of different disciplines, in particular agricultural and financial economics, meteorology, modelling and agronomy. Thus, the session offers a platform to exchange ideas and views on weather-related risks across these disciplines with the focus on quantifying the impact of extreme weather on agricultural production including impacts of climate change, analysis of financial instruments that allow reducing or sharing weather-related risks, evaluation of risk management strategies on the farm level, development of the theory of risk management and to exchange practical experiences with the different types of weather insurance.

This session has been promoted by:
• Natural hazard Early career scientists Team (NhET, https://blogs.egu.eu/divisions/nh/tag/early-career-scientists/)
• Boosting Agricultural Insurance based on Earth Observation data (BEACON, https://beacon-h2020.com/)
• Research Center for the Management of Agriculutral and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM, http://www.ceigram.upm.es/ingles/)

Co-organized by SSS9
Convener: Ana Maria Tarquis | Co-conveners: Anne Gobin, Stefanos Mystakidis, Jonathan RizziECSECS, Wenwu Zhao, Luigi Lombardo
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)