SSS – Soil System Sciences
Programme group chairs:
Philippe Duchaufour Medal Lecture by Mary K. Firestone & SSS Division Outstanding ECS Award Lecture by Diana C. S. Vieira
Division meeting for Soil System Sciences (SSS)
Thu, 26 May, 12:00–13:00 (CEST)
SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science
Programme group scientific officers:
H. Curtis Monger,
Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja,
Demetrio Antonio Zema
Citizen science (the involvement of the public in scientific processes) is gaining momentum across multiple disciplines, increasing multi-scale data production on Earth Sciences that is extending the frontiers of knowledge. Successful participatory science enterprises and citizen observatories can potentially be scaled-up in order to contribute to larger policy strategies and actions (e.g. the European Earth Observation monitoring systems), for example to be integrated in GEOSS and Copernicus. Making credible contributions to science can empower citizens to actively participate as citizen stewards in decision making, helping to bridge scientific disciplines and promote vibrant, liveable and sustainable environments for inhabitants across rural and urban localities.
Often, citizen science is seen in the context of Open Science, which is a broad movement embracing Open Data, Open Technology, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Source, Open Methodology, and Open Peer Review. Before 2003, the term Open Access was related only to free access to peer-reviewed literature (e.g., Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002). In 2003 and during the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities”, the definition was considered to have a wider scope that includes raw research data, metadata, source materials, and scholarly multimedia material. Increasingly, access to research data has become a core issue in the advance of science. Both open science and citizen science pose great challenges for researchers to facilitate effective participatory science, yet they are of critical importance to modern research and decision-makers.
We want to ask and find answers to the following questions:
Which approaches and tools can be used in Earth and planetary observation?
What are the biggest challenges in bridging between scientific disciplines and how to overcome them?
What kind of participatory citizen scientist involvement (e.g. how are citizen scientists involved in research, which kind of groups are involved) and open science strategies exist?
How to ensure transparency in project results and analyses?
What kind of critical perspectives on the limitations, challenges, and ethical considerations exist?
How can citizen science and open science approaches and initiatives be supported on different levels (e.g. institutional, organizational, national)?
SSS2 – Soil Erosion and Conservation
Programme group scientific officers:
Soil erosion is a major global soil degradation threat to land, freshwater and oceans. Scientific understanding of all erosional physical processes controlling soil detachment, transportation, and deposition is vital when developing methods and conservation alternatives to minimize the impacts associated with soil degradation and support decision making.
This session will discuss the latest developments in soil erosion and closely associated land degradation processes in agriculture, forest and rangelands. Providing space for presenting and discussing:
• measurements - from rill to gully erosion, by means of field essays or laboratory experiments;
• monitoring - short to long-term assessments, by mean of local assessments or remote sensing techniques;
• modelling approaches – from plot to global scale, addressing current and future land and climate change demands;
• mitigation and restoration – to address on-site and off-site impacts on soils and water.
Our main objective is to scientifically discuss soil erosion processes and impacts but also to explore strategies that may help land stakeholders (farmers, land managers or policy makers), and support the ongoing initiatives aiming for land degradation neutrality by 2030 and the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).
Tue, 24 May, 08:30–11:50 (CEST), 13:20–16:40 (CEST)
Soil has a tremendous potential to help mitigate climate change and contribute to most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as expressed in the recent IPCC report on climate change and land. However, it is challenging to adapt and improve management practices for maximizing this potential, particularly when the main focus is to explore other services provided by soils, such as productivity. This is even more challenging considering the degradation status and/or risk of degradation of several soils worldwide, driven by anthropogenic activities (e.g. intensive agriculture and forestry, urbanization). The loss of organic matter and erosion are just a few examples of soil threats limiting climate change mitigation. Yet, increasing concerns have been devoted to restoring degraded land and soil in order to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality target, with impacts on increasing carbon storage. Over the last years, there has been an increasing interest on the potential of the soil to contribute to climate change mitigation and carbon neutrality. This has been noticed through several national and international initiatives, at civil (e.g. "4 per 1000" initiative) and political (e.g. Green Deal) level, and the establishment of partnerships (e.g. European Joint Programme SOIL).
This session aims to discuss the potential of soils to contribute to climate neutrality. We welcome recent research and advances on the topic, including experimental and modelling studies, and contributions addressing the following subjects:
• Short- and long-term changes on soil carbon stocks under different land uses, and their link with management and soil degradation processes;
• Impact of management practices and soil conservation techniques on soil carbon sequestration;
• Soil-water-plant-atmosphere interaction under different soil and weather conditions and climate variation;
• Impact of climate change on Land Degradation Neutrality, and interactions between Climate Neutrality and Land Degradation Neutrality;
• Integration of IoT into soil science to better support soil-related decision-making processes in achieving climate neutrality;
• Improving governance of soil sustainable management as a necessary condition for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Mon, 23 May, 11:05–11:50 (CEST), 13:20–14:50 (CEST)
Global warming is unequivocal: the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events increased since the mid-20th century in all regions in which observational data were sufficient for trend analysis. And heavy precipitations and related effects are projected to intensify and be more frequent in most regions.
In this framework, particular attention should be paid to all the ground events triggered by rainfall, among which landslides and soil erosion.
Changes in temperature also have been shown to affect the hydraulic and mechanical behavior of soils and rocks in multiple ways, suggesting the importance of monitoring and modelling thermal variables alongside the hydraulic ones.
The influence of climate variables on the triggering, frequency, and severity of slope failures and soil erosion can be different according to the area, the time horizon of interest, and the specific trends of weather variables. Similarly, land use/cover change can play a pivotal role in exacerbating or reducing such hazards.
Thus, the overall impacts depend on the region, spatial scale, time frame, and socio-economic context addressed. However, even the simple identification of the weather patterns regulating the occurrence of such phenomena represents a not trivial issue, also assuming steady conditions, due to the crucial role played by geomorphological details. To support hazards’ monitoring, predictions, and projections, last-generation and updated datasets with high spatio-temporal resolution and quality - as those from the Copernicus Services’ Portals - are useful to feed models, big-data analytics, and indicators’ frameworks enabling timely, robust, and efficient decision making.
The Session aims at presenting studies concerning ongoing to future analysis on the impact of climate change on landslide triggering and dynamics, and soil erosion hazard, across different geographical contexts and scales. Either investigations including analyses of historical records and related climate variables, or modeling approaches driven by future climate exploiting downscaled output of climate projections are welcome. Studies assessing variations in severity, frequency, and/or timing of events and consequent risks are valuable.
Moreover, a focus on all aspects of landslide thermo-hydro-mechanics, from experimental studies to field and remote-sensing monitoring, from microstructural analyses to geomechanical modelling at various spatial and temporal scales, is proposed.
Stefano Luigi GarianoECSECS
The Plateau-Mountain is widely distributed ecologically vulnerable area in the world. Due to the complication of its vertical zonality, the natural environment differentiated obviously, combined with the steep slope cultivations, leading to severe soil erosion and land degradation in these regions. To promote agricultural economic development, how to avoid the high rate of soil loss becomes the key environmental issue in the Plateau-Mountain areas. This session will discuss: 1) soil erosion processes and its environmental effect, 2) measures and techniques of soil conservation and vegetation restoration, 3) the key limiting factors of ecological restoration, and 4) balances between the fragile ecology protection and agricultural development in the Plateau-Mountain region.
SSS3 – Soils as Records in Time and Space
Programme group scientific officers:
Soils and palaeosols develop under the influence of various environmental factors that produce specific soil features, thus keeping a memory of both current and past environments. They are valuable archives of human activities that shaped environments and affected soil formation over the Holocene period. They can be studied to reconstruct environmental factors that were present during the time of their formation, and to disentangle the relative influences of different environmental conditions, both local and regional, on soil formation. Despite the increasing consideration of palaeosols in sedimentary successions, studies linking pedogenesis and sedimentary processes are still underrepresented. Anthropogenic soils in archaeological settings provide valuable archives for geoarchaeological studies, with their stratigraphy and properties reflecting settlement life cycles (occupation, abandonment, and reoccupation) and land-use history. Land-use legacy soils also have enormous potential for process-related research such as studying the long-term effects on the organic and inorganic carbon budget, physical compaction, aggregation, formation of anthropogenic pedofeatures and more.
This session is open for all contributions focused on the study of palaeosols, anthropogenic soils, and anthropogenically-affected soils, in particular on:
- The use of palaeosols and land-use legacy soils as records of present and former environments, both local and regional;
- Palaeosols and anthropogenically-affected soils and their relationships with sedimentary processes;
- Anthropogenic soils and palaeosols in archaeological contexts;
- The methodological progress in the study of soil records (for example, advances in biochemical, geochemical, and micromorphological (sub-)microscopic techniques in palaeopedology, in the interpretation of palaeoenvironmental data such as biomarker and isotope data, in remote sensing or modelling methods used to map and analyze spatial patterns of palaeosol and land use legacy soil distribution);
- Predictions of future soil changes as a result of changes in environmental conditions and/or land-use, based on observed past soil responses to environmental changes.
Documenting the diversity of human responses and adaptations to climate, landscapes, ecosystems, natural disasters and the changing natural resources availability in different regions of our planet, cross-disciplinary studies in Geoarchaeology provide valuable opportunities to learn from the past. Furthermore, human activity became a major player of global climatic and environmental change in the course of the late Quaternary, during the Anthropocene. Consequently, we must better understand the archaeological records and landscapes in context of human culture and the hydroclimate-environment nexus at different spatial and temporal scales. This session seeks related interdisciplinary papers and specific geoarchaeological case-studies that deploy various approaches and tools to address the reconstruction of former human-environmental interactions from the Palaeolithic period through the modern. Topics related to records of the Anthropocene from Earth and archaeological science perspectives are welcome. Furthermore, contributions may include (but are not limited to) insights about how people have coped with environmental disasters or abrupt changes in the past; defining sustainability thresholds for farming or resource exploitation; distinguishing the baseline natural and human contributions to environmental changes. Ultimately, we would like to understand how strategies of human resilience and innovation can inform our modern strategies for addressing the challenges of the emerging Anthropocene, a time frame dominated by human modulation of surface geomorphological processes and hydroclimate.
Guido Stefano MarianiECSECS
Hans von Suchodoletz,
SSS4 – Soil Biology, Microbiology and Biodiversity
Programme group scientific officers:
Soil structure is essential for soil biota and soil functioning. But its study remains difficult because of its heterogeneity in space and time. To understand the interactions between soil structure and soil biodiversity, a strong interdisciplinary approach merging soil physics, soil ecology and soil chemistry is needed. Soil structure defines the myriad of microhabitats that host the unparalleled biodiversity observed in soils. The micro-gradients in oxygen, moisture, nutrients and organic compounds act as ecological filters for soil biota and define soil functioning. The soil structure is also highly variable in time, being constantly re-modelled by numerous factors such as the alternation of wet and dry cycles, the activity of the soil biota, especially plant roots and ecosystem engineers (e.g. microbes, notably filamentous fungi stabilizing aggregates, soil macrofauna, etc.), and the input of fresh organic matter.
In this session, we invite interdisciplinary contributions on: (i) the formation and spatiotemporal variability of the soil structure, and on (ii) the role of the soil microhabitat in determining soil biodiversity. Field, experimental and modeling approaches are welcome. The ultimate aim is to understand how soil structure, from micro-architecture to macropores, emerges from interactions within soil, and how it determines the outcome of soil processes (e.g mineralization) that have an important outreach for plants (e.g through mycorrhizae for example).
Soil is the habitat for a myriad of organisms. These include soil fauna who are crucial in providing soil related ecosystem services, often through their interaction with microorganisms and plants. Soil fauna encompass a wide diversity of organisms including protozoa, nematodes, enchytraeids, microarthropods, as well as large invertebrates (e.g., earthworms, beetles). Variation in soil properties and climate result in a heterogeneous distribution of soil fauna across the globe. Soil fauna substantially affect litter decomposition and soil organic matter formation, and are key agents in soil structure formation. Their activity can result in the production of decomposition by-products which are still poorly chemically and physically characterized, despite the fact that they are a springboard for soil organic matter formation as well as a potential source of nutrients. Soil fauna therefore have a central role in soil biogeochemical cycling.
In this session, we welcome contributions on a wide range of topics related to the effect of soil fauna on biogeochemical cycling (e.g., organic carbon storage, nutrient availability, gas emissions) in interaction with soil properties (e.g., aggregation, bioturbation, biopores, weathering). We call for studies on the effect of soil fauna on litter decomposition and the analyses of the decomposition by-products, as well as studies that tackle the interactions between soil fauna, plants and microorganisms. We are especially interested in studies that provide mechanistic (rather than stochastic) links between faunal activity and ecosystem services. Studies can cover various scales (from microscale to landscape) and approaches using physical fractionation, molecular methods (e.g., amino sugars, lipids, PLFAs, DNA), and imaging (e.g., SEM, TEM, nanoSIMS, µCT), spectroscopic and/or isotopic techniques. We also encourage contributions investigating the changing role of soil fauna under climate change, land use changes and land cover change.
Jan Willem Van Groenigen
Soil organisms comprise a large fraction of global terrestrial diversity and are responsible for essential ecosystem functions and services, such as determining plant productivity, nutrient cycling, organic matter decomposition, pollutant degradation and pathogen control. However, soil biodiversity and its functional roles are determined by the abiotic surrounding. As such, anthropogenic influences including urbanization, land-use change, pollution, invasions etc., alter soil biodiversity and its functions. Here we aim to showcase recent advances on how anthropogenic drivers determine soil biodiversity and how that subsequently feeds-back to ecosystem functions and human health.
This session invites contributions that showcase examples of: 1) Mapping soil biodiversity under different anthropogenic influences; 2) Understanding the functional implication of anthropogenic changes of soil biodiversity; 3) Protecting and restoring biodiversity in anthropogenically altered soils; 4) Manipulating soil biodiversity to increase ecosystem functions and human health under anthropogenic factors.
Mon, 23 May, 10:20–11:48 (CEST), 13:20–14:38 (CEST)
Anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions are drastically shaping global climate, increasing temperatures and contributing to more frequent extreme weather events. Terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change can induce a large feedback via the control of biogeochemical cycles, for instance by regulating carbon fluxes that are 10 times larger than human emissions. A large portion of carbon and nutrient cycling is controlled by soil processes, in which microorganisms play a central role. Soil microbial communities and their physiological traits are, in turn, influenced by both gradual climate changes and more extreme short-term weather events. Thus, understanding the impacts of climate on soil microbial communities and microbe-mediated processes is critical for improving predictions of the resistance and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems in the future.
This session aims to elucidate the impacts of different climate scenarios on soil microbial communities and biogeochemical cycling, and their feedback to climate change. We will focus on different aspects of climate change, ranging from gradual changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 or temperature, to the effects of more extreme weather events such as heatwaves, drying-rewetting cycles or floods. We invite studies on the resilience and associated recovery dynamics of soil biota to the mentioned environmental disturbances, as well as on their resistance or adaptation mechanisms. Studies with a focus on links between microbial community composition and function, as well as interactions between soil microorganisms, plants and fauna, are particularly welcomed. We aim to connect researchers from different disciplines and to create a discussion platform to review the current state-of-the-art, identify knowledge gaps, share ideas, and tackle new challenges in the field.
Albert C. BrangaríECSECS
Microbial hotspots in soils such as the rhizosphere, detritusphere, biopores, hyphasphere, aggregate surfaces, pore space and etc, are characterized by high activity and fast process rates resulting in accelerated turnover of soil organic matter and other microbial functions (e.g. nutrient mobilization, litter decomposition, respiration, organic matter stabilization, greenhouse gas emission, acidification, etc.). The intensity of microbial and SOM turnover as well as nutrient cycling in such hotspots is at least one order of magnitude higher than in the bulk soil.
This session invites contribution to: 1) Various aspects of microbial activity, interactions, communities composition and distribution in hotspots; 2) Factors influencing (micro)biological nutrient (re)cycling including biotic and abiotic controls (e.g. climatic extreme, warming, drought, etc) are strongly encouraged; 3) The session will also present and discuss new developments to assess the crucial microbial mechanisms that underpin biogeochemical processes in hotspots (e.g. approaches assessing the variability in soil activity within the soil matrix, notably focusing on microbial molecular analysis and imaging methods); 4) Combination of experimental and theoretical approaches to predict the fate and functions of microorganisms in hotspots are highly appreciated.
Bahar S. Razavi
The rhizosphere is regarded as the soil compartment with the highest level of nutrient flux through a multitude of interactions between plants, soil, and (micro)biota. Roots and associated (micro)organisms interact with heterogeneous soil environments that provide habitats for biota on various scales. High metabolic activity and nutrient cycling can be observed from single root tips to whole root systems which makes the rhizosphere of central importance for ecosystem functioning.
The main knowledge-gaps in rhizosphere research are related to the difficulty in mechanistically linking the physical, chemical and biological processes, taking place at different scales (nm to cm) in the rhizosphere and to the challenge of upscaling these processes to the scale of the root system and the soil profile. The key for overcoming these knowledge gaps is to understand rates of matter flux, and to link the spatial arrangement of the different interconnected components of the rhizosphere with their temporal dynamics. This requires concerted efforts to combine methods from different disciplines like plant genomics, imaging, soil physics, chemistry and microbiology.
We welcome experimental and modelling studies on rhizosphere functioning that aim at revealing spatial gradients of e.g. functional biodiversity of microorganisms, uptake and release patterns by roots, soil structure modification by root growth (and vice versa) as well as feedbacks between those processes in order to improve our mechanistic understanding of emerging properties like water acquisition, nutrient cycling, plant health, soil structure development and feedbacks among them.
Tue, 24 May, 11:05–11:50 (CEST), 13:20–14:50 (CEST)
SSS5 – Soil Chemistry and Organic Matter Dynamics
Programme group scientific officers:
José María De la Rosa,
Carsten W. Mueller,
Soil organic matter (SOM) plays a vital role not only in soil fertility and quality (by providing a number of physical, chemical, and biological benefits), but also in carbon cycling. SOM contains a vast range of diverse organic structures, and also a living component (microorganisms) with various residence times that define the central role SOM plays in the soil. The decline of SOM represents one of the most serious threats facing many arable lands of the world. One of the efficient approaches to increase SOM content and decrease land degradation is the application of organic amendments, such as crop residues and animal manures. Nowadays, organic amendments originate from many kinds of organic wastes, which are being increasingly produced mainly by farms, agro-food industries, municipalities, and energy plants. Besides serving as a source of organic matter and plant nutrients, these materials may contribute to reduce soil contamination, erosion, and desertification, as well as mitigate climate change. At the same time, a safe and useful application of organic amendments requires an in-depth scientific knowledge of their nature and impacts on the SOM pools and factions, soil-plant system, as well as on the surrounding environment.
This session will combine the current research and recent advances on the use of organic amendments in modern agriculture as well as for the restoration of degraded soils. Field and laboratory studies focused on the effects of management practices, climate change, environmental conditions, soil properties are highly welcome.
Stephen M. BellECSECS,
Soil organic matter (SOM) is well known to exert a great influence on physical, chemical, and biological soil properties, thus playing a very important role in agronomic production and environmental quality. Globally SOM represents the largest terrestrial organic C stock, which can have significant impacts on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thus on climate. The changes in soil organic C content are the result of the balance of inputs and losses, which strongly depends on the processes of organic C stabilization and protection from decomposition in the soil. This session will provide a forum for discussion of recent studies on the transformation, stabilization and sequestration mechanisms of organic C in soils, covering any physical, chemical, and biological aspects related to the selective preservation and formation of recalcitrant organic compounds, occlusion by macro and microaggregation, and chemical interaction with soil mineral particles and metal ions.
José María De la Rosa,
Carsten W. Mueller,
Soil organic matter (SOM) contains a vast range of diverse organic structures, and also a living component (microorganisms) with various residence times that define the central role SOM plays in fundamental physico-chemical and biological processes in the soil. With human activities severely affecting SOM dynamics (through inappropriate agricultural practices, erosion, forest fires, climate change), a better understanding of SOM transformation is urgently needed as this has further implications for carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling and biogeochemical processes affecting global CO2 emissions. Detailed analyses of SOM composition can highlight the role of selective preservation mechanisms and sources of SOM, for example, and how these are modified and influenced by physical and chemical interactions.
To trace SOM sources and the composition of microbial communities a broad set of biomarkers is used: lignin compounds (C sources from plant communities), cutin and suberin (above- vs belowground plant biomass), non-cellulose sugars (plant vs microbial C), DNA (microbial community composition), phospholipid fatty acids (living microbial groups), ergosterol (fungal biomass), amino sugars (microbial necromass and its sources) are just a few examples. Coupling analysis of these biomarkers with 13C/14C/15N/33P/18O labeling allows tracing these elements through the microbial food web and the soil element cycles. It, thus, reveals turnover of organics and their stabilization in SOM, C, N and P recycling in microbial biomass, growth rates of bacteria and fungi, and microbial metabolic pathways.
We encourage the submission of studies (especially from early-career students) employing new methods or applications of identification and quantification of biomarkers to study: i) the fate and turnover of organic and inorganic inputs in soil (from uptake and utilization by microorganisms to stabilization in SOM), ii) the mechanisms and sources of SOM formation and its turnover, and iii) to link microbial recycling of different elements (C, N and, P) from fresh organic material or during reworking SOM. Field and laboratory studies focused on the effects of management practices, climate change, environmental conditions, soil properties are highly welcome. We also encourage contributors to present and discuss analytical challenges that remain due to environmental and analytical uncertainty.
Layla Márquez San Emeterio,
This session is open to all contributions in biogeochemistry and ecology where stable isotope techniques are used as analytical tools, with foci both on stable isotopes of light elements (CHONS …) and new systems (clumped and metal isotopes). We welcome studies from both terrestrial and aquatic (including marine) environments as well as methodological, experimental and theoretical studies that introduce new approaches or techniques (including natural abundance work, labelling studies, multi-isotope approaches).
Michael E. Böttcher
Climate change has already started to affect dynamic feedbacks between plant, soil, and microbial communities and thus strongly influences terrestrial biogeochemical cycling. In this session we address the questions: What is the impact of changing environmental conditions on the plant-soil system, and the resulting effects on soil biogeochemistry? And how do we represent soils in (global) models and upscale experimental data using process-based understanding of the controls on biogeochemical cycles? In this session we seek contributions addressing how biogeochemical cycles in soils vary across gradients in climate, vegetation, and soil properties, and how they may respond to future changes.
We invite contributions from manipulative field experiments, observations in natural-climate gradients, and modelling studies that explore climate change impacts on plant-soil interactions, biogeochemical cycling of C, N, P, microbial diversity and decomposition processes, and deep -soil biogeochemistry. Researchers are encouraged to present their empirical and/or modeling studies addressing soil dynamics along geochemical and climatic gradients. Submissions that adopt novel approaches, e.g. molecular, isotopic, or synthesize outputs from large-scale, field experiments focusing on plant-soil-microbe feedbacks to warming, wetting, drying and thawing are very welcome.
Allison M. Hoyt,
Michael W. I. Schmidt
Programme group scientific officers:
Water, energy, and solute transport in the vadose zone occur in a variety of scales. How the processes occurring at the small scale control and constrain the large scale responses is a long-standing challenge in vadose zone hydrology. Description of several processes such as evaporation, infiltration, soil-root-water interactions as well as soil characteristics such as conductivity and mechanical impedance rely on small scale measurement which are used to model processes occurring at scales much larger than the measurement scales. The utilization of advanced experimental and modelling tools are required to close the hierarchical gap present in different scales. Within this context, the focus of this session is on measurement or modeling approaches to parametrize or conceptualize soil physical, thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical properties across different spatial and temporal scales and resolutions from the size of a pore to the sample or field scale. We invite contributions related to:
- Measuring soil physical and chemical properties in the lab, field, or watershed utilizing a variety of tools ranging from micro-scale imaging to local measurement by soil sensors, drowns, radars, remote sensing, etc.
- Analytical, empirical, statistical, or numerical modeling approaches that link soil processes across scales, upscaling and downscaling experiences to tackle heterogeneity challenges for the description of vadose zone processes such as evaporation, infiltration, land-atmosphere interactions, and subsurface mass and energy fluxes.
- Modeling or measurement campaigns concerning the spatiotemporal changes of vadose zone properties at different scales induced naturally or by human activities such as freezing-thawing circles, climate change, heavy agricultural machinery, and agricultural practices.
Martine van der Ploeg,
Mon, 23 May, 10:20–11:47 (CEST), 13:20–13:59 (CEST)
Soils largely contribute to sustain agro-systems production and provide many ecosystem services that are essential for addressing sustainable land and water management. Management of both soil and water resources is a primary socio-economic concern that requires a detailed description of the physical and biological process that occur into the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum system. Nevertheless, measuring soil state variables and hydraulic parameters is often difficult due to the many complex nonlinear physical, chemical and biological interactions that simultaneously control the transfer of heat and mass.
Infiltration experiments have been proposed as a simple mean to estimate soil hydraulic properties but their effectiveness is hampered by the effects of spatio-temporal variability across scales. High-resolution measurements of soil state variables, both over space and time, are thus crucial to describe and analyze soil hydraulic properties adequately.
The session focuses on the principles, capabilities, and applications of different techniques for monitoring state variables of soil and estimating soil hydraulic properties from infiltration experiments. Specific topics include, but are not limited to:
- Multiple measurement techniques and modelling approaches for determining state variables of soil;
- Innovative soil-water measurements techniques for linking the interactions of soil with plant and atmosphere compartments;
- Field infiltration techniques from a wide variety of devices in combination with dielectric and geophysical methods (i.e., TDR, FDR, GPR, ERT, etc.);
- New or revisited numerical and analytical models to account for physical, chemical and biological interaction in the soil-water flow models (multiple-porosity, permeability, hydrophobicity, clogging, shrinking-swelling, or biofilm development);
- Use of pedotransfer functions based on limited available in-situ measurements to estimate parameters that describe soil hydro-physical and thermal characteristics;
- Multi-data source methodologies also in combination with modelling for assessing the soil physics dynamics at different temporal and spatial scales.
We welcome contributions from simulated and real data investigations in the laboratory or field-based experiments, successful and failed case studies, and the presentation of new and promising modeling approaches, scenarios, and techniques.
Simone Di PrimaECSECS,
Preferential and non-uniform flows are induced by biotic (e.g. earthworms and roots) and abiotic factors and processes (e.g. wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles, lithology and structure) as well as anthropogenic activities (e.g. tillage and cultivation methods in agricultural land, man-made landforms from waste rock dumping and disposal strategies in mining). The understanding of preferential flow is of premium importance in relation to soil hydrology, as it can move a considerable amount of water and solutes in porous media. Preferential flows can occur spatially from the pore scale, to entire catchments, across large regions. Temporally, the preferential processes can change during hydrological events, from within hours to seasonal events, and across inter-annual variations of years.
This session welcomes studies on experimental and theoretical challenges to identify, quantify, and model the key physical factors and processes that are responsible for preferential flows in porous media across scales (from pore scale to catchment scale). Contributions are welcome to reflect on experimental studies, novel approaches and advances in solutions to:
• Understand the geometry and connectivity, formation and dynamics of fissure, fractures and macropores and its effect on preferential flow;
• Understand the effect of physical processes and geochemical processes on the dynamics of macropores and fracture networks;
• Unpacking the pore structure of soil using new methods and approaches, including the use of non-Newtonian fluids, for improved characterization of heterogeneous soils and the advancement of flow and transport modeling.
• Effects of preferential flows within the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and their consequence for solute, nutrient, or contaminant transport in the saturated and unsaturated zone;
• Coupling the physical processes of preferential flows and geochemical processes for improving the understanding of solute sorption and desorption, mineral precipitation and dissolution;
• Modelling of the effect of preferential flow on mass transport across scales, from pore scale to pedon scale and entire catchments and landscapes.
Majdi R. Abou Najm,
Soil structure and its stability determine soil physical functions and chemical properties such as water retention, hydraulic conductivity, susceptibility to erosion, and redox potentials. These soil physical and chemical characteristics are fundamental for biological processes, among them root penetration and organic matter and nutrient dynamics. The soil pore network forms the habitat for soil biota, which in turn actively reshape it according to their needs. The soil biota, root growth, land management practices like tillage and abiotic drivers (e.g. wetting/drying cycles) lead to a constant evolution of the arrangement of pores, minerals and organic matter. With this, also the soil functions and properties are perpetually changing. The importance of the interaction between soil structure (and thus soil functions) on one side and soil biology, climate and soil management on the other, is highlighted by recent research outcomes, which are based on advanced imaging techniques, novel experimental setups and modelling approaches. Still, present studies have barely scratched the surface of what there is to discover.
In this session, we are inviting contributions on the formation and alteration of soil structure and its associated soil functions over time. Special focuses are on feedbacks between soil structure dynamics and soil biology as well as the impact of mechanical stress exerted by heavy vehicles deployed under land management operations. Further, we encourage submissions that are exploring new modelling concepts, integrating complementary measurement techniques or aim at bridging different scales.
Loes van Schaik,
Mansonia Politi Moncada
SSS7 – Soil Pollution and Reclamation
Programme group scientific officers:
Maria Manuela Abreu
The soil is a key system of the biosphere that supports the existence and development of human civilization. However, the growing anthropic activities are accompanied by an expansion of soil pollution. From a geochemical point of view, anthropic activities lead to the emergence of a new state of the biosphere - the noosphere, when anthropogenic chemical elements and their compounds are added to natural soil. This determines the current spatial heterogeneity of the chemical composition of the soil and vegetation cover. Such an alteration to soil composition/properties can cause negative biological impacts on both native and introduced species in local biocenosis, as well as the emergence of endemic diseases among plants animals, and humans. Human diseases can be aggravated by the fact that Homo sapiens evolving as a species under certain environmental/geochemical conditions inherited a corresponding need for certain dietary elements to maintain homeostatic regulation. As a result, people, like other organisms, need to ingest elements in the correct amounts, otherwise, they suffer from a deficiency or excess of these elements. A negative reaction may occur when the species’ natural metabolism fails to compensate for this imbalance in the life cycle. Therefore, complex studies on the identification, spatial distribution, migration, and concentration of the contaminants in soils, plants, and surface and groundwater in urban, mining, agricultural/forest, and natural areas, as well as its biological effects, is an essential issue and important task for 1)identification of zones of different natural and man-made ecological risks; 2)understanding contaminants’ pathways and impact, and 3)mitigation or elimination of negative biological effects, including the spread of non-communicable endemic diseases.
At this session, participants are invited to present their new data on soil pollution, as well as to show ideas and approaches to the solution of the problem of soil reclamation, to show results that contribute to modern knowledge on the ecological and geochemical assessment of various regions of the world exposed to anthropic geochemical impact, including industrial pollution, transport, mining and use of fertilizers and biocides. We also welcome presentations devoted to methodological problems on soil pollution assessment, the creation of ecological and geochemical databases, and compiling risk maps. We hope that live discussion will contribute to each study.
Maria Manuela Abreu,
Michael J. Watts
Soil pollution is a global threat which seriously affects biodiversity in (agro)ecosystems and compromises the quality of the food and water. Besides naturally elevated levels of potentially toxic elements and compounds (elevated mineralization of soils, accumulation of phenolics), most contaminants originate from human activities such as industrial processes and mining, poor waste management, unsustainable farming practices and accidents.One of the most important issues in pollution research is the assessment and evaluation of pollution including assessment and evaluation of the distribution of pollutants, mobility, chemical speciation as well as evaluation of the probability of soil-plant transfer and accumulation in plants.
This session aims to bring together contributions of all aspects of biogeochemical research related to soil pollution risk assessment including (but not limited to) assessment of pollution status, geochemical mapping, analysis of element cycling within soils and ecosystems as well as ecotoxicological considerations.
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.
Precious Uchenna Okoroafor,
Jelena Dragisic Maksimovic,
Soil pollution is a worldwide problem, which can result in a negative impact in (terrestrial) ecosystems, surface and groundwater, and the food chain. According to the European Commission, there are around 2.8 million soil pollution events contributing to soil pollution. Of these, 25 % have been identified and registered, but only 5% need mitigation strategies. In order to address soil pollution and develop preventive and mitigation strategies, it is necessary to invest in (i) the identification and characterization of these sites, from contaminant identification to ecosystem characterisation, and (ii) the identification of potential solutions. This requires linking new strategies (e.g. machine learning, artificial intelligence, digital data mapping) with natural solutions (e.g. soil-microorganisms-root-plant interaction). We welcome our colleagues to present their latest and ongoing findings and look forward to establishing new partnerships to create holist strategies that can help to prevent, assess and mitigate soil pollution consistently and swiftly.
Maria Manuela Abreu
This session will focus on the last achievements (lab-scale, field-scale, simulations) regarding the fate of Per- and PolyFluoroAlkyl Substances (PFAS) in soil and groundwater and the development of relevant remediation technologies. Recent researches have revealed that PFAS move faster and remain for longer periods inside soils than previously recorded, while their recalcitrance and very low concentration stimulate the investigation of advanced treatment technologies for the in situ/ex situ remediation. The presence of PFAS in soil and groundwater may be proved really dangerous for human health, and innovative tools are required for the detection, prediction and mitigation of PFAS in subsurface.
This session will showcase contributions covering research conducted in this area of research describing experimental, observational, and theoretical studies. Topics of interest are (although not limited to) causes and impacts of land degradation and remedial actions and strategies for restoration at local, regional or global scales.
Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja,
Nathali Machado de Lima,
Paloma Hueso GonzálezECSECS,
Thu, 26 May, 11:05–11:50 (CEST), 13:20–14:48 (CEST)
The session gathers geoscientific aspects such as dynamics, reactions, and environmental/health consequences of radioactive materials that are massively released accidentally (e.g., Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents, wide fires, etc.) and by other human activities (e.g., nuclear tests).
The radioactive materials are known as polluting materials that are hazardous for human society, but are also ideal markers in understanding dynamics and physical/chemical/biological reactions chains in the environment. Thus, the radioactive contamination problem is multi-disciplinary. In fact, this topic involves regional and global transport and local reactions of radioactive materials through atmosphere, soil and water system, ocean, and organic and ecosystem, and its relations with human and non-human biota. The topic also involves hazard prediction and nowcast technology.
By combining 35 years (> halftime of Cesium 137) monitoring data after the Chernobyl Accident in 1986, 10 years dense measurement data by the most advanced instrumentation after the Fukushima Accident in 2011, and other events, we can improve our knowledgebase on the environmental behavior of radioactive materials and its environmental/biological impact. This should lead to improved monitoring systems in the future including emergency response systems, acute sampling/measurement methodology, and remediation schemes for any future nuclear accidents.
The following specific topics have traditionally been discussed:
(a) Atmospheric Science (emissions, transport, deposition, pollution);
(b) Hydrology (transport in surface and ground water system, soil-water interactions);
(c) Oceanology (transport, bio-system interaction);
(d) Soil System (transport, chemical interaction, transfer to organic system);
(f) Natural Hazards (warning systems, health risk assessments, geophysical variability);
(g) Measurement Techniques (instrumentation, multipoint data measurements);
(h) Ecosystems (migration/decay of radionuclides).
The session consists of updated observations, new theoretical developments including simulations, and improved methods or tools which could improve observation and prediction capabilities during eventual future nuclear emergencies. New evaluations of existing tools, past nuclear contamination events and other data sets also welcome.
SSS8 – Soil, Environment and Ecosystem Interactions
Programme group scientific officers:
Soils sustain complex patterns of life and act as biogeochemical reactors producing and consuming a large amount of gas molecules. They play a fundamental role in the temporal evolution of the atmospheric gases concentration (greenhouse gases, biogenic volatile organic compounds, nitrous acid, isotopic composition…) and they modulate the soil pore gas concentrations affecting many soil functions, such as root and plant growth, microbial activity, and stabilization of soil organic carbon. Gases production, consumption and transport in the different soil types have then some important ecological implications for the earth system.
The factors affecting the soil gas processes range from physical soil structure (porosity, granulometry,…), type and amount of living material (microbiota, root systems), soil chemistry properties (carbon and nitrogen contents, pH,…) and soil meteorological conditions (temperature, water content,…). A large mixing of different scientific backgrounds are therefore required to improve the knowledge about their influence which is made even more difficult due to the very large spatial heterogeneity of these factors and the complexity of their interactions.
This session will be the place to present and exchange about the measurement techniques, data analyses and modelling approaches that can help to figure out the temporal and spatial variability of the production/consumption and transport of gases in soils. In addition to mechanisms related to carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), including the geochemical ones, the abstracts about volatile carbon compounds produced by plant and microbial or Helium and Radon geogenic emissions production are welcome
A special attention will be given to the researches including special water situations as edaphic drought or waterlogged soils
Dear authors & colleagues,
We are looking forward to welcoming you all to our session next week- virtually and in person .
We plan to have a session dinner after the session, which is also open to all praticipants and people interested in our topics
on Wednesday, May 25 2022 at 20h
at the Brandauers Bierbögen,
(where we have been already some years ago)
If possible, please let me know if you like to join us:
Soil is one of the most important substances on Earth. Information on our planet’s soil resources is indispensable to a number of practical applications related to both society and ecosystems. Globally, Earth’s soils resources monitoring has developed into very important and urgent research directions, especially in the face of climate change.
Geoinformation technologies, primarily of Earth Observation (EO), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), GPS/GNSS along with Big Data, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence can successfully support sustainable soil management. The rapid growth in the geoinformation sector combined with the continuous availability of new geospatial data provides important support to analyze soil characteristics and their three-dimensional patterns. As such, it allows exploiting interdisciplinary information and datasets to better understand soil functions and monitoring land changes towards more sustainable soils management and sustainability, although the capacity to predict the physical and morphological features of soils and to integrate this information in prediction of other relevant soil properties is still limited.
In this session, we welcome contributions covering inter and transdisciplinary research through theoretical and applied studies, on the application of all range of geoinformation technologies as an opportunity for innovation and competitiveness for example in agricultural soil management, precision agriculture and precision livestock farming.
Soils play an essential role in supplying numerous ecosystem services such as food regulation, nutrient regulation, erosion regulation, water purification, carbon sequestration, food and fibre provisioning. Therefore, they play an essential role in human wellbeing. The unsustainable use of soil is one of the significant causes of land degradation due to soil erosion, sealing, pollution, salinization and wildfires—this trigger two of the most critical challenges of our time, biodiversity loss and climate change. A global effort is needed to tackle this unprecedented degradation trend caused by human actions, to maintain healthy soil functions and the services provided, especially in a growing consumption and population that are exhausting the ecosystem resources and contributing to climate change. It is paramount to develop creative solutions to make soil management more sustainable and maintain soil health.
In this session, we welcome contributions covering inter and transdisciplinary research through observational, theoretical and applied studies on soil ecosystem services and soil function in the context of a changing global environment. Topics of interest are (although not limited to): 1) Impacts of soil degradation on soil function and ecosystem services and 2) Soil conservation and restoration actions for maintaining ecosystem services (including research, management, education and policy).
It is wildly accepted that the functions of soil are intimately linked to its structure and state of aggregation. Water retention characteristics, ventilation, fluids-flow, and transport of mobile material - from the solutes and colloids to suspended particles - depends intricately on the properties of the void network structure and the composition and properties of the solid-fluid interfaces therein. Extent and rates of organic matter storage, nutrient supply, contaminant retardation, but also microbial colonization, root penetration and hyphae exploration patterns are part of a complicated feedback loop that not only creates structure but results in its change in space and time. Processes and mechanisms that result in structure formation and dynamics in soil are intensively studied and vividly debated: In particular the role of aggregates and aggregation is discussed intensively. With the advent of sophisticated spectroscopic, microscopic, and tomographic techniques that enable to study structure, composition and interface properties at the submicron scale even down to the atomic scale, testing hypothesis on the co-evolution of structure, properties and emerging function on soils from the atom to the pedon scale is rapidly progressing. In particular if techniques exploring void-interface structure and properties are combined with field observational data and experimental pedogenesis in a joint fashion, testing of hypothesis can much better be directed towards generalizable theories on the mechanistic linkage of structure and function in soils and their evolution during pedogenesis. With this symposium we aim to discuss and debate the recent achievements, current obstacles, and future research directions to contribute to a synoptic understanding of the relationship between soil architecture and functions across scales. We specifically invite contribution from the different fields of soil research employing one or, in a joint fashion, more than one approach of the variety of experimental, observational, instrumental and computational methods.
Kai Uwe Totsche
Biogenic volatile organic compounds (bVOCs) are global chemical signatures of life. bVOCs comprise chemically diverse gaseous compounds of biological origin and are emitted from and consumed in terrestrial ecosystems. We consider biological sources and sinks being mainly plants and soil life, especially the microbiota. bVOCs are receiving an increasing scientific interest since breakthroughs in analytics of compounds but also of plants and microbiota facilitate an integrative understanding.
bVOCs have various environmental functions. Some impact on the oxidative capacity of the troposphere, stratospheric ozone destruction, and contribute to aerosol formation. Others are involved in chemical signaling between plants, animals and microbes in terrestrial ecosystems and hence, connect organisms’ activities and behaviors beyond the canonical trophic foodweb theory. In the era of the anthropocene, land use and associated human forces alter bVOC flux dynamics by changing ecosystems and their properties.
Understanding bVOCs fluxes in and from terrestrial ecosystems has two conceptual dimensions. (a) They are ecological interaction signals and thus, are affecting ecological interactions and ecosystem functioning - which includes plant production in agriculture - and (b) they are relevant for atmospheric chemistry and thus land-atmosphere interactions. Both dimensions are inherently intertwined and can be seen as two sides of the same coin.
We would like to merge both dimensions in one single session at the EGU Biogeosciences Division to trigger discussions on future research perspectives - e.g. how to quantitatively determine and/or predict bVOC fluxes by considering interactions of biological actors. Also novel insights in the topic, and methodological developments and new approaches are highly welcomed.
The session is addressed to experimentalists and modellers working on air-land interactions from local to regional scales. The programme is open to a wide range of new studies in micrometeorology and related atmospheric and remote sensing disciplines. The topics include the development of new devices, measurement techniques, experimental design, data analysis methods, as well as novel findings on surface layer theory and parametrization, including local and non-local processes. The theoretical parts encompass soil-vegetation-atmosphere transport, internal boundary-layer theories and flux footprint analyses. Of special interest are synergistic studies employing experimental data, parametrizations and models. This includes energy and trace gas fluxes (inert and reactive) as well as water, carbon dioxide and other GHG fluxes. Specific focus is given to outstanding problems in land surface boundary layer descriptions such as complex terrain, effects of horizontal heterogeneity on sub-meso-scale transport processes, energy balance closure, stable stratification and night time fluxes, dynamic interactions with atmosphere, plants (in canopy and above canopy) and soils.
SSS9 – Soils, Forestry and Agriculture
Programme group scientific officers:
Marta María Moreno Valencia,
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.
Veronica De Micco,
João Andrade Santos,
Organic farming is based on the natural cycles of energy and nutrients, and relies on the use of crop rotations, crop residues, compost and green manure. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) agrees to define the “Organic agriculture as a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects".
This Scientific Session invites you to contribute with your experience in organic farming in relation to soil changes (biota, water, mineral and organic matter, erosion), soil productivity, plant protection, healthy food, food quality or socio-economic aspects. Studies focused on optimal energy efficiency, carbon and water footprint (with an emphasis in green and grey water), greenhouse gasses (GHC) and soil nutrient balancing as indicators of sustainable agricultural practices, are also welcomed. Research conducted on different continents will be shown in order to know the sustainability of organic agriculture under different environmental, social and economic conditions. All these studies could provide robust scientific basis for governmental agricultural policies development and decision tools for stockholders.
Fundings provided by INIA (Spanish National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology), Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN) and Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain).
Marta María Moreno Valencia
The state of forests across the world is an issue of great concern - forests are essential for various ecosystem functions but remain under enormous pressure from human land use. Forests regulate climate, hydrology, sequester carbon and provide various foods, medicines, timber and non-timber products. Considering these as essential ecological and social functions, the state of forests needs continuous monitoring. An understanding of the various factors and processes at play is crucial to ensure forest persistence in the face of environmental change and socioeconomic transformations. Multiple demands on forest, especially competing land uses, often threaten their existence. This session thus invites papers that analyse the state and dynamics of forests, investigate and differentiate how forests respond to changing ecological conditions, as well as the management and governance processes to sustain forests. We are particularly interested in methodological innovations in forest landscape research that address these points from both disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches.
Chinwe Ifejika Speranza
Felicia O. Akinyemi,
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 mutually interacting at various time and spatial scales. At the one time, rate of soil C loss can be high due to both climatic constrains or unsuitable management. Thus, investigating C dynamics include the adaptation of the management factors to the actual climate, 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, including soil management. Discussion about proxies of measurement and modelling organic and inorganic C flows, concentration and 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
Wildfires are a worldwide phenomenon with many environmental, social, and economic implications, which are expected to escalate as a consequence of climate change and land abandonment, management, and planning, further promoting land degradation and decreasing ecosystem services supply.
The current situation demands from the scientific community the study of wildfire effects on the ecosystems and the development of integrated tools for pre- and post-fire land management practices that reduce the vulnerability to wildfires and their impacts. However, this research urges the attention not only from researchers, but also from stakeholders and policy-makers all over the world, since basic resources such as raw materials, water, and soils as well as habitats are at stake.
This session aims at gathering researchers on the effects of wildfires on ecosystems, from wildfire prevention to post-fire mitigation. We kindly invite laboratory, field, and/or modelling studies involving the following topics:
i. prescribed and/or experimental fires;
ii. fire severity and burn severity;
iii. fire effects on vegetation, soil and water;
iv. post-fire hydrological and erosive response;
v. post-fire management and mitigation;
vi. socio-economic studies on pre- and post-fire land management;
vii. fire risk assessment and modelling.
Exchange of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in forest ecosystems has traditionally focused on gas flux measurements from soil or between biosphere and atmosphere in the surface layer only. However, it has become evident that trees may play an important 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 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 many aspects as tree species, forest ecosystem type, environmental parameters and seasonal dynamics. Interactions between soil, vegetation and the atmosphere exert a crucial role controlling the global budget of these gases.
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 (i) production and consumption processes in soils and plant tissues; (ii) gas transport processes in soil-tree-atmosphere continuum; (iii) gas flux measurements on the forest floor, cryptogams, tree stems or at leaf and canopy level; (iv) micrometeorological measurements using flux towers, satellite, or modelling approaches that seek to integrate our understanding of CH4 and N2O exchange in forest ecosystems.
Dear colleagues and friends,
We are going to have a session dinner together on Wednesday, May 25 2022, from 8 p.m.
at the Brandauers Bierbögen (https://www.bierig.at/bierbogen/; The tables are reserved on Martin Maier).
The session dinner will be together with our colleagues from the session
SSS8.3 "Soil gases : production, consumption and transport processes".
We are looking forward to meeting you all in Vienna or online next week.
Katerina, Josep and Jukka
The interactions between plants and the environment play a prominent role in terrestrial fluxes and biochemical cycles, but we still lack a general understanding of how these interactions impact plant growth and plant access to soil resources particularly under deficient conditions. The main challenge arises from the complexity of both soil and plants. To address such a knowledge gap, an improved understanding and predictability of plant-related transfer processes are urgently needed.
Emerging experimental techniques such as non-invasive imaging techniques and system modeling tools have deepened our insights into the functioning of water and solute transport processes in the soil-plant system. Quantitative approaches that integrate across disciplines and scales constitute stepping stones to foster our understanding of fundamental biophysical processes at the frontier of soil and plants.
This session targets researchers investigating plant-related resource transfer processes across different scales (from the rhizosphere to the global scale) and welcomes scientists from multiple disciplines ranging from soil to plant sciences. We are specifically inviting contributions of:
- Measuring and modeling of water and solute fluxes across soil-plant-atmosphere continuum at different scales.
- Novel experimental and modeling techniques assessing below-ground plant processes such as root growth, root water and nutrient uptake, root exudation, microbial interactions and soil aggregation
- Measuring and modeling of soil-plant hydraulics
- Bridging the knowledge gap between biologically and physically oriented research in soil and plant sciences
- Identification of plant strategies to better access and use resources from soil under abiotic stress
- Mechanistic understanding of drought impact on transpiration and photosynthesis and their predictions by earth system model
SSS10 – Metric, Informatics, Statistics and Models in Soils
Programme group scientific officers:
Complex interactions between climate, soils and biotic factors are involved in the development of landform-soil-vegetation feedbacks and play an important role in making ecosystems resilient to disturbances. In this context, the importance of soil quality and its functions such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, water quality and biodiversity is more and more recognized for climate regulation and sustainable management of a number of vulnerable landscapes, including wetlands, forests, rangelands and agricultural systems, where the present accelerated changes in climate and land use imposes unprecedent pressures. In addition, large shifts in the distribution of soils and vegetation are associated with losses of ecosystem services, including carbon capture, frequently involving thresholds of landscape stability and nonlinear responses to both human and climatic pressures.
Due to the complex system behavior, it often remains unclear how new management strategies and environmental change influence at different scales the various soil functions and their interactions with coevolving landforms and vegetation. Both computational models and field observations can help to understand and predict the effects of changing environments on these interactions. There is a formidable scientific challenge, however, related to upscaling soil processes and their relevant landform and vegetation interactions for the study of ecosystem functions, from detailed interactions at the pore scale, to effective functions at the soil profile and complex landform-soil-vegetation feedbacks at the landscape scale.
We welcome theoretical, modelling and empirical studies as well as scaling approaches from the pore and soil profile to the landscape scale addressing soil structure and its functions, including carbon and nutrient cycling, the distribution of vegetation and coevolving soils and landforms, and also contributions with a wide appreciation of the soil erosion-vegetation relationships that rule the formation of broad, landscape-level spatial organization. We also welcome studies describing the implications of these spatial patterns for the resilience and stability of ecosystems under the pressure of climate change and/or human disturbances.
We are happy to announce that Bertrand Guenet (CNRS, France) will open the session with a solicited talk on the rationale behind model complexity increase for forecasting soil carbon dynamics in the present context of global changes.
Mariano Moreno de las Heras
Soil is a vital natural resource acting as a hydrological zone where biological, physical, mechanical and chemical interactions occur. Interactions exist amongst the mineral material of original and deformed rocks, soil life (micro-organisms, plants, animals), climate (water, air, temperature) and human impacts. These interactions occur at different spatial and temporal scales making soil a dynamic, heterogeneous and complex material. In addition, the inherent variability of measured physical, chemical and mechanical parameters shall be taken into account and quantified for geo-material characterization and related hazards. Thus, human activities within urban areas (such as designing of structures and infrastructures, civil protection actions against hazard) and cultivated lands (agricultural and forestry activities) need robust quantitative tools and strategies for soil management. Today, an unprecedented amount of data from various sources is available for geoscientists, engineers and Local Authorities and other parties. A current challenge is to use and interpret such data. Towards this, several informatics’ tools (computational methods; algorithm development; image analysis of 3D/4D imaged data; interactive visualization, mobile apps etc.) have been developed to capture, process, analyze, interpret and deliver soil data to stakeholders.
This session provides an occasion to discuss the best strategy for (1) quantifying and modelling soil complexity and variability and (2) managing soil hazards and resources by exploiting new technologies and informatics tools. In this respect, multidisciplinary contributions related to managing and visualizing large datasets, especially those coming from remote and proximal sensors are appreciated and welcome.
Ana Maria Tarquis
Juan José Martin SotocaECSECS,
Mon, 23 May, 14:05–14:50 (CEST), 15:10–16:40 (CEST)
Spatial soil information is fundamental for environmental modelling and land use management. Spatial representation (maps) of separate soil attributes (both laterally and vertically) and of soil-landscape processes are needed at a scale appropriate for environmental management. The challenge is to develop explicit, quantitative, and spatially realistic models of the soil-landscape continuum to be used as input in environmental models, such as hydrological, climate or vegetation productivity (crop models) while addressing the uncertainty in the soil layers and its impact in the environmental modelling. This contemporary research would greatly benefit from synergies between pedometrics and spectroscopy/remote sensing scientists. There is the need to create models linking soil properties with ancillary environmental variables, such as proximal and remote sensing data. Modern advances in soil sensing, geospatial technologies, and spatial statistics are enabling exciting opportunities to efficiently create soil maps that are more consistent, detailed, and accurate than previous maps while providing information about the related uncertainty. The pillars of this paradigm are: a) the link between spectroscopy and wet soil laboratory analysis, seeking for the best strategy to evolve soil quality analysis; b) the link between proximal and remote sensing, with soil analysis; c) the link between proximal/remote sensing and pedometrics for extrapolating relationships established at point support to the spatial and temporal extent covered by proximal/remote sensing. Examples of implementation and use of digital soil maps in different disciplines such as agricultural (e.g. crops, food production) and environmental (e.g. element cycles, water, climate) modelling are welcomed. All presentations related to the tools of digital soil mapping, the philosophy and strategies of digital soil mapping at different scales and for different purposes are welcome.
Bas van Wesemael,
V.L. (Titia) Mulder,
Fri, 27 May, 10:20–11:50 (CEST), 13:20–16:40 (CEST)
A transition towards sustainable agriculture is needed to ensure that both present and future societies will be food secure. Current agricultural productivity is already challenged by several factors, such as climate change, availability and accessibility of water and other inputs, socio-economic conditions, and changing and increased 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 requires studying alternative land management at local to global scales and to assess agricultural production systems rather than individual products.
This session will focus on the modeling of any part of or entire agricultural systems under global change, addressing challenges in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, sustainable intensification and environmental impacts of agricultural production. We welcome contributions on methods and data, assessments of climate impacts and adaptation options, environmental impacts, GHG mitigation and economic evaluations.
The importance of soil moisture for the hydrological systems dynamics is undebated. A great deal of observations and research have been invested in the last decades to improve the knowledge of soil water status as well its spatial and temporal variation within a given hydrological system. In that effort, several types of soil moisture data have become available, spanning from in-situ observations, radar data, cosmic ray studies to several satellite products.
Although spatial and temporal patterns of soil moisture are the result of processes that hydrological models typically capture, the application of the currently available soil moisture information for improving models is progressing only slowly. This is partly due to a gap between the information content provided by the available data and the information required to improve models. Furthermore, some essential parts of soil water storage at the larger scale, like that of the root zone, is typically assessed using combination of models and data, resulting in a lack of independent information for validation.
This session invites contributions dealing with closing these gaps. This could, for example, be achieved by progress in the descriptions of the processes causing the spatial and temporal variations in soil moisture or by more efficiently using information from available data to improve model predictions across scales. The session is explicitly open for research across all relevant hydrological scales: local, hillslope, catchment up to the continental scale, and deal with both the vertical and lateral flow processes.
Examples for suitable contributions are (but are not limited to):
- The role of soil moisture in the functioning of hydrological systems
- Methods and case studies on improving the predictive power of models using soil moisture data
- Deriving process knowledge from soil moisture data that can be used to improve hydrological models
- Evaluating the suitability of given soil moisture data types for representing hydrologic processes
Agriculture is the largest consumer of water worldwide and at the same time irrigation is one of the sectors where there is one of the hugest differences between modern technology and the largely diffused ancient traditional practices. Improving water use efficiency in agriculture is an immediate requirement of human society for sustaining the global food security, to preserve quality and quantity of water resources and to reduce causes of poverties, migrations and conflicts among states, which depend on trans-boundary river basins. Climate changes and increasing human pressure together with traditional wasteful irrigation practices are enhancing the conflictual problems in water use also in countries traditionally rich in water. Saving irrigation water improving irrigation efficiency on large areas with modern technics is one of the first urgent action to do. It is well known in fact that agriculture uses large volumes of water with low irrigation efficiency, accounting in Europe for around 24% of the total water use, with peak of 80% in the Southern Mediterranean part and may reach the same percentage in Mediterranean non-EU countries (EEA, 2009; Zucaro 2014). North Africa region has the lowest per-capita freshwater resource availability among all Regions of the world (FAO, 2018).
Several recent researches are done on the optimization of irrigation water management to achieve precision farming using remote sensing information and ground data combined with water balance modelling.
In this session, we will focus on: the use of remote sensing data to estimate irrigation volumes and timing; management of irrigation using hydrological modeling combined with satellite data; improving irrigation water use efficiency based on remote sensing vegetation indices, hydrological modeling, satellite soil moisture or land surface temperature data; precision farming with high resolution satellite data or drones; farm and irrigation district irrigation management; improving the performance of irrigation schemes; irrigation water needs estimates from ground and satellite data; ICT tools for real-time irrigation management with remote sensing and ground data coupled with hydrological modelling.
SSS11 – Material and Methods in Soil Science
Programme group scientific officers:
Radionuclide Tracing Technology is a method that uses natural or artificial radionuclides as tracers to reflect the dynamics of soil particle migration and deposition. This method is not restricted by the site, and the measurements of soil erosion is simple and fast. More importantly, it provides the average value of soil erosion rates in a certain period, which can better reflect soil erosion intensity in the study area, and is especially suitable for the areas without any monitoring data. Due to its fast, economical and reliable characteristics, it has been widely used in soil erosion and sediment research in the past few decades. At present, the three tracers of 137Cs, 210Pb and 7Be are most widely used and the application fields have also developed from the soil erosion rate estimation at the scales of site, slope and catchment to sediment deposition study of lakes and reservoirs, the discrimination of sediment source, and the slope erosion process. Accordingly, the applied nuclides for tracing also has evolved from single nuclide, dual ones to composite ones.
The management of soil and water resources for sustainable development is critical for human well-being. Over the recent decades, many studies have demonstrated the role of water and sediment connectivity processes in relation to watershed management. Habitat and species protection, improved flood resistance and resilience, and ecosystems management are all vital to maintaining the health of ecosystems. Especially when external factors influence watershed processes and characteristics to maintain optimal connectivity or disconnectivity in diverse ecological niches (hydrology, ecology, geomorphology) is the goal of watershed management. Given the high complexity of hydro-geomorphic systems and the different mechanisms that might influence the efficiency of water and sediment flowing through a watershed, understanding the hydrological and sediment connectivity is critical. Meanwhile, analyzing changes in connectivity over time helps to understand the effects of natural and man-made disturbances on water-sediment flux and related processes. However, we still have very little understanding about connectivity and link all the processes involved. Models are valid tools in this task, but they need to be improved. In this session, we welcome studies focused on connectivity with watershed management. Any contributions related to new methods, approaches to the understanding of connectivity are welcomed. Field monitoring, laboratory simulations, development and application of geomorphometric indices and models are included. This session emphasizes the importance of connectivity in appropriately managing sediment and water-related concerns, and aims at providing important information on when, where, and how to managers in order to control hydrological and geomorphic processes and ultimately achieve sustainable watershed management.
A well-designed experiment is a crucial methodology in Soil Science, Geomorphology and Hydrology.
Depending on the specific research topic, a great variety of tempo-spatial scales is addressed.
From raindrop impact and single particle detachment to the shaping of landscapes: experiments are designed and conducted to illustrate problems, clarify research questions, develop and test hypotheses, generate data and deepen process understanding.
Every step involved in design, construction, conduction, processing and interpretation of experiments and experimental data might be a challenge on itself, and discussions within the community can be a substantial and fruitful component for both, researchers and teachers.
This PICO session offers a forum for experimentalists, teachers, students and enthusiasts.
We invite you to present your work, your questions, your results and your method, to meet, to discuss, to exchange ideas and to consider old and new approaches.
Join the experimentalists!
Badlands are unique landscapes with intense past or present geomorphological dynamics and high erosion rates, being among the most outstanding and impressive erosion landforms on earth.
Given the problems that follow from the rapidity of geomorphological processes and the high magnitude of erosion of badland areas, there are important associated environmental and management implications (i.e. high sediment transport and water turbidity, loss of biodiversity). Many methods with different degrees of complexity can be used to measure these processes. However, there is not standard protocol for measuring erosion dynamics, and the selection of method mainly depends on several factors as the characteristics of the research group (e.g. number of members, training capacity), financial support (e.g. instrument availability), objectives, and size of the study area. These methods can be mainly considered dynamic or volumetric: (i) dynamic methods aim to measure fluxes from plots (e.g. rainfall simulation, Gerlach troughs), micro-catchments (e.g. collectors), or experimental catchments (e.g. turbidity sensors); while (ii) volumetric methods aim to measure sediment erosion rates through the analysis of topographic changes by sparse observations (e.g. erosion pins, microprofile methods) or by the use of high-resolution topographic survey methods (e.g. Structure from Motion photogrammetry, terrestrial laser scanning). Also, methods should include determining weathering rates of various lithologies in different climate conditions (including both field measurements and simulations in laboratory conditions).
In this session, we would like to gather studies focusing on badland dynamics, especially facing new challenges in measuring geomorphological dynamics and erosion rates: mapping badland evolution and geomorphological dynamics, measuring erosion rates using different methods, discussing new challenges in measuring erosion rates in badlands (including piping erosion), definition of mapping protocol and erosion estimation procedures.
Estela Nadal Romero
Recent advances in image collection, e.g. using unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs), and topographic measurements, e.g. using terrestrial or airborne LiDAR, are providing an unprecedented insight into landscape and process characterization in geosciences. In parallel, historical data including terrestrial, aerial, and satellite photos as well as historical digital elevation models (DEMs), can extend high-resolution time series and offer exciting potential to distinguish anthropogenic from natural causes of environmental change and to reconstruct the long-term evolution of the surface from local to regional scale.
For both historic and contemporary scenarios, the rise of techniques with ‘structure from motion’ (SfM) processing has democratized data processing and offers a new measurement paradigm to geoscientists. Photogrammetric and remote sensing data are now available on spatial scales from millimetres to kilometres and over durations of single events to lasting time series (e.g. from sub-second to decadal-duration time-lapse), allowing the evaluation of event magnitude and frequency interrelationships.
The session welcomes contributions from a broad range of geoscience disciplines such as geomorphology, cryosphere, volcanology, hydrology, bio-geosciences, and geology, addressing methodological and applied studies. Our goal is to create a diversified and interdisciplinary session to explore the potential, limitations, and challenges of topographic and orthoimage datasets for the reconstruction and interpretation of past and present 2D and 3D changes in different environments and processes. We further encourage contributions describing workflows that optimize data acquisition and processing to guarantee acceptable accuracies and to automate data application (e.g. geomorphic feature detection and tracking), and field-based experimental studies using novel multi-instrument and multi-scale methodologies. This session invites contributions on the state of the art and the latest developments in i) modern photogrammetric and topographic measurements, ii) remote sensing techniques as well as applications, iii) time-series processing and analysis, and iv) modelling and data processing tools, for instance, using machine learning approaches.
SSS12 – Soil Policy and Legislation
Programme group scientific officers:
Layla Márquez San Emeterio