EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Importance of harmonized data in soil macrofauna monitoring in Europe- Soil management a key indicator 

Sharjeel Ashfaq1, Guénola Pérès2, Rajasekaran Murugan3, and Johann Zaller1
Sharjeel Ashfaq et al.
  • 1Institute Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • 2UMR SAS INRAe Institut Agro Rennes-Angers, 65 rue de Saint Brieuc, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
  • 3Institute of Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Soil macrofauna plays a crucial role in ecosystem services and stability. They perform diverse set of ecosystem services that contribution to soil health, plant, and human wellbeing. However, little is known about the diversity, abundance, and distribution of soil macrofauna in Europe. Furthermore, the extent to which soil management practices impact these soil microorganisms in agroecosystems across pedoclimatic conditions is not well understood. Investigating of underlying ecological relationships is hampered by the lack of harmonized, interactive, and continental-scale data in agroecosystems. To assess the role of soil macrofauna in agricultural soils, appropriate functional indicators with their patterns and biomass are needed. The project MINOTAUR (Modelling and mapping soil biodiversity patterns and functions across Europe) under the EJP SOIL program aims to address the lack of harmonized and central databases for soil macrofauna and their driving factors in agricultural soils across Europe. Soil macrofauna’s diversity and biomass are being identified and collected from various data platforms, databases, EU projects and considers grey data sources in different countries. Standardized metadata templates have developed for collected data in reference to location, management practices and condition of agricultural soils. The database in agricultural systems will be compared (arable vs perennial) with associated soil functions and properties. Data will be harmonized with closely interaction with project partners (e.g., EUdaphobase, European Soil Observatory, JRC databases) to make an interactive inventory of European soil macrofauna indicating driving factors (climatic and soil and management variables) for long term-use and to identify knowledge gaps on soil macrofauna research. Sharing of integrated harmonized data by MINOTAUR project and through standardized database will allow researchers to investigate and respond to a wide range of topics, such as simultaneously evaluating soil macrofauna diversity distributions and causes of diversity change. Finally, such a comprehensive database will support policy makers in their efforts to halt a further loss of soil biodiversity across Europe and will allow them to make policies regarding soil health issues by using the harmonized data.

How to cite: Ashfaq, S., Pérès, G., Murugan, R., and Zaller, J.: Importance of harmonized data in soil macrofauna monitoring in Europe- Soil management a key indicator , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17438,, 2023.