EGU23-9749, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A synthesis of the use of citizen science on soils and agroecosystems across Europe 

Chantal Gascuel-Odoux1, Ulrike Aldrian2, Sophia Goetzinger2, Eloise Masson1, Julia Miloczki2, and Taru Sandén2
Chantal Gascuel-Odoux et al.
  • 1inrae, France (
  • 2Austrian Agency for Health and Safety (AGEES), Austria

Along with the development of citizen science, more and more citizen science initiatives on soils are emerging. Soils are key components of ecosystems and from where 95% of our food originates. Because soils integrate multiple impacts of human activities, they are increasingly taken into account in public policies (agroecology, biodiversity, food, climate). This presentation will share the results of an online survey on agricultural soil citizen science across Europe. Most reported citizen science projects were at the national level (56%, n=40), limited in time (64.9%, n=40) because of funding (82.6%, n=23), with a budget less than 50.000 € (41.7%, n=36) and funded by a national research funding agency (47.2%, n=36). Regarding agricultural soil systems, half of citizen science projects studied urban or urban-countering gardening and 39% studied cropping systems, 29% fruit-vegetables and grassland systems, 18% arboriculture and vineyards. Over 57% of the reported projects have generated soil biodiversity data, 46% and 35% vegetation cover and soil organic carbon data, respectively. According to citizen science coordinators (n=33), the benefits for the scientists taking part in citizen science were ranging from publication of research outputs (69.7%) and learning opportunities (63.6%) to the potential to influence policy (45.5%). The reported benefits for the citizen scientists (n=33) ranged from learning opportunities (81.8%) and satisfaction through contributing to scientific evidence (72.7%) to publication of research outputs (24.2%). ‘Project very time consuming’ and ‘funding temporary’ were identified as the main research challenges for citizen science projects (n=31). ‘More staff resources’ was reported as the most important prerequisites for citizen science work followed by ‘more financial resources’ and ‘more recognition from academia for citizen science’ (n=28). This synthesis shows the state of the art in agricultural soil citizen science, but also the main lockers for citizen science development on soils.

How to cite: Gascuel-Odoux, C., Aldrian, U., Goetzinger, S., Masson, E., Miloczki, J., and Sandén, T.: A synthesis of the use of citizen science on soils and agroecosystems across Europe , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9749,, 2023.