SSS2.3 | Role of soils in climate neutrality and climate resilience
Role of soils in climate neutrality and climate resilience
Co-organized by CL3
Convener: Gerard Ros | Co-conveners: Tessa Sophia van der VoortECSECS, Carla FerreiraECSECS, Zahra Kalantari, Tatiana Minkina
| Wed, 26 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)
Room 0.15
Posters on site
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
Hall X3
Posters virtual
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
vHall SSS
Orals |
Wed, 16:15
Wed, 14:00
Wed, 14:00
Soils have a tremendous potential to mitigate and build resilience to climate change. However, key challenges about how to adapt, improve and optimize land management practises in order to maximize the potential soil ecosystem services whilst maximizing carbon sequestration. Particular challenges lie in soils that are subject to anthropogenic activities such as intensive agriculture, forestry or urbanization. Furthermore, spatial heterogeneity across different scales and environmental settings constitutes another challenge to extrapolate findings and build robust land use management strategies.
Increasing efforts are dedicated towards instrumentalising soils to sequester carbon whilst retaining or increasing productivity (e.g. the “4 per 1000" initiative), or increasing resilience (e.g. by reducing land degradation). From a governance perspective on a European level there is increasing interest in safeguarding soils as a strategic resource (e.g. EU Green Deal, European Joint Programme SOIL) to contribute to the ambitions of Zero Pollution agriculture and Farm to Fork Strategies, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
This session aims to discuss the potential for soils to contribute to climate neutrality and build resilience to climate change while maximising the synergy with soil health, and a clean environment. We welcome research including experimental and modelling studies addressing the following subjects:
- Studies on soil carbon sequestration related to management practises (e.g. tillage or fertilisation) especially from short- or long-term changes;
- Interactions between Climate Neutrality and land degradation reduction;
- Integration of digital tools, artificial intelligence and models in soil science to better support soil-related decision-making processes in achieving climate neutrality and climate resilience;
- Novel approaches to evaluate key soil ecosystem services such as soil carbon sequestration, water retention or nutrient cycling in integrative approaches for sustainable land use.

Orals: Wed, 26 Apr | Room 0.15

Chairpersons: Gerard Ros, Tessa Sophia van der Voort
On-site presentation
Jet Rijnders, Sara Vicca, Eric Struyf, Thorben Amann, Jens Hartmann, Patrick Meire, Ivan Janssens, and Jonas Schoelynck

With rising population growth, there is a need for increased food production. With rising temperatures and more frequent droughts due to climate change, it becomes more challenging to keep up with this increased demand for food. Therefore, a change in land use and management is needed in which enhanced silicate weathering (ESW) can play an important role. Weathering of silicate rocks has been regulating the atmospheric CO2 concentrations for over decades, but with the rise in atmospheric CO2, the natural weathering is too slow. Grinding the silicate rocks into a fine powder and spread it over for example agricultural fields will increase the reactive surface area and hence, the amount of CO2 that is stored in soils. The application of silicate minerals to soils can enhance plant growth by multiple processes, for example by counteracting soil acidification and by the release of plant nutrients. In this way, ESW can be used on agricultural fields without competing for land like other carbon capture techniques (e.g. Bio-Energy with carbon capture and storage). This study investigates the use of olivine (a fast-weathering Mg-rich silicate mineral) as a fertilizer in agriculture using a full-factorial mesocosm experiment. Barley and wheat were grown under two different rain regimes (daily rain vs weekly rain) and with application of two different grain sizes of olivine (p80 = 1020 µm and p80 = 43.5 µm). Our results showed increased plant growth and biomass with olivine addition, albeit only for fine olivine. However, this was not translated in an increase in yield of wheat and barley. Besides changes in biomass, we found significant differences in plant nutrient concentrations. As expected, Mg concentration increased significantly. However, BSi and Ca concentrations decreased with fine olivine application. Nitrogen in grains was also increased in the fine olivine treatment. In contrast to fine olivine, coarse olivine addition had almost no influence on nutrients. Ca, Mg and Si concentrations in plant samples followed the same trend as in the soil pore water, in contrast to metal concentrations. Olivine addition increased Ni and Cr availability in the soil pore water, but the concentrations of these elements in plant tissue did not increase and were even below detection limit for the majority of samples. While the influence of olivine on metal concentrations in plant samples was not affected by rain treatment, the influence of olivine on nutrients in the plants and plant growth was. Fine olivine addition enhanced the plants resistance to drought as it reduced the decrease in biomass with weekly rain treatment compared to daily rain treatment. This positive effect of olivine addition can be due to the increased weathering rate in combination with enhancement of soil properties like increased soil water retention. In this way, the use of olivine as a fertilizer on agricultural fields can mitigate climate change while it can also contribute to the solution for increased food demand.

How to cite: Rijnders, J., Vicca, S., Struyf, E., Amann, T., Hartmann, J., Meire, P., Janssens, I., and Schoelynck, J.: The effects of olivine fertilization on growth and elemental composition of barley and wheat differ with olivine grain size and rain regimes., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15333,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Ana R. Lopes, Sandra Valente, Jacob Keizer, and Diana Vieira

Wildfires consist in an environmental problem with a global dimension, but also with future demands as fire prone regions will likely increase, driven by new climate constrains but also socioeconomic drivers. Similarly to other land degradation pressures, despite the large scale of its occurrence, wildfires impacts require assessment and mitigation actions at local scale. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify local agent’s perspectives regarding wildfires impacts in the ecosystems, and incorporate their local knowledge into post-fire land management decision making. Can a local analysis contribute to political decision-making, streamlining and simplifying processes established at national level?

In an attempt to assess the local perception that technical forest managers have on soil erosion after wildfire, an investigation was conducted, having the central region of Portugal as case study. In this project, we assessed the relevance that technical forest managers give to post-fire soil erosion, by identifying the priority of their activities, established procedures, and their perception of present and future risk following wildfires. Thus, a survey was structured and provided to 108 entities (100 municipalities and 8 inter-municipal communities), being active for reply between 14 September and 14 October 2022. The survey was structured in three main sections: i) general characterization of the entity, ii) description of its global relationship with forest land management and actions after wildfire, and iii) identification of procedures and technical tools used for post-fire land management.

From the 108 requests, 78 answers were obtained, and 52 were considered valid for analysis. The results identified a general concern with soil erosion after wildfire. However, the focus of individual local concerns with wildfires impacts is mostly targeted to loss of biodiversity, the abandonment and degradation of affected areas, followed only then by the soil losses by erosion. Respondents also identified that they have implemented, or are aware of the implementation, of erosion mitigation measures in their actuation area, being these measures mainly represented by the construction of organic barriers and interventions in water bodies, for soil stabilization and overflow redirection. Technical tools are generally used for forest management planning, but not with the main intention to control soil erosion neither to promote its rehabilitation. Respondents also refer that an open source, and updated, technical tools on this scope would allow them to design an emergency strategy on time. This would also enable the support of the local decision-making process, and contribute to a standardized and streamlined response from diverse municipalities affected by the same wildfire.

According to the results obtained, two main strategies can be inferred in order to promote the local conservation of forest soils after an wildfire: i) local empowerment to act and contribute with technical support to private local forest owners and managers, and ii) the reinforce of the awareness-raising process, by adapting campaigns (information/language) to the different, affected and interested, stakeholders.

How to cite: R. Lopes, A., Valente, S., Keizer, J., and Vieira, D.: Local assessment of technical forestry awareness on soil erosion after wildfire – the case study of Central Portugal region, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-277,, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Péter Végh, Pál Balázs, András Bidló, and Adrienn Horváth

A szén-elnyelő erdők és talajok előtérbe kerülnek a szénsemlegesség mielőbbi elérése érdekében. A folyamatosan növekvő kibocsátás felborítja a légkör egyensúlyát, és a folyamatok eltolódásával klímaváltozásban vagy időjárási szélsőségekben nyilvánul meg. Kutatásunk célja az erdei ökoszisztémákban különböző éghajlati és erdészeti viszonyok között tárolt szerves széntartalom felmérése volt. A talajelemzésre helyeztük a hangsúlyt, mert a talaj szén mennyisége közel azonos a föld feletti biomasszában tárolt szén mennyiségével. Mintegy 40 kijelölt erdőállományból vettünk mintát, hogy meghatározzuk az egyes erdőállományok talajában tárolt szerves szén mennyiségét. A talajmintákat 40 cm mélységű fúrással gyűjtöttük. A talajmintavétellel egyidejűleg a mintavételi pont közelében lévő egyes állományok élőfaállományát is felmértük. A 40 kijelölt erdőállományban eddig végzett vizsgálatok alapján a területek Cambisols, Luvisols és Arenosols talajosztályokba sorolhatók (WRB 2020). A talajminták pH-értéke többnyire savas (átlag = 5,9), az állaga vályogként határozható meg. A 0-40 cm-es termőtalajok talaj szervesanyag-tartalma (SOM) 1,45%, ami ~14 t széntartalmat jelent hektáronként. A környéken még mindig van elegendő csapadék a növényzethez zavartalanul; így a szénmérleg a térségben jelenleg stabil annak ellenére, hogy az alommennyiség csökkenése miatt a készletek már most is csökkennek. 9) és a textúra vályogként határozható meg. A 0-40 cm-es termőtalajok talaj szervesanyag-tartalma (SOM) 1,45%, ami ~14 t széntartalmat jelent hektáronként. A környéken még mindig van elegendő csapadék a növényzethez zavartalanul; így a szénmérleg a térségben jelenleg stabil annak ellenére, hogy az alommennyiség csökkenése miatt a készletek már most is csökkennek. 9) és a textúra vályogként határozható meg. A 0-40 cm-es termőtalajok talaj szervesanyag-tartalma (SOM) 1,45%, ami ~14 t széntartalmat jelent hektáronként. A környéken még mindig van elegendő csapadék a növényzethez zavartalanul; így a szénmérleg a térségben jelenleg stabil annak ellenére, hogy az alommennyiség csökkenése miatt a készletek már most is csökkennek.

Ez a cikk a TKP2021-NKTA-43 projekt keretében készült, amely a Magyar Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium (jogutód: Kulturális és Innovációs Minisztérium) a Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Minisztérium támogatásával valósult meg. Alap, a TKP2021-NKTA támogatási konstrukció keretében finanszírozott. A Kulturális és Innovációs Minisztérium ÚNKP-22-3-I-SOE-99 Új Nemzeti Kiválósági Programja pedig a Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Alapból támogatott.

How to cite: Végh, P., Balázs, P., Bidló, A., and Horváth, A.: Investigation of soil carbon sequestration and storage in Hungarian forest sites under different climatic conditions, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14111,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Marie-Liesse Aubertin, Oscar Pascal Malou, Manuel Arroyo-Kalin, Umberto Lombardo, Tiphaine Chevallier, Priscia Oliva, Frédéric Delarue, Julien Thiesson, Katell Quenea, David Sebag, and Geoffroy de Saulieu

Archaeological anthrosols constitute a heritage of long-term carbon storage and soil fertility. Their anthropogenic features are affected by the type and intensity of ancient human activities. Human activities can follow a gradation of disturbance intensity, with lower intensity related to a weak human pollution of natural soil, and stronger intensity related to anthropogenic materials inputs (e.g. refuse pits). Soil properties are indeed deeply modified by the addition of objects (e.g. bones, ceramic) and of organic matter with distinct chemical composition and biological stability (e.g. charcoal). The aim of the study was to establish a new analytical approach to distinguish intensities of human activities, based on organic matter characteristics. To this end, we studied intertropical soil profiles (0-120 cm) from Cameroon, Brazil and Bolivia, with spatial or temporal intensity variations of human activities. We used standard compositional parameters (hydrogen index, HI, and oxygen index, OI) and advanced thermal parameters (I-index and R-index) from Rock-Eval® pyrolysis, as well as magnetic susceptibility, to characterize anthrosols.

Results demonstrated the potential of Rock-Eval® pyrolysis parameters to identify human activities changes. First, the deviation of I-index (delta-I) between our samples and a reference value from natural sites informed about the intensity of human impacts, allowing for the distinction between artificial infilling of refuse pits and soil profiles with no or few human impacts. Second, positive HI:OI correlation established the importance of charcoal as main organic C source. The magnetic susceptibility informed about the presence of burnt soils in a Brazilian and one of the Bolivian sites. The combination of all these parameters, when represented with soil depth, allowed for the estimation of temporal changes in Brazilian and Bolivian sites. The topsoils were similar for all sites, relative to a low intensity of human activities or to the resumption of natural pedogenesis, thereby alleviating the effects of ancient human activities on organic matter characteristics. In contrast, the subsoils exhibited higher intensities of ancient human activities, with even higher values of intensities in Bolivian sites, thereby evidencing the long-term conservation of their effects on organic matter characteristics.

To conclude, anthropogenic activities may durably affect organic matter characteristics in tropical sites, even after several centuries. Beyond being of interest for archaeological research, this new approach raises questions about the long-term consequences of our current human activities.

How to cite: Aubertin, M.-L., Malou, O. P., Arroyo-Kalin, M., Lombardo, U., Chevallier, T., Oliva, P., Delarue, F., Thiesson, J., Quenea, K., Sebag, D., and de Saulieu, G.: New approach to evaluate the intensity of ancient human activities, based on organic matter characteristics using Rock-Eval® thermal analysis., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3504,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Melani Cortijos-López, Pedro Sánchez-Navarrete, Teodoro Lasanta, and Estela Nadal-Romero

Mediterranean mountains have been affected by an intense process of cropland abandonment since the middle of the last century, as a result of the rural exodus. This has led to the activation of natural revegetation processes in marginal areas that have not been managed. Literature has recorded different soil responses to secondary succession depending on factors such as climate, altitude, soil depth and type, but still very little is known about the influence of soil pH. Thus, the main objective of this work is to identify how soil quality and carbon sequestration are affected by secondary succession after abandonment for two types of soil lithologies (acidic and alkaline). For this purpose, the Leza Valley (La Rioja, Spain) was selected as the representative study area. Soil samples were collected for each lithology, at different depths (0-40 cm), for 5 stages of succession (cropland (CRL); shrubland (SH); bushland (BS); young forest (YF); and old forest (OF)), and their physicochemical properties were analysed in the laboratory. Data analysis was carried out and these are the most relevant results: i) there are significant differences between acidic and alkaline organic carbon stocks; ii) the alkaline soils increase their SOC stock with the advance of succession, and significant differences were observed between the first stages of abandonment and BS, YF and OF; iii) while in the acidic soils no significant differences were observed, and the highest values were recorded in YF; iv) these results may be the combination of interactions between pH, soil properties and plant and microbiological communities that establish in these areas. Our work has shown the relevance of considering the lithology of our soils in order to determine which post-abandonment management practices may be the most appropriate for our study area. Therefore, it is necessary that policies and management strategies include this type of analysis to achieve the best results of soil carbon sequestration.

Acknowledgement: This research project was supported by the MANMOUNT (PID2019-105983RB-100/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033) project funded by the MICINN-FEDER. Melani Cortijos-López is working with an FPI contract (PRE2020-094509) from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness associated to the MANMOUNT project

Keywords: abandoned croplands, natural revegetation, carbon sequestration, soil pH, Iberian System (Spain)

How to cite: Cortijos-López, M., Sánchez-Navarrete, P., Lasanta, T., and Nadal-Romero, E.: How acidic or alkaline soils affect SOC stock in a post-abandonment secondary succession process: a case study in th Mediterranean mid-mountains., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1570,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Delphine Derrien, Clémentine Chirol, Laurent Saint-André, and Geoffroy Séré

Soils constitute a carbon reservoir that can help to mitigate climate change, or conversely accelerate greenhouse gas emissions if not managed properly. Soils are heterogenous and dynamic systems, which physico-chemical properties impact their current soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and their capacity to store more carbon. Land-use planning aiming to preserve and increase SOC stocks should therefore be aware of the spatial repartition of various soil types and of the SOC dynamics therein.

This project aims to map the effect of soil typology on the spatial and vertical repartition of soil carbon stocks, additional storage potential and storage dynamics at a regional scale to improve guidance of SOC storage strategies. The study site is a 320 km2 temperate rural region in NE France. Eight dominant soil types are defined, notably Calcaric cambisols in the agricultural valleys, deep silty and acidic soils in the forested plateaus, shallow rocky calcaric soils on the hillslopes, and deep clay-rich hydromorphic soils in the alluvial valleys.  

Based on logarithmic fits of soil carbon data extracted from 197 full-depth soil profiles, mean soil organic carbon stocks are obtained as a function of depth for each represented soil type and land cover. The additional storage potential corresponds to the difference between the current stock and the maximum stock, as estimated by the fit of the upper 25% of the soil carbon content data.  Finally, a depth-dependent SOC dynamic model using multilayer soil modules is used to simulate SOC stock evolution. Results are mapped by combining the spatial information given by a pedological map and a map of land covers.

Median soil carbon stocks over the full soil profile range from 78 to 333 tC ha-1, of which 59 to 148 tC ha-1 are in the topsoil (0-30 cm). The lower stocks are found in the shallow, rocky cultivated soils, and the highest stocks in the gleysols under grasslands. The additional storage potential varies from 19 tC ha-1 for shallow, rocky forest soils to 197 tC ha-1 for cultivated gleysols. SOC build-up is heterogenous and depends on the mean residence time of carbon in the represented soil types.

Maps of carbon stocks show the areas to preserve to avoid C losses, and maps of additional storage capacity for different time horizons show areas in which to implement carbon storage practices. Going forward, the association of carbon stock mapping and modelling should allow us to estimate at which depths and over which timescales.

How to cite: Derrien, D., Chirol, C., Saint-André, L., and Séré, G.: Mapping spatial and vertical repartitions of soil carbon stocks, additional storage potential and storage dynamics at the regional scale, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11518,, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Sven Verweij, Maarten van Doort, Yuki Fuijta, Tessa van der Voort, and Gerard Ros

The main hurdle in instrumentalizing agricultural soils to sequester atmospheric carbon is a development of methods to measure soil carbon stocks on farm level which are robust, scalable and widely applicable. Specifically, it is necessary that socio-economic barriers related to cost, usability and accessibility are overcome. We present the Wageningen Soil Carbon Stock pRotocol (SoilCASTOR), a method for soil carbon stock assessment using satellite data, direct soil measurements via mobile soil sensors and machine learning which can help overcome these socio-economic hurdles. The method has a low cost per hectare and uses plug-and play tools (soil scanner), which lower the threshold users need to overcome. The method has been tested and applied for multiple farms in Europe and the United states on agricultural fields with variable crop rotations, soil types and management history. Results show that the estimates are precise, repeatable and that the approach is rapidly scalable. Carbon stocks in the top 30 cm range between 1.8-6.1 kg C/hectare and resolution is up to 10x 10 meters. The precision of farm C stocks is below 5% enabling detection of SOC changes desired for the 4 per 1000 initiative. The assessment can be done robustly with as few as 0.5 samples (or 2-3 minutes) per hectare over a range of scales, for farms varying from 20 to 200 hectares.These findings can enable the structural and widespread implementation of carbon farming. This approach has recently been awareded the Bayer Grants4Tech innovation prize.

How to cite: Verweij, S., van Doort, M., Fuijta, Y., van der Voort, T., and Ros, G.: Enabling carbon farming: a robust, affordable and scalable approach leveraging remote and proximal sensing, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13552,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Matthias Kuhnert

Cropland soils show large potential to sequester carbon to achieve climate neutrality. Changes in management can affect an increase of carbon sequestration or reducing carbon losses in form of emissions or leaching. However, the impact of management changes on the sequestration and other processes needs to be quantified to provide advice to farmers. Experiments to analyse impacts of management changes are costly and labour intensive. Additionally, these experiments take time and cover only a small range of environmental conditions. Therefore, modelling is widely used to over-come these limitations. Model results allow the estimation of all relevant fluxes for the overall greenhouse gas emission balance or, depending on the model, for some parts. This is a fast and efficient method to quantify soil organic carbon (SOC) changes due to modifications in agricultural management. Even though, models proved their quality of simulating SOC changes, there are some restrictions in the use of models for actual advice based on model results. In the here presented study, three key points will be analysed: First, the additional impacts beside the SOC changes. Carbon sequestration can be offset by emission of other greenhouse gases or management changes affect yield, which needs to be included in the analysis. While these two variables are well covered by usual model approaches, other aspects like food quality are more difficult to include. Second, how does the complexity of the model affect the result. The simple assumption that more complex models are potentially more accurate, but also require more input data is in most cases realistic (this is a generic assumption which is not always true). More input data and more complexity are also associated with potentially increased uncertainty. Third, who is running the model. While research-based advice using more complex models might be potentially more accurate, models used by farmers might be more specific and direct in providing key information. Additionally, the impact of the increased data demand and required data can affect an increased error. These points are analysed on examples and case studies. This includes an analysis beyond the carbon sequestration and how to include these aspects in the analysis. Further, results of a tool developed for stakeholders/farmers is compared with results of a biogeochemical model for selected sites. Finally, an analysis of the limitations of the models due to data demand and data availability. The analysis of wheat yields shows mainly positive impacts on the SOC change, but mainly reduced yield. The comparison of the two models indicates the impracticability of the more complex option, as the data demand is not orientated on the data availability. The decision based on model results requires a careful use of models and a good understanding of the results.

How to cite: Kuhnert, M.: Using modelling and tools for advice on improved agricultural management to achieve climate neutrality in croplands, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14833,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Erik Schwarz, Anna Johansson, Cristina Lerda, John Livsey, Anna Scaini, Daniel Said-Pullicino, and Stefano Manzoni

Climate change and agricultural intensification are placing enormous pressure on soil to provide essential services, from water storage and nutrient provision to carbon sequestration. Indeed, storing carbon in agricultural systems is proposed as an effective climate mitigation approach. Yet, storing carbon comes often at a cost in terms of water consumed—water used either to increase productivity and carbon inputs to soil, or to create conditions in the soil that promote carbon storage. These linkages are perhaps most evident in rice paddy systems.

Rice – a staple food for 3 billion people – consumes more water than any other crop, leading to unsustainable water withdrawals. However, this large water consumption allows paddy soils to store more carbon than under other land uses, because flooding of the fields keeps soils saturated and inhibits organic matter decomposition. Therefore, changing water saving approaches such as alternate wetting and drying has the potential to reduce carbon storage and alter the provision of other ecosystem services. But how much can soil organic carbon change across land uses and when water management is altered?

In this contribution, we discuss the mechanisms of carbon storage in paddy fields, using data from a meta-analysis of soil carbon budgets in tropical rice paddies and from a detailed investigation of carbon storage along a gradient of a land use and soil age in a temperate rice system. The meta-analysis shows that, as expected, reducing the time of flooding decreases soil organic carbon, but also results in a net decrease of greenhouse gas emissions. The more detailed study shows that in temperate conditions with relative short flooding time, rice paddies can store as much organic carbon as forest sites, despite the higher carbon inputs of forests compared to rice systems. This higher carbon storage is achieved thanks to decreased soil respiration in anaerobic conditions and increased mineral associations of organic carbon. These results show that water management strongly affects soil carbon storage, and that trade-offs emerge between sustainable water use and long-term provision of soil-related ecosystem services.

How to cite: Schwarz, E., Johansson, A., Lerda, C., Livsey, J., Scaini, A., Said-Pullicino, D., and Manzoni, S.: Trading water for carbon in agricultural systems, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8708,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Uwe Meyer

Soils are often underestimated and overlooked in reviewing national economic structures. Soils and groundwater are the essential basics for food production. Beyond securing nourishment, quantity and quality of soils are pivotal factors in farming, forestry and further land use. The potential of soils governs the availability and variety of its products for national food security and trading. In most industrial European countries, farming has only a share of about 1% of the national gross domestic product but secures vital needs. In the Sub-Saharan region, the same share varies between 16% and 20%, largely depending on regional weather, water availabilty and soil quality. The largest threats are climate change and depletion of soils. Whereas European countries aim for steadily increasing sustainability, countries in Southern Africa are often struggling between short term profits, preservation of soils and necessary climate adaptions. The study sheds some light on the different roles of soils in European and Southern African economies, their inter-dependencies, the necessity to map quantities and qualities of soils for managemant measures and growing needs with a still fastly rising population in Southern-Africa. 

How to cite: Meyer, U.: Soils and Economy - Snapshots on Europe and Southern Africa, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6715,, 2023.

Posters on site: Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | Hall X3

Chairpersons: Gerard Ros, Tessa Sophia van der Voort
Jouni Pihlaja

The development of the balance of carbon stocks is at the EU level as well as nationally a key issue related to climate change and the state of the environment, and nowadays it is also strongly linked to the economic perspective through common agreements related to taxonomy. This places the need to produce new researched information as a basis for decision-making.

In Finland, the lack of soil information is becoming a limitation of climate-resilient agriculture and forestry policy measures. Because of this, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and its partners have launched several projects to improve the situation. In the new projects, remote sensing methods, digital tools and the use of artificial intelligence have been developed in particular to expand the regional coverage of soil data and to enable the assessment of the national carbon stock. By developing the production of information and making the use of databases more efficient, land use measures can be directed and targeted in such a way that they maintain and strengthen carbon sinks and stores.

GTK's partners in the projects have been the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Universities of Helsinki and Turku, the Finnish Food Authority, the National Land Survey of Finland and RADAI, and the work would not be possible without interdisciplinary cooperation.

How to cite: Pihlaja, J.: Development of soil research supporting climate resilience and decision-making in Finland, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6129,, 2023.

Marisa Gerriets, Martin Leue, Sylvia Koszinski, and Michael Sommer

The sandy soils of Eastern Germany show a high gradient in soil organic carbon (SOC) between topsoil and subsoil. This is reflected in the low nutrient supply, water storage capacity and increased compaction susceptibility of the subsoil. In view of these productivity limitations, ameliorative fractional deep tillage (aFDT) was developed in the late 1950s.

The aim of this subsoil melioration measure is to create shafts enriched with organic-rich topsoil material in the subsoil to remediate root restricting layers and promote accessibility of subsoil resources. At the same time, organic C sequestration is induced by mixing of subsoil material low in organic matter into the topsoil. The 50 cm deep and 7-15 cm wide shafts are created at 35-80 cm intervals by a special plough or modified loosener. Thereby, solid zones remain between the shafts to ensure stability and reduce the risk of re-compaction of the strip wise deep tillage.

We studied three 37- to 43-year-old historical field trials representing a soil quality gradient near Müncheberg to investigate the long-term effects of aFDT on SOC accumulation as well as nutrient stocks in the subsoil and organic carbon sequestration in the topsoil. Besides the shaft, the topsoil, the area next to the shaft, the subsoil material below the shaft and reference topsoil without aFDT outside the trial plot were sampled. In total, 43 shafts were sampled.

We found that the 50-75% of the original SOC was still preserved in the shafts. The shafts had significantly higher SOC contents (+286%) and nutrient contents (P+75%, K +33%, Mg +50%) compared to surrounding subsoils (E/Bw horizons). These results indicate that aFDT is an effective melioration method to increase the SOC and nutrient stocks.

How to cite: Gerriets, M., Leue, M., Koszinski, S., and Sommer, M.: Sustainable increase of SOC stocks and nutrients in sandy subsoils by ameliorative fractional deep tillage (aFDT), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5949,, 2023.

Kitti Balog, Sándor Koós, Béla Pirkó, Nóra Szűcs-Vásárhelyi, Marianna Magyar, János Mészáros, Mátyás Árvai, Anita Szabó, Zsófia Adrienn Kovács, Tünde Takáts, and Péter László

A governance perspective of the European Union, that increasing efforts are dedicated towards reducing emissions of air pollutants, including ammonia. To reach this goal, Directive 2016/2284 (NEC) has been adopted, which sets a total annual emission limit value for all EU countries to be achieved by 2030. To contribute to the ambitions of sustainable agriculture, Hungary needs to reduce ammonia emissions by 32% compared to 2005 levels. Since 90% of ammonia emissions are related to agriculture, change in agrotechnical practices is needed to reach the target.

Our goal is to find optimal land use management practices in order to minimize ammonia emission, thus creating interactions between land degradation reduction and climate neutrality. A small-scale plot field trial was set up to demonstrate the possibilities of reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilizer (46.6% active N ingredient), due to agrotechnical treatment combinations [split dose (60-40%) fertilizer application and incorporation] taking into account different test crops (wheat, triticale, grain sorghum, maize, sunflower), soil properties, climatic factors and vintage effect. In the experiment, urease inhibitor (Limus  Yellow) was tested, which was designed to inhibit the urease enzymes catalyzing the hydrolysis of urea, thus reducing and slowing the formation of ammonium, and reducing the loss of ammonia. Treatment combinations were set up in 4 replicates in a randomized design, with a total of 32 plots and 4 controls on four different soil types (Arenosol in Őrbottyán, Chernozem in Nagyhörcsök, Luvisol in Keszthely and Gleyic Chernozem in Karcag – according to WRB) with sand, loam, clayey loam and clayey loam texture, respectively. The volatilized ammonia was investigated using a passive  chamber method (phosphoric - acid  and glycerol mixture as trap to NH3) for 6 weeks in the case of hoe culture and for 12 weeks in the case of cereals, during which the ammonia release was determined at 2-week intervals.

The inhibitor delayed the rate of ammonification in all soil types, thus reducing ammonia emissions in the weeks following application, but at a decreasing rate. The order of the soils from high to low ammonia reduction due to the inhibitor (2-year averages) was Arenosol (52%) > Chernozem (50%) > Luvisol (46%) > Gleyic Chernozem (20%), which shows a correlation with soil texture (from low to high clay content).

Split fertilizer application reduced ammonia emissions by 48% (3-year average) compared to treatments where 100% of the N dose was applied at the start (2020, 85%; 2021, 24%; 2022, 35%).

Incorporation has an ammonia emission reduction effect of 57% (3-year average) (2019, 53%; 2021, 70%; 2022, 49%). On Gleyic Chernozem, ammonia emission reduction was 68%, while on Luvisol it was 71% (2021) and 49% (2022) compared to leaving it on the surface.

Considering the test crops, incorporation was the most effective in reducing ammonia emissions in maize (62%), sunflower (67%) and grain sorghum (68%), against inhibitor effect (49, 54 and 3 %, respectively). In contrast, the inhibitor effect was the strongest in winter wheat (46 %) and triticale (52 %), against split dose application (28 and 31%, respectively).

How to cite: Balog, K., Koós, S., Pirkó, B., Szűcs-Vásárhelyi, N., Magyar, M., Mészáros, J., Árvai, M., Szabó, A., Kovács, Z. A., Takáts, T., and László, P.: Options for reducing agricultural ammonia emissions on different soil types, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7463,, 2023.

Shuo Liang, Nan Sun, Jeroen Meersmans, Bernard Longdoz, Gilles Colinet, Minggang Xu, and Lianhai Wu

Understanding dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in agroecosystems under climate change is imperative for maintaining soil productivity and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Simulations with the SPACSYS model were conducted to assess the effects of future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5) and fertilization practices on crop yield and SOC stock by 2100 for a continuous winter wheat cropping system in southeast England. Weather data between 1921 and 2000 was considered as a baseline. SPACSYS was first calibrated and validated with the data of the Broadbalk continuous winter wheat experiment for over a century. Six treatments were used: no fertiliser (control), a combination of chemical nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with three N application rates (N1PK, N3PK and N5PK), manure only (FYM) and a combination of manure and chemical nitrogen application (FYMN). SPACSYS simulated grain yields and the dynamics of SOC and TN stocks well compared with the observations. Future climatescould significantly increase wheat yield by an average of 8.3% as compared to the baseline. FYMN was characterized by the highest grain yield. Moreover, when considering NPK practices, the relative increase in SOC stock under the RCP8.5 (+3.3%) was higher than those under the RCP4.5 (+1.4%), whereas the RCP2.6 indicated a negative effect (-0.6%) on SOC stocks. When considering manure amendments, the SOC stock decreased (-1.2%) under all RCP scenarios. However, continuous manure amendments can still be considered as a sustainable strategy for SOC sequestration with C stock increases between 34-106 kg C ha-1 yr-1. Future climates generally had positive effects on C sequestration in continuous wheat system with an annual C sink of 43-425 kg C ha-1 yr-1. Mineral fertiliser plus manure could be recommended as a good practice for simultaneously increasing crop productivity and having a rather high C sink under future climate change.


How to cite: Liang, S., Sun, N., Meersmans, J., Longdoz, B., Colinet, G., Xu, M., and Wu, L.: Climate change impacts on crop production and soil carbon stock in a continuous wheat cropping system in southeast England, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15465,, 2023.

Posters virtual: Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | vHall SSS

Chairpersons: Gerard Ros, Tessa Sophia van der Voort
Carla S.S. Ferreira, Matthew T. Harrison, Nicolas F. Martin, Guillermo S. Marcillo, Pan Zhao, Ran Tao, Naira Hovakimyan, and Zahra Kalantari

The European Mediterranean region is heralded globally for both its high vulnerability to soil degradation and realization of the climate crisis, with ambient temperatures increasing at rates 20% faster than the global average. Maize crops in this region experience moderate to severe water stress during late spring and summer, although such trends are being exacerbated by lack of agricultural irrigation, which has exhausted ~70% of freshwater reserves to date. Future water scarcity is expected to increase as evaporative demand ramps in line with global warming, with rainfall intensity and distribution becoming more variable, and with intensification of weather extremes including drought. Agricultural droughts occur when soil moisture for a prolonged period is below the wilting point threshold, leading not only to yield reduction or failure, but also impaired soil biogeochemical processes, enhanced losses of terrestrial carbon and soil biodiversity. Thus, agricultural water management is key not only in terms of global food security but also in terms of natural capital and environmental stewardship, namely planning for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Here, our aim was to identify adaptations for maize crops that improve water-use efficiency, resulting in greater production for lower water requirement. Using the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) crop model, we simulated maize growth in 14 regions across the European Mediterranean region under historical (1984-2021) and future (2064-2100) climate horizons, assuming a 22% decrease in precipitation and a 5.6ºC increase in temperature following the Six Assessment Report of the IPCC (IPCC, 2022). Treatments included a range of irrigation quanta per season (0 mm, 200 mm, 400 mm, 560 mm, 920 mm, 1400 mm, 1600 mm and 2000 mm) and several representative irrigation infrastructures. Irrigated water was applied with furrow, sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. Under future climates, we reveal that penalties in rainfed maize yields range from between 30% to complete catastrophic collapse. Increasing irrigation applied helped alleviate negative impacts of the climate emergency. However, even under optimal irrigation, maize yields decreased by 6-44% (except for modest increases in Villamanan [north Spain] and Montelier [south France]). For the same amount of water applied over the season, drip and sprinkler systems were conducive to greater yields than furrow irrigation (1-63% and 1-52%, respectively), with the rotating sprinkler (pivot) irrigation providing the highest average water use efficiency (10-17 kg grain/mm water). Drip irrigation – characterised by smaller amounts of water applied more frequently for a longer duration - was conducive to higher evaporation losses than pivot and furrow. Understanding the impacts of climate variability under future climates will be critically important for developing productive, profitable, efficient irrigation strategies that improve security of carbon, water and food.

Keywords: Climate change, irrigation management, crop yield, water use efficiency, Mediterranean region


How to cite: S.S. Ferreira, C., T. Harrison, M., F. Martin, N., S. Marcillo, G., Zhao, P., Tao, R., Hovakimyan, N., and Kalantari, Z.: Adapting irrigated maize cropping to a changing climate, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6290,, 2023.

Yuki Fuijta, Sven Verweij, Tessa van der Voort, and Gerard Ros

Improved soil and cropland management changes the soil carbon stocks and thereby mitigate climate change. However, spatially explicit insights on management impacts as well as critical thresholds for optimum SOC levels are lacking, which is crucial for actionable changes in farming practices. In this study we unravelled the contribution of soil texture, geohydrology and soil quality to changes in SOC in the Netherlands using a data-driven approach (using XGBoost) using 21.123 soil analyses done by agricultural laboratories. The current C stock of the 0-30cm soil layer is 119 ton C ha-1 and could be increased by 21 to 59 ton C ha-1 depending on soil type, land use and the agronomic measures taken. The SOC saturation capacity, expressed as the ratio between the actual and potential SOC stock varied from 85 to 93% in grassland soils, from 55 to 83% in arable soils and from 69 to 91% in other land uses. On average, the actual C saturation degree was 75%. The key factors controlling the potential of soils to sequester additional carbon within environmental limits for N and P included the crop sequence in the last decade, soil texture (i.e. oxide extractable aluminium, iron and phosphorus), the acidity, and groundwater depth. The data driven approach shows that spatially explicit recommendations for carbon farming are possible up to the farm and field scale, facilitating the implementation of carbon farming and the mitigation of climate change. When all agricultural fields are saturated with C, an equivalent of 257 Mton of CO2 can be stored.  

How to cite: Fuijta, Y., Verweij, S., van der Voort, T., and Ros, G.: Quantifying the potential of agricultural soils to store carbon. A data-driven approach illustrated for the Netherlands. , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12830,, 2023.

András Bidló, Mátyás Csorba, Pál Balázs, Péter Végh, and Adrienn Horváth

Since 1922, the territorial proportion of forests has increased from 12% to 22% due to large-scale afforestation in Hungary. These planted forests bind huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The sequestered carbon is partly stored in the above-ground biomass of forests in the form of organic matter. At the same time, a similar amount of carbon can be found underground. The research aims to assess the effect of afforestation on the amount of organic carbon stored in the soil (SOC).

During our investigations, we collected samples from 3 study areas from the Hungarian Great Plain. We compared the soil of the poplar and acacia forests in the sample areas with the grassland soils located directly next to these plantations. By the natural conditions, the pH of forest (7.75 and 8.29 pH(H2O)) and grassland (8.01 and 8.45 pH(H2O)) samples was weakly alkaline/alkaline. We measured a lower pH value in case of forests, which clearly shows the leaching effect in the forest soils. The average humus content of the tested soil samples was 0.94%. The lowest measured value was 0.09%, while the highest was 4.21% which clearly showed that dry sandy soils have a low organic matter content.

The soil and the litter cover contain 7 to 37 tons SOC/ha. The differences between the studied areas were very large. The carbon stock of the soils was higher in forest stands in every case. This shows that in long term the afforestation increases the amount of carbon stored in soils compared to grasslands.

This article was made in frame of the project TKP2021-NKTA-43 which has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary (successor: Ministry of Culture and Innovation of Hungary) from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the TKP2021-NKTA funding scheme.


How to cite: Bidló, A., Csorba, M., Balázs, P., Végh, P., and Horváth, A.: Effect of afforestation on the organic carbon stock of soils, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14616,, 2023.