SSS9.5 | Harmonizing soil biodiversity, productivity, and climate resilience: exploring innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture systems
Harmonizing soil biodiversity, productivity, and climate resilience: exploring innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture systems
Convener: María José Carpio Espinosa | Co-conveners: Shamina Imran Pathan, Magdalena Frac

In an era defined by climate change and surging global food demands, modern agriculture faces a profound challenge such as how to achieve increased productivity without compromising environmental sustainability. The heart of this challenge lies at soil biodiversity, which is a complex web of microorganisms, fungi, and fauna that support essential ecosystem services.
The interactions within soil biodiversity give rise to fundamental ecological functions such as nutrient cycling, organic matter decomposition, soil structure upkeep, and disease suppression. These functions ripple through agriculture, affecting plant growth, yield stability, and the crucial process of soil carbon sequestration. However, the pursuit of higher agricultural yields through intensive farming practices often upsets this delicate equilibrium.
Agro-ecological methods, such as intercropping, crop rotation, cover crops, and integrated pest management, offer a promising solution. By emulating nature's intricate equilibrium through diverse plantings, these practices foster soil health, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem enhancing nutrient availability, disease control, disease suppression, while reducing chemical inputs. Moreover, they promote accumulation of soil organic matter, which not only enriches soil structure and fertility but also contributes to carbon sequestration, thereby mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
In tandem, a variety of tools including metagenomic approaches, soil microscopy and imaging, soil ecology softwares, biomarker and stable isotope analysis, remote sensing and geographic information systems, among others, propel precision agriculture by providing real data on soil conditions and optimizing resource utilization and minimizing the carbon footprint of agriculture.
This holistic synergy among soil biodiversity, agricultural productivity and climate resilience seeks to harmonize agricultural progress with ecological balance, to establish sustainable and secure food systems in an era of increasing global challenges.
Session sponsored by the LEGUMINOSE project (Horizon Europe Grant agreement ID: 101082289).