Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions

SSS – Soil System Sciences

Programme Group Chair: Heike Knicker

Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Daniel L. Evans
Convener: Heike Knicker
Philippe Duchaufour Medal Lecture by Jan Willem van Groenigen
Convener: Heike Knicker
Division meeting for Soil System Sciences (SSS)
Convener: Heike Knicker

SSS0.1 – Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officer: Heike Knicker

ITS1.23/SSS0.1.4 EDI

Modelling is fundamental for assessing various soil processes and interactions at different scales and resolution, while healthy soils are fundamentally important in sustaining a wide range of ecosystem services. Crossing interdisciplinary borders and integrating knowledge from various fields is essential in developing more accurate and comprehensive models to better capture the complexity of soil processes/mechanisms in natural and cultivated systems, address knowledge-gaps, and tackle the challenges related to data-integration, heterogeneity and uncertainty of modelling predictions across disciplines. An interdisciplinary approach is also needed in light of recent technological advances, such as computational approaches, model-coupling, geomatics, remote sensing/earth observation, machine learning, surveying and data collection sensors/sensor platforms, real-time data-streams, all of which provide opportunities for promoting new modelling generations integrating soil science across disciplines.

Integration of various disciplines and modelling is also essential for better understanding of the role of soil health, which includes concepts soil capacity and functionality towards a wide range of ecosystem services. Several measures to support soil health and tackle soil degradation have been proposed in the scientific literature, as well as several indicators to monitor expected benefits. The need for standardized data covering the broad concept of soil health and degradation is arising, along with the lack of information on relationships between soil quality and agriculture, forest and grassland resilience, and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of these measures. The scattered data availability and their complex integration for agronomic/environmental management and policy decisions may partly be covered by many European/international/national initiatives in the frameworks of the H2020, Horizon Europe, PRIMA, FAO programs, and other programs.

This session aims to promote and enhance communication and exchange of knowledge among scientists from modelling community, soil research and various related projects, linking different disciplines, and is open to contributions in a wide range of related topics, ranging from modelling soil systems to ecosystem and landscape modelling, soil health, degradation and living labs, while striving to contribute towards tackling current research challenges, addressing the knowledge-gaps, and informing policy.

Solicited authors:
Yushu Xia
Convener: Alina Premrov | Co-conveners: Sergio Saia, Jagadeesh Yeluripati, Calogero SchillaciECSECS, Claudio Zucca, Matthew Saunders
ITS4.6/SSS0.1.5 EDI

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified ecosystems, that address socio-economic and environmental challenges, while simultaneously providing human well-being, resilience and biodiversity benefits (UNEA, 2022). Within the framework of a global ecosystem approach, NbS must encompass ecological, societal, political, economic and cultural issues at all levels, from the individual to the collective, from local to national, from the public or private sphere.

As recently highlighted by IPCC and IPBES, climate change and biodiversity degradation cannot be separated, and must be considered together. For this reason, this session is especially focused on the way NbS can act as climate change adaptation solutions. Considering various ecosystems (marine and coastal, urban, cropland, mountainous, forest, rivers and lakes,.,), NbS as interventions for climate adaptation includes the adaptation to: sea level rise (flooding and erosion), changes of the water regime (floods, droughts, water quality and availability), rise in temperatures (heat waves, forest fires, drought, energy consumption), plant stress and increase of pests (variation of yields, forest dieback), to minimize their associated social and economic negative impacts.

Therefore, this session aims to promote interdisciplinary research related to ecosystem restoration, preservation and management, to put forward the complexity that is often hidden by simplifying hypotheses and approaches (sector-based silo approach, homogeneity of environments, ...).

Specific topics of interest are the followings:
- Complexity: nature of ecosystems and the risk of oversimplification, interconnection between NbS and complementary areas, consideration of uncertainties (future climate and associated impacts...)
- Scales: spatial scales with the integration of NbS in their environment, and temporal scales considering sustainability over time, variability of bio-physical processes and climate change effects
- Ecosystem services: understanding the bio-geophysical processes, spatial shift between the location of NbS and the location of beneficiaries, modification under climate change (threshold, inflection point), co-benefits or on the contrary degradation and negative effects
- Assessment and indicators: measurement and modelling protocols to evaluate NbS performances, capacity to measure the complexity, resilience and stability of the solutions.

Convener: Pierre-Antoine VersiniECSECS | Co-conveners: Natalia Rodriguez-Ramirez, Daniela Rizzi, Amy Oen

SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Feliciana Licciardello, Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja, Demetrio Antonio Zema


Geoscience knowledge and practices are essential for effectively navigating the complexities of the modern world. They play a critical role in addressing urgent global challenges on a planetary scale (including, climate change and its social, humanitarian, and health impacts), informing decision-making processes and guiding education at all levels. However, the response to these challenges remains largely inadequate across the board.
By equipping both citizens and the wider societal stakeholders with the necessary knowledge background, geosciences empower them to engage in meaningful discussions, shape policies, contribute to reduce inequities and injustice, and implement solutions for local, regional, and global social-environmental problems. Within this broad scope, geoethics strives to establish a shared ethical framework that guides geoscientists’ engagement with sensitive and significant issues concerning the interaction between geoscience and society.
This session will cover a variety of topics, including theoretical and practical aspects of geoethics, ethical issues in professional practice, climate and ocean education, geoscience communication, and strategies for bridging the gap between geosciences and society.
This session is co-sponsored by the International Association for Promoting Geoethics, the Commission on Geoethics of the International Union of Geological Sciences and the Chair on Geoethics of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (www.geoethics.org).

Co-organized by BG8/ERE1/GM12/HS13/OS5/SSS1, co-sponsored by IAPG
Convener: Silvia Peppoloni | Co-conveners: Svitlana Krakovska, Giuseppe Di Capua, David Crookall

Following the success of previous years, this session will explore reasons for the under-representation of different groups (gender identities, sexual orientations, racial and cultural backgrounds, abilities, religions, nationality or geography, socioeconomic status, ages, career stages, etc.) by welcoming debate among scientists, decision-makers and policy analysts in the geosciences.

The session will focus on both obstacles that contribute to under-representation and on best practices and innovative ideas to remove those obstacles. Contributions are solicited on the following topics:

- Role models to inspire and further motivate others (life experience and/or their contributions to promote equality)
- Imbalanced representation, preferably supported by data, for awards, medals, grants, high-level positions, invited talks and papers
- Perceived and real barriers to inclusion (personally, institutionally, culturally)
- Recommendations for new and innovative strategies to identify and overcome barriers
- Best practices and strategies to move beyond barriers, including:
• successful mentoring programmes
• networks that work
• specific funding schemes
• examples of host institutions initiatives
- COVID-related data, discussions and initiatives

This session is co-organised with the EGU early career scientists (ECS) and the European Research Council (ERC).

Co-organized by AS6/BG1/GM12/SSS1, co-sponsored by AGU and JpGU
Convener: Claudia Jesus-Rydin | Co-conveners: Pallavi Anand, Alberto Montanari, Hori Rie, Billy Williams

SSS2 – Soil Erosion and Conservation

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Carla Ferreira, Milica Kasanin-Grubin, Panos Panagos


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).

Convener: Panos Panagos | Co-conveners: Diana Vieira, Pasquale Borrelli, Francis MatthewsECSECS, Anita Bernatek-JakielECSECS

Water erosion is one of the most widespread forms of soil degradation and agricultural productivity loss as well as a substantial driver in morphogenesis and landscape evolution.
In the context of global change, the erosion process is expected to intensify due to an alarming potential for climate change, mainly due to an increase in the frequency of extreme precipitation and localised events. Furthermore, the anthropic action involving changes in land use and increasing erosive crops can contribute to the aggravation of the phenomenon.
In this session is expected to collect contributions for discussing over subjects dealing on:
1. Soil erosion modelling, especially as part of scenario analysis in various contexts. Such an approach has grown exponentially in the last decades becoming a current tool for exploring new horizons in erosion prediction. It may include new data processing methodologies with local and global approaches to improve understanding of long-term behaviors and determine possible trajectories due to the impact of erosion factors such as climate and land-use change.
2. Erosion modelling and assessment based on alternative data such as remote and proximal sensing, fingerprinting of sediment sources, benchmarking, etc. over a wide range of scales and methods. This is in response to the increased availability of observational data, especially from satellite, allowing detailed monitoring of the processes.
Publication of the contributions in a Special Issue publication is foreseen.

Solicited authors:
Francesco Barbadori
Co-organized by GM6
Convener: Rossano Ciampalini | Co-conveners: Armand Crabit, Agnese Innocenti, Samuel Pelacani, Sandro Moretti
SSS2.3 | Poster session

Traditional categorizations of soil erosion encompass sheet, rill, and gully erosion as distinct forms. Rill and gully erosion are particularly noteworthy as they concentrate surface runoff, intensifying erosive forces. These modes of concentrated erosion serve as significant contributors to sediment in watersheds and result in substantial economic setbacks, such as diminished crop yields and reservoir sedimentation. Furthermore, rills and gullies serve as crucial conduits for transporting runoff, sediments, and contaminants. Despite their importance, the underlying physical mechanisms driving concentrated erosion remain shrouded in uncertainty.
This session aims to bridge this research gap and will place its emphasis on recent investigations seeking to enhance our comprehension of the rill and gully erosion processes, all with the ultimate goal of developing predictive tools and effective management strategies. Consequently, we eagerly invite contributions related to various aspects, including monitoring and measurement techniques, the factors and mechanisms governing rill and gully erosion, modeling approaches, restoration and control methods, and the role played by rills, and gullies in the broader context of hydrological and sediment connectivity.

Convener: Javier Casalí | Co-conveners: Henrique Momm, Iñigo BarberenaECSECS, Eduardo Luquin

Torrent control works and soil conservation techniques play pivotal roles in managing catchment hydrology and morphology, regulating water resources, and supporting agricultural activities. Despite their global significance, certain scientific aspects remain unexplored, such as suitable planning and design of restoration actions, prediction of degradation over time, quantification of effectiveness, and assessment after extreme hydrological events. The scarcity of long-term monitoring studies further complicates these pursuits. Remote sensing (RS) emerges as a valuable tool for analyzing past and current situations and monitoring catchment morphology evolution through multi-temporal surveys.

This session aims to foster collaboration and discussion among soil scientists, hydrologists, geomorphologists, and stakeholders. We encourage research contributions on innovative planning and design protocols, emerging techniques for multi-temporal or real-time monitoring using RS, standards for comprehensive analysis of structural and functional conditions, and identification of new challenges like soil-bioengineering techniques and integration of vegetation in check dam systems.

Additionally, the session addresses the quantification of sediment sources and dynamics in river catchments within the context of land use and climate change. Obtaining quantitative information on soil redistribution patterns during storms and identifying sediment sources are essential for designing effective control measures. Sediment tracing and fingerprinting techniques, coupled with soil erosion modeling and sediment budgeting, have contributed significantly, but challenges persist. Contributions are invited on innovative field measurement and sediment sampling techniques, tracing studies using various approaches, investigations of current limitations, applications of radioisotope tracers, and integrated approaches linking different measurement techniques and models for understanding sediment delivery processes.

This integrated approach seeks to address the complex interplay between torrent control, soil conservation, and sediment dynamics, offering a comprehensive perspective on sustainable catchment management. Early career scientists are encouraged to contribute with original and advanced studies.

Co-organized by GM6/SSS2
Convener: Olivier Evrard | Co-conveners: Sara CucchiaroECSECS, Vesna Zupanc, Núria Martínez-Carreras, Leticia Gaspar

SSS3 – Soil as Records in Time and Space

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Oren Ackermann, Ladislav Smejda, Brad Sion


Currently arid to sub-humid regions are home to >40% of the world’s population, and many prehistoric and historic cultures developed in these regions. Due to the high sensitivity of drylands to also small-scale environmental changes and anthropogenic activities, ongoing geomorphological processes under the intensified climatic and human pressure of the Anthropocene, but also the Late Quaternary geomorphological and paleoenvironmental evolution as recorded in sediment archives, are becoming increasingly relevant for geological, geomorphological, paleoenvironmental, paleoclimatic and geoarchaeological research. Dryland research is constantly boosted by methodological advances, and especially by emerging linkages with other climatic and geomorphic systems that allow using dryland areas as indicator-regions of global environmental changes.
This session aims to pool contributions dealing with past to recent geomorphological processes and environmental changes spanning the entire Quaternary until today, as well as with all types of sedimentary and morphological archives in dryland areas (dunes, loess, slope deposits, fluvial sediments, alluvial fans, lake and playa sediments, desert pavements, soils, palaeosols etc.) studied on different spatial and temporal scales. Besides case studies on archives and landscapes from individual regions and review studies, cross-disciplinary, methodical and conceptual contributions are especially welcome in this session, e.g., dealing with the special role of aeolian, fluvial, gravitational and biological processes in dryland environments and their preservation in deposits and landforms, the role of such processes for past and present societies, methods to obtain chronological frameworks and process rates, and emerging geo-technologies.

Solicited authors:
Kerstin Schepanski
Co-organized by CL2/SSP3/SSS3
Convener: Hans von Suchodoletz | Co-conveners: Janek WalkECSECS, Joel Roskin, Abi StoneECSECS, Markus Fuchs

It is clear that human impact on earth surface processes is almost ubiquitous. At present the scale of human impacts upon geomorphic systems is considerably larger than at any point in the past with a plenitude of either direct or indirect impacts on the systems’ structure and function. This session aims to provide a platform for studies on the role of humans as agents of geomorphic change and associated environmental feedbacks. We also welcome studies which conceptionally discuss the importance of geomorphology as a discipline within the overall Anthropocene debate. We look for both, conceptional contributions, and quantitative approaches, e.g. based on modelling and/or field surveys, addressing the effects of human agency on all geomorphological process domains (aeolian, fluvial, cryospheric, coastal, hillslope). This could include, but is not limited to the effects of construction works, river engineering, land use/management, or climate change. Moreover, this session especially welcomes studies contrasting natural and human dominated systems.

Co-organized by SSS3
Convener: Ronald Pöppl | Co-conveners: Annegret LarsenECSECS, Jantiene Baartman, Marco Cavalli

Human activity became a major player of global climatic and environmental change in the course of the late Quaternary, during the Anthropocene. Consequently, it is crucial to understand these changes through the study of former human-environmental interactions at different spatial and temporal scales. 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, provides valuable opportunities to learn from the past. To do so, cross-disciplinary studies in Geoarchaeology offer a chance to better understand the archaeological records and landscapes in context of human culture and the hydroclimate-environment nexus over time. 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 policies for addressing the challenges of the emerging Anthropocene, a time frame dominated by human modulation of surface geomorphological processes and hydroclimate.

Co-organized by SSS3
Convener: Guido Stefano Mariani | Co-conveners: Julia MeisterECSECS, Jago Birk, Kathleen Nicoll, Hans von Suchodoletz

SSS4 – Soil Biology, Microbiology and Biodiversity

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Lucia Fuchslueger, Edith Hammer, Stefan Geisen


Microbial metabolism is the engine of key soil functions (e.g. nutrient cycling, carbon transformation, clean water provision) with this engine’s performance determined by energy and matter fluxes that follow the laws of thermodynamics. For growth and anabolism, microbes require not only C and energy, delivered chiefly by the oxidation of soil organic matter (SOM), but various nutrients (e.g., N and P) in stoichiometric relationships. Soil microorganisms therefore couple energy and element flows via complex mechanisms whereby organic matter may be mineralized, invested in cellular reproduction or transformed into a diversity of storage compounds and microbial products. Microbial death processes close the loop to return biomass to non-living SOM as necromass, changing its original quality. This coupled, dynamic system can be investigated from diverse perspectives, such as carbon or energy use efficiency, microbial ecophysiology, bioenergetics, and ecological stoichiometry. Knowledge of the drivers and regulators of microbial energy and matter fluxes is needed to understand the balance between SOM mineralization and accumulation as well as associated C, energy and nutrient budgets. This session integrates experimental, conceptual and modelling insights to elucidate the energy and matter flows governed by soil microbial metabolism and bioenergetics, their dependency on environmental conditions, and the implications for soil functioning.

The session seeks to understand how, when and where soil microorganisms transform OM and energy through their metabolism, growth and death and how bioenergetics regulates these processes. Topics of interest include characterization of microbial turnover and SOM using advanced methods (e.g., isotopic labelling, calorimetry), alongside approaches revealing the effect of microbial community composition and activity on soil functions, and functional responses to environmental change. The session will stimulate innovative and interdisciplinary discussions to advance the field of soil biology at scales from the mechanistic understanding of biogeochemical processes to global change.

Public information:

The session will comprise two time slots, with the first emphasizing soil microbial metabolism and metabolic efficiency, transitioning toward modelling and energetics in the second. Be sure to also visit our poster session earlier in the day!

Solicited authors:
Andreas Richter,Meret Aeppli
Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Kyle Mason-JonesECSECS | Co-conveners: Tobias Bölscher, Marcel LorenzECSECS, Naoise Nunan, Anke Herrmann, Sergey Blagodatsky

Soil health is the capacity of soil to function within ecosystem and land-use boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and increase plant, animal, and human health. In the current context of global change, characterized by the convergence of extreme events and human activities such as intensive fertilization, pesticide application, mismanagement of landfills, nuclear accidents, etc., it is crucial to prioritize soil health. This explains the widespread adoption of sustainable agricultural practices aimed at preserving and/or improving the physical and chemical fertility of the soil. Furthermore, limiting the negative impacts of these practices on soil microbial communities prevents the alteration of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients.
We invite field, laboratory and modeling studies on soil health analyzing the effects of human activities on soil organic matter content and composition, microbial functions and enzymatic activities, regulation of nutrient cycles, detoxication of organic pollutants and other relevant indicators. This session considers contributions that examine how soil health influences the delivery of ecosystem services such as provisioning, regulatory, supporting, and cultural services. Contributions covering studies on soil health from a micro to a global scale are highly appreciated.

Solicited authors:
Abad Chabbi
Convener: Nataliya BilyeraECSECS | Co-conveners: Laura Gismero RodríguezECSECS, Sana BoubehzizECSECS, Yakov Kuzyakov, Emmanuel Arthur, Francisco Jesús Moreno RaceroECSECS, Claudio Zaccone

Microbial hotspots in soils such as the rhizosphere, detritusphere, biopores, hyphasphere, aggregate surfaces, pore space and biocrusts, 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, soil stabilization, or hydrological processes (e.g. by biocrusts). 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, growth and distribution in hotspots; 2) Factors influencing (micro)biological nutrient (re)cycling including biotic and abiotic controls (e.g. climatic extreme, warming, drought, contamination, land use and human activities, 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, imaging methods, revealing spatial-temporal gradients of functional biodiversity, enzyme activity and substrates turnover, input and uptake by roots, soil structure modification by root growth; 4) Studies of feedback loops between these processes and biotic/abiotic factors altering nutrient cycling, water availability, soil structure and resilience to climate change are very much appreciated; 5) Combination of experimental and theoretical approaches and modelings to predict the fate and functions of microorganisms in hotspots are highly appreciated.

Solicited authors:
Michaela A. Dippold,Carsten W. Mueller
Convener: Bahar S. RazaviECSECS | Co-conveners: María Martín Roldán, Minsu KimECSECS, Vincent Felde, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Steffen Seitz, Evgenia Blagodatskaya

The physical environment of soils is continuously changing. Soil biota, root growth, land management practices like tillage and abiotic drivers lead to a constant evolution of the arrangement of pores, minerals and organic matter and herewith to modifications in the soil physical functions and chemical properties. Especially in regions with high biological activity, soil organisms induce remarkable alterations to soil structure and functions to optimize growth and reproductive conditions. Resolving the underlying mechanisms forcing such adaptive modifications and exploring the feedbacks between the drivers including the impact of management practices offers an exceptional opportunity to advance our understanding of fundamental physical and biological processes across scales.
We seek contributions linking biological processes and soil physics at any spatial and temporal scale. For example, insights on how the rhizosphere and its microbiome control fluxes beyond the pore scale; on how management practices affect soil structure and functions; on the role of biological soil curst in modifying infiltration and limiting soil erosion across vast areas of the earth’s surface; on how bioturbation shapes soil hydraulic characteristics over years and decades;

Topics of the Soil Biophysics session include but are not limited to:
1. Root growth
2. Microbial activity
3. Bioturbation
4. Virus dispersal
5. Resource allocation
6. Soil water dynamics
7. Soil structure formation
8. Biological soil crusts
9. Rhizosphere interactions
10. EPS (incl. mucilage)

The aim of this session is to highlight the potential of interdisciplinary approaches to address current and future challenges in soil science and to foster scientific exchange across disciplines.

Convener: Pascal BenardECSECS | Co-conveners: Ophélie Sauzet, Frederic Leuther, Samuel BickelECSECS, Sara BonettiECSECS, Dani Or

Soil microbial communities exert control over carbon and nutrient cycling and they are playing a central role in shaping the impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate. These communities are also susceptible to both gradual shifts in climate and abrupt weather events, which can trigger substantial feedback loops in biogeochemical cycling. Therefore, understanding the impacts of climate and environmental stressors on soil microbial communities and their functioning is essential for forecasting the future trajectory of ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients.

This session aims to shed light on the effects of diverse climate scenarios on soil microbial communities, biogeochemical cycling, and their feedback to climate change. Our focus spans over diverse aspects of climate change, ranging from gradual shifts such as increasing temperature or atmospheric CO2 levels, to the influence of extreme weather events like drying-rewetting cycles, heatwaves, or floods. We invite studies that investigate the resilience and associated recovery dynamics of soil biota to environmental disturbances, as well as investigations on their resistance or adaptation mechanisms. We also welcome research on the interactions between soil microorganisms, plants and fauna. With this session, we aim to foster connections among researchers from diverse disciplines, establishing a discussion platform to review the current state of the-art, identify knowledge gaps, exchange ideas, and address emerging challenges within the field.

Solicited authors:
Natalie Oram
Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Lucia Fuchslueger | Co-conveners: Emily SollyECSECS, Alberto CanariniECSECS, Albert C. BrangaríECSECS
BG3.23 EDI

Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. Microorganisms play a pivotal role in both production and consumption of the major greenhouse gases (GHG): carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). To mitigate the emissions of these GHGs and the escalating impact of global warming, a better understanding of the microbes, their processes and environmental drivers and their effect on the GHG balance is needed. Depending on the environmental conditions, terrestrial microbes can change landscapes to significant sources or sinks of GHG.
This session aims to bring together scientists in microbiology, biogeochemistry, and soil and GHG sciences to advance our understanding of the carbon and nitrogen cycling in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum affecting GHG emissions.
One important focus of this session is on microbial processes such as decomposition, respiration, methanogenesis, methanotrophy, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are directly responsible for the microbial GHG fluxes, and their rates differ in organic and mineral soils and in temperate and tropical ecosystems. These processes and the microbes can be studied in lab and field experiments using different methods, for example, quantifying functional marker genes, omics-based approaches (including sequencing and metagenomics), culturing, isotopic analyses, and GHG measurements and modelling.
Another important focus is on the environmental drivers and key factors, including physical soil structure (porosity, texture, structure), soil chemical properties (pH, Redox) and soil conditions (temperature, water content). Understanding the interplay between these factors and the main transport mechanisms in the liquid and gas phases is also essential to understand microbial interactions and their effect on GHG turnover in soils, as well as non-microbial geogenic or technical GHG fluxes.
In this session, we encourage submissions containing small to large spatial and temporal scales, new methodologies, mechanistic studies in model organisms, and studies in different terrestrial ecosystems locally and globally, aiming to tackle the aforementioned challenges by studying the processes and microbial communities underpinning net GHG fluxes and other emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Co-organized by SSS4
Convener: Mikk EspenbergECSECS | Co-conveners: Martin Maier, Laura Lehtovirta-Morley, Bernard Longdoz, Sara Hallin, Nicholas Nickerson, Ülo Mander

SSS5 – Soil Chemistry and Organic Matter Dynamics

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Carsten W. Mueller, Antonio Girona-García, Gabriel Sigmund


Soils represent a major terrestrial store of both organic and inorganic carbon. At present soils are a net carbon sink, and building soil carbon stocks holds a potential to contribute to achieving net zero carbon. Furthermore, the accrual, stability, and cycling of carbon is fundamental to the productivity and resilience of soil systems, and preserving or even increasing soil carbon stocks is critical for allowing sustainable agricultural crop production.

Avenues for organic carbon sequestration in soils include plant-based inputs, the addition of pyrogenic carbon (biochar), and addition of composts or other additives such as manures and soil conditioners as long as additionality and leakage effects are considered. Enhanced silicate weathering may hold significant potential for building up inorganic carbon stocks, while inputs from bedrock, and mediation by land use changes such as afforestation, may also increase inorganic soil carbon stocks.

This session seeks to explore how soil carbon stocks can be increased so as to simultaneously enhance agricultural productivity, mitigate negative repercussions of changing environmental conditions, and contribute to achieving carbon neutrality. Alongside this, advances in methods for monitoring and modelling rates of soil carbon loss or carbon sequestration in soils are key to inform political, agronomical, and geo-engineering approaches. Is there a threshold above which a soil profile can no longer increase its carbon stock? What determines the fate of C inputs to the soil? What are the mechanisms determining differences between soils’ capacity to stabilise C?

Solicited authors:
Sebastian Doetterl,Christopher Poeplau
Including Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding ECS Lecture
Co-organized by BG8
Convener: Chris McCloskeyECSECS | Co-conveners: Felix Seidel, Laura SchneeECSECS

Regulation of the cycles of carbon (C) and nutrients (N, P, S) in soils and ensuring their linkage and retention are recognized as major challenges, especially under shifts in environmental factors (warming, drought, N deposition, overfertilization, salinization, alterations of landscapes, biodiversity loss, invasion of species and intensification of land use). The processes underlying C and nutrient cycling in soils are difficult to evaluate and separate since multiple factors can shift process rates and directions, as well as determine pool sizes. Factors also frequently have an interactive effect. Estimating the magnitude of C and nutrient pool response and the temporal scale of reactions to land use change or shifts of environmental factors remains a major challenge. Thus, this session invites contributions focused on evaluating the soil C, N, P, and S pools and process responses under global change scenarios at the local and larger scales. Studies that combine short-term laboratory observation focused on process rate estimation with long-term field experiments and evaluation of pools are highly welcome. Studies that focus on the effect of soil chemistry, including an application of isotopes to investigate the process rates, mineralogy, as well as the transition from conventional to organic agriculture/land restoration, are also highly relevant.

Solicited authors:
Yakov Kuzyakov
Co-sponsored by IUSS
Convener: Anna GuninaECSECS | Co-conveners: Claudio Zaccone, Beatrice GiannettaECSECS, Marco Keiluweit, Tonu Tonutare, Viia Lepane, Manfred Sager
BG1.10 EDI

Understanding the partitioning of carbon in different reservoirs on Earth, and the sensitivity of these reservoirs to climatic and anthropogenic factors, remains a key challenge in predicting future responses to global warming. A lot of this uncertainty stems from the inherent complexity of the carbon cycle, where physical, chemical, and biological processes interact on different temporal and spatial scales. Thus, a wide variety of tracers are needed to unravel individual processes and assess their sensitivity to climatic and anthropogenic influences.

Natural Organic matter (OM) is globally ubiquitous and a keystone interactive medium in environmental ecosystem functioning. The vast molecular diversity of natural OM may be both a symptom or a cause of its mediating role in various processes essential for life on Earth, such as nutrient retention and resupply, or climate stability. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) forms the main carbon and energy source for microbial life, still it accumulates in the oceans to one of the biggest carbon reservoirs on Earth. Pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) is an important component of OM and is characterized by its condensed aromatic composition. It originates from natural (e.g., wildfires) and anthropogenic sources (e.g., biochar) and despite the importance of PyOM in the environment, its processing and fate remain largely unknown.

In this session, we aim to bring together the latest insights into the partitioning and size of all reservoirs of the global carbon cycle and the processes governing fluxes of carbon between these reservoirs. We invite contributions from process- to field-scale approaches and method development for a detailed understanding of isotopic and molecular composition of individual carbon reservoirs, as well as their active role within ecosystem functioning. We are interested in studies showing new field data, laboratory experiments and modeling that use geochemical tracers (e.g., 14C, biomarkers, stable and non-traditional isotopes, trace elements) combined with geomorphic and hydrological tools to unravel controls on the carbon cycle from the local to the global scale. Modern analytical tools and their combination are crucial in advancing this research field, encompassing a variety of spectroscopic and mass spectrometric techniques (AMS, NIR, MIR, NMR, XPS, py-GC-MS, HR-MS, LC-MS-MS, EEMs-PARAFAC, PTR-MS, etc.) as well as new computational approaches.

Solicited authors:
Matthew Jones,Nicholle Bell,Timothy Eglinton
Co-organized by SSS5
Convener: Marcus SchiedungECSECS | Co-conveners: Franziska Lechleitner, Jutta Niggemann, Carsten SimonECSECS, Blanca Ausin, Anna GuninaECSECS, Philipp MaurischatECSECS

Soil systems harbor a highly diverse spatial organization of its functions shaping biogeochemical cycles. From microbial microenvironments via physical soil structure and various chemical differentiation by pedogenetic or anthropogenic processes up to the landscape scale. In this session, we invite diverse studies that open our views on the spatial heterogeneity in soils from biological, physical, and chemical perspectives related to organic matter dynamics and other biogeochemical cycles.

We look forward to discuss insights across different scales and structures. Zooming in provides the opportunity to observe microbial habitats and processes, probe highly active spheres around roots or detritus, and follow the interactions of organic matter with mineral phases. Aggregated structures and a network of soil pores provides a dynamic scaffolding, which can protect soil components and influence local water retention and elemental distribution. Pedogenetic soil processes drive the differentiation at pedon scale and can result from a combination of small-scale processes determining soil ecosystem fluxes up to the landscape scale.

This session is of interest to soil scientists with complementary biogeochemical and physical backgrounds working at different scales. We especially encourage contributions that address the importance of spatial heterogeneity and architecture for ecosystem-relevant soil functions, such as the occlusion of organic residues, microbial colonization, provision of water and nutrients, the fate of soil contaminants, and many more. Different experimental imaging approaches, analytical techniques and data-driven modelling works are invited. We aim to discuss recent achievements, current obstacles, and future research directions to strengthen our conceptual understanding of the linkage of spatial heterogeneity with soil functions, biogeochemical cycling, and organic matter dynamics across scales.

Solicited authors:
Claire Chenu,Eva Lippold,Hannes Schmidt
Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Steffen A. SchweizerECSECS | Co-conveners: Emily LacroixECSECS, Maya EngelECSECS, Nele MeyerECSECS, Maik LucasECSECS, Sara KönigECSECS, Edith HammerECSECS

Soil is the largest carbon (C) reservoir in terrestrial ecosystems and soil organic carbon (SOC) is the basis for soil’s biodiversity, health and fertility. The sustainable management of ecosystems to enhance both, soil and subsoil organic C storage is one strategy to mitigate climate change and to provide soil-related ecosystem services. However, long-term C sequestration is critically dependent on short-term and long management, including the input of other nutrients, soil intrinsic characteristics and land use.
Investing in productive, highly resilient and sustainable ecosystems, based on appropriate land and soil management requires the knowledge base on drivers and processes controlling soil C storage and cycling.
Thus, this session will provide knowledge about the key mechanisms and proxies controlling physico-chemical and microbial dynamics of soil Carbon-Nitrogen-Phosphorus (CNP) (both organic and inorganic) to foster higher soil C sequestration and enhance the sustainability of agricultural and (semi-)natural systems.
Studies, opinions and other contributions in this session will aim to a wide range of topics related to SOC and soil inorganic carbon (SIC) and the relationship between them. These topics may also include soil fertility, provision of ecosystem services, and their changes. Ultimately, approaches informing management strategies in agricultural and natural systems will be summarised to help the translation of scientific knowledge into policy frameworks.
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, meta-analysis; and opinions. These works will be evaluated at the light of the organization of a special issue in an impacted journal.

Co-organized by BG3
Convener: Sergio Saia | Co-conveners: Giulia Bondi, Vanessa Wong, Jorge Alvaro-Fuentes, David Wall, Parag BhopleECSECS, Alina Premrov

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for life on Earth and is tightly cycled within the biosphere. Throughout geological history, P availability has regulated biological productivity with impacts on the global carbon cycle. Today, human activities are significantly changing the natural cycling of P. Phosphate mining has depleted geological P reserves, while increased inputs of P to terrestrial ecosystems have enhanced fluxes of P to lakes and the oceans.

Direct anthropogenic perturbations of the P cycle, coupled with other human-induced stresses, have impacted numerous environments. Forest ecosystems may be losing their ability to recycle P efficiently, due to excessive N input, extensive biomass removal, and climatic stress. Soils, which serve as the biogeochemical fulcrum of the terrestrial P cycle, have been greatly altered by fertilizer use in recent decades. Changes in the P cycle on land impact on the magnitude and timing of P fluxes into aquatic ecosystems, influencing their trophic state. Burial in sediments returns P to the geological sink, eventually forming economically viable P deposits. Throughout the P cycle, redox conditions play a key role in transformations and mobility of P.

This interdisciplinary session, now celebrating its 10th anniversary at EGU, invites contributions to the study of P from across the geosciences, and aims to continue fostering links between researchers working on different aspects of the P cycle. We target a balanced session giving equal weight across the continuum of environments in the P cycle, from forests, soils and groundwater, through lakes, rivers and estuaries, to oceans, marine sediments and geological P deposits. We welcome studies of both past and present P cycling, with a focus on novel techniques and approaches.

Co-organized by OS3/SSS5
Convener: Tom Jilbert | Co-conveners: Federica Tamburini, Melanie MünchECSECS, Phil Haygarth, Sonya Dyhrman

This is the new edition of 2023's successful session on the same topic and focus. We would like to continue bringing people together with this session in order to learn from each other’s studies on soils and climate change from a global range of pedogenic and environmental settings.
Climate change is affecting the dynamic feedbacks between plant, soil, and microbial communities and thus strongly influences terrestrial biogeochemical cycling. In this session we address the question: What is the impact of changing environmental conditions on the plant-soil system, and what are the resulting effects on soil biogeochemistry? Given the positive and negative feedbacks with the climate system, dynamics of soil organic matter across terrestrial ecosystems are a key focus of this session.
We invite contributions from manipulative field experiments, observations in natural-climate gradients, and modelling studies that explore the climate change impacts on plant-soil interactions, biogeochemical cycling of C, N, P, microbial diversity and decomposition processes, and deep-soil biogeochemistry. 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.

This year's invited speakers are: Dr. Kaizad Patel (Pacific Northwest National Lab) and Dr. Melanie Brunn (Koblenz University)

Solicited authors:
Kaizad Patel,Melanie Brunn
Co-organized by SSS5
Convener: Sebastian Doetterl | Co-conveners: Claudia Guidi, Avni Malhotra, Michael W. I. Schmidt

Anthropogenic disturbance of the global nitrogen (N) cycle has more than doubled the amount of reactive N circulating in the terrestrial biosphere alone. Exchange of reactive/non-reactive nitrogen gases between land and atmosphere are strongly affecting Earth’s atmospheric composition, air quality, global warming, climate change and human health. This session seeks to improve our understanding of a) how intensification of reactive N use, land management and climate change affects the pools and fluxes of nitrogen in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, b) and how reactive N enrichment of land and water will affect the future carbon sink of natural ecosystems as well as atmospheric exchanges of reactive (NO, N2O, NH3, HONO, NO2 and non-reactive N (N2) gases with implications for global warming, climate change and air quality. We welcome contributions covering a wide range of experimental and modelling studies, which covers microbes-mediated and physico-chemical transformations and transport of nitrogen across the land-water-air continuum in natural ecosystems from local to regional and global scales. Furthermore, the interactions of nitrogen with other elemental cycles (e.g. phosphorus, carbon) and the impacts of these interactive feedbacks for soil health, biodiversity and water and air quality will be explored in this session. Latest developments in methodological innovations and observational and experimental approaches for unravelling the complexities of nitrogen transformations and transport will also be of interest.

Solicited authors:
Rossella Guerrieri
Co-organized by SSS5
Convener: Sami Ullah | Co-conveners: Li LiECSECS, Dianming Wu, Peter Dörsch, Tuula Larmola

The Critical Zone (CZ) – the permeable near-surface layer of the Earth where the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere interact – is the place where cycles of carbon, nutrients, water and other biogeochemical processes intersect with ecosystems and society. Investigating the form and functioning of the CZ requires that insights from geology, hydrology, ecology, geochemistry, atmospheric science and other disciplines are integrated in a transdisciplinary manner. One successful approach to CZ research has been the development of intensively instrumented study areas, known as CZ observatories. Networks of observatories and interlinked thematically-focused projects have evolved to capitalize on advances possible through multifaceted collaborations across larger spatial scales. Processes that shape the critical zone also span wide ranges of temporal scales, from vegetation on seasonal timescales, to soil development and landscape evolution over thousands to millions of years. Because all of these processes together shape the critical zone and affect how it functions, bridging gaps between short term processes and longer-term environmental change is essential for understanding landscapes and maintaining their ability to sustain life.

This session will highlight the cutting edge of CZ science across spatial and administrative scales, from project, to observatory, to network levels. Submissions may also explore coupling across temporal scales, integrating relatively rapid processes with the longer-term evolution of the critical zone. Submissions are solicited that focus on integration of observations and modeling; hydrologic dynamics; geoecological interactions; biogeomorphology, mineral weathering and nutrient cycling; the rhizosphere; the societal relevance of CZ science; and other examples of how CZ research is evolving with new knowledge to face the challenges of our changing world. Contributions from early-career scientists are particularly encouraged.

Co-organized by BG3/GM5/SSS5
Convener: Jeffrey Munroe | Co-conveners: David LitwinECSECS, Theresa Blume, Caroline FenskeECSECS, Claudia VoigtECSECS
HS8.1.2 EDI

Physical (e.g. flow and transport), chemical (e.g. red-ox reactions) and biological (e.g. bio-mineralization) processes occurring in the fluid phases or at solid-fluid boundaries in soils, the vadose zone, and in deeper subsurface permeable media, are critical in controlling the dynamics of contaminant transport and remediation in groundwater and the vadose zone; of biogeochemical cycles; of the geological storage of energy, CO2 and H2; or of enhanced oil and gas recovery. The increasing need to better understand and characterize these coupled processes has motivated the development of novel experimental approaches, from laboratory to field. Detailed experimental investigation and evidence of complex subsurface processes allow testing and validating new measuring techniques, and provide datasets with sufficient resolution to make the validation of theories and numerical models involving coupled processes possible.
The session will provide the opportunity for a multidisciplinary discussion based on recent advances in the experimental characterization and modeling of single and multiphase flows (including flows of non-Newtonian fluids), conservative and reactive solute transport, heat transport, and/or bacterial dynamics and biofilm growth, in porous and fractured media. Configurations where these processes are coupled will be particularly appreciated. Examples of applications include NAPL remediation and (bio)degradation, CO2 and H2 storage, geothermal energy, and hydrogeological field tests (in particular tracer and heat tests). Experiments featuring high resolution measurements with novel sensors, analytical, and imaging techniques, as well as novel modeling and upscaling techniques, will be addressed prominently.

Co-organized by SSS5
Convener: Yves Meheust | Co-conveners: Maria KlepikovaECSECS, Vittorio Di Federico, Oshri BorgmanECSECS, Clement Roques, Florian Doster, Pietro De Anna

SSS6 – Soil Physics

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Laurent Lassabatere, Frederic Leuther, Simone Di Prima

HS8.3.2 EDI

This session aims to bring together scientists working in the field of vadose zone hydrology across spatial scales ranging from the pore- to the catchment- and continental scale. Recent regional and continental-scale drought events and flood events urge the need for better understanding the role of vadose zone processes in the Earth system. The state of the vadose zone controls biogeochemical processes, nutrient and pollutant transport, catchment response functions, land-atmosphere exchange, and rainfall-runoff processes. In addition, the vadose zone as part of the critical zone provides important ecosystem services. Key research challenges include amongst others improving characterization of vadose zone properties, reducing uncertainty in quantifying vadose zone water fluxes including exchange with aquifers and surface waters and feedbacks within the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum. Guided by advanced sensor technologies, high-frequency observations and reanalysis, scientists are able to bridge scales and deduct processes at unprecedented resolutions for an in-depth more data-driven understanding of vadose zone processes.
In tandem with big data availability, new methods in machine learning and artificial intelligence may provide additional methodological capacity to understand the role of vadose zone, especially when tackling dynamic behavior of vadose zone properties as a result of changing frequency, duration and magnitude of drought and flood events.
We invite you to submit contributions from experimental, field and laboratory studies as well as synthetic and modeling studies from the pore to continental scales. Contributions to this session include soil hydrological processes, characterization of soil properties, soil biogeochemical processes, transport of pollutants, and studies on the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. Presentations of novel, interdisciplinary approaches and techniques are also highly welcome.

Co-organized by SSS6, co-sponsored by ISMC
Convener: Roland Baatz | Co-conveners: Thomas Baumgartl, Stefano Ferraris, Teamrat Ghezzehei, Martine van der Ploeg, Harry Vereecken
HS8.3.7 EDI

The proper management of blue and green water is vital for sustainable livelihoods and agricultural practices around the world. This is especially true in drylands, where any productive activity is deeply related to the understanding of soil hydrological behaviour, and irrigation is both a pillar of agroecosystems and a defence against desertification, but also in temperate or humid lands which can experience variations in the hydrological cycle and be prone to water scarcity due to climate change.
Improper practices, which are not able to cope with climate-induced variability and anomalies, may in fact contribute to soil degradation and depletion of the available water sources. For example, incorrect irrigation techniques may lead to soil and groundwater salinization, with dramatic fallout on agricultural productivity, while overgrazing may lead to exploitation of vegetation cover, soil compaction, and adverse effects on the soil capability of water buffering. On the other hand, the role of irrigation goes beyond the technological aspects: traditional irrigation is a cultural heritage, which is often structurally resilient, and which needs to be faced with an interdisciplinary approach involving humanities.

This session welcomes contributions with a specific focus on:
• The understanding of the soil hydrological behaviour and of the mass fluxes through the soil in drylands and environments under actual or projected stress conditions (e.g. water shortage, compaction, salinization)
• The interaction between irrigation and soil hydrology including deep drainage
• The analysis of the bio-geo-physical and social dynamics related to rainfed and irrigated agriculture in both arid and non-arid areas and oases, including the use of non-conventional waters (e.g. water harvesting), and managed aquifer recharge systems
• The management of rangeland areas, including their restoration

This session is co—sponsored by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID, to be confirmed) and the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA, to be confirmed).

Co-organized by SSS6, co-sponsored by ICARDA
Convener: Marco PeliECSECS | Co-conveners: Mira HaddadECSECS, Fatma WassarECSECS, Giulio CastelliECSECS
HS8.2.13 EDI

This session deals with the use of geophysical methods for the characterization of subsurface properties, states, and processes in contexts such as hydrology, ecohydrology, contaminant transport, reactive media, etc. Geophysical methods potentially provide subsurface data with an unprecedented high spatial and temporal resolution in a non-invasive manner. However, the interpretation of these measurements is far from straightforward in many contexts and various challenges remain. Among these are the need for improved quantitative use of geophysical measurements in model conceptualization and parameterization, and the need to move quantitative hydrogeophysical investigations beyond the laboratory and field scale towards the catchment scale. Therefore, we welcome submissions addressing advances in the acquisition, processing, analysis and interpretation of data obtained from geophysical and other minimally invasive methods applied to a (contaminant) hydrological context. In particular, we encourage contributions on innovations in experimental and numerical methods in support of model-data fusion, including new concepts for coupled and joint inversion, and improving our petrophysical understanding on the link between hydrological and geophysical properties.

Co-organized by SSS6
Convener: Remi Clement | Co-conveners: Nolwenn Lesparre, Damien Jougnot, Ulrike Werban
HS8.1.1 EDI

Multiphase flows are central to a broad range of natural and engineered processes, including nutrient cycles and contaminant remediation in soils, geological storage of carbon dioxide and hydrogen in deep reservoirs, and electrochemical applications such as fuel cells. Emerging contaminants (e.g., PFAS, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, natural toxins) and climate change pose new challenges to our already fragile ecosystems. The vadose zone is a dynamically-changing heterogeneous system that plays a key role in regulating exchanges between the atmosphere, vegetation, and groundwater and hosts a large portion of subsurface biochemical reactions. Deeper subsurface systems in turn represent potential reservoirs for underground storage of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Understanding the interrelation between hydrological, physicochemical, and biological processes in multiphase systems across scales is therefore paramount to developing sustainable management strategies for water resources as well as energy and climate concerns.

The presence of multiple fluid phases enhances heterogeneity at the level of flow, mixing, and reaction in structurally heterogeneous media. This impacts the transport of dissolved substances and fundamentally changes mixing patterns and effective reaction rates, posing major challenges for predictive modeling. Recent theoretical, experimental, and numerical advances provide unprecedented insights into the pore-scale mechanisms governing these processes and open new opportunities to tackle these challenges.

This session aims to bring together researchers working on fundamental and applied aspects of hydrobiogeochemical processes in the vadose zone and other multi-phase systems. In particular, we encourage submissions relating to experimental, numerical, and theoretical contributions pertaining to the following topics:

• Monitoring and modeling of flow, transport, and biochemical reactions from the pore to the field scale.
• Influence of static and dynamical medium properties (e.g., soil structure) on water flow and reactive transport.
• Mixing and reaction of emerging contaminants and other substances in variably-saturated porous media.
• Flow, transport, and reaction in the rhizosphere and plants.
• Model appraisal techniques, including calibration, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty assessment, and surrogate-based modeling for partially-saturated systems.
• Deep geological storage.
• Fuel cells and other electrochemical applications.

Solicited authors:
Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez
Co-organized by ERE5/SSS6
Convener: Tomas Aquino | Co-conveners: Efstathios Diamantopoulos, Insa Neuweiler, Christopher Vincent Henri, Gaute LingaECSECS, Giuseppe Brunetti, Jiri Simunek

SSS7 – Soil Pollution and Reclamation

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Carmen Pérez-Sirvent, Erika Santos, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas


Disturbance or insufficient rebuilding of the soil physicochemical and biological characteristics can modify the ecosystem functions and services. In the absence of appropriate restoration, soils and ecosystems would remain in a disturbed state or continue to decline. Therefore, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded soils is critical to create healthy and functional ecosystems that support essential functions and services.
In particular, soil contamination is one of the main transnational concerns of modern society and companies from different economic sectors. The high concentrations of potentially hazardous substances (e.g. metals/metalloids, radionuclides and organic compounds) resulting of natural sources, anthropic activities and inadequate soil management affect soil health, biogeochemical and edaphic processes, water quality and microorganisms-plant systems, crops productivity, food chain and, finally, Human health. The spatial and temporal variability of soil contamination, combination with other soil degradation factors (e.g. erosion, salinization and loss of fertility) and linking of the soil with other components from the ecosystem increase the complexity of the assessment of the environmental problem as well as design and implementation of rehabilitation strategies. A multidisciplinary approach and the linking of studies and projects are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and EU’s Green Deal.
This session aims to present the most relevant advances in: Environmental health, Assessment of contaminated areas and their risk by classical techniques, digital tools and remote sensing; Environmental responses after implementation of rehabilitation techniques; Monitoring of mitigation of contaminating processes; Modelling the behaviour of potential hazardous substances in contaminated and recovered soils; Interactions between potential hazardous substances and soil components; and other complimentary studies.
In this session, we welcome contributions covering experimental, observational, and theoretical studies this area of research. Topics of interest (although not limited to) are causes and impacts of land degradation and remedial actions and strategies for soil restoration and rehabilitation at local, regional or global scales.
We invite colleagues to present works to create multidisciplinary strategies and new partnerships that can help assess and rehabilitate contaminated areas.

Solicited authors:
Vesna Zupanc
Co-organized by BG8
Convener: Miriam Muñoz-Rojas | Co-conveners: Erika SantosECSECS, Thomas Baumgartl, Diego AránECSECS, Maria Manuela Abreu, Rubén Forján CastroECSECS
BG8.16 EDI

Currently, 25% of the global terrestrial ecosystems are degraded by human activities and climate change, and this percentage is expected to rise by 75% by 2050, threatening the provision of ecosystem services provided by terrestrial ecosystems. The negative impacts of ecosystem degradation on biodiversity and climate have driven ambitious targets for ecosystem restoration at national, regional, and global levels to enhance food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and soil and water protection.
It has also become an international consensus to achieve carbon neutrality, i.e., capturing and using or sequestering anthropogenic carbon in natural ecosystems. In this context, addressing ecosystem restoration and carbon cycling in the context of climate change and land use change is of great scientific and policy importance for restoration projects to be carbon neutrality to help achieve sustainable development and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Thus, global efforts are needed to engage researchers in strengthening the monitoring, assessment, and management of degraded ecosystems and promoting the achievement of the goal of carbon neutralization.
This session will provide a platform to share results from terrestrial ecosystem restoration projects to assess the status of global ecosystem restoration, the driving mechanisms, and the dynamics changes of the carbon cycle during the restoration process. Follow-up discussions will provide new insights into the monitoring and assessing the restoration process of degraded ecosystems at different scales in the context of carbon neutrality, land use changes, and climate change mitigation. The session welcomes studies reporting field observation and simulation of changes in carbon sink dynamics (e.g., carbon stocks, fluxes, stabilization, etc.), ecological processes, carbon sink enhancement measures, and accounting and management of carbon sinks in ecosystem restoration on various scales.

Solicited authors:
Yiqi Luo,Qiang He
Co-organized by SSS7
Convener: Yunting Fang | Co-conveners: Geshere Abdisa GurmesaECSECS, Shuli Niu, Per Gundersen

One of todays’ main challenges in agriculture is to increase crop yields to feed the world growing population while managing soils sustainably to maintain or increase soil fertility to improve the provision of ecosystem services by agricultural land. Notably, worldwide regions face this common challenge of improving the use of soil and water resources by adapting their commonly applied agricultural systems. Accordingly, it is increasingly important to identify and quantify soil degradation threats and to develop contemporary and tailored strategies and tools for restoring soil health at farm level.
This session will focus on all aspects of soil conservation, restoration, and fertilization strategies in agriculture at different spatial scales. Any researcher interested in these topics are warmly invited to participate. We particularly welcome contributions in:
i) Methodology (field work, laboratory analyses, sensors development, statistical analyses, algorithms, and modelling; including citizen science) for assessing soil health and erosion, forming the basis to implement locally adapted soil protection and restoration strategies.
ii) Development of decision support tools, and soil restoration and fertilization techniques and strategies, including synergies between digital agriculture and research for more sustainable agricultural systems and technological solutions to address stakeholders’ challenges.
iii) Case studies, including both monitoring and modelling, and recent advances coming from cooperative research comparing strategies to optimize soil and water use across different agricultural systems under different environmental conditions and scales.
iv) Socioeconomic studies on sustainable soil and water resource use, and approaches to implement soil and water conservation programs.
This session will be sponsored by the TUdi project (EU Horizon 2020 grant agreement no. 101000224).

Convener: Iria Benavente-FerracesECSECS | Co-conveners: Gema Guzmán, Gunther LiebhardECSECS, Ruoshui Wang, Akmal Akramkhanov

Plastic pollution of arable soils is a global issue of increasing concern, both to the scientific and broader communities. Despite extensive research on plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems, its occurrence, fate, and impact in terrestrial ecosystems remain under-investigated. Concurrently, agricultural soils have emerged as a significant sink for plastics, with arable land being among the most polluted land-use categories. This session seeks to bridge this knowledge gap, which is essential for facilitating better risk assessments, policies, agricultural practices, and industrial strategies to mitigate plastic usage and its environmental impact. We welcome contributions from observational, laboratory, and modelling research focusing on macro-, micro- and nanoplastics in arable soil, including:

• Plastic detection in soil systems: Detection, sampling, and analytical methods to quantify macro-, micro-, and nanoplastics pollution in soils.
• Plastic degradation in soil: Physical and chemical degradation, photodegradation, biodegradation, additive leaching, and the sorption processes of other chemicals.
• Plastic impact on soil ecosystems: Physical and chemical interactions between soil and plastic particles, eco-toxicological effects of micro- and nanoplastics and/or their leached additives on soil properties, soil health, plant growth and soil fauna.
• Plastic transport dynamics: Transport of microplastics and their co-transport with other contaminants from soil to other environmental compartments.
• Economic and policy perspectives: Investigating economic drivers for agricultural plastic use, designing solutions, and supporting policies and regulations for reducing and sustainably managing agricultural plastics.

Research related to, but not explicitly listed above, may also be considered.

Convener: Quynh Nhu Phan LeECSECS | Co-conveners: Wang LIECSECS, Olivia WrigleyECSECS, Peter Fiener

Minerals, whether inherited from the parent rock or precipitated as secondary phases, constitute the very building blocks of soils. They serve as habitats for soil organisms, create and modify soil pore spaces for gas and liquid uptake by and transport through soil, and take part in numerous chemical reactions involving both organic and inorganic substances. In this way, soil minerals control many critical soil functions such as water purification, contaminant immobilisation, nutrient cycling, organic carbon storage, and climate regulation. Soil minerals act as the dynamic interface between the Earth’s past and present-day conditions, the latter often characterized by anthropogenic challenges to a habitable planet. Since knowledge on soil mineral assemblages, their physicochemical characteristics, and functions is critical for understanding fundamental properties of soils and their responses to climate change, we invite contributions that address mineralogical controls of soil biological, physical, and chemical processes. These may include studies on soil minerals as microbial habitats, their role in regulating soil water contents and fluxes, and studies addressing controls of soil minerals on the cycling of soil organic carbon, contaminants, and nutrients. Contributions concerning the transformation of soil minerals following changing environmental conditions, their responses to anthropogenic interventions, or advances in their quantification and physicochemical characterization are equally welcome. Our session will offer a broad forum to discuss the most recent advances in exploring the diverse functions of soil minerals at any temporal or spatial scale and to address their responses to changing environmental conditions. This will help identify future directions for soil mineralogical research and strengthen the perspective of soil minerals as fundamental mediators of soil physical and (bio)chemical processes to maintain soil health.

Convener: Laura SchneeECSECS | Co-conveners: Christian Mikutta, Robert Mikutta

Soil pollution is a global threat that goes easily unnoticed but can have a profound impact on the functioning of ecosystems and on human health. 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. The consequences of soil contamination are quite diverse and depend e.g. on environmental settings and the properties of pollutants.
The most important issues in pollution research are the assessment and evaluation of pollution including assessment and evaluation of the distribution of pollutants, their mobility, chemical speciation as well as evaluation of the probability of soil-water-plant-atmosphere transfer, accumulation in plants and transfer through the food chain. Several pollution indexes have been widely used as a tool for evaluating soil contamination, but their performance depends on each specific case study.
This session aims to bring together contributions of all aspects of biogeochemical research related to soil pollution including (but not limited to):
New methodological approaches to assess soil pollution;
Pollution status in different areas;
Active and legacy pollution sources and pollutant flow dynamics in different environments;
Ecotoxicological considerations and health risk assessment;
Strategies to recover and restore polluted soils.

Solicited authors:
Milica Kašanin-Grubin
Convener: Carla FerreiraECSECS | Co-conveners: Oliver Wiche, Milica Kašanin-Grubin, Alla Samarska, Zahra Kalantari, Viktoriia Lovynska, Nazia ZaffarECSECS

Soil contamination caused by anthropogenic action is a problem that has been of concern to society for several decades. There are many implications that arise when these circumstances manifest themselves, such as the health of people, the continuity of ecosystems and biodiversity, legal implications and conditions for governance. The scientific community has been involved in the search for solutions and has carried out a large number of studies in all these areas, reaching a good level of knowledge of this problem, but characterisation studies have always predominated followed by remediation proposals.
Recently, (5 July 2023), the EU, as a consequence of the implementation of the EU Soil Strategy 2030, proposed a new Soil Monitoring Act to protect and restore soils and ensure their sustainable use. It is interlinked with the biodiversity strategy and the objectives of the European Green Pact. The new Soil Monitoring Law provides a legal framework to help achieve healthy soils by 2050, highlighting the identification and investigation of potentially contaminated sites and addressing the unacceptable risks to human health and the environment they may contain.
All of the above is part of the abundant reasons for reviewing the different aspects involved in the management of contaminated soils and the relevance of risk analysis as a tool and the different options that can be presented for the assessment of the results.

SSS7 – Soil Pollution and Reclamation

Convener: Carmen Pérez-Sirvent | Co-conveners: Jaume Bech, Maria Manuela Abreu, Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez, Mari Luz García-Lorenzo
HS5.3.4 EDI

Urban areas are at risk from multiple hazards, including urban flooding, droughts and water shortages, sea level rise, disease spread and issues with food security. Consequently, many urban areas are adapting their approach to hazard management and are applying Green Infrastructure (GI) solutions as part of wider integrated schemes.

This session aims to provide researchers with a platform to present and discuss the application, knowledge gaps and future research directions of urban GI and how sustainable green solutions can contribute towards an integrated and sustainable urban hazard management approach. We welcome original research contributions across a series of disciplines with a hydrological, climatic, soil sciences, ecological and geomorphological focus, and encourage the submission of abstracts which demonstrate the use of GI at a wide range of scales and geographical distributions. We invite contributions focusing on (but not restricted to):

· Monitored case studies of GI, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), Low Impact Developments (LIDs) or Nature-based Solutions (NbS), which provide an evidence base for integration within a wider hazard management system;

· GIS and hazard mapping analyses to determine benefits, shortcomings and best management practices of urban GI implementation;

· Laboratory-, field- or GIS-based studies which examine the effectiveness or cost/benefit ratio of GI solutions in relation to their wider ecosystem potential;

· Methods for enhancing, optimising and maximising GI system potential;

· Innovative and integrated approaches or systems for issues including (but not limited to): bioretention/stormwater management; pollution control; carbon capture and storage; slope stability; urban heat exchange, and; urban food supply;

· Catchment-based approaches or city-scale studies demonstrating the opportunities of GI at multiple spatial scales;

· Rethinking urban design and sustainable and resilient recovery following crisis onset;

· Engagement and science communication of GI systems to enhance community resilience.

Co-organized by SSS7
Convener: Daniel GreenECSECS | Co-conveners: Lei LiECSECS, Elena CristianoECSECS, Jorge Isidoro

SSS8 – Soil, Environment and Ecosystem Interactions

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Mariano Moreno de las Heras, Zahra Kalantari, Pablo Tittonell

BG3.15 EDI

Soil fauna perform many ecological functions that control ecosystem nutrient dynamics, regulate primary productivity, develop and maintain soil structure, and contribute to the quality of the atmosphere and water supply. Over recent decades, research has revealed interesting facts about soil fauna such as their contribution to ecosystem stability, pesticide remediation, multitrophic interactions that link above and belowground energy fluxes, etc. The proposed session encourages submissions from all aspects of research dealing with the effects of soil fauna on biogeochemical cycles, such as (1) the regulation of soil organic matter decomposition, (2) nutrient cycling and soil fertility, (3) soil carbon storage, (4) greenhouse gas emissions, (5) soil hydrology and nutrient leaching, (6) ecosystem energy fluxes, (etc.). The organizers are hoping to attract participants with diverse backgrounds, with the intended purpose of fostering scientific interactions and collaborations among individuals and established research networks. We welcome submissions from students, early-career and well-established researchers.

Co-organized by SSS8
Convener: Robert Bradley | Co-conveners: Ingrid Lubbers, Jan Willem Van Groenigen, Gerrit AngstECSECS
HS8.3.3 EDI

The interactions between plants and the environment play a prominent role in terrestrial fluxes and biochemical cycles. However, we still lack detailed knowledge of how these interactions impact plant growth and plant access to soil resources, particularly under deficient conditions. The main challenge arises from the complexity inherent to both soil and plants. To address these knowledge gaps, an improved understanding of plant-related transfer processes is needed.
Experimental techniques such as non-invasive imaging and three-dimensional root 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 interface between soil and plants.
This session targets research investigating plant-related resource transfer processes across different scales (from the rhizosphere to the global scale) and welcomes scientists from multiple disciplines encompassing the soil and plant sciences. We are specifically inviting contributions on the following topics:
- Bridging the gap between biologically and physically oriented research in soil and plant sciences
- Measuring and modeling of soil-plant hydraulics, water and solute fluxes through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum across scales.
- Identification of plant strategies to better access and use resources from the soil, including under abiotic stress(es)
- 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
- Mechanistic understanding of drought impact on transpiration and photosynthesis and their predictions by earth system models

Solicited authors:
Hannah Schneider
Co-organized by SSS8
Convener: Martin BoudaECSECS | Co-conveners: Valentin Couvreur, Camilla Ruø RasmussenECSECS, Mohsen Zare, Sabine J. Seidel
BG3.13 EDI

The present context of accelerated changes in both climate and land use imposes an unprecedent pressure on global ecosystems. The influences of landform and land use on soil-plant relationships and related subsoil processes are crucial for ecosystem service maintenance and restoration. This understanding is necessary to develop management practices to improve climate change adaptation, food security as well as providing habitats for soil biodiversity. In particular we focus on the role of different ecosystem components such as subsoil and roots that are often neglected.
The purpose of this session is to understand soil-plant interaction across landforms, including distribution of vegetation and coevolving soils and landforms, as well as related subsoil processes and root growths. In particular, theoretical, modelling, and empirical studies are welcome on subsoil functions, investigating root traits and rhizosphere processes on ecosystem services, degradation and biogeochemical cycling in different ecosystems and land uses. We also include studies on the implications of spatial patterns of soil-plant systems for the resilience and stability of ecosystems The session will have a particular interest on global changes effects on those processes and dynamics.

Solicited authors:
Sami Ullah
Co-organized by GM5/SSS8
Convener: Charlotte VédèreECSECS | Co-conveners: Wulf Amelung, Patricia Saco, Marie ArnaudECSECS, Cornelia Rumpel, Jose Rodriguez, Abad Chabbi

SSS9 – Soils, Forestry and Agriculture

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Rossano Ciampalini, Diana Vieira, Marta María Moreno Valencia


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).

Convener: María José Carpio Espinosa | Co-conveners: Shamina Imran Pathan, Magdalena Frac

In the context of global change, modern farming systems should become resilient to the risks of hydro-climatic extreme events (e.g. drought) and anthropogenic disturbances. These threats can have impacts, even significant ones, on the natural and social systems of an area being related to the degradation of functions and services offered by an agroecosystem. Therefore, soil and water resources need to be increasingly managed with the support of the most advanced tools offered by technological innovation.
This session aims at exploring how the linkages between observations and models are effectively utilized to assess the impact of global change on the provision of agroecosystem functions and services, and help develop reliable scenarios for resilience, adaptive capacity, and future risks under different climates, landscapes, and spatial extents.
Specific topics include, but are not limited to:
- Links or networks of agro-hydrological observatories;
- Living labs and lighthouses as innovative tools for soil health assessment;
- Development of single and compound indicators to capture the vulnerability of soil and water resources to environmental changes;
- Use of Nature-based Solutions (NbSs) to protect the environment and enhance agroecosystem resilience.

Convener: Nunzio Romano | Co-conveners: Harry Vereecken, Layla Höckerstedt

A comprehensive understanding of how forest and agricultural management practices affect soil processes is urgently needed. Soils play a pivotal role in the global carbon cycle by storing about two to three times more carbon than the atmosphere. Additionally, emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O from soils significantly impact the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, it is essential to gain a better understanding of how soil management and degradation affect global change, considering both carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions as well as soil physical properties.

Soil degradation poses a significant threat to soil functions and ecosystem services, including soil carbon stocks. Despite its importance, soil compaction is often overlooked in comparison to other soil degradation processes. In this context, the severity and extent of compaction and its impact on soil processes and functioning, and consequently, carbon sequestration, are not well understood.

Despite progress in this field, significant knowledge gaps still exist regarding the impact of soil management on soil carbon balances, greenhouse gas exchanges and physical properties. In addition, the effects of soil management on soil have not yet comprehensively integrated into decision-making modelling tools. This could potentially lead to neglecting these effects when formulating policies to achieve carbon neutrality and soil health objectives.

The session aims to offer solutions and develop strategies for effective global change mitigation. Therefore, contributions are invited from arable lands, grasslands, and forests around the world, exploring the current understanding of the effects of soil management and degradation on soil carbon sequestration and other processes. Contributions may be based on different methodological aspects, such as field work, laboratory analysis, sensor development, statistical analysis, and modelling), as well as spatial scales (from local to continental scale) and temporal scales (past, present, and future).

Co-organized by BG8
Convener: Tuula Larmola | Co-conveners: Michael KuhwaldECSECS, Eduardo Martínez-GarcíaECSECS, Katja AugustinECSECS, Bertrand Guenet, Marco Lorenz, Marjo Palviainen

Soil health is integral to sustainable agriculture, with organic soil amendments playing a pivotal role in enhancing fertility, structure, and microbial activity while mitigating environmental impacts. Organic farming, as defined by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), sustains soil, ecosystems, and people through ecological processes, biodiversity, and local adaptation, and is rooted in natural energy and nutrient cycles, and relying on practices like crop rotations, residues, compost, and green manure.
This Scientific Session explores cutting-edge research, innovative strategies, and practical applications in optimizing soil health through the use of organic amendments and encourages contributions from experiences in organic farming, covering soil changes, productivity, plant protection, healthy food, and socio-economic aspects. Studies focusing on diverse organic materials and their application, energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, carbon and water footprint, greenhouse gases, and soil nutrient balancing as indicators of sustainable practices are welcomed. Research from different continents provides insights into the global sustainability of organic agriculture, offering a robust scientific basis for developing governmental agricultural policies and decision tools for stakeholders. Future prospects in developing technologies and research areas with the potential to further advance our understanding of soil health optimization through organic soil amendments.

Convener: Tamara ApostolovićECSECS | Co-conveners: Marta María Moreno Valencia, Álvaro F. García-RodríguezECSECS, Snežana Maletić, Bruno Glaser, Jaime VillenaECSECS, Maria Vincenza Chiriacò

Urban soils co-evolve urbanization with under permanent anthropogenic and nature-based influences. They have a significant impact on the lives of citizens by providing services for urban ecosystems that are crucial to local-global climate mitigation-adaptation, such as: base for ecological infrastructure, water infiltration, storage and evapotranspiration through vegetation, carbon sequestration, habitat functions, food production, etc.
The aim of this inter- and transdisciplinary session is to feature application-, transformation and/or transition-oriented insights regarding urban soil science and urban soils. Therefore, we invite contributions on:
• urban soils' geneses, parent materials, chemical, physical, and biological properties, functions and ecosystem services (especially modeling of FUTURE urban soil properties and functions)
• reclamation and optimizing of sealed, compacted and/or contaminated urban soils
• creation of new urban soil profiles, Technosols and purpose designed substrates
This will be summed up in discussions of how the integration of urban soils information in territorial, landscape and urban design and planning can be achieved in order to support adaptation and mitigation of climate change and biodiversity collapse. We explicitly invite contributions from all disciplines represented by the EGU.

Solicited authors:
Maha Deeb
Convener: Thomas Nehls | Co-conveners: Antoine vialle, Irina Mikajlo, Geoffroy Séré

Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are among the most important greenhouse gases (GHG) after carbon dioxide (CO2) in accelerating global warming and deserve special attention as their concentrations increase. Forest ecosystems play an important role in the exchange of GHGs with the atmosphere. It has been shown that not only soils but also trees play a significant role in the net exchange of CH4 and N2O in forests. Trees can contribute to ecosystem exchange by uptaking and transporting soil-produced CH4 and N2O to the atmosphere, by in situ production and consumption of both gases in plant tissues, and by modifying carbon and nitrogen turnover in adjacent soils. However, the contribution of these individual processes to the net ecosystem GHG exchange is still unclear and appears to depend on many aspects such as tree species, forest ecosystem type, environmental parameters and seasonal dynamics. Soil - vegetation - atmosphere interactions play a crucial role in controlling the global budget of these gases.

This session aims to bring together scientists working on CH4 and N2O cycles in forest ecosystems across different climatic and hydrological ranges and scales, which is crucial for improving our understanding of CH4 and N2O exchange in forest ecosystems. We welcome contributions on production and consumption processes and mechanisms in soils and plant tissues, as well as on gas transport processes in the soil - tree - atmosphere continuum. Gas flux measurements from forest soils, cryptogams, tree stems, leaves or canopies measured with chamber systems, or integrated ecosystem approaches (flux tower with Eddy covariance, satellite or modelling) would be very appreciated.

Solicited authors:
Ülo Mander
Co-organized by SSS9
Convener: Katerina Machacova | Co-conveners: Laëtitia Brechet, Sylvia Toet, Josep Barba

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 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.

Co-organized by SSS9
Convener: Christoph Müller | Co-conveners: Oleksandr MialykECSECS, Han SuECSECS, Katharina Waha, Christian Folberth
BG3.35 EDI

Managed agricultural ecosystems (grassland and cropland) are an important source and/or sink for greenhouse gases (GHG) as well as for reactive trace gases. Representative measurements and modelling under typical conditions as well as for potential mitigation options are necessary as a basis for recommendations to policy makers and farmers.
Due to the simultaneous influence of various environmental drivers and management activities (e.g. fertilizer application, harvest, grazing) the flux patterns are often complex and difficult to attribute to individual drivers. Moreover, management related mitigation options may often result in trade-offs between different GHG or between emission of GHG and reactive gases like NH3, NOx, or VOCs. To investigate these interactions, the session addresses experimentalists and modelers working on carbon and nitrogen cycling processes and related fluxes on plot, field, landscape, and regional scale. It is open to a wide range of studies including the development and application of new devices, methods, and model approaches as well as field observations and process studies. Particularly welcome are studies on multiple gases and on the full carbon, nitrogen or GHG budgets. We also encourage contributions about the applicability and overall potential of mitigation options.

Co-organized by SSS9
Convener: Christof Ammann | Co-conveners: Christian Brümmer, Eliza HarrisECSECS, Alexander Moravek, Alex Valach

This session offers an opportunity to present studies or professional works regarding irrigated agriculture, either with disciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches, to provide solutions for the society's challenges in the XXI century, in the following areas:
• The resilience of irrigated areas at different spatial scales, mainly when water and soil are limiting factors.
• Estimation of crop transpiration/crop water requirement, even considering the possibility to apply regulated water deficit conditions.
• Coupling natural and human systems where ground and surface water and land are limiting resources for irrigation
• Safety in marginal water use in irrigated agriculture. Use of irrigation water from different non-conventional water sources
• Traditional, novel, and transitional technologies for irrigation management, control and practical application.
• Digital irrigation: application of available remote and proximal sensed data to tackle current and future irrigation problems.
• Improving the integration of climate change scenarios and weather forecasts into agro-hydrological models and decision support systems to improve decisions in irrigation management and safe surface water-groundwater interactions.

Co-organized by HS13
Convener: Leonor Rodriguez-Sinobas | Co-conveners: Alejandro Pérez-Pastor, Moreno Toselli

SSS10 – Metric, Informatics, Statistics and Models in Soils

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Laura Poggio, Sara König, Sara Cucchiaro


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. These can be used as input in environmental models, such as hydrological, climate or vegetation productivity (crop models) addressing the uncertainty in the soil layers and its impact in the environmental modelling. 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 production of high-quality soil maps is a key issue because it enables stakeholders (e.g. farmers, planners, other scientists) to understand the variation of soils at the landscape, field, and sub-field scales. The products of digital soil mapping should be integrated within other environmental models for assessing and mapping soil functions to support sustainable management. 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 also welcome. Also welcomed. contributions aiming at reporting the state of the art of soil properties retrieval from hyperspectral satellites, especially focusing on quantitative estimations illustrating advances in methodologies making use of data-driven approaches such as machining learning, as well as physically based modelling.

Convener: Laura Poggio | Co-conveners: Raffaele Casa, Eyal Ben Dor, Bas van Wesemael, Jacqueline Hannam, László Pásztor, V.L. (Titia) Mulder

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.

Solicited authors:
Lander Van Tricht
Co-organized by BG2/CR5/GI1/SSS10
Convener: Amaury Dehecq | Co-conveners: Katharina AndersECSECS, Anette EltnerECSECS, Livia PiermatteiECSECS, Benoît Smets
HS7.10 EDI

The atmospheric precipitation process comprises an ensemble of a wide variety of hydrometeors that result from the complex atmospheric processes of nucleation, accretion, melting and interactions. Rainfall reaches the ground surface with varying intensity, drop size and velocity distributions, which depends on the specific site climatology and the event type and characteristics. The terminal velocity of each raindrop is a function of its size and affects the kinetic energy transferred to the soil. These rainfall features are assessed in situ by employing raingauges and disdrometers, but accurate measurements require suitable adjustments for instrumental and environmental biases.
Appropriate knowledge and ability to reproduce rainfall characteristics are important to support hydrological and geomorphological studies. Experimentally, rainfall simulators are widely employed during research activities, both in the laboratory and in the field, to accomplish a wide range of research objectives and purposes. Rainfall simulators can be a useful tool to investigate, among many other applications, the relationship between rainfall and runoff, particularly focusing on water balances, , overland flow and associated transport processes, the rill and inter-rill erosion, and infiltration. They can help to predict the response of different land cover and soil types to precipitation and of sustainable semi-permeable solutions for implementation in the urban environment, to estimate the effect of land changes and deforestation on the land slope stability and sediment transport, to improve our knowledge on the transport of various pollutants associated with runoff, to investigate agricultural issues considering different levels of soil moisture and to calibrate precipitation gauges under controlled conditions.
In this session, research contributions addressing laboratory and in-situ experiments using rainfall simulators, in particular new developments and innovative techniques, as well as numerical simulations studies, are encouraged. Additional applications of rainfall simulators, if compared with those listed in the present proposal, are also welcome. This session provides a useful opportunity to collect an overview of rainfall simulators used worldwide, to identify their main common features that make results more comparable and breakthroughs in this field, and to exchange ideas to advance the field of simulated rainfall-based research in hydrology and geosciences.

Co-organized by SSS10
Convener: Arianna CauteruccioECSECS | Co-conveners: Isabel de Lima, Andrzej Bieganowski, Tomas Dostal

Agriculture is the largest consumer of water worldwide and at the same time irrigation is a sector where huge differences between modern technology and traditional practices do exist. Furthermore, reliable and organized data about water withdrawals for agricultural purposes are generally lacking worldwide, thus making irrigation the missing variable to close the water budget over anthropized basins. As a result, building systems for improving water use efficiency in agriculture is not an easy task, even though it is an immediate requirement of human society for sustaining the global food security, rationally managing the resource and reducing 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. Hence, saving irrigation water improving irrigation efficiency on large areas with modern techniques is an urgent action to do. In fact, it is well known 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 studies have recently explored the possibility of monitoring irrigation dynamics and by optimizing irrigation water management to achieve precision farming exploiting remote sensing information combined with ground data and/or 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; estimates of irrigation water requirements from ground and satellite data; ICT tools for real-time irrigation management with remote sensing and ground data coupled with hydrological modelling.

Co-organized by SSS10
Convener: Chiara Corbari | Co-conveners: Francesco Morari, Jacopo DariECSECS, kamal Labbassi

SSS11 – Material and Methods in Soil Sciences

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Álvaro Gómez-Gutiérrez, Anette Eltner, Yang Yu


The session is addressed to experimentalists and modelers working on air-land interactions from local to regional scales including urban and natural terrestrial ecosystems. 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, and processes related to fog, dew, and water vapour adsorption. 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, and biophysical effects.

Solicited authors:
Alexander Graf
Co-organized by BG3/HS13/SSS11, co-sponsored by iLEAPS and ICOS
Convener: Anne KlosterhalfenECSECS | Co-conveners: Nurit Agam, Jan Cermak, Natascha Kljun, Dilia Kool, Matthias Mauder, Christoph Thomas

SSS12 – Soil Policy and Legislation

Sub-Programme Group Scientific Officers: Laura Quijano, Beatrice Giannetta, Petra Stankovics