Soil organic carbon dynamics in both agricultural and natural ecosystems (co-organized with the Soil Science Society of America)
Conveners: Johan Six , Jan Hopmans , Andrew Gregory 
 / Tue, 23 Sep, 13:30–17:00  / Room A
 / Attendance Tue, 23 Sep, 17:00–19:00  / Display Tue, 23 Sep, 08:30–19:00  / Foyer

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is considered to be the most biologically active compartment of the biosphere supporting biodiversity. SOC is influenced by land use and management, predominantly through effects on vegetation inputs. Together they control both quantity and quality of SOC, but also how SOC interacts with soil and environmental properties. There is growing recognition for the need to integrate management of SOC to cope with the most pressing global challenges that are integral to soil resources, from the impacts of climate change to food security, and from sustainable land and water resources to improved ecosystem functioning.

This session, organized in collaboration with the Soil Science Society of America, provides a timely opportunity to highlight our understanding of SOC dynamics in different systems and to offer practical options towards optimizing SOC stabilization and function in order to address the impacts of climate change, soil degradation, food production, energy production, and protection of the wider environment.

The session will:

1. Highlight the impacts of land use, including annual and perennial agricultural systems, bioenergy crops, and natural systems, on SOC dynamics and its interactions with soil properties.
2. Focus on state-of-the-art techniques and approaches to elucidate SOC composition and functioning, including biochemical and biophysical techniques.
3. Examine SOC functioning across spatial and temporal scales, including surveys, chronosequences, modelling and mapping.

The session will provide a unique opportunity for interactions and interdisciplinary understanding, leading to a broader awareness of SOC and its critical contributions to ecosystem services. It is the intention to identify and discuss the key knowledge gaps in order to develop future research opportunities.