In the context of the EU soil strategy for 2030, the European Space Agency (ESA) is committed to monitor and service the soil restauration requirements with the Earth observation means and technologies set in place, particularly through Copernicus.
A new podcast episode investigates the consequence of water deprivation to trees. Peter Wohlleben, a NY-times bestselling author and forester, interviews Dr. Karin Pritsch, from the Helmholtz Institutes, and Prof. Thorsten Grams, from the Technical University of Munich. The two scientists recount the five-year experiment they perform to study the ability of trees to cope with these extreme drought conditions.
The experts talk in detail about what happens below the ground when no water is given to the soil for five years: in particular, they focus on the quantitative decline of roots and mycorrhizae. Listen to the full episode (in German)
A new postdoc position has been opened at the Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, with a focus on microbial processes in soil.
The ideal candidate has strong quantitative skills (statistical or process-based modelling) to quantify how microbial diversity affects carbon cycling in soil, and how to describe these linkages in soil carbon cycling models. The selected candidate will work with Stefano Manzoni on either HoliSoils project, or the ERC project “Soil microbial responses to land use and climatic changes in the light of evolution”. Both projects tackle questions at the intersection of ecology, soil science, and biogeosciences, and offer outstanding international networking opportunities.
The fifth edition of the Wageningen Soil Conference will take place between 28 August and 1 September 2023. The conference, organised by Wageningen University & Research and ISRIC, has an interactive character with conference sessions as well as workshops on many different soil-related topics. The focus of the conference will be on working together on solutions for a sustainable world.
The four conference days are divided into different topics:
Soils for society;
Advances in measuring and modeling soil processes;
Mapping and evaluation of soil dunctions across scales;
Soils for nature-based solutions.
The programme for 2023 will consist of keynote presentations and parallel sessions in the mornings, masterclasses in the afternoons, fantastic side events, and much more.
During the fifth edition of the Wageningen Soil Conference, a wide range of scientific and interactive masterclasses will be offered in the afternoons. The call for ideas on organsing these masterclasses is now open. Submit your proposal by 12 December!
The registrations for the Conference will open in March 2023.
Both positions will be based at EFI’s headquarters in Joensuu, Finland. The researchers will work in different EU-funded projects. In particular, the Researcher on Climate-Smart Forestry will also contribute to the HoliSoils project.
Over 30 researchers from 8 EU-funded projects are working together to come up with strategies to fight climate change and deal with its impacts on forests. Several HoliSoils researchers attended the meeting which took place on 16-18 November in Freising, Germany. Joining HoliSoils were experts from the research projects ForestPaths, CLIMB-Forest, FORWARDS, FORECO, WildE, RESCUE, and ForMII.
The focus of the meeting was how existing simulation models for forests and land use (like EFISCEN-space, LPJ-GUESS and CRAFTY) should be improved. Participants identified some major topics, for instance how forest disturbances such as storms, wildfire and insect outbreaks, as well as climate-smart forest management practices, could be included in such advanced simulation models.
The meeting gave researchers the opportunity to identify important next steps on how the projects can support each other. The event proved to very fruitful, and a similar meeting has been planned in approximately a year from now.
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is a research organisation working to promote bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. Luke is looking for a post-doctoral researcher focusing on soil element cycles and GHG dynamics. The application deadline is 14 December 2022, at 4.00 pm Finnish time (EET).
Luke has open positions for 1-2 post-doc researchers in a multidisciplinary research team, which develops sustainable land-use and ecosystem management practices. The team has several ongoing international projects (including Benchmarks and HoliSoils), where it executes field experiments on both peatland and upland forests to test management regimes and to study ecosystem processes. The team develops models to predict management impacts on ecosystem water, carbon and GHG fluxes. The post-doctoral researcher will be engaged in an active international collaboration that aims at improving the scientific knowledge about soil processes, soil indicators, and the effects of management on forest soils.
The researcher will study how forest management affects soil element cycles, GHG fluxes and their drivers. The researcher will:
Implement field experiment, where effects of management practices on soil biological activity and GHG fluxes are studied;
Analyze obtained empirical data;
Evaluate and develop soil indicators;
Participate in developing mathematical models that describe soil processes.
The researcher will also be responsible for scientific writing and reporting of the results as a lead author.
The vacancy is initially for 2 years with a possibility of one year continuation (2+1).
Luke is seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with good understanding on biogeochemical cycles, soil processes and their drivers (including microbial communities and their processes). Knowledge on ecosystem studies, experience in GHG data analysis and understanding of soil processes is essential. The applicant should have knowledge on the factors that control soil element cycles, and also understand how experiments and soil measurements can inform process models. Understanding of peatland microbial processes is an asset. Competence in scientific writing has to be shown by a good publication record.
The applicant should be able to steer their own study and experimental work. Good communication skills, as well as ability to work as a part of international multidisciplinary research team are required. Data analysis and programming skills (e.g. R, Python), and understanding of microbial processes and isotope research methods are considered as assets.
The group Ecophysiology of Plants at LSAI and TUM School of Life Sciences are looking for a Ph.D. student interested in the relationships between the fitness of forest trees and the diversity of their rhizospheres by using multi-community DNA barcoding. Your tasks include establishing and applying novel sequencing approaches for rhizosphere community analyses and data evaluation integrating tree growth data.
Your topic will be to uncover relationships between tree growth and rhizosphere biodiversity. You will investigate the biodiversity of complex rhizosphere communities and their relationship with tree growth dynamics using natural forest sites throughout Bavaria and an experimental site for testing extreme drought. A combination of novel community sequencing approaches for root associated microorganisms, data from long-term forest monitoring, and addi-tionally collected tree growth data will uncover interrelationships between stand growth, biodiversity conservation and climate suitability of the trees and make them usable for forestry measures under changing climate.
If you are interested in joining the team, please apply by 22 November 2022.
Holisoils launched a set of three surveys to collect expert opinions on how natural disturbances may affect soil variables.
The main objective of these surveys is to understand the extent to which soils might be vulnerable to an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disturbances (e.g. fire, drought, tree mortality, etc.) as a result of anthropogenic climate change.
These questionnaires will serve many different purposes. Given the limited knowledge about which physical, chemical and biological soil characteristics are most vulnerable to the impact of natural disturbances, the survey will fill current gaps in our understanding of potential threats to soil functioning. Secondly, the surveys aim to compare the different opinions and views on soil vulnerability of experts coming from different soil science disciplines or geographical contexts.
World Soil Day is celebrated on 5 December to promote awareness on the importance of healthy soils and their sustainable management. The first official World Soil Day was celebrated in 2014, and since then FAO, within the framework of theGlobal Soil Partnership (GSP), organizes this event every year.
The 2022 edition focuses on the relation between soil and nutrition, with a campaign under the theme “Soils: Where food begins“. As the loss of nutrients in the soil threatens global food security and sustainability, this year’s campaign aims to focus attention on how to keep ecosystems and people healthy by managing soil and raising awareness about this resource.
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