Survey on forest soil greenhouse gas inventories in Europe now launched

In scope of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute (consortium partner) launched a questionnaire to review the different methods of calculating and reporting GHG fluxes in European countries. The aim is to gain knowledge of the applied methods, but also assess uncertainties and challenges of national inventories and pinpoint areas that can be improved. Based on the results of the questionnaire, we want to develop practice-oriented recommendations for improving future forest soil GHG inventories.

The questionnaire is targeted towards national experts specialised in either soil GHG inventory reporting procedures, national soil surveys or soil carbon modelling. For each target audience, a separate survey was created:

  1. GHG inventory reporting procedures
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/735421?lang=en
  2. Soil monitoring programs used for GHG inventories
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/189485?lang=en
  3. Soil carbon modelling approached used for GHG inventories and Forest Reference Levels
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/293423?lang=en

If you are a national expert in the field of GHG reporting, please help us by filling out the questionnaire(s) that applies to you until 22 May 2022.

Please feel free to distribute this news to your colleagues. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us:

PhD defence invitation – Soil organic carbon modelling

PhD candidate Elisa Bruni from the Climate and Environmental Sciences Laboratory (LSCE) in France is pleased to invite you to her doctoral thesis defence entitled “Soil organic carbon modelling: estimating carbon input changes required to reach policy objectives aimed at increasing soil organic carbon stocks”.

The defence will take place on Monday 28 March 2022 at 2:00 p.m. in Amphi 7 of AgroParisTech (Paris-Maine), located at 19 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris. For those who prefer to attend remotely, you can join the videoconference through the following link (Meeting ID: 930 0252 2076 / Password: 954715). The presentation will be held in English.


The thesis jury board is composed of the following experts:

  • Axel DON, Senior Lecturer, Thünen Institute (Germany) – Rapporteur & Examiner
  • Isabelle BASILE, Research Director, INRAE Centre PACA (France) – Rapporteur & Examiner
  • Sébastien Barot, Director of Research, IRD (France) – Examiner
  • Patricia Garnier, Director of Research, INRAE (France) – Examiner
  • Emanuele Lugato, Project manager, Joint Research Centre (Europe) – Examiner
  • Stefano Manzoni, Senior Lecturer, Stockholm University (Sweden) – Examiner
  • Claire Chenu, Director of Research, INRAE (France) – Thesis director
  • Bertrand Guenet, Research Fellow, INRAE (France) – Examiner
  • Denis Angers, Honorary Director of Research, Université de Laval (Canada) – Invited
  • Gaby Deckmyn, Senior Scientist, University of Antwerp (Belgium) – Invited

Thesis abstract

To partially compensate for CO2 emissions, the 4 per 1000 initiative proposed an annual 4‰ soil organic carbon (SOC) stock increase. Yet, the feasibility of such an ambitious target is still under debate. The most efficient way to increase the SOC stocks is to increase the C input to the soil. The objective of this thesis was to estimate the C input required to yearly increase the SOC stocks by 4‰ in European croplands.

To solve this problem, we built an inverse modelling approach and tested it on a SOC model, by estimating the C input required to reach the 4‰ objective at multiple long-term agricultural experiments in Europe. Then, we applied this approach to a multimodel ensemble, to assess the uncertainties of the estimations according to different representations of the SOC dynamics. As a first attempt to provide insights for policymakers on the feasibility of a 4‰ target in Europe, we applied a multi-model ensemble over the whole European cropland area, and we generated maps of the required C input under two scenarios of climate change. To improve the simulation of SOC stocks at the European scale, we tested a new, statistically derived, parametrization technique.

Our study demonstrates that there are substantial uncertainties around the C input required to reach a 4‰ target. However, a general pattern emerges at the European cropland scale, where the 4‰ target seems feasible under future scenarios of climate change, only assuming drastic increases of C input to the soil.

4th Ecology of Soil Microorganisms Conference 2022

The Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (a member of the HoliSoils consortium) is pleased to invite you to the 4th conference on the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms to be held in Prague, Czech Republic on 19-23 June 2022. This will be the fourth conference in the triennial symposium series on this topic, last organised in Helsinky in 2018. The conferences were attended by more than 400 participants from all over the world.

The conference is planned as an interdisciplinary platform that should offer as much interaction as possible between the various topics of microbial ecology. This includes questions concerning individual microbes, microbial communities as well as their interactions with the environment and other soil biota. The organisers aim to link current “omics” molecular methods, such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics, with approaches based on soil chemical and biochemical analyses, exploration of soil fauna and plant ecology.

The other important goal of the conference is a broad scope covering the ecology of all microbes: bacteria and fungi, as well as archaea and protozoa. The Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences aims to bring together experts from all these disciplines in a meeting where all can benefit from interactions and thus promote research in the field of soil ecology.

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission: March 15, 2022
  • Early bird registration deadline: March 15, 2022
  • Young scientist grants application: March 15, 2022
  • Final programme announcement: May, 2022
  • Conference June 19-23, 2022

Download Conference flyer (PDF)

Register now online!

Visit conference website

Have your say on soil health! – Protecting, sustainably managing and restoring EU soils

Soils are crucial for food, nature and our economy and deserve the same level of protection as water, air or the marine environment. The European Commission aims to prepare a proposal for a Soil Health Law announced in the EU Soil Strategy 2030, which aims to specify the conditions for healthy soil, identify options for soil monitoring and set standards leading to sustainable soil use and restoration.

In order to improve and enhance this legislation, a consultation process has been opened so that both the general public and stakeholders in the specific field of soil science can provide feedback on the challenges, opportunities and solutions as well as any relevant information that would be of interest to the European Commission to improve the proposed law.

The European Commission would like to hear your views!

The Commission is seeking your feedback by 16 March 2022. This call for evidence is currently open for comments and your input will be taken into account to further develop and refine this legislative initiative for a future EU Soil Health Directive in 2023. The draft document for an impact assessment that will serve as the basis for the future legislation work can be downloaded here.

Haver your say and give your feedback!

Webinar: Recent developments in modelling water balance and ghg emissions from forested peatlands

Details

Start: 9:00 AM (CET) 4 March 2022
End: 12:00 PM (CET) 4 March 2022

Organizer

Luke Finland
Website: https://www.luke.fi/en/

Venue

Online / Microsoft Teams

Description

In recent years, significant model developments have been made in modelling peatland ecosystems. These developments have been motivated by the importance of these ecosystems to green-house gas emissions and to forestry. Therefore, it is also central to understand how they respond to changing conditions and management.

In this seminar organized by Luke Finland, we will take a look at processes driving peatland ghg emissions and growth, as well as novel modelling approaches to quantify their ghg impacts at larger scales.

Postdoc opportunity in Microbial Ecology of Forest Soils

The Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology (Czech Academy of Sciences) is looking for a motivated postdoctoral fellow. The position is offered for an initial period of one year, but may be extended for up to three years. The position is open until filled, starting date is negotiable (expected before 1st September 2022).

About the postdoctoral position

The successful candidate will join the international consortium of the H2020 project “HoliSoils” that explores the effects of forest management on ecosystem processes such as greenhouse gas fluxes, C storage and biodiversity preservation. The person will be involved in the study of the structural and functional response of the soil microbiome to forest management, disturbances and global change across Europe and will have the opportunity to collaborate with a number of leading groups in this research field. In addition, the candidate will be responsible for coordination of experimental work of the project partners.

Qualifications

  • PhD degree in the field of microbiology, mycology, ecology, botany, forestry or similar.
  • Experience in microbial biodiversity or microbial ecology.
  • First-authored papers in leading interdisciplinary journals or high-ranking IF journals in the fields of ecology, microbiology, soil science or forest research
  • Excellence in English and good communication skills
  • Motivation for independent scientific work in the field defined by the aims of the proposal
  • Previous involvement in projects focusing on forests or soils represents an advantage
  • Experience with advanced statistical methods, modelling approaches or large data management represents an advantage
  • During the appointment, the person will be based in the Czech Republic

How to apply?

Please send your Curriculum Vitae, motivation letter and contacts to at least two independent professionals (such as PhD or postdoc supervisors) who can provide reference. Contact person: Petr Baldrian ().

More information

HoliSoils in a nutshell

Soils are crucial for the global climate and human wellbeing, providing clear benefits for people and the planet in their sustainable management. Knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and the lack of harmonised soil monitoring limits our ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and achieve climate policy objectives.

A better understanding of soil processes can support decision making in meeting climate and sustainability goals. This requires harmonised monitoring methods, models, tools and data to develop and inform policies and strategies to meet the SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, as well as the European Green Deal.

Find out how HoliSoils meets this challenge! The HoliSoils brochure is available now for an excellent overview on this exciting project focussing on holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils.

Download the HoliSoils brochure (PDF)

HoliSoils website shines spotlight on forest soils

The website is a focal point for the project and its results towards an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe.

A new website for the Horizon 2020 project, HoliSoils (Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils), is now online.

An entry point for exploring the project’s activities, resources and results, the website serves as a gateway to the tools, datamodels and maps which are created, collated and updated over the course of this 4.5 year project. HoliSoils incorporates novel methodologies and expert knowledge on analytical techniques, data sharing, soil properties and biodiversity, and model development. It is developing tools for soil monitoring, refining greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment of the land use, land-use change & forestry (LULUCF) sector, enhancing efficiency of GHG mitigation actions, and improving numerical forecasting of soil-based mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem services.

HoliSoils has a wide spread of test sites to investigate the effects of soil and forest management on soils processes, resilience, and climate change mitigation potential. It will also provide training and capacity building to various stakeholder groups on the results obtained.

The website also provides an insight into the benefits provided by soils for people and the planet. Knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and the lack of harmonised soil monitoring limits our ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and achieve climate policy objectives. A better understanding of soil processes will support decision making in meeting climate and sustainability goals.

The project employs a collaborative, multi-actor approach, with a multidisciplinary consortium and diverse stakeholders who are actively engaged in ensuring that HoliSoils results can be effective and appropriate for the people who need and use them. Stay tuned to the HoliSoils website for all project progress on the work together for forest soils.

About HoliSoils

Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils – HoliSoils – provides an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe. The project is funded for 4.5 years through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and is coordinated by Luke, Finland.

Digital solutions for soil monitoring

After a successful 2021, EFI’s Bioregions Facility organises a new series of its Forestry Speed Dating in 2022 to promote innovation and collaboration within the topic of Digital solutions for soil monitoring.

The Forestry Speed Dating, to be held on 21 March 2022, will connect the innovators behind digital solutions for soil monitoring with participants such as companies and organisations involved in forest management and operations, forest monitoring and research, as well as stakeholders working in the field of land management, climate change, forest soil monitoring and soil health.


Agenda

Content
10:00Introduction5 min
10:05Presentation and Q&A SOCiT app, by Matt Aitkenhead20 min
10:25Presentation and Q&A BefahrGut project, by Dirk Jaeger or Marian Schönauer20 min
10:45Presentation and Q&A LURSOIL app, by Nahia Gatzia20 min
11:05Breakout rooms with speakers22 min
11:27Closure and presentation of next event 3 min
11:30Continuation of breakout rooms according to availability

Meet the innovators, get inspired and develop new partnerships

Forestry Speed Dating puts innovators in contact with potential partners and end-users, to speed up innovation and create new partnerships. Through a series of speed dating workshops, and facilitation of meeting with innovators, you can find inspiration and explore new solutions towards a sustainable forest circular bioeconomy for your area.

These events are organised in collaboration with the Horizon 2020’s project ROSEWOOD4.0, which is focused on harnessing digital solutions along the forest value chain to reinforce the sustainability of wood mobilisation in Europe.

Register now!

Down to Earth: EU-funded projects that will help save our soil

EU-funded projects contribute soil strategy

The European Commission has recently adopted the new EU Soil Strategy 2030. The European Research Executive Agency has funded several Horizon 2020 projects that aim to help improve soil health and promote more sustainable soil management practices. Among the selection of outstanding funded projects is HoliSoils.

The EU Soil Strategy sets a framework and concrete measures for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of soils, with the vision that by 2050, all EU soils ecosystem will be healthy and more resilient. The Soil Strategy is an important deliverable of the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in facing the climate and biodiversity crises.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) manages several EU-funded projects that can contribute to this vision. These projects will support the objectives of the EU mission A Soil Deal for Europe, which, will provide EUR 320 million in seed funding through Horizon Europe from 2021-2023. The projects will also help us to learn more about soil, improve its health and help us achieve more sustainable soil management practices. 

So, what are the projects that can help revolutionise our knowledge of soil across Europe and the world? 

  • HoliSoils seeks a holistic way to gain a better understanding of forest soil processes in relation to forest management and to develop tools for soil monitoring correlated with land use, land-use change and the forestry sector.
  • Soil Mission Support is on a mission to help protect our soil and improve soil management in keeping with the EU mission A Soil Deal for Europe. It analyses needs for research and innovation, identifying knowledge gaps and defining a set of strategic criteria for Living Labs and Lighthouses, a crucial element of the mission.
  • SOILGUARD will help us understand more about soil biodiversity and assess the status of soil biodiversity and its contribution to the provision and value of soil mediated ecosystem services. 
  • TUDI is a global initiative involving 15 partners from across Europe, China and New Zealand who seek to improve health and reverse degradation in agricultural soils.  
  • MINAGRIS aims to contribute to healthy soils in Europe by assessing the impact of plastic debris on agricultural soils.
  • PAPILLONS will provide the first digital European atlas of agricultural plastic use, management and waste production.

This article was originally published by the European Research Executive Agency on 25 November 2021.