New publication on the impact of management on soil carbon sequestration

Mushrooms on forest soil

A new study, developed in the framework of the HoliSols project, was recently published on Forest Ecology and Management.

The publication synthesises information on forest management practices that can mitigate climate change by increasing soil carbon stocks and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study also identifies soil processes that affect soil greenhouse gas balance and discusses how models represent forest management effects on soil in greenhouse gas inventories and scenario analyses to address forest climate change mitigation potential.

Read the full article

Reference

Mäkipääa, R., Abramoff, R., Adamczyk, B., Baldy, V., Biryol, C., Bosela, M., Casals, P., Yuste, J.C., Dondini, M., Filipek, S., Garcia-Pausas, J., Gros, R., Gömöryová, E., Hashimoto, S., Hassegawa, M., Immonen, P., Laiho, R., Li, H., Li, Q., Luyssaert, S., Menival, C., Mori, T., Naudts, K., Santonja, M., Smolander, A., Toriyama, J., Tupek, B., Ubeda, X., Verkerk, P.J., Lehtonen, A. 2023. How does management affect soil C sequestration and greenhouse gas fluxes in boreal and temperate forests? – A review. Forest Ecology and Management, 529, 120637. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120637



Two open positions on Climate-Smart Forestry at EFI

Aerial view of a forest in autumn

The European Forest Institute (EFI) is looking for two researchers to work on Climate-Smart Forestry.

To reinforce EFI’s Bioeconomy Programme, EFI is seeking a Researcher on Climate-Smart Forestry and a Researcher / Senior Researcher on social sciences in Climate-Smart Forestry.

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.

The deadline for applications is 9 January 2023.

Read more on these and other positions open at EFI

European projects join forces to tackle the impact of climate change on forests

Meeting in Germany

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.

HoliSoils surveys on soil vulnerability to natural disturbances

Forest soil and muchrooms

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.

Take the surveys now:

Call for abstracts for IBFRA 2023 – Climate Resilient and Sustainable Forest Management

The call for abstracts is now open for the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) Conference on Sustainable and Climate Resilient Forest Management to be held 28-31 August 2023 in Helsinki, Finland.

The bi-annual conference will bring together researchers, companies, policymakers, and members of civil society to discuss the future of boreal forests, the second most extensive terrestrial biome on earth.

The boreal forest is experiencing environmental changes at rates that are unprecedented. Changing climates are increasing disturbances such as wildfires or insect outbreaks. Many boreal ecosystems are shifting to new ecological states, affecting the people who are relying on these ecosystems for subsistence living, cultural practices, economic development or climate stability. This is why the 20th IBFRA conference is focused on Climate resilient and sustainable forest management.

Abstract submissions are welcome for both oral and poster presentations. Please submit your abstract by 30 January 2023.

More information

Get ready for World Soil Day 2022!

World Soil Day

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 the Global 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.

Discover more on the World Soil Day 2022

Follow @holisoils and #WorldSoilDay on Twitter to keep up to date with this event!

Discover soil biodiversity listening to the Life in the Soil podcast

Life in the Soil

The podcast Life in the Soil brings you the insights and voices of some of the world’s best soil scientists. The six available episodes explore soil biodiversity, why it matters, and how we can protect it. The podcast was produced by the Rillig Lab (Freie Universität Berlin – Institut für Biologie) in collaboration with podcaster Anja Krieger, and it was funded through the BiodivERsA project Digging Deeper.

The first episode, with the contribution of soil scientist Johannes Lehmann, focuses on the role of soil in hosting biodiversity below the ground: this natural habitat is crucial to support many different ecosystems. In the second episode, insights from Katie FieldToby KiersBala Chaudhary, shed light on the fascinating word of mushrooms and fungi, and their close relations with plants. The third and fourth installments of the podcast explore the many components and organisms that constitute soil and which technological innovations can help us to understand soil better. The many threats posed to soil by human activities are investigated in the fifth episode, while the last conversation focuses on how to ensure a sustainable future for soils ecosystems, from rural areas to cities.

Listen to the full episodes on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Spotify!

Source

Matthias Rillig and Anja Krieger, Life in the Soil Audio Podcast, Rillig Lab, https://rilliglab.org/podcast/



Researchers propose ectomycorrhizal fungi’s role to be integrated into carbon accounting 

Mushroom

Researchers from the University of Helsinki, Natural Resources Institute Finland and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences propose that the role of the ectomycorrhizal fungi should be taken into account in models of carbon accounting.

A new study led by the University of Helsinki provides evidence that the observed decline of carbon use efficiency and net ecosystem exchange from south to north in the boreal forest may be caused by the abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi. 

The proposed approach could easily be included in carbon balance models for quantifying ectomycorrhizal fungi carbon use without having to engage in more complex analysis of carbon and nutrient interactions underlying ectomycorrhizal fungi processes. 

“The results of the study underline the need for a better understanding of the role of micro-organisms as users of carbon but also as a machinery generating carbon residues that may have longer lifespans,” says the first author of the study Annikki Mäkelä from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki. 

The study suggests that this approach can improve prediction of biomass growth across different soils with different microbial composition.  

More accurate prediction of biosphere carbon sinks

According to researchers these features of ectomycorrhizal fungi as carbon consumers and litter producers should also be incorporated into global vegetation models in order to have more precise and accurate prediction of biosphere carbon sinks and their feedbacks to climate change.  

Carbon use efficiency, i.e., the ratio between net and gross primary production, describes the efficiency of vegetation to accumulate photosynthetic carbon to biomass. Other uses of carbon include maintenance and construction respiration. In this study, ectomycorrhizal fungi were included as additional consumers of plant-originating carbon. 

Read the full article

Reference

Mäkelä A., Tian X., Repo A., Ilvesniemi H., Marshall J., Minunno F., Näsholm T., Schiestl-Aalto P., Lehtonen A. 2022. Do mycorrhizal symbionts drive latitudinal trends in photosynthetic carbon use efficiency and carbon sequestration in boreal forests? Forest Ecology and Management, 520:120355.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120355

Contact Information

Annikki Mäkelä

Tel. +358 41 5106515
https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/forest-modelling

Aleksi Lehtonen

Tel: +358503912362
Twitter: @aleksi_luke
https://holisoils.eu

John Marshall

Tel: +46 722480477

Adopting a holistic approach to maximise forest-based climate change mitigation

Wood construction

The European Forest Institute published a new study with the title Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe in the From Science to Policy series. This analysis focuses on the role of forests and wood use in contributing to mitigate climate change. The 12 authors from 7 different countries conclude that European forests and wood products can play a crucial role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. However, their potential is not enough to compensate for a lack of actions in other areas.

In particular, the study focuses on the role of forests in the removal of green house gas emissions. Moreover, the authors investigate how to maximise the effectiveness of forests contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The study recommends the adoption of a holistic approach, where multiple forest-base mitigation actions are combined to foster synergies, interactions, co-benefits, and regional applicability.

Read the full open access study

Download the associated policy brief

Reference

Verkerk, P.J., Delacote, P., Hurmekoski, E., Kunttu, J., Matthews, R., Mäkipää, R., Mosley, F., Perugini, L., Reyer, C. P. O., Roe, S., Trømborg, E. 2022. Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe. From Science to Policy 14. European Forest Institute https://doi.org/10.36333/fs14



Review on greenhouse gas reporting in European forest soils

Makowski & Wellbrock poster

In the framework of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute is working on the soil monitoring framework. In particular, their work focuses on reviewing European GHG reporting in forest soils, developing guidelines for harmonized soil sampling methods for future reporting and providing a server for open-access harmonized European maps of forest soil properties. Furthermore, they developed a survey for GHG experts to gain their suggestions for improvement concerning GHG reporting.

Their work mainly focuses on carbon (C) data from forest soils remaining forest soils and differentiates between mineral and organic soils. On this poster, Vera Makowski and Nicole Wellbrock give an overview of the most important findings of the review process and the resultant actions within HoliSoils.

Read more on the full poster