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



Get ready for the Wageningen Soil Conference 2023

Wageningen Soil Conference

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.

Read more about the Wageningen Soil Conference

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:

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



Discover the GlobalFungi Database

Mushrooms on a tree

The GlobalFungi Database collects published data on the composition of the fungal community obtained through the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) method and provides access to this information though an effective online interface.

NGS methods have completely transformed how fungal ecology is understood, and innovations brought forward by high-throughput-sequencing methods have led to an abundance of fungal sequencing data. Observing this, a team of researchers from the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague decided to create the GlobalFungi Database to make this data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (according to the FAIR Principles) allowing users to access this data in a convenient way.

The GlobalFungi Database collects information on fungal communities in every terrestrial habitat (soil, litter, dead plant material, living plant tissues, water, air, dust, etc) excluding those subject to experimental manipulation. The website encourages members of the scientific community to participate by submitting more data on the database; Holisoils website has a page with information on how to use GlobalFungi database to submit your study.

Have a look at the GlobalFungi Database!

Young scientist session on Climate Smart Forestry

EFI Annual Conference, 5 October 2022

Call for grants now closed but you can still register to join the session!

https://efi.int/membership/ac/2022

A great opportunity to present your research on Climate Smart Forestry at this year’s EFI annual conference!

Grants (750 EUR) are available to support young researchers to present research in the field of climate-smart forestry.

  • 10 min presentation in person on your research
  • Participation in a panel discussion during the Climate Smart Forestry Session

The call is open to researchers from EFI Associate and Affiliate member organisations.

Full information on the open call:

https://efi.int/news/open-call-participation-young-scientist-session-climate-smart-forestry-2022-05-30

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.