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.
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 27 September 2022, at 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).
Luke has an open position for a post-doc researcher in a multidisciplinary research group of more than ten scientists. The group develops sustainable land-use and ecosystem management practices in several ongoing projects, including HoliSoils and SOMPA. The projects comprise field experiments on both peatland forests, where varied management regimes (including continuous cover forestry) are tested, and on mineral soils, where ecosystem processes are studied. The group also develops models to predict the impacts on ecosystem water, carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, especially focusing on peat soils. The post-doctoral researcher will be engaged in an active international collaboration that aims at improving the scientific knowledge base on soil processes and the effects of management practices on forest soils.
The researcher will study how ecosystem management affects soil element cycles, GHG fluxes and their drivers. The work will be focused on processes in managed peatland forests. The researcher will implement a field experiment, where effects of management practices on soil GHG fluxes and drivers of peat decomposition processes are studied, analyse the obtained empirical data, and participate in developing mathematical models that describe soil processes. The researcher will be responsible for scientific writing and reporting of study results as a lead author.
Luke is looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with good understanding on biogeochemical cycles, soil processes and their drivers. Knowledge on ecosystem studies, experience in GHG data analysis and understanding of soil processes is essential. The applicant should have knowledge on the controls of soil element cycles and how experiments and soil measurements can inform process models. Understanding of peatland microbial processes is an asset. Competence in scientific writing should be proven by a good publication record.
The applicant should be able to steer their own study and experimental work. Good communication skills, as well as an ability to work as a part of international multidisciplinary research team are needed. Data analysis and programming skills (e.g. R, Python) and understanding of microbial analyses and isotope research are advantages.
How to apply?
The reference number for this position is 30-289-2022.
The application deadline is 27 September 2022, 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).
You may also apply for this position by submitting your application to the address below. The job reference of the role must be cited both in the actual application and on the envelope. Applications will not be returned.
Luonnonvarakeskuksen kirjaamo Latokartanonkaari 9 00790 Helsinki, FINLAND
The European Union has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% in 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2050. TheEuropean Forest Institute organised a ThinkForest event to explore what forests can contribute to achieving these climate goals.
Forests and forestry play three important roles in climate change mitigation. First, reducing deforestation and forest degradation lowers GHG emissions. Second, forest management and restoration can maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks and sinks. Third, improving the use of wood products can store carbon over the long-term, and avoid emissions by substituting emissions-intensive materials.
Our ThinkForest event will ask:
How much can forest-based activities contribute to climate change mitigation?
What role do policies play?
How can we maximise forest-based climate change mitigation nationally/locally?
In this occasion, the coordinator of the ForestPaths-project, Hans Verkerk, will present a new study titled “Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe”.
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.
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.
The European Commission has opened a new public consultation to gather input from citizens and stakeholders on a possible EU Soil Health Law.
As part of the EU Soil Strategy 2030, the European Commission is preparing a new legislative proposal on soil health. Currently, all stakeholders interested are invited to express their views on this initiative by taking part in this public consultation through an online EU survey.
Soil microbial communities are crucial in the carbon and nutrient cycle of forests, and scientific research has shown that forest fires can cause a change in these communities. This paper studied what effect the temperature of soil has on its microbial functions.
Two hypotheses were tested: whether forest fires reduce the catabolic functional diversity of soil and whether plant growth after a fire enhances soil recovery. Experiments were conducted on forest soil heated at 200°C or 450°C. Samples were also incubated in tubs with or without live grass.
The authors found that soil heating reduces the microbial functions of soil, because it affects the capacity of microbial communities to make use of organic substrates. Although soils heated at different temperatures behaved differently, in both cases forest fires decreased soil functional diversity. At the same time, soil heating enhanced the availability of nutrients, fostering plant growth. Consequently, plant growth helped the functional diversity of soil to recovery. Moreover, this study draws a link between the recovery of soil functional diversity and the recovery of photosynthetic tissues.
Concluding, the paper emphasises that, after a forest fire, the interactions between soil and plants play a key role for the recovery of soil functionality and, therefore, for ecosystem functions.
Soils are crucial for strong biodiversity, functional food systems, clean water, and climate resilience. However, only between 30% and 40% of the soils in the European Union are estimated to be healthy: a careful soil management is therefore necessary to safeguard this precious resource for our future.
To lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030, A Soil Deal for Europe was established with the goal to set up one hundred living labs and lighthouses. These facilities are places where experts can experiment on the ground and their aim is to co-produce knowledge, test solutions, and determine their value in real-life circumstances.
Moreover, this EU Mission intends to achieve this transition towards healthy soils by funding research and innovations, establish a common European framework for soil monitoring, and raising awareness of the relevance of soils.
Discover more details on living labs and lighthouses, the full list of objectives of the mission and its relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal.
Soil science is not usually considered the most exciting discipline by the general public. Many people – including in the science world – have underestimated what is beneath our feet.
However, we are now in the International Decade of Soils, and it is time to shine a light on the role of soil in providing food security, supporting biodiversity and mitigating climate change. This article from the BBC showcases how Pete Smith, Professor of Soil and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, makes the study of soil appealing, for instance, considering how wetlands and peatlands are the “Cinderella” of climate change mitigation.
Read on to find a myriad of ways in which soil can indeed help save the world.
In the BBC’s podcast The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili interviews Pete Smith, Professor of Soil and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, on the underestimation of soil science and how throughout his career he realised that studying soil can be key to deal with a variety of global issues.
The conversation focuses on how soil is vital not only for climate change mitigation, but also for improving biodiversity and tackling many more sustainable development challenges.
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