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)

New project focuses on management, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils

Soils are increasingly recognised to have an important role, both for human wellbeing and for the global climate. There are clear benefits for people and the planet in the sustainable transformation of land management to practices that reduce soil degradation, mitigate erosion, and maintain or restore soil organic carbon, nutrients, and soil water. From maintaining biodiversity to providing ecosystem services, good forest management practices start in the soil.

Yet there are significant knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and soil monitoring is not sufficiently harmonised, which limits the EU’s ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and to reach climate policy targets.

HoliSoils (Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils) is a new EU H2020 project which will provide an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe.

The 4.5-year project, which kicked off in May 2021, will identify and test soil management practices aiming to mitigate climate change and sustain provision of various ecosystem services essential for human livelihoods and wellbeing. HoliSoils incorporates novel methodologies and expert knowledge on analytical techniques, data sharing, model development, and soil properties and biodiversity. It will develop tools for soil monitoring and for greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment in the land use, land-use change & forestry (LULUCF) sector. It will also enhance efficiency of GHG mitigation actions, and improve numerical forecasting of soil-based mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem services.

Through a collaborative, multi-actor approach, the multidisciplinary consortium brings leading expertise on soil analysis and databases, development of advanced analytical techniques, complex system modelling, digital soil mapping, soil ecology, disturbance ecology, forest and GHG inventories, social sciences, and communications. From the outset, HoliSoils will engage actively with its diverse stakeholders, including forest owners and managers, industry actors, forest extension services, a certification body, forest and soil researchers, climate policy support and greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory experts, and policymakers.

HoliSoils is coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), and is made up of a consortium of 20 project partners, 18 from across Europe with partners from South America (Uruguay) and Asia (Japan) broadening the perspective globally.

HoliSoils coordinator, Raisa Mäkipää, stated that she is “really excited about the multidisciplinary work initiated by the HoliSoils consortium. We have such wide expertise from soil scientists to mathematicians and social scientists that we can address timely and challenging global problems on sustainable soil management and mitigation of climate change.”

More information: Project Coordinator: Raisa Mäkipää, Luke; raisa.makipaa @ luke.fi
Communications: Sarah Adams, European Forest Institute; sarah.adams @ efi.int