As an integral part of terrestrial ecosystems, soils play a crucial role in the provision of numerous ecosystem services. Soil ecosystem services are vital components to all aspects of life and support the production of ecosystem goods and services, such as food and fiber production, water storage and climate and natural hazards regulation, among many others. The provision of soil ecosystem services relies on soil characteristics, processes and functions. Moreover, healthy and diverse soils ensure biodiversity among soil biota (soil biodiversity), which in turn guarantees the provision of soil ecosystem services. Incorrect land uses such as intense land management may critically reduce the ecosystem services provided by soils and result in land degradation through erosion, sealing or pollution processes. Sustainable land management and the conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems is therefore key to maintain functional soils that can provide multiple ecosystem services. By 2030, the Agenda for Sustainable Development – the 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ – are intended to be achieved. The role of soil science, and the work between soil scientists and other disciplines, will be paramount over the coming decade. In particular, healthy and sustainable soil management plans will need to ensure that soils continue to deliver services to ecosystems, societies, and economies. Global climate change and the burgeoning demands from a growing world population are set to place escalating pressures on soils, suggesting an urgent need to build resilience into soil management whilst also reversing current global trends of soil degradation.
In this session, we welcome contributions covering inter and transdisciplinary research through observational, theoretical and applied studies, on soil ecosystem services and soil function in the context of a changing global environment. Topics of interest are (although not limited to): 1) Impacts of soil degradation on soil function and ecosystem services, 2) Soil conservation and restoration actions for maintaining ecosystem services (including research, management, education and policy), 3) Linking soil ecosystem services and soil function in the context of the SDGs.
This session is supported by the project A09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0104 Lithuanian National Ecosystem Services Assessment and Mapping (LINESAM) is funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity “Improvement of researchers” qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects.
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