Soils provide many essential functions which are indispensable for terrestrial ecosystems and the health of human societies. Beyond the production of biomass these functions are nutrient cycling and retention, filtering and buffering of water, storage of carbon and habitat for an overwhelming biodiversity.
In view of an increasing pressure on agricultural soils and the need for sustainable soil management all these functions need to be taken into account. They emerge from complex interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes in soil and are all affected by multiple societal demands. This need to be understood and disentangled to predict the impact of agricultural soil management on soil functions. The intention of this session is fourfold. We seek contributions which (i) broaden and advance our perspective on soil functions, (ii) enhance our current process understanding of how soil management practices impact one or more soil functions, (iii) show how to quantify soil functions based on suitable proxies or indicators and (iv) demonstrate how soils resist and recover from perturbations.
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