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Conference contribution based on common abstract. To be presented at Complex Soil Systems Conference 2014.

On the need to establish an international soil modelling consortium.
When Sep 03, 2014 10:35 AM to
Sep 05, 2014 10:35 AM
Where Berkeley, California
Contact Name
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On the need to establish an international soil modelling consortium

Vereecken H.1,37, Vanderborght J.1,37, Schnepf A.1,37, Brüggemann N.1, Amelung W.1, Herbst M.1, Javaux M.1,2, Van der Zee S.E.A.T.M.3, Or D.4,  Šimunek J.5,  van Genuchten M. Th.6, Vrugt J.A.7a,b,c, Hopmans J.W.8, Young M.9, Baveye P.10, Pachepsky Y.11, Vanclooster M.12, Hallett P.D.13, Tiktak A.14, Jacques D.15, Vogel T.16, Jarvis N.17,  Finke P.18, Jiménez J.J.19, Garnier P.20, Li C.21, Ogee J,22 Mollier A.22, Lafolie F.23,  Cousin I.24,  Pot V.25,  Maron P.A.26,  Roose T.27, Wall D.H.28, Schwen, A.29, Doussan C.30, Vogel H.J.31, Govers G.32, Durner W.33, Priesack E.34, Roth K.35, Horn R.36, Kollet S.37,1,  Rinaldo A.38, Whitmore A.39, Goulding K.39, Parton, W.J.40


1 Agrosphere Institute, IBG-3, Institute of Bio-geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich,          Germany

2 Earth and Life Institute ‐ Environmental Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud,           2 ‐ L7.05.02, 1348 Louvain‐la‐Neuve, Belgium

3 Department Soil Physics and Land Management, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen       University, P.O.Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

4 Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics,  ETH-Zürich, Universitätstrasse 16, CHN F 29.1.8092,            Zürich

5 Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, 92521

6 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and   Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands

7 a,b,c a) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine,       California, USA., b) Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine,       California, USA., c) Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem dynamics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

8 Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, College of Agricultural and Environmental           Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

9 Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin

10 Soil and Water  Laboratory, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rensselaer       Polytechnic Institute, Jonsson Engineering Center, 110 8th street, Troy, New York 12180,           USA

11 Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, USDA ARS Beltsville Agricultural            Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

12 Earth and Life Institute ‐ Environmental Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud,         2 ‐ L7.05.02, 1348 Louvain‐la‐Neuve, Belgium

13 Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24     3UU, UK,

14 Water, Agriculture and Food, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency,         Leeuwenhoeklaan 9,  3721 MA, PO box 303, 3720 AH, Bilthoven

15 Institute for Environment, Health and Safet, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN), Mol,             Belgium

16 Department of Hydraulics and Hydrology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical            University in Prague, Thakurova 7, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic

17 Dept. Soil & Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7014, 750 07         Uppsala, Sweden

18 Department of Geology and Soil Science, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 WE13, B9000 Ghent            Belgium

19 IPE-CSIC, Avda. Llano de la Victoria s/n, Jaca 22700 (Huesca), Spain

20 INRA, UMR 1091 EGC, F-78850 Thiverval Grignon, France

21  Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space University of New Hampshire Durham, NH                                03824, USA 

22 INRA, UMR 1391 ISPA, F-33140 Villenave d'Ornon, France; Bordeaux Sciences Agro, UMR     1391 ISPA, F-33170 Gradignan, France

23 INRA, UMR1114 EMMAH, F- 84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France

24 INRA, UR0272 USS, F-45075 Orléans Cedex 2, France

25 INRA, UMR1091 EGC, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France

26 INRA, UMR1347 Agroécologie, F-21065 Dijon, France

27 Bioengineering Sciences Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of             Southampton, University Road, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

28 School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

29 Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Water Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Muthgasse 18, 1190 Vienna, Austria

30 INRA - UMR 1114 EMMAH - Avignon – France

31 Department Soil Physics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Theodor-Lieser-  Strasse 4,D-06120 Halle, Germany

32 Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography, KU Leuven,   Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

33  Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute for Geoecology, Soil Science and Soil Physics,   Langer Kamp 19c, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany

34 Institute of Soil Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for     Environmental Health, Neuherberg, D-85764, Germany

35 Institute of Environmental Physics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

36 Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Hermann Rodewaldstr. 2, 24118 Kiel, Germany

37 Centre for High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrial Systems, HPSC TerrSys,            Geoverbund ABC/J, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany

38 Dipartimento IMAGE, and  International Centre for Hydrology "Dino Tonini", Universita'           di         Padova, via Loredan 20, Padova I-35131, Italy

39 Department of Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems, Rothamsted Research Harpenden

            Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK

40 Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523


Soil is one of the most critical life-supporting compartments of the Biosphere. Soil provides numerous ecosystem services such as a habitat for biodiversity, water and nutrients, as well as producing food, feed, fiber and energy. To feed the rapidly growing world population in 2050, agricultural food production must be doubled using the same land resources footprint. At the same time, soil resources are threatened due to improper management and climate change. Soil is not only essential for  establishing a sustainable bio-economy,  but also plays a key role also in a broad range of societal challenges including 1) climate change mitigation and adaptation, 2) land use change 3) water resource protection, 4) biotechnology for human health, 5) biodiversity and ecological sustainability, and 6) combating  desertification. Soils regulate and support water, mass and energy fluxes between the land surface, the vegetation, the atmosphere and the deep subsurface and control storage and release of organic matter affecting climate regulation and biogeochemical cycles. Despite the many important functions of soil, many fundamental knowledge gaps remain, regarding the role of soil biota and biodiversity on ecosystem services, the structure and dynamics of soil communities, the interplay between hydrologic and biotic processes, the quantification of soil biogeochemical processes and soil structural processes, the resilience and recovery of soils from stress, as well as the prediction of soil development and the evolution of soils in the landscape, to name a few.  Soil models have long played an important role in quantifying and predicting soil processes and related ecosystem services. However, a new generation of soil models based on a whole systems approach comprising all physical, mechanical, chemical and biological processes is now required to address these critical knowledge gaps and thus contribute to the preservation of ecosystem services, improve our understanding of climate-change–feedback processes, bridge basic soil science research and management, and facilitate the communication between science and society . To meet these challenges an international community effort is required, similar to initiatives in systems biology, hydrology, and climate and crop research. We therefore propose to establish an international soil modelling consortium with the aims of 1) bringing together leading experts in modelling soil processes within all major soil disciplines, 2)  addressing  major scientific gaps in describing key processes and their long term impacts with respect to the different functions and ecosystem services provided by soil, 3) intercomparing soil model performance based on standardized and harmonized data sets, 4)  identifying interactions with other relevant platforms related to common data formats, protocols and ontologies,  5) developing new approaches to inverse modelling, calibration, and validation of soil models, 6) integrating soil modelling expertise and state of the art knowledge on soil processes in climate, land surface, ecological, crop and contaminant models,  and 7) linking process models with new observation, measurement and data evaluation technologies for mapping and characterizing soil properties across scales.  Our consortium will bring together modelers and experimental soil scientists at the forefront of new technologies and approaches to characterize soils.  By addressing these aims, the consortium will contribute to improve the role of soil modeling as a knowledge dissemination instrument in addressing key global issues and stimulate the development of translational research activities. This presentation will provide a compelling case for this much-needed effort, with a focus on tangible benefits to the scientific and food security communities.  


Please find the ppt file of the presentation here.

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