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ISMC News Oct 27 2023

Announcements + Featured Paper + Featured Soil Modeller

1. Announcements 

Program for the ISMC international conference May 6th to 11th 2024 at Tianjin University China now available


The 4th international ISMC conference will be held the first week of  (6th to 11th)  May 2024 at Tianjin University China. The program information can be found here and registration will be opened soon.

Online Food for thought sessions of the Summer School “Working with Dynamic Soil Crop Models” September 17th to 22th 2023

The Summer School for Working with Dynamic Soil-Crop Models, held from 17 September to 22 September hosted by the University of Kassel (Prof Dr Tobias Weber), co-hosted by the University of Bayreuth (Prof. Dr. Efstathios Diamantopoulos), and ISMC, proved to be an invaluable opportunity for researchers, students, and professionals eager to expand their understanding of methods to work with dynamic crop modeling. The summer school featured a six day extensive program with distinguised emeritus Professor Daniel Wallach, PhD, teaching with the highlights on introduction to dynamic crop models and simulation of crop growth dynamics. Participants gained insights into the process of calibrating and validating dynamic soil-crop models, enabling them to adapt models to specific regions and crops. The how to set model parameters and conduct sensitivity analyses to understand the impact of various factors on model outcomes and in practical workshops guided participants in validating and evaluating dynamic crop models to ensure their accuracy and reliability. During the week, intensive food-for-thought lectures with globally renowned scientists took place in a hybrid format, engaging local students and the wider scientific community. After a presentation on ISMC (Martine van de Ploeg), topics covered open and fair data use and methods of code documentation (Stanislav Shymanski), use of crop models for insurance purposes (Peter Thorburn) and in the field of digital agriculture (Bruno Basso) and machine learning (Ioannis Athanasiadis), and an advocation for the use of more realistic soil hydrological representation in crop models (Nick Jarvis), and lastly, a global perspective of gridded crop modelling for climate change impact assessment (Jonas Jägermeyr). All this was garnished by excellent weather, the tranquility of beautiful Witzenhausen, and social events for participants to find time to connect and discuss about their research endeavours.

 
Participants and lecturers of the Summer School “Working with Dynamic Soil Crop Models”


The Summer School for Working with Dynamic Crop Models was a resounding success, equipping participants with advanced skills and practical experience to work with dynamic crop modeling. It emphasized the critical role dynamic modeling plays in agricultural decision support, precision farming, and risk assessment. As participants continue to apply their newly acquired skills and collaborate on dynamic crop modeling projects, the impact of this summer school will undoubtedly extend into the future.


Last  call for nomination for ISMC Early Career Award extended until 1st of November
The nomination for the nomination for the ISMC Early career Award has been extended until 1 November 2023. Detailed information can be found here. The ISMC Early Career Award is issued biennial for outstanding scientific achievements made by early career researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences.
The ISMC Publication Award is issued to honor an outstanding paper that will likely make a significant impact in soil systems modeling, consistent with the mission of ISMC.


2. Featured Paper

Do you want your paper featured?
Please share your recent paper if you want to be featured in the ISMC newsletter. With your contributions, we will select one paper to be featured in every newsletter. Submission can be done here.

Soil organic carbon stock change following perennialization: a meta-analysis
Perennial crops replacing annual crops are drawing global attention because they harbor potential for sustainable biomass production and climate change mitigation through soil carbon sequestration. At present, it remains unclear how long perennial crops can sequester carbon in the soil and how soil carbon stock dynamics are influenced by climate, soil, and plant properties across the globe. This study presents a meta-analysis synthesizing 51 publications (351 observations at 77 sites) distributed over different pedo-climatic conditions to scrutinize the effect of perennialization on organic carbon accumulation in soil compared with two annual benchmark systems (i.e., monoculture and crop rotation). Results showed that perennial crops significantly increased soil organic carbon stock by 16.6% and 23.1% at 0–30 cm depth compared with monoculture and crop rotation, respectively. Shortly after establishment (< 5 years), perennial crops revealed a negative impact on soil organic carbon stock; however, long duration (> 10 years) of perennialization had a significant positive effect on soil organic carbon stock by 30% and 36.4% at 0–30 cm depth compared with monoculture and crop rotation, respectively. Compared with both annual systems, perennial crops significantly increased soil organic carbon stock regardless of their functional photosynthetic types (C3, C4, or C3-C4 intermediates) and vegetation type (woody or herbaceous). Among other factors, pH had a significant impact on soil organic carbon; however, the effect of soil textures showed no significant impact, possibly due to a lack of observations from each textural class and mixed pedoclimatic effects. Results also showed that time effect of perennialization revealed a sigmoidal increase of soil organic carbon stock until about 20 years; thereafter, the soil carbon stocks advanced towards a steady-state level. In conclusion, perennial crops increased soil organic carbon stock compared with annual systems; however, the time since conversion from annual to perennial system decisively impacted soil organic carbon stock changes.
For further reading: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-023-00912-w

Fig. 1

3. Featured Soil Modeller

Elisa Bruni

 
Using multi-model ensembles to constrain model uncertainties and predict soil organic carbon stocks
Elisa Bruni is a post-doc fellow at the department of Geology of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (LG-ENS) of Paris, France. She holds a PhD in soil organic carbon modeling, finalized at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE). Previously, she studied Engineering at the University of Bologna (Italy) and specialized in environmental economics (Nanterre University) and climate, land-use and ecosystem services (AgroParisTech) in Paris (France).

- Please tell us briefly about yourself and your research interest.
My expertise is in soil organic carbon modeling and multi-model ensembles. I mainly use process-based models to study the effect of land-use, land-use change and management practices on soil organic carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes under climate change. I am particularly interested in understanding and reducing model uncertainties in order to improve model predictions. My PhD focused on the feasibility of the 4 per 1000 initiative to increase soil organic carbon stocks in agricultural systems, while for my post-doc activities I study the effect of forest management on European soils. I have also recently been involved in different projects that aim to create open soil database repositories in order to facilitate model calibration and validation. In particular, to study the resilience of agricultural systems in Mediterranean regions and to improve model simulations of soil organic carbon stocks in temperate and tropical soils.
 
-  How did you first become interested in soil modelling and learn about ISMC?
My first contact with models was during an internship at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), where I applied the land-surface model ORCHIDEE to study the drivers of stoichiometric changes in European forests. During my PhD, I started working with soil organic carbon models and, in 2021, I participated to the ISMC conference to present my work with multi-model ensembles. I was then invited to participate to the online meetings of the consortium and started to be involved in their activities.


-Can you share with us your current research focus? And, please tell us briefly how your research could contribute to ISMC Science Panel’s activities
My current work focuses on the estimation of model uncertainties related to model structure, parametrization and initialization, and on the reduction of those uncertainties to improve model predictions of soil organic carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes under land-use and climate changes. I am also developing a user-friendly web application to make model ensembles’ simulations and related uncertainties more accessible to policy makers and stakeholders. My research activities are in line with ISMC Science Panel activities, especially the Data & Observation model linking and the Soil Model development & intercomparison and I believe that my research can make a valuable contribution to further enhance these activities.


-Please tell us how can ISMC help you advance in your career?
ISMC involves a large community of soil modelers. The model portal provides a nice overview of current models, and conferences are a great moment to share our work and get feedback from scientists with similar research interests. The involvement in ISMC has extended my research network and initiated various collaborations. Currently, I participate in the Mathematics of Soil Processes Working Group of ISMC, which is co-chaired by Kathe Todd-Brown, Martine van der Ploeg and Yijian Zeng. I am also participating to the activities of the working group on Teaching and Dissemination, launched by Ali Mehmandoostkotlar and Lutz Weihermüller.


- What resources or skills would you recommend that early career members of ISMC should acquire? And how can ISMC help and support early career members in this regard?
As an early career member, I find the ISMC community of expert modelers in various soil science topics to be the most valuable resource. It is an exciting opportunity to delve deeper into soil modeling and expand my international network. I also appreciate ISMC's bottom-up approach to scientific management, as it fosters the development of ideas and supports the initiatives of early career researchers.

 

 

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