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January 2020

Nature Communication + Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity + CSDMS + New 3D Model: CPlantBox + New Data Set: National Ecological Observatory Network


New Nature Paper: Soil structure is an important omission in Earth System Models

The paper demonstrates impacts of soil structure on ecosystem processes and land atmosphere interaction in current Earth system models remain elusive.

Figure: Simulated long-term average (T&C) ecosystem-scale runoff (a) and water drainage at the bottom of the soil profile (b) for the 20 locations as a function of the local Gross Primary Production (GPP). Two scenarios are shown: VG soil hydraulic parameter (van Genuchten parameterization) derived from global maps and without soil structural effects and VG + SS soil hydraulic parameter derived from global map with soil structural effects. The red arrows indicate the magnitude of change after introducing soil structural effects.

Source and reference:

Fatichi, S., Or, D., Walko, R. et al. Soil structure is an important omission in Earth System Models. Nat Commun 11, 522 (2020).



Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (10-12 March 2020 at FAO Head quarter, Rome, Italy)
The Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20), ‘Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’ will be a science-policy meeting, held over three days, from 10-12 March, at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy. It is jointly organized by the UN FAO and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), together with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI).


11th CSDMS Annual Meeting: Linking Ecosphere and Geosphere

May 19 -21st 2020, Boulder Colorado, USA

The aim of the meeting is to explore connections between ecosystems and earth-surface
processes such as erosion, sedimentation, soil dynamics, and landscape/seascape evolution.


New Soil Model: CPlantBox

'CPlantBox is a full plant modelling framework based on the root system model is capable of simulating the growth and development of a variety of plant architectures (root and shoot). In addition, the flexibility of CPlantBox enables its coupling with external modeling tools. Here, we connected it to an existing mechanistic model of water and carbon flows in the plant, PiafMunch.'

Zhou et al. 2019. 'CPlantBox, a whole plant modelling framework for the simulation of water and carbon related processes'.


New Data Set: National Ecological Observatory Network

NEON provides open data to understand how ecosystems are changing, including continuous and discrete measurements of soil physical, chemical, and biological properties. Data are collected at 47 terrestrial sties spanning the US using standard protocols and instrumentation.

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