Sessions

AN1: Microorganisms in Agriculture: Direct Application or Management

Conveners

Elena Baraza  
Antonia Romero-Munar  
Álvaro López-García  
Arnau Miralles  
Arantxa Mollins  

Description

The global population has surpassed 8 billion driven by an exponential growth since the 1960s, largely propelled by increased agricultural productivity from the green revolution. This revolution generated surplus food, freeing labor for industrial progress. However, this agricultural transformation has significantly impacted the planet. Excessive chemical fertilization has disrupted natural cycles, causing eutrophication in natural ecosystems and creating lifeless zones in oceans and biodiversity loose in terrestrial ones. To meet future food demands sustainably, there's a critical need for new agricultural approaches. Ecological intensification, also known as sustainable intensification, emerges as a nature base solution. This approach aims to mimic natural systems, achieving high yields with minimal inputs. The management of beneficial soil microorganisms is a pivotal component in ecological intensification. Presently, two approaches exist in this management realm. One advocates for the inoculation of specific strains, such as commercially-based microbial biofertilizers, while the other one, aiming to avoid the introduction of non-native organisms, advocates for soil management to foster local diversity. In both cases, numerous scientific studies demonstrate improvements in the yield of various crops due to soil microorganism management. The objective of the proposed session is to present the opportunity to showcase the role of both approaches in enhancing agricultural sustainability, allowing a balanced assessment of their respective advantages and disadvantages. The session will facilitate the presentation of works focusing on different method, selecting at least 4 for brief oral presentations of each approach, followed by a guided debate. During the presentations, key information will be collected to later facilitate interaction with the entire audience through online tools such as questionnaires, Poll Maker and similar platforms. Interactive questionnaires will be created that collect the main ideas presented, so that the entire audience can express their opinion about them, with the results projected live on the screen. The main objective is to encourage debate about when and where the use of foreign inoculum could be more appropriate compared to the promotion of native microbiota through agronomic management. One of the expected result of this season is observing whether there is a consensus on certain issues, or on which of them greater intensity of research is necessary.
AN2: Land management and carbon sequestration in agricultural soils

Conveners

María José MARQUES PÉREZ  
Nicolas BAGHDADI  
Youssef FOUAD  
Christine HATTÉ  
Blanca Esther SASTRE  
Luca MERCENARO  
Giovanna SEDDAIU  
Emmanuelle VAUDOUR  

Description

In semiarid environments, the integration of cover crops in woody orchards, has emerged as a critical focus for sustainable land management practices. These areas are prone to soil degradation, encompassing issues such as erosion, organic matter depletion, and economic challenges, which are exacerbated by limited water availability. While cover crops offer promise in preserving soil health, their water demands pose concerns in water-scarce regions. The recent inclusion of subsidies linked to cover crop utilization in the 2023 European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has sparked farmer concerns due to the additional complexities and costs involved in their implementation. Addressing this pressing issue, this session aims to balance agricultural productivity, soil preservation, and water scarcity challenges. It will explore the practicality of adopting cover crops in semiarid zones, providing an overview of challenges and opportunities. The session will showcase management techniques specific to cover crop implementation and highlight successful collaborations among researchers, farmers, and policymakers. Additionally, it will delve into cover crops' diverse ecosystem services, including erosion control, soil fertility, biodiversity promotion, weed suppression, and nutrient cycling, including also their productivity and economic impacts. Critical scrutiny will be placed on cover crops' role in carbon sequestration and soil moisture enhancement, particularly significant in semiarid regions. Moreover, studies utilizing remote sensing tools to monitor soil dynamics related to soil organic carbon (SOC) or moisture will be discussed. The session seeks to harmonize different perspectives to offer a comprehensive understanding of cover crops' multifaceted roles in agricultural landscapes. It aims to consider their ecological, technological, socio-economic, and environmental implications, driving forward sustainable practices in these challenging environments. 
AN3: Nature-based solutions for agriculture and natural areas (soil, water and landscape)

Conveners

Saskia Keesstra
  
Saskia Visser
  

Description

AN3: Nature-based solutions for agriculture and natural areas (soil, water and landscape)
NH1: Nature based solution for increasing resilience to water-related hazards

Conveners

Valerio Vivaldi  
Nadia Bertolino  

Description

Natural hazards, such as slope instabilities, floods and droughts continue to pose significant threats to communities worldwide, especially in agro-ecosystems. These processes, exacerbated by the current soil management practices, are particularly relevant in semi-arid zones such as the agricultural areas (e.g. olive groves and vineyards) under Mediterranean climatic conditions. Since climate changes are increasing the frequency and intensity of these events, it becomes necessary to explore innovative and sustainable approaches to mitigate their impact in the environment. This proposed session is under the frame of the PNRR-NODES project (funded from the Italian MUR) and aims to shed light on the fundamental role of nature-based solutions (NbS) in mitigating the impact of water-related hazards in agroecosystems. The session invites contributions in the context of biological, agronomical, geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological topics. Furthermore, any contribution about the different applications of NbS to water-related hazard reduction with multidisciplinary approaches is welcome: a) proximal and remote sensing for measurement and monitoring the effects of NbS in agroecosystem (satellite observation, in-situ meteorological, hydrological, biological, agronomical measurements, geophysical surveys, laboratory samples-test); b) numerical and physical simulation of the effects of NbS and climate changes in different agroecosystems. Scientific applications include earth and environmental sciences topics such as climate changes, landslide hazards, soil water content measurements, water management, early warning systems and atmospheric circulation, as well as the influences of agricultural management on slope instabilities and plant health (e.g. NDVI correlations). By the end of this session, farmers and policymakers will gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential of nature-based solutions in building resilience against water-related hazards agro-ecosystems. The session will conclude by discussing the implications of integrating nature-based solutions into water-related disaster risk reduction strategies.
NH2: NBS for landscape resilience (fire, droughts and extreme events)

Conveners

Ronald Poeppl  
Bunafsha Mislimshoeva  
Lea Wittenberg  
Artemi Cerda
  

Description

Forest fires induce changes in vegetation and soil properties that finally trigger changes in soil infiltration, soil water retention, sediment transport, and runoff generation. The impact of fire on soil and watershed hydrology is highly affected by the measurement scale. Measurements and experiments carried out at different scales show that fire induces a sudden increase in runoff (less interception, lack of soil litter, water repellency.) and an increase in sediment transport, soil crust development, and finally a more degraded soil. There is a need to understand better the impact of fire on the connectivity of flows and sediments, the role of water repellency, and the strategies to recover the ecosystems after the forest fire. However, forest fires are part of nature, and our society must learn how to live and adapt to the presence of fire in Planet Earth and human societies. The use of fire as a tool, environmental planning using the use of fire, and fire management are key topics for the planning of the human use of the land in the next decades. This session welcomes pure and applied scientific research to discuss the best strategies to manage fire and avoid the impact on soil and watersheds because of fire. Experimental and theoretical research with site demonstration and literature review are welcome. Field and laboratory studies, modeling, and urban and rural planning studies from different regions are of interest to the audience. Studies to show fire as a Nature-Based Solution are milestones for the research shown at the TerraEnvision conference.
UR: Nature based solutions in urban areas

Conveners

Bunafsha Mislimshoeva  
Carla S. S. Ferreira  
Ronald Poeppl  

Description

Urban environments are under great human pressure and thus subject to different types of degradation. Urban soils are often subject to several degradation processes, such as contamination, sealing, erosion, compaction and loss of biodiversity, while water resources are susceptible to stormwater drainage problems and pollution. Nature based solutions can mitigate and/or reverse land degradation within urban areas by making anthropogenic landscapes more ecosystem-compatible, therefore increasing urban resilience to environmental changes. Implementing NBS in urban areas is of growing importance worldwide, and particularly in the EU political agenda, as a way to attain some of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to reinforce the New Urban Agenda. This session aims to discuss and advance knowledge of innovative nature-based approaches to face urban land degradation, and enhance the scientific basis for sustainable urban development and resilience. This session seeks to: Discussing case studies of NBS projects in urban areas; Better understanding of co-benefits and trade-offs of NBS in urban environments; New methods and tools to investigate the role of NBS in the context of environmental change; in particular, the effectiveness of NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction; NBS approaches to mitigate water, land and soil degradation in urban areas; New insights, methodologies, tools and best practices enabling successful implementation and upscaling of NBS in urban areas; Identifying opportunities for and barriers to NBS implementation within current regulatory frameworks and management practices.
MET: Advances in land ecosystem restoration monitoring using remote sensing and machine learning

Conveners

Ioannis Louloudakis  
Ioannis Daliakopoulos
  
Anna Brook
  
Marco Micotti  

Description

Today, land ecosystem restoration actions are among the proven solutions to reverse anthropogenic and climate-driven land degradation and desertification. Such actions have multiple advantages such as supporting ecosystem resilience (Ellison & Ifejika Speranza, 2020; Sacande et al., 2021), increasing carbon sequestration (Dixon et al., 2016), restoring hydrological catchment characteristics (Anderson et al., 2010; Carrick et al., 2019), etc. Thus, ecosystem restoration actions are a global priority (Robinson et al., 2023). Indicative of this is that UN named years 2021-2030 as the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration” (Waltham et al., 2020), while the EU incorporates such policies in the “Green Deal” (Gann et al., 2019) and has announced action like the “3 billion additional trees pledge”. Although restoration actions do take place, too few of these are monitored thereafter (Nadal-Romero et al., 2023). Monitoring methods based on remote sensing could be a viable alternative to high-cost and labor-intensive conventional ones (de Almeida et al., 2020). Meanwhile, Machine Learning has a great advantage in dealing with the nonlinear ecological relationships (Guo et al., 2023). In this session we aim to explore: State of the art and advances in land ecosystem monitoring using RS; Artificial intelligence and automated monitoring for assisting conservation and restoration of land ecosystems; Decision support tools for land ecosystem restoration; Bridging space-time scale gaps and tackling uncertainties; Novel datasets and indicators from RS and/or for training AI systems; Ground truthing methods for RS

 

SB: Science brokers for transitioning to a climate resilient and circular society

Conveners

Margot De Cleen
  

Description

Land and soil services are the key in transitions towards climate resilience and circularity. This asks for awareness raising, closing of cycles (foot print), restoration and sustainable land use and management as well as multiple use of land. It is about achieving public goals with private means (land stewardship and trade offs): society is at stake! Under this session we like to focus on examples and concepts on how to achieve these transitions in cooperation with stakeholders and or citizens. Share your projects and experiences on transition guidance, (policy) instruments, management and monitoring, awareness building, stakeholder participation, networks and CoP’s.