SoilTrEC - Soil Transformations in European Catchments
In 2007 the European Commission published the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection. This is a precursor to legislation that identifies a specific policy need to address the threats to soil and the essential eco-system services that it provides. The crucial challenge for the SoilTrEC project is to understand the rates of processes that dictate soil mass stocks and their function within Earth's Critical Zone (CZ). The CZ is the environment that extends from the top of the tree canopy to the bottom of our drinking water aquifers; where terrestrial life flourishes and feeds most of humanity. The heart of the CZ is where soils are formed, degrade and provide their essential eco-services. Whist our understanding of the CZ has increased over the last 100 years, further advance requires scientists to cross disciplines and scales to integrate understanding of processes in the CZ, ranging from the nano to the global-scale. The aims of SoilTrEC are to address the priority research areas identified in the European Union Soil Thematic Strategy and to provide leadership for a global network of Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) committed to soil research. The Specific Objectives are as follows: â€¢ Describe from 1st principles how soil structure impacts processes and function at soil profile scale, â€¢ Establish 4 EU Critical Zone Observatories to study soil processes at field scale, â€¢ Develop a Critical Zone Integrated Model of soil processes and function, â€¢ Create a GIS-based modelling framework to delineate soil threats and assess mitigation at EU scale, â€¢ Quantify impacts of changing land use, climate and biodiversity on soil function and economic value, â€¢ Form with international partners a global network of Critical Zone Observatories for soil research, and â€¢ Deliver a programme of public outreach and research transfer on soil sustainability.