The 4per1000 Initiative launched in 2015 reinforced the focus of agricultural management on soil organic carbon. Enhanced soil organic carbon stocks can help to mitigate climate change and make soils more resilient to climate change. Finally, a sustainable management of soil organic matter is the key for a sustainable agriculture with the aim of enhanced food security. However, soil carbon is variable in space due to multiple environmental drivers that influence soil carbon dynamics and stocks. Thus, site and farm specific options are required to enhance soil carbon. In addition, potential of soil carbon sequestration and optimized humus contents are site dependent and soil organic carbon accumulation has to be closely linked to an efficient nutrient management. Soils are open systems and the carbon input via biomass, like crop residues, is the prerequisite to maintain or enhance soil carbon stocks. The transformation pathways of carbon-input to the soils to long-term stabilised carbon and its quantification is still insufficiently understood. Moreover, systematic and holistic approaches are required to understand agricultural and optimise carbon fluxes beyond field scale.
The conference aims at
i) discussing and assessing efficient management options of soil carbon sequestration in different regions and at different sites for European agriculture.
ii) identifying research gaps on this topic and
iii) determining the potential of soil carbon sequestration in European agricultural systems based on a quantitative view on agricultural carbon fluxes at field to regional scale.
One result of the symposium shall be a strategy paper on research gaps in the field of agricultural soil carbon management in the light of the 4per1000 initiative.