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SOILGUARD Insights: Dr. Anna Clocchiatti Unveils Promising Soil Health Findings

Exciting developments from the SOILGUARD_H2020 project!  Dr. Anna Clocchiatti from the University of Amsterdam recently showcased groundbreaking findings at the 43rd annual meeting of the British Ecological Society in Belfast. Here’s a glimpse into her presentation:

1. Fungi and Soil Health: Soil degradation and tillage in arable fields limit fungi, impacting soil ecosystems. Restoration efforts, particularly through the fungal channel, reveal that organic practices are highly effective in rejuvenating the fungal channel in degraded soils.

2. Preliminary UvA Results: Anna shared preliminary results from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), focusing on the soil food webs in the cross-biome network of sites (WP2). These results emphasize that organic agriculture significantly increases the complexity of the soil food web, especially the fungal energy channel, in degraded soils.

Sustainable Soil Management Insights:
Soil biodiversity is crucial for supporting yields and ecosystem services in production ecosystems. Some soil management practices can impair biodiversity, leading to a decline in soil functioning. Recent EU policies (COM/2021/141) advocate for more sustainable practices. The SOILGUARD consortium sampled 234 sites across ten European and international regions in arable fields, grasslands, and forests. Spanning three soil degradation levels and different management practices, the study revealed that the positive impact of sustainable soil management on soil assemblages depends on the extent of soil degradation. This underscores the importance of tailored solutions for restoring soil biome complexity.

As we navigate the challenges of soil management, SOILGUARD continues to uncover valuable insights that will guide sustainable practices and contribute to the restoration of soil health.

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