Soils and Schnitzel – EGU 2018

Another year of EGU – the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018 – has come and gone and we’re recharged with minds full of the newest science! If a full week of biogeosciences and soil sciences sessions isn’t enough, the extreme amounts of schnitzel, incredible views of Vienna and the first signs of Spring definitely makes the EGU meeting a recurring event in our calendar. It’s also a great week to catch up with all the researchers that you only get to connect with in person once or twice a year!

With over 16,000 scientists travelling from 106 countries presenting over 10,000 posters throughout the week, to say it was as busy week is understatement.  The days were packed full of amazing talks, posters and sessions that definitely leave you saturated with knowledge.

It was a week of many excellent Biogeosciences and Soil System Science sessions. In particular these three sessions really stood out to us:

At the Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem disturbance session there were lots of excellent oral presentations, including:

A couple of particularly interesting posters were:

Eosense, Aarhus University and UC Berkeley poster

The session on Carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems was exciting for us as we presented our poster Soil Respiration using Forced Diffusion: From the Tundra to the Savanna with Aarhus University and UC Berkeley.  In the poster above, we present two studies using our eosFD where the FD (Forced Diffusion) technique is used in conjunction with Eddy Covariance measurements to help understand soil respiration and ecosystem respiration. Forced Diffusion (FD) is a novel method for continuous measurement of soil respiration (Risk et al., 2011).  The first study is from Zackenberg, Greenland where the eosFD method is employed in a permafrost area that has experienced strong warming during the last two decades. The second study is a 2-month monitoring campaign in a Californian oak savanna, where the eosFD chambers are deployed in the footprint of two long-running Eddy Covariance towers.

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and the NASA Ames Research Center  presented a study on coarse roots, above-ground litterfall and fine root production in European forests to better understand carbon (C) input into soils.  Their findings were that the C input from above-ground litterfall contributed more to the total forest Net Primary Production than the fine roots.

The session on Transport processes of greenhouse and reactive gases in soils was an extremely busy session to convene. We had an amazing turnout of both presenters and audience members this year. There was a great deal of interest in these orals and posters which included:

  • An oral presentation on the imbalance between the expected CH4 fluxes and the direct measurements presented by INGV Research Institution.
  • The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences presented online measurements of nitrous oxide and methane in the soil profile of a pre-alpine grassland subject to extreme climatic manipulations
  • Some Canadian data from the University of Helsinki presenting on Forest fires and their effect on soil carbon turnover – comparison of permafrost and non-permafrost areas

Thank you EGU 2018 you were a blast, Bis bald!

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