CLIMATE - SOIL - BALTIC SEA - BIODIVERSITY

Peer-reviewed studies from the Carbon Action platform

Towards agricultural soil carbon monitoring, reporting and verification through Field Observatory Network (FiON)

February 2022 – GEOSCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTATION, METHODS AND DATA SYSTEMS | NEVALAINEN, OLLI ET AL.

Better monitoring of sequestered soil carbon in different soils and climate conditions due to carbon farming practices is needed. For this, we, Field Observatory Network (FiON), have established a methodology towards monitoring and forecasting agricultural carbon sequestration by combining offline and near real-time field measurements, weather data, satellite imagery and modeling. To disseminate our work, we have built a web-based dashboard called Field Observatory (fieldobservatory.org).

ESTIMATING CATION EXCHANGE CAPACITY FROM AGRNOMIC SOIL TESTS: COMPARING MEHLICH-3 AND AMMONIUM ACETATE SUM OF CATIONS

SEPTEMBER 2021 – SOIL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF AMERICA JOURNAL | MATTILA, TUOMAS & RAJALA, JUKKA

In this study, soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) measured with standard laboratory practices (neutral ammonium acetate [AAc]) were compared with CEC estimated from agronomic soil test data (Mehlich-3 and AAc). Previously published estimation methods were applied to a dataset of 48 soil samples. Based on the results, traditional methods underestimate measured cation exchange capacity by 36% for Mehlich-3 and 24% for AAc and the CEC estimation methods should be updated. Offering land managers accurate information allows them to understand their soils’ potential to store and release nutrients and to make better decisions on liming and soil amendment.

HOW FARMERS APPROACH SOIL SEQUESTRATION? LESSONS LEARNED FROM 105 CARBON-FARMING PLANS

SEPTEMBER 2021 – SOIL AND TILLAGE RESEARCH | MATTILA, TUOMAS ET AL.

This paper summarizes the lessons learned during the training of 105 Finnish farmers to create five-year carbon management plans for field parcels on their farms. In this study, we analyze the Carbon Farming Plans by the farmers and present the most popular strategies and management actions as well as potential challenges for research. In addition, we present a simplified calculation on how management could potentially influence the soil carbon balance through increased carbon inputs from crop residues and manure. Our results demonstrated that farmers plan to increase carbon into soils using methods, which they perceive as beneficial to soil health, and therefore many farmers can potentially increase soil carbon by well-known and researched methods. The training is part of Carbon Action, which is a broad research initiative aimed at implementing carbon-farming in Finland.

DO DIFFERENT AGRONOMIC SOILT TESTS IDENTIFY SIMILAR NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES?

JULY 2021 – SOIL USE AND MANAGEMENT | MATTILA, TUOMAS & RAJALA, JUKKA

In this study, five commercially available soil tests were compared using soil samples collected during a short-term (4 years) soil quality experiment. The correlation between soil tests was analyzed to see whether additional testing offers additional information, the classification of samples was compared to deficient/sufficient/excessive in comparison to recommendations, and the change of fertility was monitored over time to evaluate the sensitivity of the tests.

SMARTPHONE-BASED ESTIMATION OF GREEN COVER DEPENDS ON THE CAMERA USED

MAY 2021 – AGRONOMY JOURNAL | MATTILA, TUOMAS & HEINONEN, REIJA

Smartphone-based visual assessment of vegetation cover is a promising, fast, and repeatable approach that allows land managers to compare measurements on their farm with other farms. This study determined the influence of the smartphone device on green cover measurements on several crops. Forty fields in Finland were sampled between 10 and 28 July 2020. The results were compared also with Sentinel-2 remote sensing of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and biomass quadrants. The findings suggest that smartphone-based monitoring can be used at least to classify vegetation to low, medium, and high density but that results from different cameras should not be compared.

Utilizing Principles of Biodiversity Science to Guide Soil Microbial Communities for Sustainable Agriculture

MAY 2021 – ECOEVORXIV PREPRINTS | CAPPELLI, SERAINA ET AL.

In order to design sustainable agricultural ecosystems, it is important to understand the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and soil microbial communities. In this paper, the current knowledge in these three fields is summarized with a focus on the intersections between each of them. Also, knowledge gaps that need to be addressed are highlighted in order to generate empirical ecological data to design sustainable cropping systems. This is crucial to meet the dietary needs of a growing world population in times of accelerating global changes. This preprint is a full draft research paper that is shared publicly and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Response of boreal clay soil properties and erosion to ten years of no-till management

JANUARY 2021 – SOIL & TILLAGE | HONKANEN, HENRI ET AL.

This paper compares different effects on soil and carbon allocation between conventional tillage and no-till managements at a clay soil site under spring cereal monoculture in southwestern Finland. The results showed that no-tillage is an effective method to reduce erosion rates but other means to increase carbon input especially below the topsoil layer are likely required to achieve a significant increase in the carbon stock of boreal clay soils.

Carbon dioxide fluxes and carbon balance of an agricultural grassland in southern Finland

NOVEMBER 2020 – BIOGEOSCIENCES DISCUSS | HEIMSCH, LAURA ET AL.

This agricultural grassland site focuses on the conversion from intensive towards regenerative agricultural management. CO2 and H2O fluxes were measured at a newly established eddy covariance site in southern Finland for two years from 2018 to 2020. During the measurement years, the field acted as a net carbon sink.

BEYOND ECOSYSTEM MODELING: A ROADMAP TO COMMUNITY CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR ECOLOGICAL DATA‐MODEL INTEGRATION

October 2020 GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY | FER, ISTEM ET AL.

Carbon Action is developing a scientifically ambitious measurement and verification system. The verification system uses extensively collected data and can model and predict carbon sequestration even in areas where measurement data are scarce. The roadmap for the verification system is described in this scientific publication.

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND AGRICULTURE: MEASURES, COSTS AND POLICIES – A LITERATURE REVIEW

May 2020 - AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD SCIENCE | OLLIKAINEN, M. ET AL.

In Carbon Action, we develop economic models characterizing the production decisions in animal and crop production farms, and review mitigation measures and their cost-effectiveness in reducing emissions. Besides this, we link our discussion on policy instruments to detected results and developed models.

Soil organic carbon and clay content as deciding factors for net nitrogen mineralization and cereal yields in boreal mineral soils

May 2020 - EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOIL SCIENCE | SOINNE ET AL

To achieve appropriate yield levels, farmers often complete inherent nitrogen (N) supply and biological N fixation by fertilization. To avoid economic losses and negative environmental impacts due to over‐application of N fertilizer, estimation of the inherent N supply is critical. In this article we aimed to identify simple indicators of inherent soil N supply applicable at the farm level.

Estimation of carbon stocks in boreal cropland soils ‐ methodological considerations

July 2020 - European Journal of Soil Science | Hekkinen et al.

High expectations to harness agricultural soils as sinks for atmospheric carbon (C) necessitate methods for verifying changes in soil organic C (SOC) stocks and improving the accuracy of regional SOC stock estimates specific to various land‐use and management types. In this study we used a sample set included in the Finnish national soil monitoring network to determine the SOC stock and its vertical distribution in Finnish agricultural mineral soils.

Improving Yasso15 soil carbon model estimates with ensemble adjustment Kalman filter state data assimilation

December 2020 - Geoscientific Model Development | Viskari et al.

For approximating global terrestrial carbon pools and their change, model-calculated forecasts of soil organic carbon (SOC) are important. However, the lack of detailed observations limits the reliability and applicability of these SOC projections. In this scientific article we tested and observed how state data assimilation (SDA) can be used to continuously update the modeled state with available total carbon measurements in order to improve future SOC estimations.

Ensemble modelling, uncertainty and robust predictions of organic carbon in long‐term bare‐fallow soils

November 2020 - Global Change Biology | Farina et al.

Simulation models represent soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in global carbon (C) cycle scenarios to support climate‐change studies. Here we evaluated SOC simulated from different process‐based C models by comparing simulations to experimental data from Denmark, France, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The decay of SOC in used test plots has been monitored for decades since the last inputs of plant material, providing the opportunity to test decomposition without the continuous input of new organic material. Our results may increase confidence in long‐term predictions of SOC dynamics by reducing the uncertainty in model estimates.

Facilitative priority effects drive parasite assembly under coinfection

November 2020 - Nature Ecology &Evolution | Halliday et al.

Plant host individuals are often coinfected with diverse parasite assemblages, resulting in complex interactions among parasites within hosts. Within hosts, priority effects occur when the infection sequence alters the outcome of interactions among parasites. However, the role of host immunity in this process remains poorly understood. In this article we provide evidence that within-host priority effects of early-arriving strains can drive parasite assembly, with implications for how strain diversity is spatially and temporally distributed during disease epidemics.

PMID: 32868915 DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-01289-9