Integrating Soil Biodiversity into Ecosystem Services


With the overarching goal of supporting the EU Soil Strategy and the upcoming Soil Health Law, SOB4ES will develop an integrated framework that accurately reflects the impact of soil biodiversity on ecosystem services across time and space. This will aid in:

  • Designing soil biodiversity indicators to assess ecosystem conditions across various European land uses in a cost-effective manner.
  • Implementing 'soil biodiversity-friendly' land management interventions and identifying key restoration and conservation targets in Europe.
  • Translating scientific knowledge into policies and actionable solutions at the EU-level.

Going further into detail, the project will accomplish the following objectives.

To evaluate soil biodiversity composition, dynamics, connections with aboveground biodiversity, and network structure under various land uses; identify drivers of soil biodiversity changes; and assess cost-effective indicators for EU soils to capture sensitivity, resilience, and adaptation to land use changes in different regions.

To comprehend the interconnections between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services across typical land uses and pedoclimatic regions; to unravel spatial drivers and pressures impacting interactions among ecosystem services (synergies, trade-offs, net losses) for comprehensive evaluations of ecosystem capacity and vulnerability. This knowledge is essential to implement 'soil biodiversity-friendly' land management interventions.

To refine ecosystem assessments, integrate soil biodiversity indicators into comprehensive monitoring and land management planning, both at national and European levels. Develop a streamlined, cost-effective framework to estimate direct and indirect Total Economic Values (TEVs) of soil biodiversity across land use types and intensities in various ecosystems. This method will identify key restoration and conservation targets.

To embed ecological insights about soil biodiversity into the lives of Europeans (stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens) through a multi-actor strategy. This involves interactive knowledge exchange, enhancing public awareness of soil biodiversity's role in ecosystem services and current policy contexts, and implementing digital tools to translate scientific knowledge into actionable solutions.

To develop a multidimensional and strategic approach encompassing dissemination, communication, and exploitation activities, ensuring the endurance, sustainability, and interoperability of SOB4ES results and outputs.