About this Research Topic
This Research Topic is related to one of the program themes of the Eurosoil 2021 conference, focusing on the contributions of soil science to reach the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). The overall aim of SDG 15 is to achieve land-degradation neutrality by sustainable land-use management, including the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and their services. The particular role of forests, wetlands, and mountains as water-related ecosystems makes their protection and restoration also a target of SDG 6, overall aiming at improving the quality of drinking water resources through integrated water-resources management.
In this Research Topic, we want to emphasize how a better understanding of soil functions is instrumental for sustainable land-use and water resource management as well as restoration success. Land degradation results in impaired soil functions and compromises important ecosystem services, such as maintaining biodiversity, providing food, fibre, timber, and fuel, regulating water flow, and purifying water. In order to help to reverse this trend, we want to answer the questions of how soil functions can be improved and maintained sustainably, how they are affected by and can be made resilient against disturbances, and how they can be restored if impaired.
Based on selected contributions to Eurosoil 2021, we want to look at the central role of soil functions from different angles and views. In the form of original research contributions, reviews and perspectives we would like to cover in particular the following aspects:
- Latest insights into the biological, chemical, and physical basis of soil functions, with a particular emphasis on soil biodiversity, coupled biogeochemical cycles, and soil structure.
- Methodological advancements in assessing, mapping, and modeling soil functions and soil degradation.
- Degradation and sustainable management of sensitive ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands, and drylands.
- Integrated soil and water management to protect and restore water resources.
- Social, economic, and political aspects of operationalizing sustainable land-use management.
Overall, we would like to obtain answers to the question of whether, from a soil science perspective, the related targets of the Agenda 2030 are realistic.
Please note that contributions are by invitation only.
Keywords: Sustainable development goals, land degradation neutrality, soil functions, soil and water management, soil restoration
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.