Integrating SOil Biodiversity to Ecosystem Services: testing cost-effectiveness of Soil Biodiversity indicators and the provision of soil biodiversity-based Ecosystem Services to build better land management solutions that effectively implement the EU Soil Strategy

01 June 2023 → 31 May 2028
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • International public administration
eco systems
Other information
Project description

The aim of the EU’s Soil health and Food Mission is that by 2030 at least 75% and by 2050 all soils in the EU should be healthy.
However, cost-effective indicators for soil biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and ecosystem services are missing, and so are cost-
effective measures for restoring soil health. SOB4ES will contribute to the Missions’ Soil Deal for Europe by (1) elucidating soil
biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services for major land uses and land use intensity changes, (2) testing cost-effectiveness of
existing indicators for soil biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services, and (3) evaluating how policy incentives may enhance
protection, sustainable management and restoration of soil systems and soil health. By focusing on nine major pedoclimatic (soil
type-climate) regions and land uses, including soils from urban, agriculture, forest, (semi)-natural, wetlands, drylands, industrial and
mining environments, SOB4ES will cover most relevant EU climate-soil type-land use conditions. To reach these ambitious goals,
SOB4ES will further develop the mapping and assessment of ecosystem conditions (MAES) approach and test cost-effectiveness of a
wide array of existing indicators. Envisaged sustainable agricultural practices will be compared with conventional high input-output
practices. Thus, SOB4Es will deliver well-validated and applicable indicators for soil biodiversity and ecosystem services for policy
evaluation to be used in EU-wide soil health monitoring from fields to entire landscapes. SOB4ES will test how to make effective
indicators adoptable by large-scale European surveys, such as LUCAS, SoilBON, EUSO dashboard and national soil monitoring
programmes. SOB4ES will also analyse how networks of soil biodiversity relate to aboveground biodiversity and ecosystem services
by advanced artificial intelligence-based machine learning approaches, and scale monitoring up to being applied by remote sensing.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.