Vital Soils - for sustainable intensification of agriculture
PhD - project 2016-2021, in collaboration with NIOO-KNAW, LTO-Noord, BO-Akkerbouw, BLGG Agroexpertus, Centre for Soil Ecology, Leiden University
A key challenge for sustainable intensification of agriculture is to produce increasing amounts of food for a growing world population, with minimal loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to facilitate ecological intensification of agriculture, the underlying principles need to be understood and validated in farmers fields.
Therefore, the Vital Soils project aims at:
1) assessing changes in biological, chemical and physical soil properties in organic vs. conventional arable fields and how these properties develop over time since conversion from conventional to organic farming
2) understand the relation between these properties and soil functioning
The central focus will be on the influence of soil organic matter properties (my PhD) and soil organisms (NIOO PhD Sophie van Rijssel and Post-doc Kyle Mason Jones) on soil functioning.