Call for Expansion of International Soil Experiment Networks


Researchers are calling for an expansion of international networks of deep soil manipulation experiments in the field, with coordination, common variables, integration, and collaboration. Siting along environmental and land-use gradients will accelerate understanding of soil organic carbon (SOC) cycling. Data are lacking to unravel the importance of various mechanisms controlling deep SOC cycling in different soils under different environmental conditions. Field manipulation experiments will overcome limitations of laboratory studies, enabling testing for cause and effect and isolating direct response function in real ecosystems. Reduced uncertainty of the role of soils as positive or negative feedbacks to global climate change will improve climate projections. Also, mitigation strategies and solutions for ecological and agricultural challenges can be developed and tested at the networks’ facilities.


Torn, M. S., A. Chabbi, P. Crill, P. J. Hanson, I. A. Janssens, Y. Luo, C. H. Pries, C. Rumpel, M. W. I. Schmidt, J. Six, M. Schrumpf, and B. Zhu. 2015. “A Call for International Soil Experiment Networks for Studying, Predicting, and Managing Global Change Impacts,” SOIL 1, 575–82. DOI:10.5194/soil-1-575-2015.