Background: Soil health is crucial for food security worldwide. The North China Plain (NCP) is a main food producing area of China, where although the yield is increasing, inappropriate field practices polluted the soil and dramatically reduced the soil biodiversity. Soil is not just a growing medium for crops, but it should sustainably provide other ecosystem services, which largely depend on soil ecological processes and as such on soil life. Enhancing soil multifunctionality requires evaluation of the soil health status and optimized soil management practices. Existing soil evaluations in China do not fully implement the concept of soil health due to a lack of consideration of dynamic soil properties related to biological characteristics and processes. Optimization of soil health in the NCP requires a holistic system to evaluate the effects of soil management practices. Aim: To build up a tool to assess soil health conditions in the NCP, and suggest interventions in field management to improve the sustainability of the winter wheat-summer maize agroecosystem in the NCP. Methodology: Building upon the framework of the EU Soil Navigator models, models tailored to the NCP agroecosystem will be established to assess soil health and suggest interventions in farm management. Soil samples will be collected from Quzhou long-term field experiments and the Science and Technology Backyard and analysed to provide data support for model extension. Expected outcome: The project will provide soil function models to assist soil health evaluation and optimization, four peer-reviewed papers, and an oral presentation at an international conference.
|Effective start/end date||1/09/20 → …|
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