The general scientific objectives of SOILSERVICE, supported by the European Commission under FP7 Contribution of biodiversity to ecosystem services, are to value soil biodiversity through the impact on ecosystem services and propose how these values can be granted through payments.
European soil biodiversity is pivotal for delivering food, fibre and bio-fuels and carbon storage. However, the demand is greater than the amount of soil available, as production of bio-fuels competes with areas for food production and nature. Moreover, intensified land use reduces soil biodiversity and the resulting ecosystem services.
SOILSERVICE will combine interdisciplinary empirical studies and soil biodiversity surveys to construct soil food web models and determine effects of changing soil biodiversity on stability and resilience of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, as well as assess consequences for outbreaks of pests or invasive species. It will also link ecological and economic models to develop a system for valuing soil biodiversity in relation to ecosystem services.
Develop methods to value soil ecosystem services during different pressure of land use and changes in soil biodiversity.
Field and modelling studies will determine to what spatial and temporal scales soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services are vulnerable to disturbance.