Red Soil CZ: From natural to anthropogenic evolution of Red Soil and its impact on ecosystem function in the Critical Zone

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: Inst of Biological and Environmental Sci

Abstract

Red soils cover 20% of each of China and India, the most populated countries on earth, as well as large areas of developing countries in southeast Asia, Africa and South America. They form in sub-tropical climates where excessive leaching from rainwater has produced an infertile, unstable soil that is very vulnerable to mismanagement, climate change and pollution such as acid rain. In China, red soils support about 40% of the population, made possible through the intensive use of fertilisers to boost crop yields. This farming system is unsustainable; fertilisers reaching groundwater, freshwater and the atmosphere pose a significant environmental threat, and soil degradation through intensive cultivation can result in tens of tonnes of soil being eroded each year from a hectare of land into water courses during the intensive monsoonal, spring rains. Red soil management for agriculture affects local farmers who depend on them for their livelihood, the surrounding population who need them for food, China because of dependence for national food production and globally because of the area red soils covers, their importance for food production and the large environmental footprint.

Although extensive research has studied red soils, particularly related to management for agricultural sustainability, the integrated effects of various affected aspects of the critical zone, as well as the wider environmental impacts are poorly understood. In this proposal we adopt a critical zone approach, to reach beyond soil processes to encompass the atmosphere above, geology and groundwater below, surrounding freshwater and vegetation. By definition, the critical zone is the constantly evolving boundary layer at the surface of the earth where rock, soil, water, air and living organisms interact. Two essential components are essential for delivery. First, we have the major advantage of the Sunjia Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), the only international CZO in China where soil and water data have been collected since 2002. Second, we have assembled a team of Chinese and UK scientists who integrate a range of specialisations in soil science, with atmospheric, geological, hydrological and agronomical sciences. A skill gap identified amongst the Chinese partners in terrestrial environmental modelling is filled by the UK team, with training and joint positions proposed that will develop this capability in China.

We build on existing Sunjia CZO monitoring by incorporating subsurface and atmospheric processes not included in the past. Further experiments in the lab and the field will allow us to explore impacts of environmental threats such as climate change, water scarcity and acid rain. We span from processes involved in weathering minerals, how these minerals interact with life to form soils, and how we can optimise these processes in soil evolution for the benefit of the environment and food security. These processes then enhance our understanding of hydrological and erosion impacts in red soils induced by different management practices. Detailed monitoring of these processes in the Sunjia CZO and other red soil areas provides data that inform our modelling of ecosystem processes. This process benefits immensely from a critical zone monitoring data-set for red soils that will span almost 20 years by the end of the project.

The new science generated in this project, particularly the modelling outputs, provides valuable data for policy decisions in China about the management of red soils. We provide training to project partners in interdisciplinary science that is essential to CZO research and will benefit the research capabilities of the Chinese team. Moreover, we bring new skills to the Chinese team in terrestrial modelling. Coupled with our intended outcome of more sustainable food production from red soils, our training and government agency engagement ensures delivery of OECD Official Development Assistance from this project.

Planned Impact

China is very aware of the importance of red soils and threats posed by their mismanagement. They established IRS, RSEES and provincial institutes to investigate red soils so that rural livelihoods and the environment can be improved through better land management. We contribute to the impact of this research by bringing together research areas that are somewhat fragmented in China by adopting a critical zone approach. Outcomes include an improved mechanistic understanding of red soil evolution and functioning, which informs upscaling and modelling.

Through this research we improve impact with government agencies, since outputs in terms of mapping and predictions will be produced that assist with regional scale decision making. Government agencies will be better able to assess threats posed by the current management of red soils, climate change and atmospheric deposition. Through interacting with UK scientists with experience working with UK, Europe and international agencies, Chinese government agencies and scientists will be exposed to different approaches to use science for evidence-based policy decisions. Likewise, experience gained by the UK scientists will benefit their government agency networks.

Such government policy decisions will then improve the rural livelihoods of people dependent on red soils and make their management more sustainable. We improve impact and the speed of uptake by working with established networks in China that provide agricultural advice, via IRS and RSEES in particular. Our new results will improve understanding of the wider impacts of different soil management approaches. These include very easy, low risk 'wins' that we can demonstrate for red soils, such as better fertiliser use and organic matter management. Inappropriate fertiliser use will be easy to rectify through government policies in China, so the evidence we provide, backed by UK researchers who have provided similar guidance for UK policy development, will help sway current policies of cheap, poorly controlled nitrogen application.
To farmers we also provide evidence of the benefits of different farming practices to inputs and yields. Our work builds on long-standing field trials that provide demonstration sites for agricultural advisors who can learn and then teach the effectiveness of managing organic matter and fertilisers more effectively, as well as the impacts of different crops on the environment.

We use the common approach ethos of the U.S. NSF CZO Program in our research in terms of: (1) resolving the evolution and formation of the CZ; (2) measuring the properties and structure of CZ; and (3) constructing the energy, water, solutes and sediment fluxes and balances from event to long-time scales (http://criticalzone.org/national/infrastructure/). Many common measurements to US and SoilTrec CZOs will be collected, contributing to the global data-sets and allowing for inter-site comparisons. Historical Sunjia CZO data-sets will be supplemented with greater monitoring of element and energy exchanges to the subsurface, atmosphere and vegetation. Red soils are important to countries with vulnerable food production outside China, particularly in Asia, Africa and South America, so we address a highly weathered, infertile soil that could be managed more effectively.
For the public we have impact through knowledge exchange via lectures, the media, a website and social media, as described in the Pathways to Impact. We will also benefit from the outreach activities already in place as part of other CZO networks, where we will seek an active role by providing material that is accessible by the public.

A large impact from our project will be scientist training in China. Through this project and workshops, they will learn about interdisciplinary approaches essential for CZO research, improve writing skills and be exposed to terrestrial modelling that we identified as a skill gap at the Chinese institutions involved.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Amended for March 2019. There are some papers in the review process or about to be submitted. The team in China are in Year 4 of their study, with some joint activities still ongoing.

Red soils cover over 20% of China's land area that is inhabited by 40% of its population. This project explored environmental processes from soil formation at bedrock through to the top of vegetation in a Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) on intensively farmed agricultural land in Jiangxi Province. Through boreholes and geophysics we found the diversity of this old landscape covered in heavily weathered red soils was still affected by the paleotopography of deep minerals. Monitoring at depth discovered >80% of leached fertiliser nitrogen between 1-9 m depth, with soil pore structure characterised by XRay CT found to be closely correlated with leaching. New approaches were developed to explore soil structure development, such as the use of Rare Earth Oxides to measure soil aggregate dynamics. Nutrient and organic residue management had a large impact on structure dynamics, driven by complex iron and carbon interactions with the oxides and clays that make up these soils.

Modelling discovered the benefits of different management strategies in increasing soil carbon and structure stability, improving water use efficiency and decreasing nutrient leaching. Erosion and climate change were modelled to cause a loss of 5% organic carbon over a period of 10 years. The popular ECOSSE model that measures carbon dynamics was combined with the erosion model WEPP to make these predictions. Regional predictions across southeast China found that climate change will likely exacerbate soil carbon loss in the drier south, but potentially lead to increased soil carbon in the wetter north.

Field measurements of soil water dynamics identified major pathways of water uptake, storage and loss under different cropping systems. Compared to peanuts, citrus trees generally showed 12-28% greater evapotranspiration, 3-4 times less runoff, and 2-57% greater deep drainage. These findings and modelling support peanut and citrus intercropping to improve water use efficiency, with relevance to intercropping of other shallow and deep rooted crops.

Modelling hydrological processes in this region is complicated by climatic and soil structure changes over time, caused by a long dry period (50 mm rain/month) that can induce crop water stress followed by monsoon rains (250 mm rain/ month). Intense wetting and drying cycles and poor soil stability after tillage causes large temporal changes in soil structure. Including such complexity in hydrological models requires considerable computation power, so a simple modelling framework was developed to enable rapid computation of water storage and fluxes, including upward fluxes in the shallow subsurface zone of the soil. The model matched water storage and fluxes modelled by more complex approaches (e.g. solving Richards' equation) well. Further modelling incorporated temporal variability of pore structure impacts into HYDRUS, finding temporal variability to have much greater impact on hydrological processes than spatial variability.

Considerable research on a wide range of topics was conducted by Chinese collaborators, who will work into Year 4 with NSFC funds.
Exploitation Route We were awarded follow-on funding by NERC to extend modelling work from this project and the four other UK/China CZO projects to develop decision support tools (DSTs) to guide farming practice and environmental policy. By far the biggest finding from all projects was the impact of current agricultural practice on nitrogen leaching and pollution of air and groundwater.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.czo.ac.cn/projects/project-4/
 
Description The RedSol Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) at Sunjie, Jiangxi Province, China has been collecting vast amounts of information on environmental processes in an agricultural landscape since 2002. In this joint UK and China project we were able to enhance monitoring, conduct modelling with the data that have been produced and explore processes in greater depth. The biggest practical finding from this study echos the findings at the other CZOs in Karst and Loess Plateau regions of China. Nitrogen fertiliser leaching presents a massive environmental challenge, with over 80% of stocks in a soil profile being found beneath a depth of 1 m. Usually this depth is ignored in monitoring programmes. We observed a close link to soil structure, with large micropores providing a rapid transmission pathway to depth. Most of this leaching occurred during a very short period of time at the start of heavy rains during the monsoon season. Water movement through this soil and the influence of heavy rainfall is therefore important to study for this region to predict impacts of farming on the environment. Several models were developed in this project to help tackle environmental challenges associated with intensive farming on red soils in southeast China. The sub-tropical climate leads to intense rainfall over short periods followed by long periods with little rain. This changes soil structure, so hydrological models need to be adjusted over time to account for different water transport and retention rates. To make this feasible over large areas, we produced a simplified modelling approach that achieves almost the same level of prediction as much more complex models, but requires far less computing time to run the model. Further hydrological modelling accounted for the large changes in soil structure that occurs over time in this region due to the intense wetting and drying induced by the sub-tropical climate. The hydrological complexity of this region could also have a large impact on predictions of soil carbon cycling, which is heavily dependent on soil water content. We combined existing carbon cycling and hydrology models to improve predictions. Regional scale maps have been produced from this modelling to ascertain the best management options to improve carbon storage in soils. Another property of red soils that could not be coped with well in existing models was the impact of erosion on soil processes such as carbon cycling. An erosion model was combined with our carbon model to improve predictions, identifying potential error if erosion processes are ignored. These models and the resulting maps have been disseminated to policy makers in China and helped form the basis of the follow-on project MIDST-CZO. In this follow-on project we are producing simple decision support tools to guide more efficient and profitable farming that has a positive impact on the environment. It addresses several emerging challenges in China - (i) nitrogen pollution, (ii) rapid recent increase in nitrogen costs and (iii) rural to urban shift in the population affecting farming. The aim is to provide underpinning technology that can help improve farming systems in China and support industry developing and marketing decision support tools for agriculture and water management.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description UK Parliament - Environmental Audit Committee, Soil Health Enquiry
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description A Cosmic ray (COSMOS) probe
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CC16_080 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 09/2016
 
Description Coordination Support to PIs and Commercialisation Feasibility Study (to U. Leeds - S. Banwart PI)
Amount £231,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description Enhanced Knowledge Exchange Activity for the China-UK CZO programme (funding to U. Glasgow. To support all projects).
Amount £127,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009167/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009175/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009108/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 04/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009116/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009132/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009159/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009140/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009094/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description MIDST-CZ: Maximising Impact by Decision Support Tools for sustainable soil and water through UK-China Critical Zone science
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S009124/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Title A simple modelling framework for shallow subsurface water storage and flow (SSMF) 
Description A simple modelling framework that incorporates shallow subsurface water storage and flow. It is based on physical soil-water relationships that can represent both upward and downward vertical fluxes 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Submitted as paper that requires revision. To be re-submitted in early 2019. 
 
Title Combined soil carbon cycling and erosion model 
Description Use of ECOSSE (soil carbon) and WEPP (erosion) model to describe how erosion affects carbon dynamics, focussing on subtropical conditions. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Paper draft completed and this will be a published paper. To be updated once paper is accepted. 
 
Title Cosmic Ray Sensor - Soil Water Data - Sunjie Red Soil Critical Zone Observatory 
Description Data generated from the Cosmic Ray Sensor installed at the Sunjie Red Soil Critical Zone Observatory. Raw data, calibrated data and the calibration to be uploaded to the NERC EIDC. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Data contributes to a global network of cosmic ray sensors. Water content data generated at medium scale. 
 
Title Enhanced environmental model of soil carbon dynamics incorporating hydrological processes 
Description Combined model of ECOSSE (soil carbon) and HYDRUS to explore carbon dynamics, focussing on tropical soils that have marked hydrological shifts over time that are not adequately modelled with existing techniques. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This will be submitted as a scientific paper. 
 
Title Sunjie Red Soil CZO data set 
Description Logged data on soil water, water dynamics, nutrients and carbon at the Sunjie Red Soil CZO. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Data collected by the team in China from the Red Soil CZO. It is still in the process of being analysed. Some of the data were used for UK based modelling activities but upload and sharing restricted by data protection laws in China and data ownership by the Chinese team. 
 
Description China Scholarship Council - Visiting Researcher - Dr Dr Jing Jiang 
Organisation Taiyuan University of Technology
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research on nitrogen transport and capture in mechanically impeded soil as affected by root growth. We are exploring the capacity of roots to penetrate compacted layers and using Dr Jiang's expertise in solute transport to explore N movement. Research builds in numerous ongoing RCUK projects.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Jiang brings expertise in solute transport.
Impact None yet. We anticipate 2 publications from this work and possible direct contribution by Dr Jiang on other publications from the group.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Dr Lei Gao, visit to University of Aberdeen for 12 months 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Department Institute of Soil Science
PI Contribution Lei is the hydrologist and data manager for the Sunjia Red Soil CZO in China. He is from the Institute of Soil Science in Nanjing.
Collaborator Contribution When in Aberdeen he co-authored papers and assisted with the access of 2 UK modellers to data.
Impact Joint papers have been submitted for publication and are under review.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Huan Fang Visiting PhD Student 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution One year placement at the University of Aberdeen by Huan Fang. She is conducting research that complements and bridges activities in NERC RedSoil CZO and BBSRC NUCLEUS projects.
Collaborator Contribution Project supervision by Prof Xinhua Peng and Dr Hu Zhou from the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where Huan Fang is registered for her PhD.
Impact Paper in preparation with material used in project meeting of BBSRC NUCLEUS team in Brazil, March, 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description NERC El Nino BREAD 
Organisation Hawassa University
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a NERC El Nino project where we are exploring the impact of organic resource amendment and cropping practice on soil properties. The work from the EPSRC project provides fundamental information to help with understanding how plants contribute to soil stabilisation under hydrological stress (drought and flash floods), as well as allow the soil to absorb more rainfall.
Collaborator Contribution My group leads the research on soil biophysical measurements to be used in ecosystem modelling. A group from the Southern Agricultural Research Institute are performing measurements on the ground.
Impact Stakeholder workshops in Ethiopia. Presentations to NERC. A special issue of a journal is underway.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NERC El Nino BREAD 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Department Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is a NERC El Nino project where we are exploring the impact of organic resource amendment and cropping practice on soil properties. The work from the EPSRC project provides fundamental information to help with understanding how plants contribute to soil stabilisation under hydrological stress (drought and flash floods), as well as allow the soil to absorb more rainfall.
Collaborator Contribution My group leads the research on soil biophysical measurements to be used in ecosystem modelling. A group from the Southern Agricultural Research Institute are performing measurements on the ground.
Impact Stakeholder workshops in Ethiopia. Presentations to NERC. A special issue of a journal is underway.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NERC El Nino BREAD 
Organisation Southern Agricultural Research Institute (SARI)
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is a NERC El Nino project where we are exploring the impact of organic resource amendment and cropping practice on soil properties. The work from the EPSRC project provides fundamental information to help with understanding how plants contribute to soil stabilisation under hydrological stress (drought and flash floods), as well as allow the soil to absorb more rainfall.
Collaborator Contribution My group leads the research on soil biophysical measurements to be used in ecosystem modelling. A group from the Southern Agricultural Research Institute are performing measurements on the ground.
Impact Stakeholder workshops in Ethiopia. Presentations to NERC. A special issue of a journal is underway.
Start Year 2018
 
Description PhD Student - Post-tillage soil structural evolution and pore space dynamics 
Organisation Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-supervisor of PhD student - "Post-tillage soil structural evolution and pore space dynamics" Expertise on soil mechanics and structure dynamics.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Thomas Keller is the lead supervisor of this project.
Impact Student training. Multidisciplinary between soil physics, imaging and agronomy.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cross-CZO project meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 5 NERC/NSFC Newton Fund Critical Zone Observatory projects met in Guiyang, China in June 2017. This workshop allowed for project progress and developments to be discussed. We also held working group sessions where researchers from different projects could discuss (i) writing of a position paper, (ii)major challenges across all CZO projects in China, (iii) data sharing and modeling and (iv) knowledge exchange/interaction with stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU 2017 - Oyesiku-Blakemore - How important is detailed hydrological modelling when modelling soil carbon dynamics in chinese red soils 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Soil carbon and nitrogen processing are strongly influenced by the hydrology of soils. When simulating these processes models represent soil hydrology in some way. The hydrological components of soil carbon and nitrogen models vary greatly in their complexity, as does the burden of simulation time and data requirements. Hydrology specific models, such as Hydrus, have more detailed representations of soil hydrology than those used in some soil carbon and nitrogen models, such as ECOSSE, and can provide a more accurate and precise description of the movement and content of water in soil. Moisture content is one of the key variables controling the processing of carbon and nitrogen in soil models. A higher soil moisture content results in increased methane production through the anaerobic decomposition of soil carbon pools. It also alters the rate at which aerobic decomposition occurs, with low and high soil moisture contents limiting the decomposition of SOC. An inaccurate estimate of soil moisture will introduce errors in the estimated rates of model SOC transformations, which would result in errors in the simulated SOC.
In order to shed light on this uncertainty we use the same input data to simulate soil moisture contents in a Red Soil region of China, using both the ECOSSE model and Hydrus 2D. We compare the simulations of both models with measurements of soil moisture at the site and each other. We highlight where the models differ and identify the conditions under which errors are likely to occur. We then simulate SOC dynamics using the ECOSSE model and its original hydrology with the ECOSSE model simulations using the hydrus 2D simulations. This shows the importance of including a detailed representation of soil moisture when simulating soil organic matter dynamics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU 2017 - Presentation (Oyesiku-Blakemore) - Modelling erosion and its effect on soil organic carbon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Water driven soil erosion removes and relocates a significant quantity of soil organic carbon. In China the quantity of carbon removed from the soil through water erosion has been reported to be 180+/-80 Mt y-1 (Yue et al., 2011). Being able to effectively model the movement of such a large quantity of carbon is important for the assessment of soil quality and carbon storage in the region and further afield. A large selection of erosion models are available and much work has been done on evauating the performance of these in developed countries. Fewer studies have evaluated the application of these models on soils in developing countries. Here we evaluate and compare the performance of two of these models, WEPP and RUSLE, for simulations of soil erosion and deposition at the slope scale on a Chinese Red Soil under cultivation using measurements taken at the site. We also describe work to dynamically couple the movement of carbon presented in WEPP to a model of soil organic matter and nutrient turnover, ECOSSE (Smith et al., 2010). This aims to improve simulations of both erosion and carbon cycling by using the simulated rates of erosion to alter the distribution of soil carbon, the depth of soil and the clay content across the slopes, changing the simulated rate of carbon turnover. This, in turn, affects the soil carbon available to be eroded in the next timestep, so improving estimates of carbon erosion. We compare the simulations of this coupled modelling approach with those of the unaltered ECOSSE and WEPP models to determine the importance of coupling erosion and turnover models on the simulation of carbon losses at catchment scale.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU2017- Can complex subsurface water fluxes be represented at the catchment scale within a (relatively) simple modeling framework? by Lucile Verrot et al. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact as Poster in Session HS1.4 - (Ir-)relevant scales in hydrology: Which scales matter for water resources management?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU2017- Changes in catchment-scale water fluxes due to time-variant soil hydraulic properties in a subtropical agricultural watershed by Lucile Verrot et al. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation in Session SSS7.3/HS8.3.8 - Challenges in soil physics research (co-organized), room -2.47 on Thursday, 27 Apr 2017, 12:00:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description GES-11 - Poster by Joe Oyesiku Blakemore, Sunjia CZO Environmental Modeling 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact GES-1, 11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON GEOCHEMISTRY OF THE EARTH'S SURFACE, Guiyang, China. Poster presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.bagevent.com/event/246574
 
Description International Society of Root Research Medal Lecture 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The ISRR2017 medal lecture invites an eminent scientist who explores root-soil interactions to Dundee to present a lecture, preceded by talks and poster sessions by predominantly early career researchers. This year the invited speaker was Prof Michelle Watt from Juelich.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.hutton.ac.uk/events/root-rhizosphere-workshop-and-2017-isrr-dundee-medal-lecture-root-res...
 
Description NERC CZO International Consortium - Final Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was the final meeting of the joint research programme between the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC). It provided an opportunity for the Programme participants to present and discuss major findings with each other and invited stakeholders. The UK-China CZO programme seeks to understand ways to address the challenges for the delivery of China's ecosystem services in association with their agricultural production and urbanisation. This final workshop brought together research from our past 3 years of collaboration by 5 UK - China research consortia.

About 130 people attended the workshop, mainly from China and the UK. It ran for 3 days, focussing primarily on talks by early career researchers on science findings and a discussion on the major deliverables from the 5 funded projects. We also discussed the best way to achieve impact from the research, including the follow-on funding to support the development of decision support tools using the data we collected from the first 3 years of study. The year 4 work being conducted by the Chinese investigators was also discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.czo.ac.cn/aberdeen-end-of-phase-1-meeting/
 
Description NERC Planet Earth Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article in the NERC Planet Earth magazine, written by journalist Julia Horton. This covered a range of projects conducted by University of Aberdeen scientists on tropical agriculture. The work draws on both our direct research in tropical countries and strategic research on plant-soil interactions, so it cuts across P. Hallett's funding portfolio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nerc.ac.uk/planetearth/stories/1879/
 
Description NERC UnEarthed 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact NERC UnEarthed was a large event that attracted over 3000 people. There were two days dedicated to school visits and 2 days when there was free entry to the general public. During our free interactive showcase - UnEarthed - at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (17-19 November), families and adults could explore the tools used to make science happen and see the extraordinary work of our scientists. Our exhibit focussed on a range of research projects in tropical ecosystems, specifically on the impacts of agriculture and strategies that could be taken to minimize environmental impacts. The text we used to attract visitors was: Emerging from a Scottish forest you stumble across an orangutan in her nest, with drone footage of her natural habitat. What can this have to do with Scotland? Your food choices affect her habitat, other tropical regions, and the livelihoods of local people. A grocery basket will show you how much of what you eat is tropical. Guess the water used and greenhouse gases emitted producing this food, and then measure it yourself with a gas meter and carbon calculator.

Our research is finding solutions to make this food more sustainable and to protect the livelihoods of people living in vulnerable tropical regions. The most important tropical food is rice. You will see how rice can be selected to grow better with less water by reaching deeper soil with its roots. The other major solution is improving tropical soils. By adding carbon, we will show how they can be restored. Our man dressed as an orangutan was a highlight with kids.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/events/archive/unearthed/
 
Description NERC/NSFC CZO Consortium Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Annual consortium meeting held in Nanjing China, 24-27 April, 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Red Soil CZO - International Project Meeting in Aberdeen 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Red Soil CZO teams from China and the UK met in Aberdeen for a 3 day workshop. We were joined by external experts from Rutgers University, USA to expand our research outreach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018