Projet de recherche

AlpSols : Interdisciplinary approach of soil/society reports in mountain environment and climate change

Du 01/07/2016 au 30/06/2018

AlpSoils aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the shifting relationships between societies and soils in the Alps in a time of climate change. Instigated by Céline Granjou (environmental sociologis, Irstea Grenoble DTM) and Lauric Cécillon (soil ecologist, Irstea Grenoble EM), the project is realized by an interdisciplinary group of researchers in social sciences and soil sciences. It brings 5 laboratories together (DTM and EM, Irstea Grenoble ; Pacte ; Leca ; Edytem) and is closely linked to a research collaborative program with the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

The project aims to account for the interactions and entanglements between Alpine soils and societies and addresses how climate change may contribute to reconfiguring our relations to soil. Today soil representations include new climatic scenarios which are no longer articulated only in terms of atmospheric parameters (i.e. air temperature, greenhouse gas concentrations): instead, they tend to give an increasingly important role to soil functioning. For instance, recent literature suggests that we may expect an increase of the amount of carbon released by Alpine soils with climate change.

The development of new measurement technologies (automatic measurements, remote data transmission) and environmental genomics give unprecedented access to belowground biophysical characteristics and biodiversity. Soils and the services they render to societies have been increasingly set onto political and media agendas at the international level (cf. the implementation of the Global Soil Partnership by the Food and Agriculture Organization) and the national level (4/1000 initiative). Yet the huge reservoir of belowground biodiversity and its vital role in the Biosphere cycles are still poorly known and neglected in existing regulations –compared for instance to water and air. Soils have been protected within the Alpine Convention since 1991 (decree in 2006); focusing on erosion, landslides and pollution risks, it gives little room to issues of soil ecological functioning. Alpine protected areas have paid little attention to the living soil so far, despite increasing interest for soil monitoring and soil functions such as water filtration.

AlpSoils aims to exploring the relations and couplings between social and environmental changes and to improving the governance of the Alps in order to achieve sustainability in a context of global changes. The project includes an objective of making people more sensitive to the variety of roles fulfilled by soils, particularly those of water filtration and waste decomposition, biodiversity reservoir, and climate regulation.

LabEx ITEM awards a maximum budget of € 36 636 spread over the total duration of the project as a budget revised annually.

Submitted by lba_admin on Tue, 04/10/2016 - 16:18