Lecture: 'Assessment of impacts of past and current global change by soil evolution modelling'

For whom
Students, Employees
25-11-2016 from 16:00 to 17:00
Campus Coupure, room A0.30, Coupure Links 653, Ghent
Prof. Peter Finke
Add to my calendar

Inaugural lecture of Prof. Peter Finke, 25 November 2016 at 16:00

Assessment of impacts of past and current global change by soil evolution modelling: achievements and challenges

That the climate is changing is no longer a discussion item. Research concentrates on understanding the interaction between carbon in the soil and the atmosphere, and the role that humans play. Global change however affects more soil properties than the carbon stock. Soil is a natural capital and its performance can be expressed as the degree of its functioning, e.g. via ecosystem services. Only if we can prove causal relations between changes in climate and changes in soil performance, we will be able to respond to climate change by soil management. For identifying such relations, integrated mechanistic, process-based models are a necessity.

An example will be described of such a soil formation model (SoilGen), with emphasis on model performance, including process coverage while referring to model applications. Climate change is of all times and its effects are recorded in paleosoils worldwide. This makes paleosoils potentially useful to predict future effects of climate change if a mechanistic understanding can be obtained relating causes to effects. A recent case study will be reported in which SoilGen was linked to a climate model (LOVECLIM) to identify causes of differences in soil development in 2 paleosoils developed during the interglacials MIS5e and MIS13 on the Chinese Loess Plateau.

Finally I will highlight some priority improvements to the model to increase the usage potential for global change studies.

Short Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Dr. Peter Finke

Peter Finke graduated in 1988 in Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam and obtained his PhD in 1992 at Wageningen University on modelling of nitrate leaching and crop production at field scale in the context of precision agriculture. From 1992 to early 2005 he worked at Wageningen University and Research Centre in various management positions and as research leader on soil and groundwater mapping.

The soil map 1:50.000 of The Netherlands was finalized under his direction and he initiated the geostatistical updating of the drainage class map. He also directed the statistical sampling and characterization of the major soil types by standard soil properties as well as P-saturation of agricultural soils and trophic levels of soils in nature reserves. Since 2005 he is associate professor in Soil Science at UGent, initially at the Department of Soil Science and Geology, currently at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department Soil Management.

His research focuses on modelling soil formation over periods of years to millenniums and also on mapping soil properties by geostatistical methods.