An inventory of soil quality indicators and ecosystem services


Various soil quality indicators are currently in use. But which ecosystem services are evaluated? And how do these indicators translate to assess service provision?

The need to monitor soil quality

Soils are rapidly becoming a focal point for integrated environmental policy. The European Commission's proposal for a renewed EU Soil Strategy is anchored in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Climate Adaptation Strategy and the EU Action Plan, and envisages that by 2050 all soil ecosystems in the EU will be healthy and protected. A sub-target of the soil policy is that 70% of agricultural soils should be managed sustainably by 2030, to be assessed on the basis of soil health monitoring systems to be established at national level.

A European inventory of soil quality indicators

The SIREN project was carried out as a priority in the EJP SOIL Roadmap to establish an inventory of evaluation frameworks for ecosystem services and soil quality in use in Europe and of the associated knowledge and development needs. The project also aimed to take stock of desirable values and associated target values of soil quality indicators and to identify knowledge needs for pedoclimatic and agricultural system contexts.