Soil organic matter and ecosystem services

The soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role determining physical (structure, water retention), chemical (nutrient availability, buffer effect), and biological (microbial diversity, biologically active compounds) properties.

There is a generalized problem of organic matter loss in Mediterranean soils, and one of the solutions is to add compost from organic residues, as part of the circular economy.

Soils improved with compost provide with ecosystem services of provision (increasing food production) and regulation (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration), thus contributing to human wellbeing.


In the Guadiamar Green Corridor (Sevilla, Spain), we are evaluating the effectiveness of combined measures of amendment addition and tree plantation, for two ecosytem services: stabilization of trace elements, and storage of soil carbon.

The IRNAS researchers Teodoro Marañón and Engracia Madejón presented the opening lecture entitled “Soil functions and ecosystem services: the importance of organic matter” (in Spanish), within the V Jornadas de la Red Española de Compostaje, held at Sevilla, Spain, on November 16-18, 2016.

A pdf copy of the slides can be consulted in Digital CSIC repository.

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