Meeting Programme

This symposium is a must for everyone who wants to gain more ecological knowledge useful in the assessment of soil eco(toxico) logical effects of chemical and non-chemical stressors, as well as to learn which ecological databases are available as reference for (large-scale) ecological assessments of effects, and to understand which novel experimental and modelling tools are currently available for an effective environmental risk assessment. The meeting will provide a platform for policy makers, risk assessors and scientists from Government, Industry and Academia to obtain an overview of the latest insights, presented by key speakers from ecology and ecotoxicology, as well as modelling.

Following key questions will be addressed:

  • What is known about soil biodiversity (main focus: European Union)?
  • Why is structural and functional soil biodiversity important?
  • Which soil functions depend or are influenced by soil organisms?
  • Which (sampling, assessment etc.) methods are available for soil biodiversity?
  • How could soil organisms be determined robust, reliably and efficiently?
  • Which natural factors (soils, fate?) do affect the occurrence of soil organisms?
  • How could the diversity (or functions) of soil organisms be modelled?
  • Which chemical and non-chemical stressors do affect soil organism communities?
  • Are there case studies available showing the impact of stressors on soil organisms?
  • Which regulations do exist for the protection of soil organisms?
  • Which ideas exist to protect soil organism structural and functional diversity? Viewpoints of representatives from regulatory agencies and industry?
  • Which further ideas are available in this context (question to the auditorium)?

Have a look at the programme (speakers will be confirmed soon):

10:00  Welcome, Bart Bosveld (SETAC Europe, Belgium)

10:05  Why this SESSS now? Which are its aims? Kees van Gestel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

10:20 – 11:20: Session 1: Soil biodiversity: current state of the science

10:20 Species, traits and communities of soil organisms and their relations to ecosystem functionsJan Frouz (Charles University, Czech Republic)

10:50 How can we relate soil structural and functional diversity to Ecosystem Services (ESS) provision? Katarina Hedlund (Lund University, Sweden)

11:20 Coffee break and poster viewing

11:50 – 12:50: Session 1 (continued)

11:50 Belowground – aboveground interactions, Stefan Scheu (The University of Göttingen, Germany)

12:20 Discussion

12:50  Lunch break and poster viewing

13:50 – 14:50: Session 2: Experimental approaches to assessing soil biodiversity and its relation to abiotic (stress) factors

13:50 Sampling methods for soil living organisms, Silvio Knäbe (Eurofins, Germany)

14:20 ASpecies determination incl. DNA methodologyPaul Henning Krogh (Aarhus University, Denmark)

14:50  Coffee break and poster viewing

15:20 – 16:20: Session 2 (continued)

15:20 Regional differences in soil biodiversity (influence of soil properties / climatic conditions), Rachel Creamer (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands)

15:50 Discussion

16:20  Posters and drinks

17:30  End day 1

9:00 – 10:30: Session 3: Soil biodiversity under stress: regulatory and modelling approaches

09:00  Overview: biodiversity and anthropogenic (including chemical) stressors, Jörg Römbke (ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH, Germany)

09:30  The EFSA opinion on soil organisms: the concept of reference tiers and proposed protection goal options, Maria Arena (European Food Safety Authority, Italy)

10:00  Modelling the impact of stressors on soil organisms: Aims, approaches and data requirementsPernille Thorbek (BASF SE, Germany)

10:30 Coffee break and poster viewing

11:00 – 12:30: Session 4: Case studies on assessing the effects of chemical stressors on soil biodiversity

11:00  Case study I. PPPs in the field (TMEs): The benefit of using terrestrial model ecosytems (TME) in environmental risk assessment, Andreas Toschki, (gaiac Research Institute, Germany)

11:30  Case study II. Contaminated sites (TRIAD), Michiel Rutgers (RIVM, Netherlands)

12:00 Discussion

12:30  Lunch break and poster viewing

13:30 – 14:30: Session 5: Views on protecting Soil biodiversity from industry and regulators

13:30 Soil biodiversity: views from Government, Silvia Pieper (Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Germany)

14:00  Soil biodiversity: views from Industry, Mike Coulson (ERM Regulatory Services Limited, UK)

14:30 Coffee break and poster viewing

15:00 – 16:00: Closing session

15:00  Panel discussion with the auditorium

15:45  Concluding remarks, Jörg Römbke (ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH, Germany)

16:00  End