We are pleased to announce that we will be holding three workshops during the conference. Please register for the workshops in advance here:

 All three workshops will last around 2 hours. 

Workshop 1

Soil biodiversity data integration and recycling for the next generation of global soil ecological research

Monday 26, afternoon 

 Organizer: Andrey ZAITSEY (Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz/IEE RAS)

 Description: Background: Properly structured, integrated, harmonized and scientifically reliable data on soil biodiversity, if collected in large volumes, will help researchers to address burning problems related with soil functionality and health sustainability at the global scale. If coupled with the modern ICT approaches to data collection, management and recycling, traditional soil zoological and ecological knowledge accumulated in our expert community may dramatically increase reliability, quality and relevance of predictions and analysis in the interests of decision- and policy-makers.

Workshop Objectives: Basing at the recently successfully accomplished Pan-European project on developing the soil biodiversity warehouse – Edaphobase and its integration with a multi-year practice-oriented research initiative BonaRes, we aim at discussing further development of data integration strategy across researchers, countries, taxa and biomes to efficiently respond to the current global needs related to soil. The workshop participants are welcomed to share their thoughts and ideas on the existing gaps in soil biodiversity and functions data, possible approaches to data management organization at the global level and potential IT and AI-tools that would support research based on the collected recycled data. In the end some principles of further stimulating data owners to contribute for such activities can be discussed.

Anticipated results: We anticipate to come-up with the draft action plan on scaling-up the existing trend in the soil zoological expert community to consolidate, harmonize and integrate soil biodiversity data for being able to tackle next generation global challenges like soil health and sustainability in a changing world, increasing resilience of belowground communities globally, etc. This draft plan may be the starting point for a joint peer-review publication to be prepared by the workshop participants.

Workshop 2

OniscidBase, a worldwide database on terrestrial isopods 

Tuesday 27, afternoon 

Organizer: Konstantin GONGALSKY (A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences) & Pallieter DE SMEDT (Ghent University, Belgium)

Description: Woodlice are among the key destructors of dead organic matter and drivers of soil food webs. There is a lack of unified information regarding the biomass and abundance of these soil-dwelling organisms. A worldwide database on terrestrial isopods (woodlice) will be presented. The database will have a taxonomical backbone gathering as much scientific literature as possible to create regional, national and worldwide checklists. In addition, the database will compile data on isopod distribution, abundance and biomass across the world. Such a dataset will bring our current knowledge in one place for further analysis and synthesis. This work can then lead to several significant papers including a data paper, which describes the dataset itself, as well as follow-up papers. Usually, all substantial contributors become co-authors of the data paper, and will have access to the dataset to test their own hypotheses. This session will increase awareness of our work and unite more people in order to coordinate their efforts.

Workshop 3 

Soil BON Foodweb: a global monitoring of soil animal communities

Wednesday 28, afternoon 

Organizer: Anton POTAPOV (Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz/German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig)

 Description: Little is known about the status and trends of global soil biodiversity and related soil functions. This hampers our understanding of the biosphere functioning and nature conservation for life in soil. Soil BON is a voluntary initiative that targets long-term monitoring of soils properties, functions, microbiomes and fauna globally using novel standardized assessments. Currently, Soil BON joins researchers from about 90 countries, while the Soil BON Foodweb Team (extended network for soil fauna assessment; covers 35 countries. The aim of the workshop is to present state-of-the art of Soil BON activities and discuss challenges and opportunities for expanding Soil BON Foodweb network in Africa and other currently underrepresented regions. Participants (1) will get an overview of the available data, running activities, and future plans of Soil BON; (2) can join the initiative and contribute to the discussion on the challenges and opportunities. The main outcome will be increased awareness of our research community about the global monitoring activities and standardized assessment methods as well as opened networking opportunities especially for the researchers in Africa and between researchers in the Northern and the Southern hemispheres.