Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Monitoring carbon stocks in agricultural and forest soils for reporting on the national carbon balance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.02  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Soil and micro-climate 

Code Science Field
B003  Biomedical sciences  Ecology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Soil organic matter, SOM, C ballance, GHG reporting, Kyoto
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  34637  Janez Bergant  Plant production  Technical associate  2016 - 2019  187 
2.  27605  PhD Milan Kobal  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  350 
3.  29500  PhD Robert Leskovšek  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  258 
4.  29237  PhD Boštjan Mali  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  200 
5.  20842  PhD Aleksander Marinšek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  387 
6.  17007  PhD Mateja Muršec  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  69 
7.  10264  PhD Primož Simončič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  702 
8.  30497  Marjan Šinkovec    Technical associate  2016 - 2019  157 
9.  16283  PhD Borut Vrščaj  Plant production  Head  2016 - 2019  926 
10.  11431  MSc Vida Žnidaršič-Pongrac  Chemistry  Technical associate  2016 - 2019  211 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  20,020 
2.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  12,014 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,295 
4.  0482  University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences  Hoče  5089638004  9,894 
Soils are an important sink of carbon. At the same time it is the source of carbon mainly in the form of CO2, CH4 as well as other greenhouse gasses. Soil organic matter (SOM) is the ultimate indicator of the quality, characteristics and potentials of the soil to perform a wide variety of ecosystem functions.. The project includes design, testing and partial implementation of the system of monitoring of the SOM content as part of national reporting for the sector "Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)", an important part of the national carbon balance. The objectives of the project are: To collect SOM data and information and to develop an operational method for reporting of soil C emissions / sinks  in agroforestry areas of Slovenia; To determine the initial state the SOM content in agricultural and forest soils; To create a spatial pattern of SOM monitoring in the form of a flexible network for the entire country and to determine the reference SOM monitoring sampling locations; To produce a comparative analysis of existing methods of sampling, SOM monitoring and reporting; To establish an efficient and rational methodology for extracting and processing SOM data; To establish a QA/QC system to ensure quality at all levels of monitoring; Sampling - Analysis - Database - use of the data for the calculations for carbon balance / GHG reporting; and To develop INSPIRE compliant SOM databases for the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry (MAFF) for reporting on the SOM content, balance and for the contribution to the national C balance and GHG reporting. The project represents an important contribution in particular to: Maintain and increase SOM levels in agricultural and forest soils of Slovenia; Assess the contribution of agriculture and forestry to the emission of CO2 and other GHG (CO2 eq.); Develop quality assurance and quality control at all levels of the SOM monitoring and reporting as a contribution to the reporting on national CO2 balance and GHG emissions; Ensure the quality and comparability of performance of SOM monitoring TOS and sustainable use of agricultural and forest soils; and Design of measures and activities for sustainable soil management in agriculture and forestry. Goals and deliverables  of the project represent a scientific contribution towards effective and robust SOM monitoring in agriculture and forestry and firm scientific basis and information for reporting on the national of the C and GHG balance. Indirect objectives are: To establish conditions for effective soil conservation and sustainable use of natural resources (soil and groundwater) and better soil management in agriculture and forestry; To design the SOM monitoring system as the basis for implementation of sustainable agricultural and forestry  practices and environmental protection; To mitigate the effects of global warming  through storing the C in agricultural and forest soils; To improve the quality of rural environment and reduce negative impacts of agricultural production on groundwater and the environment as a whole; More balanced regional development in Slovenia - results contribute to efficient local production of high quality food and improvement of the food security on the national level.
Significance for science
The project results will allow to improve the current methodology for monitoring sinks or emissions in the "Land use, land use change and forestry, the so-called LULUCF "in conjunction with the EU legislation (Regulation (EU) no. 525/2013 concerning a mechanism for monitoring GHG emissions and reporting, etc.) and UNFCCC Convention (signatory Slovenia and the EU) and the conclusions of the Paris climate conference (November 2015). Reporting of GHG emissions has been extended to the field of agriculture, in addition to the already agreed and compulsory reporting for forestry, which in this way was not included in previous national reports of the sector. In Slovenia in the field of agriculture, there have not been enough intensive basic measurement of GHG emissions carried out, especially not in accordance with the IPCC guidelines (2006, 2013), so we lost time to replace over the next four years (until 2020). Content tasks will improve the scope and quality of national data on agriculture linked primarily to determination of soil organic matter stocks in relation to land use, intensity of food production and monitoring changes in carbon stocks in time for the selected management regime. The aim is to create an appropriate approach to monitoring carbon stocks and changes in carbon stocks in the soil and create a data type that allows upgrades and other collection for the national significance of important data to the soil. The task ensures a methodology to obtain estimates of GHG emissions for agriculture in the LULUCF sector; there are no shortcuts to these estimates, the basic measurements and methodology for calculating the GHG emissions for agriculture must be carried out to be able to figure out the role of agriculture in national carbon balance.
Significance for the country
The project results are directly relevant to agriculture and forestry. Monitoring of organic matter in agricultural and forest soils will be pawe the path towards the development of sustainable management practices in agricultural and forest production. The project will promote and accelerate the development of technologies for sustainable food production and sustainable silviculture. Project results are particularly important for the Slovenian government. They will  enable quality reporting on national balance of C and effectiveness of limiting emissions of selected GHG. Soil is an extremely important natural resource in terrestrial ecosystems. The project will significantly contribute to the protection, preservation of fertility and productivity of agricultural land and forests and to the sustainable use of soil as a natural resource.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, final report
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