Soil ecosystem services of polar environments: new approaches in applied and environmental soil science

Lead Author Evgeny, Abakumov
Institution Contact Dept. of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia, 199034, 16 line 29 Vasilyevskiy Island, Saint-Petersburg
Co-Authors Ivan Alekseev, Saint-Petersburg State University Sebastian Zubrzycki, Universität Hamburg Eva-MariaPfeiffer, Universität Hamburg
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.6 Strategies for ecosystem services and sustainable environmental management of soils and contaminated areas in the Arctic
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 01:45 PM - 02:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Ecosystem services are benefits which humans can receive from environments. These direct and indirect benefits are different in origin and way of impact and they are divided into few groups: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services. Soils are crucial components of all terrestrial ecosystems and play the role of spatial basis of ecosystems. At the same time soils support terrestrial ecosystems and human infrastructure by spatial stability of environment. Polar biomes have many crucial soil ecosystem services: carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas cycle regulation, water quality and biodiversity levels control, contaminants accumulation and redistribution. Intensification of human activities in Polar Regions and high vulnerability of polar environments result in soil degradation and further degradation of soil ecosystem benefits. Polar Regions are represented by cryogenic landscapes with sparse population. However, these regions have been increasingly affected by industry development and hydrocarbon exploration and logistics in recent decades. At the same time, pronounced climatic changes have occurred and affected the environmental quality of vast areas in Polar environments. Investigations of soil functioning in polar ecosystems and evaluation of the benefits for human beings from soils in polar environments are critical for the development of strategies for sustainable environmental management in response to anthropogenic disturbances and climatic changes. There are many gaps in sense of knowledge about Arctic and Antarctic soils and their ecosystem services. New approaches to assessment soil ecosystem services of polar environments in applied and environmental soil science will be discussed in details in our presentation. It will be shown that the ecosystem services tool is more appropriate for describing and analyzing the mutual interrelations between ecosystems and human beings than traditional interpretation of soil ecological functions.
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