Pierre Lecture: Asmeret Berhe, University of California-Merced

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Date/Time:Thursday, 18 Nov 2021 from 2:10 pm to 3:10 pm
Channel:Agronomy Department
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Role of soil erosion in biogeochemical cycling of essential elements

Most of the earth's terrestrial ecosystem is composed of sloping landscapes, where soil organic matter dynamics is partly controlled by the mass movement events that laterally distribute topsoil. Accurate estimation of the global soil carbon stock or the potential of soils to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide are complicated by the effects of soil redistribution on both net primary productivity and decomposition. In this presentation, I will discuss: (1) why and how soil erosion can constitute a C sink; and how soil erosion is being considered within the context of global climate models; (2) the role of soil erosion on determining spatial distribution and stocks of SOM, stability, and stabilization mechanisms; (3) emerging understanding of the role of soil erosion in soil nitrogen dynamics; and I will conclude the presentation by highlighting remaining knowledge gaps in our understanding of the role of soil erosion in soil phosphorus dynamics, and SOM dynamics in temperate and arctic ecosystems.

Dr. Berhe was recently nominated by President Biden to lead the Department of Energy's Office of Science.