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Name of the project: The stability and functions of soil carbon in agroecosystems of Russia (CarboRus)

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: г

Goals and objectives

Ground ecosystems and soils of Russia play a decisive role in the global carbon cycle, since Russian soils hold a fifth of the world's carbon deposits. Undoubtedly being a carbon sink, the territory of Russia plays an important role in the climate regulation on the planet. The goal of the proposed research is the analysis of sinks, the stability, functions, and key processes of carbon sequestration in soils of Russia in the light of the global change of natural and anthropogenic factors.

The main objectives of the proposed research project are:

  1. The assessment of the change of the carbon deposits in Russian soils over the last decades;
  2. The determination of key mechanisms of carbon stabilisation at the molecular and the ecosystem level;
  3. The process-oriented modelling of the dynamic and carbon sinks in soils in the context of the current and the future land use and climate change;
  4. The ecological assessment of the development of the Russian agriculture     with allowances made for the ecosystem functions of soils, the rational management of soil resources, and the global climate change.

The practical value of the study
Projected research results: 

  • The Laboratory will analyse the dynamics of the carbon deposits in soils of the main federal districts of Russia over the past 30 years and will determine the ratio of carbon pools of different stabilities and turnaround times. We will also develop digital maps of carbon deposits that will be published in open access on an Internet portal for wide use by local farmers and other interested parties and decision-makers).
  • We will compare the mechanism of the accumulation, loss, and stabilisation of carbon in croplands on the basis of the current dynamic models with already existing electronic databases of multi-annual field experiments located in various climate zones of Russia. We will additionally analyse the stability of carbon sequestrated over the last three decades in fallow soils.
  • To forecast strategies for the adaptation of land use to the climate change, we will develop land use change maps for the last 30 years for the main agricultural regions of the European and the Asian part of Russia.
  • To analyse and forecast the local and the regional dynamics of carbon deposits depending on land use and the climate, process-oriented models will be linked to geographic information systems (GIS).
  • On the basis of the mechanisms of sequestration and soil carbon deposits stability, pyrogenic carbon capture, the results of long-term field experiments, and relying on model forecasts, we will assess the carbon balance on the territory of Russia with a level of detail of single federal districts on the basis of the features of land use and the expected global climate change, which will allow to develop a decision-making support system.
  • On the grounds of the Tyumen State University, we will form a first world-class scientific centre for soil ecology and agricultural soil studies in the Asian part of Russia. The future work of this centre will aid efficient land use and will provide the agriculture industry of a vast territory with concrete solutions and approaches necessary for its sustainable operation and development in the setting of the regional and global change of the environment.
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