Ms. Shraddha Vekhande will present her APS as per the details below:
Date: Friday, 23rd September 2022
Time: 0930 - 1100 hrs.
Venue: CTARA Conference Room No. 2
Title: Understanding Soil Health Through the Lens of Systems Ecology
Guide: Prof. Bakul Rao
RPC Members: Prof. Parmeshwar D. Udmale, Prof. Shireesh Kedare, Prof. Upendra Bhandarkar
Soils are fundamental to life on earth. Human society as a whole largely depends on products from the soil as well as on the intangible services it provides for maintenance of the biosphere. However, it has been reported that globally, 40% of the agricultural soils are being degraded, while in India, 70% of the agricultural soil are heading down a path where they may be no longer capable for farming. This research attempts to understand the linkages between soil health and agriculture productivity through the using Ecosystem Service Approach through the lens of Systems Ecology. In the previous year, a sub-set of soil related ecosystem services was developed so as to understand the multifunctionality of soil. The cascade framework was used to visualize the linkages between the means that give rise ecosystem services and ends obtained from these ecosystem services. Further, to address the complexity and intricacy of soil ecological processes, a model of soil ecology is being developed based on system dynamics to identify the various interactions taking place in the soil which are favourable and unfavourable to plant growth. Agriculture operations directly and indirectly affect the soil health which ultimately affect numerous soil functions. Hence, three case studies of agricultural practices which reflect human intervention in the soil ecology processes are been investigated through field interactions and laboratory analysis of soil samples. The soil test parameters include physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. The data from these case studies will be used to quantify ecosystem services for understanding soil health in a holistic manner.