It is a well-known fact that soil is the main component of a terrestrial ecosystem, the balanced functioning of which largely depends on the soil microbiome. Today, in the urban environment, there is an unprecedented anthropogenic impact on the soil, its microbiome and the ecosystem as a whole, which can lead to disruption of their functioning. Researchers from all countries are trying to develop knowledge about the peculiarities of the functioning of the soil microbiome in urban conditions, in particular by studying its various microbial indicators. However, there is no answer to the question of which microbial indicators can most informatively reflect the functioning of urban soils and be useful in planning and improving urban areas.
Studying urban soils and green infrastructure: the fifth 3MUGIS-2021 summer school took place online
From July 26 to August 2, 2021, the 5th International Summer School 3MUGIS (Monitoring, Modeling and Managing Urban Soils and Green Infrastructure) was held within the Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems Smart Urban Nature Laboratory of the RUDN University. The school was organized with the support of the Russian Science Foundation and under the umbrella of the International Union of Soil Scientists, RUDN University and the Institute of Urban Soils of New York in collaboration with universities, scientific organizations and research groups from around the world. The partners of the school were Brooklyn College (USA), Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Federal University and many others. Importantly, all the organizers and partners of 3MUGIS are united by the desire to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience at the international level.
After the 1st ESP Europe in Antwerp (2016) and the 2nd in San Sebastian (2018), the upcoming Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference took place in Tartu (Estonia) from 7-10 June 2021. The conference turned out to be a special event in a hybrid format – both online and offline participation – which gathered near 460 participants from 51 countries from all parts of the world.
The Ecosystem Services Partnership aims to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation, and to build a strong network of individuals and organizations by connecting over 3000 ecosystem services scientists, policy makers and practitioners who work together in more than 40 Working Groups and a growing number of National Networks on all continents. Among hundreds of participants Anastasia Konstantinova and Viktor Matasov are two researchers who represented Smart Urban Nature lab in the event.
The team of scientists of SUN Lab (RUDN University) in collaboration with scholars from Moscow State University and Southern Federal University got their article “Projecting the urbanization effect on soil organic carbon stocks in polar and steppe areas of European Russia by remote sensing” published in Geoderma, the global journal of Soil Science. The research was supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF).
With the help of satellite images and archival data, our scholars have established the mechanisms of the impact of urbanization on the state of soils in the forest-tundra and steppe zones. Previously, it was commonly believed that covering the soil with asphalt, concrete and other impermeable materials leads to an overall decrease in carbon stocks in soils of urban areas. But it was revealed that in Murmansk and Rostov-on-Don, the total carbon stocks in a meter layer of the earth have significantly increased due to the development of urban green infrastructure.
On June 2-5, 2021, St. Petersburg hosted the XXIV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-21), a leading global platform for communication between business representatives and discussion of key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world in general. The forum, which brings together tens of thousands of participants from more than 140 countries, is traditionally focused on issues of the global and Russian economy, social matters and technology development.
In May 2021, SUN lab team’s scientific merit fund was replenished with an article “Gypsum soil amendment in metal-polluted soils — an added environmental hazard” which was published in the Chemosphere journal (SJR Q1). The authors team was represented by the Head of Agrarian Technological Institute (RUDN University) E.A. Dovletyarova, associate researchers Brykova R.A. and Losev A.I., postgraduate student Dubrovina T.A. in collaboration with Neaman A.A., professor of Institute of Agrarian Engineering at Southern University of Chili.
SUN Lab researchers examined how “Islands of nature” save mental and physical health of city-dwellers during pandemic
International research team including SUN Lab’ scientists interviewed citizens of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia) to find out what role urban green spaces played for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out that the vast majority of respondents in both cities considered contact with nature to be extremely important for mental well-being, and many of them went for walks in their free time, despite the restrictions. The results of the research, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, are published in the journal Sustainability.
SUN Lab invites you to participate in RECONECT survey on innovative strategies for co-creation, upscaling and amplification of NBS, organized by our collegues Diana Dushkova and Christian Kuhlicke.
Please click here to start.
SUN Lab was presented on roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia”
The roundtable “Green and Blue Urban Infrastructure Innovation for Northern Eurasia” took place April 19-20 in Saint Petersburg. During the event there were presented projects related to green and blue infrastructure (GBI) in Russian cities. Speakers representing academic and non-academic institutions, shared their relevant GBI experience and reflections to share. Also the factors of success and failures of such innovation projects given a variety of biophysical and socioeconomic contexts across the country were disscussed.