Project ARTEMIS aims to deliver new knowledge on the resilience of agroecological systems to withstand climate extremes

The EJP SOIL ARTEMIS project focuses on understanding the resilience of agroecological systems and evaluating the effects of management on soil services in diverse European zones.

Simulation of soil microbial response under wheat to three water regimes in phytotrone. Photo: Simone Ugo Bregaglio, CREA

Summer 2023 confirmed that we are living in a world of changing climate where extreme events is taking place and human activity has been recognized the main cause of global warming, as declared in the last IPCC report.   Across Europe, we observed witnessed very hot and dry days in July and August alternating with heavy rains, storms, and strong winds. All these events have a direct impact on agriculture and especially on soil health and quality. Generally, climate change affects soil vital processes and functions along with having real effect on crop productivity and yield stability.

Agroecology is a concept for sustainable agriculture and promotes the safeguarding of ecological processes and functions. Practices such as organic farming or crop rotations have been used for a long time and have the potential to improves soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, soil biodiversity, and soil water storage capacity. However, agroecological practices are reported to have lower average crop yields then under conventional farming. Given the increased uncertainty with weather extreme events, there is a growing demand for obtaining sustainable crop production and crop yield stability. Moreover, it is crucial to know the long-term impact of agroecological practices on soil ecosystem and soil properties as well.

In this context, the EJP SOIL ARTEMIS project aims to provide a) improved knowledge on the resilience of specific agroecological systems to withstand climate extremes and b) improved knowledge on how different management options for agroecological systems affect soil services. The project covers nine different agro-environmental zones from Mediterranean south to Boreal climate, aiming to allow for a broad applicability of the gained knowledge.

To identify specific agroecosystems with the highest resilience against climatic extreme events, specific long-term field experiments will be analysed statistically for their yield stability in years of extreme climatic events. A special focus will be put on identifying the effects of different tillage treatments and organic matter, mineral and organic fertilization, positive effect of cover crop use. The same data will be used for numerical modelling to predict the behaviour of the crops in different climatic scenarios. Also, a set of laboratory experiments are running to evaluate the response of soil microbiome to different levels of soil water availability.

Another aim of the project is to perform a meta-analysis and to evaluate the effect of various agroecosystem practices on crop yield stability at European level. A network of lighthouse farms is going to be developed to deliver science-based practical knowledge. The aim is to use the most relevant existing soil indicators linked to climate change in cooperation with farmers with a lot of practical experience.

Further information

You can read more about the ARTEMIS project on the project website.

Contact: Miriam Kizeková,

Valentina Barattella,