Start: 1 November 2021

36 months

Aim: Assess, analyze and map soil ecosystem services bundles across European agricultural landscapes, highlighting how soil threats affects the supply of services bundles through adoption of a set of site-specific reference thresholds.

Project coordinator: Isabelle Cousin (

Deputy project coordinator: Costanza Calzolari (

Project communication representative: Fabrizio Ungaro (

SERENA intends to enhance soil policy effectiveness through the analysis of soil ecosystem services bundles across European agricultural landscapes, i.e. the analysis of a set of soil-based ecosystem services, which are repeatedly appearing together across space and time.

Furthermore, SERENA aims to highlight how soil threats affect the supply of services bundles through adoption of a set of site-specific (i.e. for different pedo-climatic and agricultural systems) thresholds. These have to be scientifically-based and identified with the relevant stakeholders, and their selection must support the identification of areas, which are particularly effective or ineffective in provisioning the desired set of services.

Consequently, the differences among areas in specific pedo-climatic agricultural systems may support the identification of policies and strategies to preserve or improve the joint provision of ecosystem services across landscapes, and limit soil degradation and contrast land consumption.

The SERENA research approach is based on six main pillars:

  1. End-users and stakeholders are at the core of the project: they will collaborate to identify the most important soil threat/SES to be considered in the project, to construct the relevant climate change or land-use, cover and management change scenarios, and  will evaluate the final products of SERENA.
  2. The SERENA partners acknowledge a shared vision on the filiation between soil threats, soil functions, and soil-based ecosystem services and the joint analysis of soil threats and soil-based ecosystem services will help in providing high added-value indicators for both.
  3. SERENA intends to evaluate bundles of soil-based ecosystem services, and will extend the bundle concept to soil threats.
  4. SERENA intends to provide soil threats and soil-based ES evaluation at both the national and European scales, adopting a common methodology (cookbook) to share the indicators to be calculated and the way of evaluating bundles.
  5. SERENA will provide evaluations of soil threats and soil-based ES at the national level under the actual climate, land use and soil management practices.
  6. SERENA recognizes the large experience on the evaluation of soil threats, soil functions and/or soil-based ecosystem services reached in several EU projects

In order to fulfill the call requests, SERENA outputs will include:

  • Development of a framework to assess soil threats, soil functions, and soil-based ecosystem services (to be co-designed with stakeholders)
  • Shared definitions (soil quality, soil health, soil threats, soil  functions, soil-based ES, bundles…) and indicators for characterizing agricultural soil threats and ecosystem services at various scales (to be co-designed with stakeholders)
  • Review and analysis of currently available assessments of soil threats and ecosystem services: review data, metadata and methodologies
  • Tested indicators of soil threats and soil-based ES of interest in SERENA
  • Cookbooks for (i) the assessment of indicators of soil threats, soil-based ES and of their associated bundles and for (ii) their evolution over scenarios of change
  • Maps of selected threat and SES bundle at local, national and EU levels, and their evolutions due to global change
  • Validation and transfer of results to stakeholders (including EU SO)

Work packages

WP1. Co-creation and involvement of end-users

WP leader: Sabina Asins-Velis, CSIC

WP deputy-leader: Lilian O’Sullivan,TEAGASC

This WP is conceived as the central WP in the project. Here the main concepts of SERENA will be co-created with end-users and stakeholders in order to deliver products, which are consistent, reliable and feasible in the different EU regions and in the different pedo-climatic and agricultural environments.

WP2. Definitions, conceptual Framework, and harmonized methodologies

WP leader: Isabelle Cousin, INRAE

WP deputy-leader: Taru Sandén, AGES

This WP is dedicated to the definitions of some key concepts - soil threats and soil-based ecosystem services, as main objects of interest in SERENA – and to clarify the definition of bundles, essential in the SERENA approach to enable evaluation of multi-services and multiple soil threats.

WP3. National SoilHUBS: Assessment of (bundles of) Soil functions/threats/ecosystem services at different scales

WP leader: Costanza Calzolari, CNR

WP deputy-leader: Blandine Lemercier, ACO

This WP is dedicated to the proposition and evaluation of reference values of mapping of indicators of soil threats, soil-based ecosystem services and of their associated bundles from the local to the national scale, rooting in the national SoilHUBS experience..

WP4. Policy analysis

WP leader: Filiberto Altobelli, CREA

WP deputy-leader: Robert Jandl, BFW

This WP is dedicated to the analysis of current policies on agricultural soils at different scales from EU level, to national/regional and local levels to highlight gaps and relevance for different end-users of the selected indicators and thresholds.

WP5. EU-scale assessments

WP leader: Nicolas Saby, INRAE

WP deputy-leader: Vít Penížek, CZU

This WP is dedicated to the development, in close cooperation with EJP SOIL WP6 (and ESDAC-JRC), of EU maps for bundles of soil-based ecosystem services or threats and interpretation of such maps according to threshold values.

WP6. Coordination - Management - Communication

WP leader: Antonio Bispo, INRAE

WP deputy-leader: Fabrizio Ungaro, CNR

This WP  will coordinate SERENA with the overall objective to have the project run smoothly, to deliver the planned results on time and within budget and to ensure that the project has both scientific and societal impact.

Articles about results from SERENA: