Start: 1 February 2021
Duration: 36 months
Aim: To identify the mechanisms underpinning trade-offs and synergies of soil carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient losses in agricultural soils across Europe, and propose climate-zone specific indicators and measures to mitigate trade-offs.

Project coordinator: Marta Goberna (

Deputy project coordinator: Sara Sánchez-Moreno (

Project communication representative: Cristina Aponte (

Under what conditions will carbon sequestration benefit agroecosystem services?

Most trade-offs have to do with climate regulation. It is still uncertain under which conditions the synergies or trade-offs of carbon sequestration prevail. The EJP SOIL project TRACE-Soils is generating applicable mitigation strategies and indicators.

Across a broad range of climatic and soil conditions, TRACE Soils addresses the following research areas:

  • Look at existing knowledge on how management practices shift soil structure and soil biota, and determine the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as the losses in nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P).  
  • Analyse how trade-offs and synergies link to structural and biological factors in long-term experiments.
  • Scale-up trade-off analysis to the provincial level in Europe by using modelling scenarios. The results will be used to propose a ranked list of climate-zone specific indicators and measures to assess and mitigate the trade-offs of C sequestration.
TRACE-Soils’ objectives
TRACE-Soils Literature library
Communication about the project

We will identify soil abiotic and biotic predictors of trade-off magnitudes, and test them in long-term experiments across a NE-SW pedoclimatic gradient in Europe. Modelling scenarios will be posed to scale-up trade-off analysis to the provincial level.

Outputs of reviews, experiments and models will serve to propose a ranked list of climate-zone specific indicators and measures to assess and mitigate trade-offs.  

Project leader and partners


Project Leader

National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA)
Responsible persons from organization: Marta Goberna



Project Partners

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Responsible person from organization: Sara Hallin

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
Responsible person from organization: Laurent Philippot

Responsible persons from organization: Gerard Velthof and Mart Ros

Aarhus University (AU)
Responsible persons from organization: Søren O. Petersen and Lars J. Munkholm

Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (LRCAF)
Responsible person from organization: Dalia Feiziene

Agroscope (AGS)
Responsible person from organization: Marcel van der Heijden

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) 
Responsible person from organization: Juan Luis Ramos

Articles about results from TRACE-Soils: