UR SOILS (INRA Orléans), based on the skills of observations, in situ spatial measurements, experimentation and modeling, has a main mission of developing research in soil science on the interactions between the physical properties of soils, their organization, and their water and biogeochemical functioning.
Soils are key factors in agricultural production and environmental protection. Thus, they contribute to ecosystem services provided by agroecosystems, in particular the supply (food, water, etc.) and regulation services (climate, water, etc.). Knowledge of the diversity and spatial distribution of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils is a lever to optimize the achievement of these services.
UR SOIL wants to deepen knowledge on soil structure dynamics, water reserves in soils, and mechanisms for the production and emission of greenhouse gases from soils. This work contributes to better soil conservation, but also to a better management of water resources and reduction of GHG emissions, especially in the current context of global change.
The work of UR Soils is part of the local, national and international scientific dynamics and is closely involved in the socio-economic context of the agricultural and environmental sectors.
Analytical and experimental technical platforms; research network
UR Soils is a member of Labex Voltaire (a network of excellence) (https://www.univ-orleans.fr/investissements-avenir/voltaire) studying geo-fluids and VOLatils on the Earth, Atmosphere and Interfaces for Resources and Environment ". It focuses on answering the major questions asked by our societies about natural resources (metals, renewable energies, geotechnologies) and the those of the environment (soils, aquifers, wetlands, atmosphere).
UR Soils manage the experimental site OS² (http://www.ingos-infrastructure.eu/os2/). This site of 20 km² mainly in conventional agriculture is located at the interface between two small natural regions and contains a great diversity of soils.
In the Centre Val de Loire Region, the UR Soils is part of the PIVOTS Platform (http://www.poledream.org/pivots-6-plateformes-d-innovation-de-valorisation-et-d-optimisation-technologique-environnementales-en-region-centre-val-de-loire) and of the thematic network « Media and Diversity (https://www6.inra.fr/midi/).
The UR SOILS is also involved in the professional network Soils and Territory (http://www.sols-et-territoires.org/)
Agnès Grossel (correspondent)