This paper supports SDG 15 by highlighting that the effects of loss of biodiversity due to climate change and associated changes in the distribution of venomous snakes will be most pronounced in tropical regions, where extensive land is devoted to agriculture and rearing livestock.

Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 39, March 2024

Coral atolls are at risk from rising sea level, what can be done to enhance island buidling processes
Mulwafua and Kamchedzera 2024 found that Malawi's soil laws lack strong priorities for Avoid, Reduce, and Reverse strategies regarding land degradation neutrality, contrasting with Uganda and Germany which incorporate these strategies in their soil-dedicated legal frameworks. By using Roscoe Pound's theory of social engineering, the authors suggest that Malawi's human-centred approach to soil conservation neglects eco-centric and deep ecology perspectives.
Artificial grassland restoration can be an effective method when applied to severely degraded grassland in alpine areas, however, their effects on slope runoff and sediment yield are still unclear. Qian et al., 2024 studied the effects of artificial restoration and degradation on the runoff sediment process in three areas and found that artificial grassland can significantly reduce runoff and sediment yield compared to alpine meadows and severely degraded alpine meadows. The study underscores the importance of plant and soil characteristics in erosion processes, highlighting the effectiveness of artificial grassland in mitigating soil erosion through improved soil conditions and enhanced vegetation coverage, with implications for restoration efforts in alpine regions.
Ginzky 2024 discusses the ongoing legislative process in Germany to amend the soil protection act, addressing climate change, biodiversity maintenance, and other challenges, with the support of the current government. The paper outlines the societal importance of soils, challenges, current legislation shortfalls, proposed regulatory approaches including ongoing EU deliberations, and strategies for gaining political support considering ecological and social services, as well as competing interests.
Grazing pressure in savannah rangelands increases the possibility of desertification and woody plant encroachment under different land management. As such, early warning shift indicators of degraded rangelands are required. Zimmer et al., 2024 conducted a study on the arid savanna rangelands on Arenosols in Namibia and focussed on soil organic carbon (SOC) and carbon isotopes (δ13C) as indicators. Results show lower SOC stocks on communal rangelands compared to freehold farms, with correlations between SOC stocks and vegetation cover types. The findings emphasize the importance of considering soil properties such as SOC in land management practices to assess and mitigate soil degradation risks in savanna ecosystems
A study by Snoussi et al., 2024 proposes a methodology for evaluating excavated material's environmental, geotechnical, and agronomical properties to determine its ecological reuse potential, particularly for constructing soil in urban green infrastructure. Through the SWOFI framework (Safety, Workability, Fertility, Infiltrability), the authors characterised a non-cohesive sedimentary parent rock with a sandy loam texture from Bou Argoub in Tunisia. The method successfully assessed the material’s pollution hazard, compaction sensitivity, and fertility showcasing a novel integrated approach for sustainable soil construction in urban landscapes.
Soil systems play a key role in the fight against climate change. A paper, produced by Rubio et al., 2024, highlights the importance of soil management and land conservation for sustainable use of resources. It calls for a comprehensive vision recognizing soil's socio-economic benefits and ecological functions, urging for radical environmental, social, and economic shifts to address climate change responsibly for present and future generations, in alignment with initiatives like the European Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Areas prone to drought and land degradation need effective water management plans to secure food production. Methods such as hydrological modelling and digital soil mapping can aid in evaluating water availability (water content and water stress). A study by Horta et al., 2023 examined the use of a global and local soil hydraulic properties (SHP) dataset to simulate soil-water balance at a regional scale in Portugal and found that the SHP dataset is a key factor to consider. The results showed that the choice between global and local SHP datasets significantly impacts the accuracy of soil-water balance simulations, influencing irrigation schedules and potentially jeopardizing crop production and soil quality, particularly in Mediterranean conditions.
The paper addresses the urgency of communicating the worsening anthropogenic-driven species extinction crisis to diverse audiences and proposes a threatened species recovery report card as a tool to showcase conservation progress, emphasizing the need for immediate action to prevent further biodiversity loss.