911342 Soils and food security

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Wintersemester 2022/23
Languages of instruction


Good quality, healthy soils are the basis for the entire global food production, and the loss of soil fertility can lead to the collapse of civilisations. This course will focus on the use of the limited resource soil in the past and future, and how soil use and management can affect soil fertility. The course is structured into the topics:
- Food Security and Climate Change
- Soil and Land Use
- Excursion to Austrian Agency for Health & Food Safety (AGES)
- Use of Natural Resources and Civilization
- Functional Land and Soil Management
- Soil Functions Workshop
At the end of the course, the Functional Land and Soil Management framework will be simulated and tested with decision support tool that is based on models for each one of the five soil functions presented on the course.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

1.Describe and define relevant terms in the field of food security (e.g. food utilisation, food access, food availability)
2.Compare different soil functions (primary productivity; nutrient cycling; climate regulation; water regulation and purification; habitat for biodiversity)
3.Formulate your own research questions in the field of food security
4.Criticise and contrast soil functions on criteria covered in the course
5.Scientifically argue how management practices affect soil functions and thereby food security
6.Independently compose a 3000-4000 word literature review
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.