NEWS | Rustica >

Dr. Erika Ronchin and Dr. Claudio Mondini Represent RUSTICA at IUSS 2024 in Florence

From 19-21 May, Dr. Erika Ronchin and Claudio Mondini attended the prestigious “Centennial Celebration and Congress of the International Union of Soil Sciences” (IUSS 2024) in Florence, Italy. This landmark event brought together leading soil scientists from around the globe to discuss advancements and challenges in soil science.


Dr. Ronchin and Dr. Mondini presented key findings from the RUSTICA project, a collaboration between CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics) and ILVO (Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food). Their contributions included both an oral communication and a poster presentation, showcasing the innovative research on biobased fertilizers (BBF) derived from fruit and vegetable residues​.

The RUSTICA project aims to reduce reliance on mineral fertilizers, improve soil health, and mitigate soil organic matter loss through the use of BBFs. The novel BBFs tested include microbial biomass, insect biomass, insect frass, and biochar, each demonstrating unique impacts on soil functioning and carbon dynamics. Biochar showed remarkable stability, enhancing soil carbon sequestration, while insect biomass required careful management due to its higher degradation rate and impact on CO2 emissions.

Oral Presentation Highlights

The oral presentation, titled “Short Term Effect of Novel Biobased Fertilisers from Fruit and Vegetable Residues on Soil Functioning,” detailed the initial impacts of novel BBFs, including microbial biomass, insect biomass, insect frass, and biochar, on soil health. The research underscored the potential of these fertilizers to enhance soil carbon sequestration and nutrient availability while also highlighting the varying effects of different BBFs on soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Poster Presentation Highlights

The poster, “Modelling Long-Term Impact of Novel Biobased Fertilizers on Soil Organic Matter Storage from Laboratory Short-Term C Mineralization,” focused on the long-term implications of BBF use on soil organic matter dynamics. Utilizing a modified RothC model, the study provided insights into the stability and effectiveness of biochar in promoting soil carbon storage and the nuanced impacts of insect biomass on CO2 flux and organic matter retention.

For more detailed information on their presentations, the supporting materials can be found below.



IDConsortium - Dr. Erika Ronchin and Dr. Claudio Mondini Represent RUSTICA at IUSS 2024 in Florence

More news about this project: