Philippe Baveye

Philippe Baveye
Saint Loup Research Institute

Ingénieur Agronome, M.S.E., Ph.D., Hon.D.Sc.

About

329
Publications
151,647
Reads
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10,417
Citations
Citations since 2017
89 Research Items
4891 Citations
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Introduction
My scientific research interests used to focus almost entirely on soils. Since September 2020, I have still worked on soil-related topics, especially soil functions or the microscale description of soil processes, but much of my writing and activity have focused on economics (related to income inequalities), education theory (especially on self-directed learning), and philosophy of science (perspectivism in environmental research).
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - June 2021
AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay
Position
  • Professor
August 2010 - January 2016
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Leader of the environmental engineering group, and Graduate Program Director
March 2007 - June 2014
Abertay University
Position
  • Chair of Soil Ecosystem Modeling

Publications

Publications (329)
Article
Soil biodiversity has become a major area of research over the last decade, and the literature on the topic has expanded tremendously in recent years, so much so that a huge number of publications now deal with soil biodiversity every year. This article does not attempt the formidable task of drawing a general picture of where the field is at the m...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few years, considerable attention has been devoted in the scientific literature and in the media to the concept of "ecosystem" services of soils. The monetary valuation of these services, demanded by many governments and international agencies, is often depicted as a necessary condition for the preservation of the natural capital that...
Article
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There is currently a significant need to improve our understanding of the factors that control a number of critical soil processes by integrating physical, chemical and biological measurements on soils at microscopic scales to help produce 3D maps of the related properties. Because of technological limitations, most chemical and biological measurem...
Article
Terrestrial enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a carbon dioxide removal technology that aims at accelerating one of the most powerful negative feedbacks on Earth's climate, the chemical weathering of silicates. To achieve this, ERW proposes to spread ground silicate rock on agricultural soils. According to many models, global application rates of 40...
Article
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Two very interesting articles published recently in the European Journal of Soil Science address the question of the usefulness of visible-near infrared spectroscopy (VNIRS) to evaluate soil chemical properties, in view of the suggestion made frequently in the last few years that VNIRS could advantageously replace traditional analytical laboratorie...
Article
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Over the last two decades, there has been a documented decline in public trust toward science. This evolution has often been attributed to the fast expansion of Internet, making it very easy to spread alternate viewpoints. In the present perspective piece, it is argued that the unethical behavior of some researchers also has fueled the public distr...
Article
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Recent research has demonstrated that chemotactic bacteria can disperse inside microsized pores while traveling toward favorable conditions. Microbe-microbe cotransport might enable nonmotile bacteria to be carried with motile partners to enhance their dispersion and reduce their deposition in porous systems. The aim of this study was to demonstrat...
Article
In recent years, the need for profound changes in agricultural practices has become increasingly acknowledged, and it has given rise to an intense, and rapidly intensifying, debate among experts and in the media. Before the general framework under which this debate currently unfolds become too set in stone, it would seem useful to devote some time...
Article
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A series of laboratory experiments was performed to investigate the transport and retention of viable C. parvum oocysts in soil columns homogeneously packed with loamy sand soils (Lewiston and Greenson series) and sandy loam soils (Sparta and Gilford series), and under hydrologic conditions involving the presence of an anionic surfactant—Aerosol 22...
Article
Over the last decades, a new generation of microscale models have been developed to simulate soil microbial activity. An earlier article (Pot et al., 2021) presented a detailed review of the description of soil architecture and microbial dynamics in these models . In the present article, we summarize the main results obtained by these models accord...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the stability and aggregation of nanoparticles in aqueous milieu is critical for assessing their behavior in the natural and engineered environmental systems and establishing their threat to human and ecosystems health. In this study, the colloidal stability and aggregation kinetics of nanocrystal quantum dots (QDs) —CdSe/ZnS QDs—were...
Article
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A renowned molecular microbiologist recently published a book entitled “A world without soil”, meant to make policy makers and the public at large aware of looming threats to soils. The two key messages of the book are that we are “running out of soil” and that, fortunately, “we know how to fix” the soil crisis. In the present discussion paper, the...
Article
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Over the last few years, the question of whether soil carbon sequestration could contribute significantly to climate change mitigation has been the object of numerous debates. All of these debates so far appear to have entirely overlooked a crucial aspect of the question. It concerns the short-term mineralization kinetics of fresh organic matter ad...
Article
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In 1991, at the launch of a national symposium devoted to soil structure, the Australian Society of Soil Science invited Professor John Letey to deliver a keynote address, which was later published in the society’s journal. In his lecture, he shared the outcome of his reflection about what the assessment of soil structure should amount to, in order...
Article
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Sessile microorganisms were described as early as the seventeenth century. However, the term biofilm arose only in the 1960s in wastewater treatment research and was adopted later in marine fouling and in medical and dental microbiology. The sessile mode of microbial life was gradually recognized to be predominant on Earth, and the term biofilm bec...
Article
Binary segmentation of volumetric images of porous media is a crucial step towards gaining a deeper understanding of the factors governing biogeochemical processes at minute scales. Contemporary work primarily revolves around primitive techniques based on global or local adaptive thresholding that have known common drawbacks in image segmentation....
Article
Full-text available
This is a citable, non-anonymous peer review of a manuscript submitted to Soil Discussion.
Article
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When announcements by molecular biologists and the biotechnology sector are received negatively by the general public or policy makers, the fault is generally ascribed to a general ignorance of science. This short commentary argues that, on the contrary, the problem may be that an influential portion of the public is actually too well informed to a...
Article
Following the rapid development of models to assess and map ecosystem services (ES) in the last decades, there is an increasing need for comparative studies testing their efficiency and accuracy against field data. The representation of soils in these models is often oversimplified and remains a major source of uncertainty in ES assessment and mapp...
Article
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In an article published recently, Waring et al. (2020) introduce a conceptual framework, named PROMISE, to explore controls on belowground carbon cycling. This “fundamentally novel approach to measuring and modeling critical carbon cycle processes” represents soil pore space as an array of possible particle locations belonging to one of three pore...
Article
Key points • The ‘replication crisis’ in science raises serious questions about the objectivity and reliability of the peer-review process. • Much of the literature, contributed on the topic in the past by former editors, has focused on the role of reviewers, and their possible biases. • However, experience in practice shows that editors also cont...
Article
Macroscopic models of soil organic matter (SOM) turnover have faced difficulties in reproducing SOM dynamics or in predicting the spatial distribution of carbon stocks. These models are based on a largely inadequate linear response of soil microorganisms to bulk concentrations of nutrients and it is clear that a new approach to SOM modeling is requ...
Article
The microscale physical characteristics of microbial habitats considerably affect the decomposition of organic matter in soils. One of the challenges is to identify microheterogeneities in soil that can explain the extent of carbon mineralization. The aim of this study was therefore to identify descriptors of μm-scale soil heterogeneity that can ex...
Article
Full-text available
Soil functions, including climate regulation and the cycling of water and nutrients, are of central importance for a number of environmental issues of great societal concern. To understand and manage these functions, it is crucial to be able to quantify the structure of soils, now increasingly referred to as their “architecture”, as it constraints...
Article
Soil “biofilms”: “Bioclusters” would be a much better descriptor
Article
Lehmann et al. (2020) recently published an article in which they propose a review of the very topical notion of soil health and of its practical significance for soil management. Unfortunately, the journal in which this review appeared does not accept comments or letters to the editor, thereby depriving the scientific community of the opportunity...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The recent publication, by the European Journal of Soil Science (EJSS), of two articles on bypass and hyperbole in soil research has given rise to a number of informal reactions, as well as to two letters to the editor, published by EJSS. In order to further stimulate the much-needed debate on these critical issues, I respond in detail to these com...
Article
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Advancing the understanding of stability behavior and aggregation mechanisms of quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles in natural systems is fundamental to elucidate their fate and transport, bioavailability, environmental toxicity, and subsequent risks to environmental and public health. This study investigates the aggregation kinetics and colloidal stabi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, the sequestration of carbon in soils has often been advocated as a solution to mitigate the steady increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, one of the most commonly mentioned causes of climate change. A large body of literature, as well as sustained efforts to attract funding for the research on soil organi...
Article
Large amounts of chemicals are released into soil environments due to human activities, thereby harming organisms and their habitats. Earthworms are important bioindicators for chemical risk assessments of soil ecosystems, but the question remains of how they respond to different patterns of pollution. Laboratory experiments in soil mesocosms were...
Article
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Over the last decades, several authors have suggested that multifractal measures, i.e., self‐similar measures defined on fractal or non‐fractal objects, could be useful to describe soil properties, to model soil processes, and to deal with their extreme microscale heterogeneity. In this context, a key question relates to the extent to which multifr...
Article
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For over a half a century, researchers have been aware of the fact that the physical and chemical characteristics of microenvironments in soils strongly influence the activity, growth, and metabolism of microorganisms. However, many aspects of the effect of soil physical characteristics, such as the pore geometry, remain poorly understood. Therefor...
Article
Over the last decade, many researchers around the world have realized the importance for society of the many services provided by soils, and a significant body of research has been devoted to estimating them using various types of proxies or relying on models. However, the field has suffered so far from a complete lack of actual measurements with w...
Article
Over the last decade, computed tomography (CT) images have been used increasingly to gain a more complete understanding of the microscale parameters that control the soil processes. Images that are used for that purpose typically are subjected to a number of successive treatments. This article evaluates for a sandy-loam soil, the impact of two CT s...
Article
Almost 30 years ago, a distinguished soil physical‐chemist, Grant W. Thomas, voiced serious concern about what he saw in the soil science literature as more a preoccupation with style than with substance. The present article argues that, similarly, there are reasons to be worried at the moment because of a tendency in a lot of the literature on soi...
Article
The literature of the past couple of decades, related to soils, contains many instances of bypass, i.e., the deliberate avoidance of part of the older literature in spite of its direct relevance to the topics being covered, and hyperbole, i.e., exaggerated claims that are not supported either by existing knowledge or by experimental observations. R...
Article
Full-text available
In their recent commentary, Borrero-Echeverry and Rincon (2019) argue that some of the points made in our earlier article (Baveye et al., 2019) are “counterproductive, not only to the research on nature’s services, but also to the ongoing struggle to shift to a more sustainable development.” We welcome the opportunity that their commentary affords...
Preprint
Full-text available
Binary segmentation of volumetric images of porous media is a crucial step towards gaining a deeper understanding of the factors governing biogeochemical processes at minute scales. Contemporary work primarily revolves around primitive techniques based on global or local adaptive thresholding that have known common drawbacks in image segmentation....
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, the fact that soils are significant sources of greenhouse gases (GHG), e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and water vapor, has received considerable attention from the scientific community. Many laboratory and field experiments have been carried out to investigate the release of GHG by soils,...
Article
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Book Review: Pedometrics: How Relevant Is It to the Research on Soil Processes?
Article
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Three years ago, a novel “soil continuum model” was proposed, in which soil organic matter was suggested to be of heterogeneous composition and to consist of a continuum of organic fragments of all sizes. A search of the literature reveals that this model is identical to several similar conceptualizations proposed about 15 years ago, and that it co...
Article
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The very name of this journal, Frontiers in Education, begs the questions of where the “frontiers” should be at present in education research, and how we can ensure that breakthroughs at these frontiers be rapidly put into practice. In this context, this short opinion article argues that in order to answer these two questions adequately, we, educat...
Article
To address a number of issues of great societal concern at the moment, like the sequestration of carbon, information is direly needed about interactions between soil architecture and microbial dynamics. Unfortunately, soils are extremely complex, heterogeneous systems comprising highly variable and dynamic micro-habitats that have significant impac...
Article
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Editorial: Elucidating Microbial Processes in Soils and Sediments: Microscale Measurements and Modeling
Article
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Abstract In spite of the development of new measurement techniques in recent years, the rapid and accurate speciation of thallium in environmental aqueous samples remains a challenge. In this context, a novel method of solid phase extraction (SPE), involving the anion exchange resin AG1-X8, is proposed to separate Tl(I) and Tl(III). In the presence...
Article
Full-text available
For the last 20 years, the concept of ecosystem has constituted one of the key pillars on which the study of “ecosystem services,” i.e., the benefits that human populations derive from nature, has been based. Yet, at this stage, one could argue that, in general and especially in fields related to agriculture, the ecosystem framework tends to limit...
Article
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Over the last 60 years, soil microbiologists have accumulated a wealth of experimental data showing that the bulk, macroscopic parameters (e.g., granulometry, pH, soil organic matter, and biomass contents) commonly used to characterize soils provide insufficient information to describe quantitatively the activity of soil microorganisms and some of...
Article
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In spite of the very significant role that fungi are called to play in agricultural production and climate change over the next two decades, very little is known at this point about the parameters that control the spread of fungal hyphae in the pore space of soils. Monitoring of this process in 3 dimensions is not technically feasible at the moment...
Article
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Simplified experimental systems, often referred to as microcosms, have played a central role in the development of modern ecological thinking on issues ranging from competitive exclusion to examination of spatial resources and competition mechanisms, with important model-driven insights to the field. It is widely recognized that soil architecture i...
Article
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There is still no satisfactory understanding of the factors that enable soil microbial populations to be as highly biodiverse as they are. The present article explores in silico the hypothesis that the heterogeneous distribution of soil organic matter, in addition to the spatial connectivity of the soil moisture, might account for the observed micr...
Article
Our new paper is available for free access until July 10, 2018 at the Share Link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1X53W15DJ~tXgF Soil respiration causes the second largest C flux between ecosystems and the atmosphere. Emerging soil carbon dynamics models consider the complex interplay of microscale interactions between the physical and biological d...
Article
Soil contamination due to atmospheric deposition of metals originating from smelters is a global environmental problem. A common problem associated with this contamination is the discrimination between anthropic and natural contributions to soil metal concentrations: In this context, we investigated the characteristics of soil contamination in the...
Article
Thallium (Tl) is a toxic trace metal, whose geochemical behavior and biological effects are closely controlled by its chemical speciation in the environment. However, little tends to be known about this speciation of Tl in soil and plant systems that directly affect the safety of food supplies. In this context, the objective of the present study wa...
Book
Full-text available
Book review: Shifting paradigms on soil biomass
Article
In the last decade, X-ray computed tomography (CT) has become widely used to characterize the geometry and topology of the pore space of soils and natural porous media. Regardless of the resolution of CT images, a fundamental problem associated with their use, for example as a starting point in simulation efforts, is that sub-resolution pores are n...
Article
Most soil structure-related physical properties are correlated to soil organic carbon (SOC) content. Texture, mineralogy, and SOC:clay ratio are also acknowledged to affect physical properties, however there is no consensus or general conclusions in this respect. Against this background, the present study aims at determining objectives for the mana...
Article
The pore size distribution (PSD) of the void space is widely used to predict a range of processes in soils. Recent advances in X-ray computed tomography (CT) now afford novel ways to obtain exact data on pore geometry, which has stimulated the development of algorithms to estimate the pore size distribution from 3D data sets. To date there is howev...
Article
Full-text available
Letter to the editors. Since mid-February 2017, the soil science community has been shaken by an unprecedented crisis, spurred by anonymous and for the most part unfounded allegations of dishonest behavior levied against a number of editors of soil science journals. Several of these individuals being Spanish, this crisis has particular significance...
Article
In many parts of the world, metal(loid)s resulting from mining activities are causing significant environmental concern, in particular because they are contaminating agricultural lands. In this respect, a previous study in South Korea suggested that a specific agricultural practice, associated with the growing of rice in paddy fields, could contrib...
Article
Groundwater contamination by oocysts of the waterborne pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum is a significant cause of animal and human disease worldwide. Although research has been undertaken in the past to determine how specific physical and chemical properties of soils affect the risk of groundwater contamination by C. parvum, there is as yet no clear...