Global change is increasingly affecting our terrestrial ecosystem, including the filtering and buffering capacity of soils, the supply of clean water, and the production of food, feed, and fiber. This article introduces a portfolio of papers in a special section of Vadose Zone Journal addressing flow, transport and biogeochemical processes of terrestrial ecosystems. The articles document research at the Agrosphere Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. They are organized along three major themes of research at Agrosphere: functional analysis of soils and sediments, development of sensing methods to explore terrestrial systems, and modeling of flow and transport processes of terrestrial systems.

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