LAND Management: Assessment, Research, Knowledge base


Project acronym: LANDMARK
Project full title: LAND Management: Assessment, Research, Knowledge base
Start: 01/05/2015, End: 31/10/019, Duration: 54m; 

Project number: 635201

Call (part) identifier : H2020-SFS-2014-2

Topic : SFS-04-2014 Soil quality and function

Consortium: 22 partners 
Project Coordinator: Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands
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Project Summary

LANDMARK is a pan-European multi-actor consortium of leading academic and applied research institutes, chambers of agriculture and policy makers that will develop a coherent framework for soil management aimed at sustainable food production across Europe. The LANDMARK proposal builds on the concept that soils are a finite resource that provides a range of ecosystem services known as “soil functions”. Functions relating to agriculture include: primary productivity, water regulation & purification, carbon-sequestration & regulation, habitat for biodiversity and nutrient provision & cycling. Trade-offs between these functions may occur: for example, management aimed at maximising primary production may inadvertently affect the ‘water purification’ or ‘habitat’ functions. This has led to conflicting management recommendations and policy initiatives. There is now an urgent need to develop a coherent scientific and practical framework for the sustainable management of soils. LANDMARK will uniquely respond to the breadth of this challenge by delivering (through multi-actor development):

1. LOCAL SCALE: A toolkit for farmers with cost-effective, practical measures for sustainable (and context specific) soil management.

2. REGIONAL SCALE - A blueprint for a soil monitoring scheme, using harmonised indicators: this will facilitate the assessment of soil functions for different soil types and land-uses for all major EU climatic zones.

3. EU SCALE – An assessment of EU policy instruments for incentivising sustainable land management.

There have been many individual research initiatives that either address the management & assessment of individual soil functions, or address multiple soil functions, but only at local scales. LANDMARK will build on these existing R&D initiatives: the consortium partners bring together a wide range of significant national and EU datasets, with the ambition of developing an interdisciplinary scientific framework for sustainable soil management.


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Important outpouts


JRC role - PILLAR 3 / WP5 leader

The objective of Pillar 3 is to provide an assessment of policy tools for optimising the supply of soil functions at EU scale. The partners of the LANDMARK consortium have developed the concept of Functional Land Management (Schulte et al., 2014): this is a framework for matching the supply of, and demand for, soil functions at large spatial scales. Examples include changes in land management practices to incentivise intensive food production on fertile soils (to meet global dietary requirements), to support nutrient provision/cycling (with relevance for resource use efficiency), to maintain the demand for water purification (in order to meet the WFD requirements) and to meet the need for soil carbon sequestration (to contribute to EU GHG reduction targets).

LANDMARK will use European databases to define sets of proxy indicators for the five groups of soil functions. These functions will be assessed across the same land-use x soil type matrix used in Pillars 1 and 2. This policy-oriented Pillar 3 will be led by Dr Arwyn Jones (European Commission DG JRC) and will include input from Pillars 1 and 2 (WP5).

This Pillar will have an intercontinental perspective, as it will work with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Sao Paulo to facilitate shared learning on a range of incentivisation programmes and implementation schemes for soil management (WP5).

WP3 contributors - Carbon sequestration and climate regulation soil function contributor ( Task3.4) & Habitat for biodiversity soil functions contributor (task 3.5)

JRC experts are helping the LANDMARK consortium in to develop a comprehensive science-based framework for understanding and quantifying soil functions in relation to soil properties, land use, climate and soil management. As such, it connects the state-of-the-art data and knowledge in applied soil science (WP2) to a quantitative indicator framework ready and fit for use in soil and land use management systems and policy (WP4 and WP5).

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