The EC funded project SoilTrEC www.soiltrec.eu - Soil Transformations in European Catchments has been concluded in November 2014. Find below some outputs of the project such as the book on soil for secondary school students, 12 factsheets and a list of most important publications.

A book on soil for secondary school students

Soiltrec book for school Soil: The Life Supporting Skin of Earth 
Target audience are school children from 11-18. 
Therefore we are now seeing this important resource being degraded at an alarming rate. In writing this book we took many of the important results from our research project, which involved 15 partners in Europe, USA and China. We hope that the soil issues presented here can help both students and teachers to think in a holistic way about soil - and that many of the students will become intrigued enough to study soil science or natural resource economics and/or policy when they go to University. 

Soils are one of our most important natural resources and yet we do not look after soil as we should. The reasons are many as highlighted in the five chapters above. It would appear that we did not learn from history as outlined in Chapter 1. There are many agro-ecological approaches that can be adopted that have been shown to increase both soil resilience and stability, but also crop yield. Chapter 2 outlines what soil does for us, soil function, soil impact on the water cycle and regulation of the global clime, soil provision of habitat, importance of soil for the carbon cycle, soil nutrient transformations and medium for plant growth and soil as a natural filter. In Chapter 3 the processes that cause soil degradation are outlined and solutions are suggested for soil protection. In Chapter 4 we consider the importance of understanding the life cycle of soils as well as steps to assess impacts on soil quality. Finally in Chapter 5 natural capital is introduced, the concept of soil ecosystem services is outlined, showing the many services they provide: They provide food, filter our drinking water, deliver nutrients for plants, and decompose organic matter in soil. Soils provide habitats for millions of species, stores twice as much carbon as the biosphere and atmosphere combined. Soils buffer climate and heat waves. Soils regulate water, soil particles aid in cloud formation, provide building material and structural foundations. They also provide us with medicine, and strengthen our immune system. 

Download the book Soil: The Life supporting Skin of Earth.

Project factsheets

Publications - Presentations

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