Documents

Over the years, the JRC has produced many publications. These are found in this section. They have been sub-divided in various categories (see Subcategory buttons below). All more than 440 documents can also be inspected irrespective of the category (see 'All documents' below).

Publications in Journals include more than 280 published papers from the Soil Group in the JRC. Most of the papers refer to the last 7 years (2013-2020). In many cases the papers document the datasets published in ESDAC. Almost all the publications are Open Access. 

 

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Effect of Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions on erosion and soil organic carbon balance: A national case study
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Since, the Common Agricultural Policies (CAP) reform in 2003, many efforts have been made at the European level to promote a more environmentally friendly agriculture. In order to oblige farmers to manage their land sustainably, the GAEC (Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions) were introduced as part of the Cross Compliance mechanism. Among the standards indicated, the protection of soils against erosion and the maintenance of soil organic matter and soil structure were two pillars to protect and enhance the soil quality and functions. While Member States should specifically define the most appropriate management practices and verify their application, there is a substantial lack of knowledge about the effects of this policy on erosion prevention and soil organic carbon (SOC) change. In order to fill this gap, we coupled a high resolution erosion model based on Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with the CENTURY biogeochemical model, with the aim to incorporate the lateral carbon fluxes occurring with the sediment transportation. Three scenarios were simulated on the whole extent of arable land in Italy: (i) a baseline without the GAEC implementation; (ii) a current scenario considering a set of management related to GAEC and the corresponding area of application derived from land use and agricultural management statistics and (iii) a technical potential where GAEC standards are applied to the entire surface. The results show a 10.8% decrease, from 8.33 Mg ha−1 year−1 to 7.43 Mg ha−1 year−1, in soil loss potential due to the adoption of the GAEC conservation practices. The technical potential scenario shows a 50.1% decrease in the soil loss potential (soil loss 4.1 Mg ha−1 year−1). The GAEC application resulted in overall SOC gains, with different rates depending on the hectares covered and the agroecosystem conditions. About 17% of the SOC change was attributable to avoided SOC transport by sediment erosion in the current scenario, while a potential gain up to 23.3 Mt of C by 2020 is predicted under the full GAEC application. These estimates provide a useful starting point to help the decision-makers in both ex-ante and ex-post policy evaluation while, scientifically, the way forward relies on linking biogeochemical and geomorphological processes occurring at landscape level and scaling those up to continental and global scales.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837715003257

Maps of heavy metals in the soils of the European Union and proposed priority areas for detailed assessment
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Soil contamination is one of the greatest concerns among the threats to soil resources in Europe and globally. Despite of its importance there was only very course scale (1/5000 km2) data available on soil heavy metal concentrations prior to the LUCAS topsoil survey, which had a sampling density of 200 km2. Based on the results of the LUCAS sampling and auxiliary information detailed and up-to-date maps of heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn, Sb, Co and Ni) in the topsoil of the European Union were produced. Using the maps of heavy metal concentration in topsoil we made a spatial prediction of areas where local assessment is suggested to monitor and eventually control the potential threat from heavy metals. Most of the examined elements remain under the corresponding threshold values in the majority of the land of the EU. However, one or more of the elements exceed the applied threshold concentration on 1.2 M km2, which is 28.3% of the total surface area of the EU. While natural backgrounds might be the reason for high concentrations on large proportion of the affected soils, historical and recent industrial and mining areas show elevated concentrations (predominantly of As, Cd, Pb and Hg) too, indicating the magnitude of anthropogenic effect on soil quality in Europe.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716310452

Regionalization of monthly rainfall erosivity patterns in Switzerland
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

One major controlling factor of water erosion is rainfall erosivity, which is quantified as the product of total storm energy and a maximum 30 min intensity (I30). Rainfall erosivity is often expressed as R-factor in soil erosion risk models like the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its revised version (RUSLE). As rainfall erosivity is closely correlated with rainfall amount and intensity, the rainfall erosivity of Switzerland can be expected to have a regional characteristic and seasonal dynamic throughout the year. This intra-annual variability was mapped by a monthly modeling approach to assess simultaneously spatial and monthly patterns of rainfall erosivity. So far only national seasonal means and regional annual means exist for Switzerland. We used a network of 87 precipitation gauging stations with a 10 min temporal resolution to calculate long-term monthly mean R-factors. Stepwise generalized linear regression (GLM) and leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) were used to select spatial covariates which explain the spatial and temporal patterns of the R-factor for each month across Switzerland. The monthly R-factor is mapped by summarizing the predicted R-factor of the regression equation and the corresponding residues of the regression, which are interpolated by ordinary kriging (regression–kriging). As spatial covariates, a variety of precipitation indicator data has been included such as snow depths, a combination product of hourly precipitation measurements and radar observations (CombiPrecip), daily Alpine precipitation (EURO4M-APGD), and monthly precipitation sums (RhiresM). Topographic parameters (elevation, slope) were also significant explanatory variables for single months. The comparison of the 12 monthly rainfall erosivity maps showed a distinct seasonality with the highest rainfall erosivity in summer (June, July, and August) influenced by intense rainfall events. Winter months have the lowest rainfall erosivity. A proportion of 62 % of the total annual rainfall erosivity is identified within four months only (June–September). The highest erosion risk can be expected in July, where not only rainfall erosivity but also erosivity density is high. In addition to the intra-annual temporal regime, a spatial variability of this seasonality was detectable between different regions of Switzerland. The assessment of the dynamic behavior of the R-factor is valuable for the identification of susceptible seasons and regions.

https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/20/4359/2016/

Spatio-temporal analysis of rainfall erosivity and erosivity density in Greece
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Rainfall erosivity considers the effects of rainfall amount and intensity on soil detachment. Rainfall erosivity is most commonly expressed as the R-factor in the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its revised version, RUSLE. Several studies focus on spatial analysis of rainfall erosivity ignoring the intra-annual variability of this factor. This study assesses rainfall erosivity in Greece on a monthly basis in the form of the RUSLE R-factor, based on a 30-min data from 80 precipitation stations covering an average period of almost 30 years. The spatial interpolation was done through a Generalised Additive Model (GAM). The observed intra-annual variability of rainfall erosivity proved to be high. The warm season is 3 times less erosive than the cold one. November, December and October are the most erosive months contrary to July, August and May which are the least erosive. The proportion between rainfall erosivity and precipitation, expressed as erosivity density, varies throughout the year. Erosivity density is low in the first 5 months (January–May) and is relatively high in the remaining 7 months (June–December) of the year. The R-factor maps reveal also a high spatial variability with elevated values in the western Greece and Peloponnesus and very low values in Western Macedonia, Thessaly, Attica and Cyclades. The East–West gradient of rainfall erosivity differs per month with a smoother distribution in summer and a more pronounced gradient during the winter months. The aggregated data for the 12 months result in an average R-factor of 807 MJ mm ha− 1 h− 1 year− 1 with a range from 84 to 2825 MJ mm ha− 1 h− 1 year− 1. The combination of monthly R-factor maps with vegetation coverage and tillage maps contributes to better monitor soil erosion risk at national level and monthly basis.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0341816215301156

Soil conservation in Europe: Wish or Reality?
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Nearly all of Europe is affected by soil erosion. A major policy response is required to reverse the impacts of erosion in degraded areas, particularly in light of the current climate change and water crisis. Soil loss occurs not because of any lack of knowledge on how to protect soils, but a lack in policy governance. The average rate of soil loss by sheet and rill erosion in Europe is 2·46 Mg ha−1 yr−1. To mitigate the impacts of soil erosion, the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy has introduced conservation measures which reduce soil loss by water erosion by 20% in arable lands. Further economic and political action should rebrand the value of soil as part of ecosystem services, increase the income of rural land owners, involve young farmers and organize regional services for licensing land use changes. In a changing World of 9 billion people with the challenge of climate change, water scarcity and depletion of soil fertility, the agriculture economy should evolve taking into account environmental and ecological aspects.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ldr.2538

Modelling monthly soil losses and sediment yields in Cyprus
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

The aim of this study was to map soil erosion on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The G2 model, an empirical model for month-time step erosion assessments, was used. Soil losses in Cyprus were mapped at a 100 m cell size, while sediment yields at a sub-basin scale of 0.62 km2 mean size. The results indicated a mean annual erosion rate of 11.75 t ha−1 y−1, with October and November being the most erosive months. The 34% of the island's surface was found to exceed non-sustainable erosion rates (>10 t ha−1 y−1), with sclerophyllous vegetation, coniferous forests, and non-irrigated arable land being the most extensive non-sustainable erosive land covers. The mean sediment delivery ratio (SDR) was found to be 0.26, while the mean annual specific sediment yield (SSY) value for Cyprus was found to be 3.32 t ha−1 y−1. The annual sediment yield of the entire island was found to be 2.746 Mt y−1. This study was the first to provide complete and detailed erosion figures for Cyprus at a country scale. The geodatabase and all information records of the study are available at the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17538947.2016.1156776

Selection of biological indicators appropriate for European soil monitoring
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

The selection of biological indicators for monitoring progress towards policy goals for soil quality should be without bias and in line with individual scenarios of need. Here we describe the prescription of a suite of appropriate indicators for potential application in such monitoring schemes across Europe. We applied a structured framework of assessment and ranking (viz. a ‘logical sieve’), building upon published data and a new survey taken from a wide section of the global soil biodiversity research and policy community.

The top ten indicators included four indicators of biodiversity (three microbial and one meso-faunal) by various methods of measurement, and three indicators of ecological function (Multiple enzyme assay, Multiple substrate-induced respiration profiling, and ‘Functional genes by molecular biological means’). Within the techniques assessed, seven out of the top ten indicators made use of molecular methods.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0929139315300585

 

LUCAS Soil Component: proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Scientific-Technical Reports
Author: Fernández-Ugalde O., Jones A., Tóth G., Orgiazzi A., Panagos P., Eiselt B.
Year: 2016
Publisher: European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Language: en
The European Commission launched a soil assessment component to the periodic LUCAS Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey in 2009. In 2015, the Topsoil Survey was repeated in the same set of points of LUCAS 2009/2012 for monitoring changes in topsoil physical and chemical parameters across the EU. Currently, the European Commission is working on the organization of the upcoming LUCAS Soil Surveys (2018). This technical report is a proposal for analysing new physical, chemical and biological soil parameters within the forthcoming LUCAS Soil Surveys. Soil biodiversity is a key parameter that needs to be added to LUCAS Soil Surveys, due to the contribution of the soil biological community to soil functions such as food and biomass production, genetic pool for developing novel pharmaceuticals, and climate regulation. Among physical properties, bulk density is necessary to assess soil compaction and to estimate soil organic carbon stock in the EU. Field measurements such as signs of soil erosion and thickness of organic layer in Histosols is also important to assess two critical soil degradation processes in the EU: soil erosion and organic carbon decline due to land use changes and land take of Histosols. Finally, it could be interesting to organize a survey of soil profiles to collect information that will help to understand soil-forming processes and to evaluate soil ability for carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, water storage, and contaminant filtering.
Heavy metals in agricultural soils of the European Union with implications for food safety
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Soil plays a central role in food safety as it determines the possible composition of food and feed at the root of the food chain. However, the quality of soil resources as defined by their potential impact on human health by propagation of harmful elements through the food chain has been poorly studied in Europe due to the lack of data of adequate detail and reliability. The European Union's first harmonized topsoil sampling and coherent analytical procedure produced trace element measurements from approximately 22,000 locations. This unique collection of information enables a reliable overview of the concentration of heavy metals, also referred to as metal(loid)s including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn, Sb. Co, and Ni. In this article we propose that in some cases (e.g. Hg and Cd) the high concentrations of soil heavy metal attributed to human activity can be detected at a regional level. While the immense majority of European agricultural land can be considered adequately safe for food production, an estimated 6.24% or 137,000 km2 needs local assessment and eventual remediation action.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412015301203

Monthly Rainfall Erosivity: Conversion Factors for Different Time Resolutions and Regional Assessments
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

As a follow up and an advancement of the recently published Rainfall Erosivity Database at European Scale (REDES) and the respective mean annual R-factor map, the monthly aspect of rainfall erosivity has been added to REDES. Rainfall erosivity is crucial to be considered at a monthly resolution, for the optimization of land management (seasonal variation of vegetation cover and agricultural support practices) as well as natural hazard protection (landslides and flood prediction). We expanded REDES by 140 rainfall stations, thus covering areas where monthly R-factor values were missing (Slovakia, Poland) or former data density was not satisfactory (Austria, France, and Spain). The different time resolutions (from 5 to 60 min) of high temporal data require a conversion of monthly R-factor based on a pool of stations with available data at all time resolutions. Because the conversion factors show smaller monthly variability in winter (January: 1.54) than in summer (August: 2.13), applying conversion factors on a monthly basis is suggested. The estimated monthly conversion factors allow transferring the R-factor to the desired time resolution at a European scale. The June to September period contributes to 53% of the annual rainfall erosivity in Europe, with different spatial and temporal patterns depending on the region. The study also investigated the heterogeneous seasonal patterns in different regions of Europe: on average, the Northern and Central European countries exhibit the largest R-factor values in summer, while the Southern European countries do so from October to January. In almost all countries (excluding Ireland, United Kingdom and North France), the seasonal variability of rainfall erosivity is high. Very few areas (mainly located in Spain and France) show the largest from February to April. The average monthly erosivity density is very large in August (1.67) and July (1.63), while very small in January and February (0.37). This study addresses the need to develop monthly calibration factors for seasonal estimation of rainfall erosivity and presents the spatial patterns of monthly rainfall erosivity in European Union and Switzerland. Moreover, the study presents the regions and seasons under threat of rainfall erosivity.

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/8/4/119

The LUCAS 2012 TOPSOIL survey and derived cropland and grassland soil properties of Bulgaria and Romania
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016
As part of the 2012 Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS), topsoil samples were collected in Bulgaria and
Romania using the same methodology as for other EU Member States in an equivalent survey carried out in 2009. In total, 664
Bulgarian and 1384 Romanian samples were collected which enabled a comparative assessment of topsoil properties under
different land covers within, and between, these countries, as well as in a broader European context. The samples were analysed
for basic soil properties, including particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and
cation exchange capacity together with multispectral signatures. The current paper describes the LUCAS Topsoil 2012 project
and provides both an overview of topsoil properties of cropland and grassland in Bulgaria and Romania, together with a
comparative assessment with earlier findings with the analysis of data from other 25 EU Member States and data from small
scale European soil database. Results show similarities with data from Member States with comparable climatic conditions in
properties where non-anthropogenic soil forming factors play major role (texture, pH, calcium-carbonate, soil organic carbon
content). There are considerable variations in certain soil properties between different land use types, (e.g. soil organic carbon
content in croplands and grasslands in Romania; or potassium content in croplands and grassland in both countries). However,
the most remarkable facts drawn from the current study are the very low phosphorus content in agricultural land in the two
countries relative to other EU Member States, the significantly lower contents of organic carbon compared to modelled data of
literature and legacy national data and the difference in the distribution of texture classes compared to European datasets

http://www.eemj.icpm.tuiasi.ro/pdfs/vol15/no12/10_91_Toth_14.pdf

Quantifying the erosion effect on current carbon budget of European agricultural soils at high spatial resolution
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

The idea of offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions by increasing global soil organic carbon (SOC), as recently proposed by French authorities ahead of COP21 in the ‘four per mil’ initiative, is notable. However, a high uncertainty still exits on land C balance components. In particular, the role of erosion in the global C cycle is not totally disentangled, leading to disagreement whether this process induces lands to be a source or sink of CO2. To investigate this issue, we coupled soil erosion into a biogeochemistry model, running at 1 km2 resolution across the agricultural soils of the European Union (EU). Based on data‐driven assumptions, the simulation took into account also soil deposition within grid cells and the potential C export to riverine systems, in a way to be conservative in a mass balance. We estimated that 143 of 187 Mha have C erosion rates <0.05 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, although some hot‐spot areas showed eroded SOC >0.45 Mg C ha−1 yr−1. In comparison with a baseline without erosion, the model suggested an erosion‐induced sink of atmospheric C consistent with previous empirical‐based studies. Integrating all C fluxes for the EU agricultural soils, we estimated a net C loss or gain of −2.28 and +0.79 Tg yr−1 of CO2eq, respectively, depending on the value for the short‐term enhancement of soil C mineralization due to soil disruption and displacement/transport with erosion. We concluded that erosion fluxes were in the same order of current carbon gains from improved management. Even if erosion could potentially induce a sink for atmospheric CO2, strong agricultural policies are needed to prevent or reduce soil erosion, in order to maintain soil health and productivity.

Soil threats in Europe: Status, methods, drivers and effects on ecosystem services
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Scientific-Technical Reports
Author: Jannes Stolte, Mehreteab Tesfai, Lillian Øygarden, Sigrun Kværnø (NIBIO), Jacob Keizer, Frank Verheijen (University of Aveiro), Panos Panagos, Cristiano Ballabio (JRC), Rudi Hessel (Alterra WUR)
Year: 2016

This report presents the result of WP2 of the RECARE project. One of the objectives of WP2 (Base for RECARE data collection and methods) is to provide an improved overview of existing information on soil threats and degradation at the European scale. The report is written by a group of experts from the RECARE team, coordinated by Bioforsk. In total, 60 persons were included in the process of writing, reviewing and editing the report. Eleven soil threats were identified for the report. These soil threats are soil erosion by water, soil erosion by wind, decline of organic matter (OM) in peat, decline of OM in minerals soils, soil compaction, soil sealing, soil contamination, soil salinization, desertification, flooding and landslides and decline in soil biodiversity.
Editors: Jannes Stolte, Mehreteab Tesfai, Lillian Øygarden, Sigrun Kværnø (NIBIO), Jacob Keizer, Frank Verheijen (University of Aveiro), Panos Panagos, Cristiano Ballabio (JRC), Rudi Hessel (Alterra WUR)
EUR27607

Towards a pan-European assessment of land susceptibility to wind erosion
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Understanding spatial and temporal patterns in land susceptibility to wind erosion is essential to design effective management strategies to control land degradation. The knowledge about the land surface susceptible to wind erosion in European contexts shows significant gaps. The lack of researches, particularly at the landscape to regional scales, prevents national and European institutions from taking actions aimed at an effective mitigating of land degradation. This study provides a preliminary pan‐European assessment that delineates the spatial patterns of land susceptibility to wind erosion and lays the groundwork for future modelling activities. An Index of Land Susceptibility to Wind Erosion (ILSWE) was created by combining spatiotemporal variations of the most influential wind erosion factors (i.e. climatic erosivity, soil erodibility, vegetation cover and landscape roughness). The sensitivity of each input factor was ranked according to fuzzy logic techniques. State‐of‐the‐art findings within the literature on soil erodibility and land susceptibility were used to evaluate the outcomes of the proposed modelling activity. Results show that the approach is suitable for integrating wind erosion information and environmental factors. Within the 34 European countries under investigation, moderate and high levels of land susceptibility to wind erosion were predicted, ranging from 25·8 to 13·0 M ha, respectively (corresponding to 5·3 and 2·9% of total area). New insights into the geography of wind erosion susceptibility in Europe were obtained and provide a solid basis for further investigations into the spatial variability and susceptibility of land to wind erosion across Europe. 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ldr.2318

Assessment of soil organic carbon stocks under future climate and land cover changes in Europe
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2016

Soil organic carbon plays an important role in the carbon cycling of terrestrial ecosystems, variations in soil organic carbon stocks are very important for the ecosystem. In this study, a geostatistical model was used for predicting current and future soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in Europe. The first phase of the study predicts current soil organic carbon content by using stepwise multiple linear regression and ordinary kriging and the second phase of the study projects the soil organic carbon to the near future (2050) by using a set of environmental predictors. We demonstrate here an approach to predict present and future soil organic carbon stocks by using climate, land cover, terrain and soil data and their projections. The covariates were selected for their role in the carbon cycle and their availability for the future model. The regression-kriging as a base model is predicting current SOC stocks in Europe by using a set of covariates and dense SOC measurements coming from LUCAS Soil Database. The base model delivers coefficients for each of the covariates to the future model. The overall model produced soil organic carbon maps which reflect the present and the future predictions (2050) based on climate and land cover projections. The data of the present climate conditions (long-term average (1950–2000)) and the future projections for 2050 were obtained from WorldClim data portal. The future climate projections are the recent climate projections mentioned in the Fifth Assessment IPCC report. These projections were extracted from the global climate models (GCMs) for four representative concentration pathways (RCPs). The results suggest an overall increase in SOC stocks by 2050 in Europe (EU26) under all climate and land cover scenarios, but the extent of the increase varies between the climate model and emissions scenarios.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716305095

Assessment of the cover changes and the soil loss potential in European forestland: First approach to derive indicators to capture the ecological impacts on soil-related forest ecosystems
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

The Member States of the European Union have committed to the maintenance and protection of forest lands. More precisely, the Member States aim to ensure the sustainable development and management of the EU's forests. For 2013, Eurostat's statistics about primary and secondary wood products in the European forest land (65% thereof privately owned) estimate a roundwood production of 435 million m3 in total. Harmonised information, i.e., spatially and temporarily differentiated, on forestry and wood harvesting activities in the European forests are missing however. This lack of information impedes the scientific assessment of the impacts that forest management practices have on the soil-related forest ecosystems (e.g., accelerated water soil erosion, delivery of inert sediments and pollutants within the drainage network, pauperization of aquatic ecosystems). It also prevents national and European institutions from taking measures aimed at an effective mitigation of the rapidly advancing land degradation. This study provides a first pan-European analysis that delineates the spatial patterns of forest cover changes in 36 countries. The first dynamic assessment of the soil loss potential in the EU-28 forests is reported. The recently published High-resolution Global Forest Cover Loss map (2000–2012) was reprocessed and validated. Results show that the map is a powerful tool to spatiotemporally indicate the forest sectors that are exposed to cover change risks. The accuracy assessment performed by using a confusion matrix based on 2300 reference forest disturbances distributed across Europe shows values of 55.1% (producer accuracy) for the algorithm-derived forest cover change areas with a Kappa Index of Agreement (KIA) of 0.672. New insights into the distribution of the forest disturbance in Europe and the resulting soil loss potential were obtained. The presented maps provide spatially explicit indicators to assess the human-induced impacts of land cover changes and soil losses on the European soil-related forest ecosystems. These insights are relevant (i) to support policy making and land management decisions to ensure a sustainable forest management strategy and (ii) to provide a solid basis for further spatiotemporal investigations of the forestry practices’ impacts on the European forest ecosystems.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X1500494X

A knowledge-based approach to estimating the magnitude and spatial patterns of potential threats to soil biodiversity
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

Because of the increasing pressures exerted on soil, below-ground life is under threat. Knowledge-based rankings of potential threats to different components of soil biodiversity were developed in order to assess the spatial distribution of threats on a European scale. A list of 13 potential threats to soil biodiversity was proposed to experts with different backgrounds in order to assess the potential for three major components of soil biodiversity: soil microorganisms, fauna, and biological functions. This approach allowed us to obtain knowledge-based rankings of threats. These classifications formed the basis for the development of indices through an additive aggregation model that, along with ad-hoc proxies for each pressure, allowed us to preliminarily assess the spatial patterns of potential threats. Intensive exploitation was identified as the highest pressure. In contrast, the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture was considered as the threat with least potential. The potential impact of climate change showed the highest uncertainty. Fourteen out of the 27 considered countries have more than 40% of their soils with moderate-high to high potential risk for all three components of soil biodiversity. Arable soils are the most exposed to pressures. Soils within the boreal biogeographic region showed the lowest risk potential. The majority of soils at risk are outside the boundaries of protected areas. First maps of risks to three components of soil biodiversity based on the current scientific knowledge were developed. Despite the intrinsic limits of knowledge-based assessments, a remarkable potential risk to soil biodiversity was observed. Guidelines to preliminarily identify and circumscribe soils potentially at risk are provided. This approach may be used in future research to assess threat at both local and global scale and identify areas of possible risk and, subsequently, design appropriate strategies for monitoring and protection of soil biota.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004896971531247X

 

A method of establishing a transect for biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring across Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2016

The establishment of the range of soil biodiversity found within European soils is needed to guide EU policy development regarding the protection of soil. Such a base-line should be collated from a wide-ranging sampling campaign to ensure that soil biodiversity from the majority of soil types, land-use or management systems, and European climatic (bio-geographical zones) were included. This paper reports the design and testing of a method to achieve the large scale sampling associated with the establishment of such a baseline, carried out within the remit of the EcoFINDERS project, and outlines points to consider when such a task is undertaken.

Applying a GIS spatial selection process, a sampling campaign was undertaken by 13 EcoFINDERS partners across 11 countries providing data on the range of indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem functions including; micro and meso fauna biodiversity, extracellular enzyme activity, PLFA and community level physiological profiling (MicroResp™ and Biolog™). Physical, chemical and bio-geographical parameters of the 81 sites sampled were used to determine whether the model predicted a wide enough range of sites to allow assessment of the biodiversity indicators tested.

Discrimination between the major bio-geographical zones of Atlantic and Continental was possible for all land-use types. Boreal and Alpine zones only allowed discrimination in the most common land-use type for that area e.g. forestry and grassland sites, respectively, while the Mediterranean zone did not have enough sites sampled to draw conclusions across all land-use types. The method used allowed the inclusion of a range of land-uses in both the model prediction stage and the final sites sampled. The establishment of the range of soil biodiversity across Europe is possible, though a larger targeted campaign is recommended. The techniques applied within the EcoFINDERS sampling would be applicable to a larger campaign

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0929139315300342

Will there be enough plant nutrients to feed a world of 9 billion in 2050?
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Will there be enough plant nutrients to feed a world of 9 billion in 2050? Will there be enough plant nutrients to feed a world of 9 billion in 2050? is the central question addressed by a JRC study. This exercise was based on consultations with experts and a thematic workshop focused on three areas of interest: 1) the demand for fertilizers to sustain crop production necessary to feed the world in 2050; 2) perspectives on the supply of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) to world agriculture and 3) the role of innovation and technology in changing the match between demand and supply of fertilizers. Implications of the main findings for current EU and international policies were addressed. "There is no specific reason to be alarmed about the overall supply of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus for the world's agriculture but because of changing conditions in production, demand and use, continuous vigilance is called for." Author(s):Jean-Paul Malingreau, Hugh Eva, Albino Maggio. 2012 – 30pp. – EUR 25327 EN – Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union – 2012 – 30 pp. – 21.0 x 29.7 cm, EUR – Scientific and Technical Research series – ISSN 1831-9424 (online) ISSN 1018-5593 (print), ISBN 978-92-79-24910-5 (pdf),ISBN 978-92-79-24909-9 (print), doi: 10.2788/26603 Download report: (Size: 1.5 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 26/09/2012

Una Base de Datos de Suelos Georeferenciada para Europa, Manual de Procedimientos Version 1.1.
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Editado por el Comité Científico del Buró Europeo de Suelos, edición en Castellano. (1999). EUR 18092 ES, 206pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

Organic Matter in the Soils of Southern Europe.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, ESBN Research Reports
Year: 2015

Organic Matter in the Soils of Southern Europe. Pandi Zdruli, Robert J.A. Jones and Luca Montanarella (2004). EUR 21083 EN, 16pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Download document: (Size: 1.4 MB) Preview FrontPage:

Global governance of soil resources as a necessary condition for sustainable development
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Global governance of soil resources as a necessary condition for sustainable development Montanarella L., Vargas R. Global governance of soil resources as a necessary condition for sustainable development (2012) Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4 (5) , pp. 559-564. In the current era of multiple crises, from food price, through climate change to economic failure, policy makers around the world are exploring opportunities to make a shift to a green economy. The international community is seeking new ways of developing the concept of sustainable development up to and beyond the Earth Summit in 2012, mainly with regards to practical ways for the coherent implementation of the three pillars of sustainability, moving away from trade-offs to synergies between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. Within that context, special attention to global soil resources should be paid, given that global soil resources constitutes the basis for the provision of ecosystem services and at the same time are limited and currently under pressure by various threats including competing land uses, like energy production, housing and infrastructure, nature protection, mining and industrial activities. Future food security for a growing population can only be assured if sufficient area of fertile soils and water will be available for food production. Available legal frameworks for soil protection at national and regional level seem not to be able to regulate the current use of soil resources in order to assure long- term sustainability. Access the paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343512000735 Last Update: 02/09/2013

Landslide inventories in Europe and policy recommendations for their interoperability and harmonisation - A JRC contribution to the EU-FP7 SafeLand project
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Landslide inventories in Europe and policy recommendations for their interoperability and harmonisation - A JRC contribution to the EU-FP7 SafeLand project This report provides a detailed review of existing national landslide inventories as well as of a number of regional inventories in EU member states and neighbouring countries. For national landslide databases, it also analyses their ability to provide landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk assessments at national scale. In addition, the report proposes improvements in landslide databases for delineating areas at risk of landslides in agreement with the EU Soil Thematic Strategy and its associated Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive, and for achieving interoperability and harmonisation in agreement with the INSPIRE Directive. Author(s):Van Den Eeckhaut, M., Hervás, J., 2012 – 202pp. – EUR 25666 EN – Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union – 2012 – 202 pp. – 21.0 x 29.7 cm, EUR25666 Scientific and Technical Research series - ISBN 978-92-79-27994-2, doi:10.2788/75587 Download report: (Size: 19.5 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 08/02/2013

Satellite remote sensing for soil mapping in Africa: An overview
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Satellite remote sensing for soil mapping in Africa: An overview Dewitte O., Jones A., Elbelrhiti H., Horion S., Montanarella L. Satellite remote sensing for soil mapping in Africa: An overview (2012) Progress in Physical Geography, 36 (4) , pp. 514-538. The protection and the sustainable management of soil resources in Africa are of paramount importance, particularly in the context of the uncertain impact of climate change and the increase pressure of the human activities. This situation requires a demand for up-to-date and relevant soil information at regional and continental scales. To provide timely and reliable information on soils at these scales, low-resolution spaceborne remote sensing offers an ideal support. Through a review of multispectral, thermal infrared, passive and active microwave imaging we show that sensors help in the delineation of soils themselves, as well as in the assessment of some of their key properties and threats such as water and wind erosion, landsliding and salinisation. However remote sensing imagery for mapping soil can be problematic if applied alone and often requires the use of ancillary data and field observations. Remote sensing is shown as being complementary to digital soil mapping. Access the paper: http://ppg.sagepub.com/content/36/4/514.abstract Last Update: 02/09/2013

Legislation and Policy of European Union concerning Protection of the Environment
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Conference Publications
Year: 2015

Legislation and Policy of European Union concerning Protection of the Environment Beata Housková - Luca Montanarella. Contaminated Sites, Bratislava 15-17 June 2009 Protection of the environment belongs to the priorities of European Union's policy. Tools of such policy realisation are Thematic Strategies. Concept of Thematic Strategies has been introduced in the 6th Environment Action Programme of the European Community. This programme is planned to be realised in time period 2002-2012. Strategies are thematic - they cover interested parts of environment and respective threats to human health and environment as a whole or specifically related. Download the Article: Legislation and Policy of European Union concerning Protection of the Environment Last Update: 17/11/2009

Suggestion for a harmonised terminology in soil classification
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Bob Ahrens, Luca Montanarella, Otto Spaargaren, Erika Michéli Classification, an applied area of soil science but lacks a common set of terminology. In this paper, harmonization of the basic terminology of modern classification systems is suggested.

Data Management for Monitoring Forest Soils in Europe for the Biosoil Project.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Data Management for Monitoring Forest Soils in Europe for the Biosoil Project. Lacarce E, Le Bas C, Cousin J, Pesty B, Toutain B, Durrant T, Montanarella L. Data Management for Monitoring Forest Soils in Europe for the Biosoil Project. Soil Use and Management, Volume 25 Issue 1, Pages 57 - 65, 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2009.00194.x Growing environmental awareness and advances in modelling have generated interest in soil monitoring networks. Data management tools have to be developed in order to store data, check for errors and retrieve data for sharing and for analysis. As a result, we have designed a web application and a database for the Biosoil project that focuses on European forest soils. Integral to the system are authentication of users and access rights to the modules and data. It also logs all activities of each user. During data submission, the system automatically manages data transfer from the flat file (ASCII file) to the database after compliance checks. Then error tracking is followed by automated expert checks. These checks identify potential mistakes that can be corrected or commented on by data providers. Since the quality of the results obtained from analysing the data can only be as good as the data, proper management practices should be considered at all stages of the monitoring activity, if the value of the information is to be properly exploited. Access the paper Last Update: 26/04/2010

Geostatistical analysis of surface soil texture from Zala county in western Hungary
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Conference Publications
Year: 2015

Geostatistical analysis of surface soil texture from Zala county in western Hungary K. Adhikari, A. Guadagnini, G. Toth and T. Hermann. Pages 219 - 224 Proceedings of the International Symposium on Environment, Energy and Water in Nepal: Recent Researches and Direction for Future. 31 March - 01 April 2009, Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu, Nepal. Soil texture is one of the most important soil properties governing most of the physical, chemical and hydrological properties of soils. Variability in soil texture may contribute to the variation in nutrient storage and availability, water retention and transport and binding and stability of soil aggregates. It can directly or indirectly influence many other soil functions and soil threats such as soil erosion. Geostatistics has been extensively used for quantifying the spatial pattern of soil properties and Kriging techniques are proving sufficiently robust for estimating values at unsampled locations in most of the cases. Download the Article: Geostatistical analysis of surface soil texture from Zala county in western Hungary Last Update: 16/11/2009

Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment: The PESERA Map, Version 1 October 2003. Explanation of Special Publication Ispra 2004 No.73 (S.P.I.04.73).
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, ESBN Research Reports
Year: 2015

Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment: The PESERA Map, Version 1 October 2003. Explanation of Special Publication Ispra 2004 No.73 (S.P.I.04.73). Kirkby, M.J., Jones, R.J.A., Irvine, B., Gobin, A, Govers, G., Cerdan, O., Van Rompaey, A.J.J., Le Bissonnais, Y., Daroussin, J., King, D., Montanarella, L., Grimm, M., Vieillefont, V., Puigdefabregas, J., Boer, M., Kosmas, C., Yassoglou, N., Tsara, M., Mantel, S., Van Lynden, G.J. and Huting, J.(2004). European Soil Bureau Research Report No.16, EUR 21176, 18pp. and 1 map in ISO B1 format. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Download report : (Size: 1.2 MB) Preview FrontPage: Download Map : (Size: 10 MB)

Estimation and potential improvement of the quality of legacy soil samples for digital soil mapping
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Estimation and potential improvement of the quality of legacy soil samples for digital soil mapping Carré, F., McBratney, A.B., Minasny, B., 2006. Published by Geoderma, 141, 1-14. The paper presents some methodologies for assessing the quality of legacy soil samples using Hypercube Sampling strategy. Each sampling unit is then estimated as being over or under-sampled. Legacy soil data form an important resource for digital soil mapping and are essential for calibration of models for predicting soil properties from environmental variables. Such data arise from traditional soil survey. Access the paper or contact the Author F. Carre for more information

Heavy metals in European soils: A geostatistical analysis of the FOREGS Geochemical database.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Heavy metals in European soils: A geostatistical analysis of the FOREGS Geochemical database. Luis Rodríguez Lado, Tomislav Hengl and Hannes I. Reuter 2008. Geoderma, Article in Press This paper presents the results of modeling the distribution of eight critical heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead and zinc) in topsoils using 1588 georeferenced samples from the Forum of European Geological Surveys Geochemical database (26 European countries). The concentrations were mapped using regression-kriging (RK) and accuracy of predictions evaluated using the leave-one-out cross validation method. A large number of auxiliary raster maps (topographic indexes, land cover, geology, vegetation indexes, night lights images and earth quake magnitudes) were used to improve the predictions. Keywords: Soil mapping; Regression-kriging; MODIS; Night lights image; Geochemical database; Pan-European monitoring , DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.09.020 Access the paper or contact the Author

Chemical footprints of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition on recent soil C:N ratios in Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2015

Long-term human interactions with the natural landscape have produced a plethora of trends and patterns of environmental disturbances across time and space. Nitrogen deposition, closely tracking energy and land use, is known to be among the main drivers of pollution, affecting both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. We present a statistical approach for investigating the historical and geographical distribution of nitrogen deposition and the impacts of accumulation on recent soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratios in Europe. After the second Industrial Revolution, large swaths of land emerged characterized by different atmospheric deposition patterns caused by industrial activities or intensive agriculture. Nitrogen deposition affects soil C : N ratios in a still recognizable way despite the abatement of oxidized and reduced nitrogen emissions during the last 2 decades. Given a seemingly disparate land-use history, we focused on ~ 10 000 unmanaged ecosystems, providing statistical evidence for a rapid response of nature to the chronic nitrogen supply through atmospheric deposition.

https://bg.copernicus.org/articles/12/4113/2015/

 

Estimate of Peatland Distributuion in Estonia Using an Integrated GIS/RS Approach.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Conference Publications
Year: 2015

Estimate of Peatland Distributuion in Estonia Using an Integrated GIS/RS Approach. Gardi C, Sommer S, Seep K, Montanarella L. Estimate of Peatland Distributuion in Estonia Using an Integrated GIS/RS Approach. In Conference Proceedings: Proceedings of the 33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment,ISBN 978-0-932913-13-5. Madison WI (United States of America): Omni-Press; 2009. Determination of the spatial extent of peatland is important for the evaluation of soil carbon stocks. At European Level there is a need to provide accurate and updated estimate of the distribution of peatland. Comparison of national data with EU wide land cover mapping shows that there is limited compatibility between the different data sets. The aim of the present study is to test a methodology of standardized mapping and monitoring of peatlands at regional level (national to supra-national bio-climatic regions) based on the enhanced integration of existing thematic maps through GIS analysis in combination with remote sensing, using Estonia as study case. Download the Article: Estimate of Peatland Distributuion in Estonia Using an Integrated GIS/RS Approach. Last Update: 26/04/2010

Soil erosion risk in Italy: a revised USLE approach.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, ESBN Research Reports
Year: 2015

Soil erosion risk in Italy: a revised USLE approach. M. Grimm, R.J.A. Jones, E. Rusco & L. Montanarella. (2003). EUR 20677 EN, 23pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Download document: (Size: 5 MB) Preview FrontPage:

Methods to interpolate soil categorical variables from profile observations: Lessons from Iran
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Methods to interpolate soil categorical variables from profile observations: Lessons from Iran Hengl T., Toomanian N., Reuter H.I., Malakouti M.J. (2007). Published by Elsevier B.V. Abstract The paper compares semi-automated interpolation methods to produce soil-class maps from profile observations and by using multiple auxiliary predictors such as terrain parameters, remote sensing indices and similar. Access the paper or contact the Author T. Hengl for more information

Integration of the Soil Database of Turkey into European Soil Database 1:1.000.000
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Integration of the Soil Database of Turkey into European Soil Database 1:1.000.000 In order to extend the Soil Geographical Database (SGDBE) to the countries of Mediterranean Basin, the preparation of soil geographical database of Turkey at 1:1 million scales was initiated at the end of 2008. In the current report, the reader will be informed about the preparation of soil geographical database of Turkey compatible with European database and how the Turkish soil data have been integrated the European Soil Database. The implementation of this work has been achieved since we have built a common understanding and nomenclature of soils in Europe and Mediterranean region. A number of attributes have been transformed from local/regional/national soil datasets while some other attributes have been obtained from auxiliary datasets using remote sensing and GIS Techniques. Authors: Ece Aksoy, Panos Panagos, Luca Montanarella, Arwyn Jones (2010). Integration of the Soil Database of Turkey into European Soil Database 1:1.000.000. EUR 24295 EN. ISSN 1018-5593. ISBN 978-92-79-15306-8. DOI 10.2788/77892. 45 pp. Keywords: European Soil Database 1:1.000.000, Turkish Soil Data, GIS Techniques, Remote Sensing Download report: (Size: 5.6 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 30/03/2010

Approaches for Delineating Areas Susceptible to Landslides in the Framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Conference Publications
Year: 2015

Approaches for Delineating Areas Susceptible to Landslides in the Framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy. Günther, A., Reichenbach, P., Hervás, J., 2008. Proceedings of the First World Landslide Forum, Tokyo, 18-21 November 2008, pp. 235-238. Download the Paper: Approaches for Delineating Areas Susceptible to Landslides in the Framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy

Estimating organic carbon in the soils of Europe for policy support.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Estimating organic carbon in the soils of Europe for policy support. Jones, R. J. A.; Hiederer, R.; Rusco, E.; Montanarella, L. (2005). Estimating organic carbon in the soils of Europe for policy support. European Journal of Soil Science 56, 655-671 . Access the research paper: European Journal of Soil Science

Landslide ground based remote sensing monitoring: Formigal case study (Huesca, Spain).
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Conference Publications
Year: 2015

Landslide ground based remote sensing monitoring: Formigal case study (Huesca, Spain). Herrera, G., Ponce de León, D., Mulas, J., Llorente, M., Hervás, J., Luzi, G., Mecatti, D., Noferini, L., Macaluso, G., Pieraccini, M., Tamburini, A., Federici, P., 2007. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 9, EGU2007-A-07945. Download the Abstract: Landslide ground based remote sensing monitoring: Formigal case study (Huesca, Spain).

Multi-scale European Soil Information System (MEUSIS): A multi-scale method to derive soil indicators
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Multi-scale European Soil Information System (MEUSIS): A multi-scale method to derive soil indicators Panagos P., van Liedekerke M., Montanarella L. Multi-scale European Soil Information System (MEUSIS): A multi-scale method to derive soil indicators (2011) Computational Geosciences, 15 (3), pp. 463-475. The Multi-scale Soil Information System (MEUSIS) can be a suitable framework for building a nested system of soil data that could facilitate interoperability through a common coordinate reference system, a unique grid coding database, a set of detailed and standardized metadata, and an open exchangeable format. In the context of INSPIRE Directive, MEUSIS may be implemented as a system facilitating the update of existing soil information and accelerating the harmonization of various soil information systems. In environmental data like the soil one, it is common to generalize accurate data obtained at the field to coarser scales using either the pedotransfer rules or knowledge of experts or even some statistical solutions which combine single values of spatially distributed data. The most common statistical process for generalization is averaging the values within the study area. The upscaling process is accompanied with significant statistical analysis in order to demonstrate the method suitability. The coarser resolution nested grids cells (10 × 10 km) represent broad regions where the calculated soil property (e. g., organic carbon) can be accurately upscaled. Multi-scaled approaches are urgently required to integrate different disciplines (such as Statistics) and provide a meta-model platform to improve current mechanistic modeling frameworks, request new collected data, and identify critical research questions. Access the paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10596-010-9216-0 Last Update: 05/07/2012

Bio Bio Project
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Bio Bio Project Biodiversity - Bioindication to evaluate Soil Health. EUR 22245 EN, 134pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. R.M Cenci and F. Sena Download report: (Size: 7.7 MB) Preview FrontPage :

Soil Spectroscopy: An Alternative to Wet Chemistry for Soil Monitoring
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2015

The soil science community is facing a growing demand of regional, continental, and worldwide databases in order to monitor the status of the soil. However, the availability of such data is very scarce. Cost-effective tools to measure soil properties for large areas (e.g., Europe) are required. Soil spectroscopy has shown to be a fast, cost-effective, environmental-friendly, nondestructive, reproducible, and repeatable analytical technique. The main aim of this paper is to describe the state of the art of soil spectroscopy as well as its potential to facilitating soil monitoring. The factors constraining the application of soil spectroscopy as an alternative to traditional laboratory analyses, together with the limits of the technique, are addressed. The paper also highlights that the widespread use of spectroscopy to monitor the status of the soil should be encouraged by (1) the creation of a standard for the collection of laboratory soil spectra, to promote the sharing of spectral libraries, and (2) the scanning of existing soil archives, reducing the need for costly sampling campaigns. Finally, routine soil analysis using soil spectroscopy would be beneficial for the end users by a reduction in analytical costs, and an increased comparability of results between laboratories. This ambitious project will materialize only through (1) the establishment of local and regional partnerships among existent institutions able to generate the necessary technical competence, and (2) the support of international organizations. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission are well placed to promote the use of laboratory and field spectrometers for monitoring the state of soils.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065211315000425

SOIL THEMATIC STRATEGY
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

REPORTS OF THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUPS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE THEMATIC STRATEGY FOR SOIL PROTECTION Lieve Van-Camp, Benilde Bujarrabal, Anna Rita Gentile, Robert J A Jones, Luca Montanarella, Claudia Olazabal, Senthil-Kumar Selvaradjou (2004) EUR 21319 EN

Environmental Monitoring in contaminated area in Pavia Province, Italy. (Monitoraggio ambientale di un' area contaminate nella Provincia di Pavia)
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Environmental Monitoring in contaminated area in Pavia Province, Italy. (Monitoraggio ambientale di un' area contaminate nella Provincia di Pavia) This study has as a scope to identify the extension of the area interested from the heavy metals and diossine and to estimate the level of concentration and their dangerousness. EUR 22762IT. 58 pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. (2007), ISBN 978-92-79-05652-9. Editors: R.M. Cenci and F. Sena Download report: (Size: 2 MB) Preview FrontPage :

Digital Soil Mapping as a support to production of functional maps
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Digital Soil Mapping as a support to production of functional maps Digital Soil Mapping as a support to production of functional maps. EUR 22123 EN, 68 pp. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxemburg. Dobos, E., Carré, F., Hengl, T., Reuter, H.I., Tóth, G. (2006) Download report: (Size: 5.5 MB) Preview FrontPage :

A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping of Environmental Variables
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping of Environmental Variables Geostatistical mapping can be defined as analytical production of maps by using field observations, auxiliary information and a computer program that calculates values at locations of interest. A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping of Environmental Variables. EUR 22904 EN, Scientific and Technical Research series, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 143 pp. Hengl, T., 2007. Download report: (Size: 8.9 MB) Preview FrontPage :

Soil biodiversity and DNA barcodes: opportunities and challenges
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2015

Soils encompass a huge diversity of organisms which mostly remains to be characterized due to a number of methodological and logistical issues. Nonetheless, remarkable progress has been made in recent years toward developing strategies to characterize and describe soil biodiversity, especially thanks to the development of molecular approaches relying on direct DNA extraction from the soil matrix.

Metabarcoding can be applied to DNA from any environment or organism, and is gaining increasing prominence in biodiversity studies. This approach is already commonly used to characterize soil microbial communities and its application is now being extended to other soil organisms, i.e. meso- and macro-fauna.

These developments offer unprecedented scientific and operational opportunities in order to better understand soil biodiversity distribution and dynamics, and to propose tools and strategies for biodiversity diagnosis. However, these opportunities also come with challenges that the scientific community must face. Such challenges are related to i) clarification of terminology, (ii) standardisation of methods and further methodological development for additional taxonomic groups, (iii) development of a common database, and (iv) ways to avoid waste of information and data derived from metabarcoding. In order to facilitate common application of metabarcoding in soil biodiversity assessment, we discuss these opportunities and challenges and propose solutions towards a more homogeneous framework.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038071714003617

Soil carbon sequestration for climate food security and ecosystem services
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Soil carbon sequestration for climate food security and ecosystem services The international conference SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION for climate, food security and ecosystem services – linking science, policy and action (SCS2013) took place in Reykjavik Iceland on 27. – 29. May 2013. The conference was organized by the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, the Agricultural University of Iceland and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Collaboration Agreement No 31059) in partnership with a group of international and UN agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations. The scientific soil community acknowledges that there is an urgent need to communicate better the value of soil carbon to a broader public. The message so far has not actively reached the media, the public and policy makers. The SCS2013 conference brought together a broad spectrum of soil carbon experts, in order to link science, policy and action on soil carbon sequestration issues. Approximately 200 people from 40 countries from all continents attended the conference: young and high level scientists; present and future leaders in restoration and land management; administrators and policymakers. The conference received extensive media coverage, both in Iceland and globally. Despite coming from different countries and backgrounds, with varied scientific interests and convictions, the overall message was that soil and soil management, specifically soil carbon, needs be a substantial part of the solution in mitigating climate change, ensuring food security and providing ecosystem services. Furthermore soil conservation, preservation and restoration could be considered as "win-win" processes for meeting other goals. The SCS2013 conference represented an excellent example of bridge between scientists, land managers and policy makers. The EC was actively involved in the conference and is still willing to bridge the communication gap between science and policy and to continue to act as interface. The conference proceedings aim to present how the potential role of soil carbon sequestration has been discussed along different sessions (forest/ cropland/ revegetation/ desertification/ wetland/ rangeland/ verification) and from different perspectives. Editors: Guðmundur Halldórsson, Francesca Bampa, Arna Björk Þorsteinsdóttir, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Luca Montanarella and Andrés Arnalds . Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union 2014 – 314 pp. – EUR 26540 EN Scientific and Technical Research series – ISSN 1831-9424 (online) ISBN 978-92-79-35595-0(PDF), doi:10.2788/17815 Download report: (Size: 117 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 02/07/2014

Equilibrium versus disequilibrium of barchan dunes
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2015

Equilibrium versus disequilibrium of barchan dunes Hicham El belrhiti, Stéphane Douady . Equilibrium versus disequilibrium of barchan dunes (2011),GEOMORPHOLOGY , Vol 125, Mo 4 , pp. 558-568 Barchans are crescent dunes which take place in mainly mono-directional winds. Shape, aspect ratios and velocities of these dunes had been studied as if they were in equilibrium, in a stable state. However, following the shape and migrations of 11 barchans of different sizes for 18 months in the field on Moroccan Atlantic Sahara show that they are appear to be in a stationary state only if studied over a long period (at the scale of the year or several years), but are never at equilibrium at the scale of the week or the month. They are rather always trying to reach a possible equilibrium state but never have enough time to reach it. This could be the main reason for the large dispersion observed in previous measurements, and should lead to a caution on what can be deduced from them. Access the paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X10004630 Last Update: 05/09/2012

Addressing soil degradation in EU agriculture: relevant processes, practices and policies.
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports
Year: 2015

Addressing soil degradation in EU agriculture: relevant processes, practices and policies. Report on the project 'Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo)' Agriculture occupies a substantial proportion of the European land, and consequently plays an important role in maintaining natural resources and cultural landscapes, a precondition for other human activities in rural areas. Unsustainable farming practices and land use, including mismanaged intensification as well as land abandonment, have an adverse impact on natural resources. Having recognised the environmental challenges of agricultural land use, the European Parliament requested the European Commission in 2007 to carry out a pilot project on 'Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation through simplified cultivation techniques' (SoCo). The project originated from a close cooperation between the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). It was implemented by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES). Authors: SoCo Project Team, Editors: Geertrui Louwagie, Stephan Hubertus Gay, Alison Burrell.Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.– 332 pp., EUR – Scientific and Technical Research series – ISSN 1018-5593, ISBN 978-92-79-13358-1, DOI 10.2791/69723 Download report: (Size: 18 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 13/08/2009