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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European perspective of ecosystem services and related policies
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

In this article, we focus on the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide. European Union policies, contributing to the conservation and maintenance of ecosystem services in Europe are discussed and their current impacts briefly reviewed in the light of the main challenges that European ecosystems might face in the near future.

https://setac.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ieam.1400

The LUCAS topsoil database and derived information on the regional variability of cropland topsoil properties in the European Union
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

Approximately 20,000 topsoil samples were collected in 25 European Union (EU) Member States (EU-27 except Bulgaria and Romania) with the aim to produce the first coherent pan-European physical and chemical topsoil database, which can serve as baseline information for an EU wide harmonized soil monitoring. The soil sampling was undertaken within the frame of the Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS), a project to monitor changes in the management and character of the land surface of the EU. Soil samples have been analysed for basic soil properties, including particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, NPK, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and multispectral signatures. Preliminary studies show the outstanding potential of the dataset for enhancing the knowledge base on soils in the EU. The current paper provides an introduction to the LUCAS Topsoil 2009 project and provides an example of data applicability for cropland assessment by highlighting initial results for regional and national comparisons.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10661-013-3109-3

Prediction of soil organic carbon for different levels of soil moisture using Vis-NIR spectroscopy
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Prediction of soil organic carbon for different levels of soil moisture using Vis-NIR spectroscopy Nocita, M., Stevens, A., Noon, C., Van Wesemael, B. (2012) Prediction of soil organic carbon for different levels of soil moisture using Vis-NIR spectroscopy. Geoderma, 199: pp. 37-42. Visible and near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy has produced promising results to infer soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the laboratory. However, using soil spectra measured directly in the field or with airborne imaging spectrometer remains challenging due to uncontrolled variations in surface soil properties, like vegetation cover, moisture and roughness. In particular, soil moisture may dramatically degrade predictions of SOC content when using an empirical/statistical approach. This study aims to quantify the effect of soil moisture on the accuracy of SOC predictions, and to propose a method to determine SOC content for moist samples with unknown moisture content. Soil samples (n=107) were collected along a transect, in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. The soil samples were air-dried for 7 days, moistened in steps of 0.05 g water g soil-1 until saturation, and scanned in the laboratory with a visible and near infrared spectrometer. We computed the normalized soil moisture index (NSMI) to estimate the soil moisture content of the samples (R2 = 0.74), and used it to spectrally classify the samples according to their moisture content. SOC content was predicted using separate partial least square regressions developed on groups of samples with similar NSMI values. The root mean square error of prediction (RMSE) after validation was below 5 g C kg-1, with a ratio of prediction to deviation (RPD) greater than 2. These results were better than the ones obtained with separate spectroscopic models with a-priori knowledge of soil moisture. Hence, the NSMI might be used as a proxy of moisture content to improve SOC content prediction for spectral data acquired outside the laboratory as the method is simple and does not need other data than a simple band ratio of the spectra.
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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001670611200290X

Comparison of pedotransfer functions to estimate the van Genuchten parameters from soil survey information
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

The aim of our research is to compare the reliability of the methods estimating the parameters of the water holding capacity function (VKF) with the data content of our transparent maps and to examine their further development in the Hungarian Detailed Soil Physics and Hydrology Database (MARTHA). have been used (Bakacsi et al., 2012). They estimated the FAO (1995) physical diversity category of a given soil based on the hygroscopicity (hy) of the soil. On the basis of the pedotransfer functions of Wösten et al. We examined the relationship between hy and the five-category FAO physical variety in the MARTHA database

https://akjournals.com/view/journals/0088/62/1/article-p5.xml

Simulation of daily discharge using the distributed model SWAT as a catchment management tool-Limnatis River case study
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was evaluated while modeling daily stream flow in Limnatis basin, Cyprus over a period of seven years. Stream flow data from 2006-2008 were used as a warm up period, the period 2008- 2010 was used to calibrate the model and stream flow, data from 2008-2012 were used for the validation. The model could adequately predict daily stream flow trends with Nash-Sutcliffe values of 0.68. Overall the results of the simulation indicate that SWAT model can be an effective tool for the modeling of stream flow in intermittent rivers like Limnatis, and could contribute valuable information for successful catchment management

https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/8795/8...

Estimating the soil organic carbon content for European NUTS2 regions based on LUCAS data collection
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Estimating the soil organic carbon content for European NUTS2 regions based on LUCAS data collection Soil organic carbon is one of the attributes of the recently developed LUCAS Soil database. The request for data on soil organic carbon and other soil attributes arose from an on-going debate about efforts to establish harmonised datasets for all EU countries with data on soil threats in order to support modelling activities and to display variations in these soil conditions across Europe. In 2009, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) conducted the LUCAS soil survey by sampling more than 20,000 points across 23 EU member states. This paper describes the results obtained from analyzing the soil organic carbon data in the LUCAS soil database. The collected data were compared with the modelled data of the European topsoil organic carbon content developed at the JRC. The best fitted comparison was performed at NUTS2 (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics, European regions) level and demonstrated the underestimation of modelled data in southern Europe, overestimation in the central eastern new member states. There is a good correlation in certain regions for countries such as the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland, and France. Soil organic carbon content statistics at the national level have been available for some EU countries for the past two decades, but statistics at the regional level are non-existent for almost all countries. Where they do exist the methods used to produce them are not consistent across countries. This article assesses the feasibility of producing comparable estimates of the soil organic carbon content at NUTS2 regional level for the European Union (EU27) and draws a comparison with existing modelled data. In addition to the data analysis, we suggest how the modelled data can be improved in future updates with better calibration of the model.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969712012995

Continental-scale assessment of provisioning soil functions in Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

A framework is developed to link major soil functions to ecosystem services assessment. Provisioning soil functions—with primary linkages to ecosystem services—are evaluated on a continental scale in Europe

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/2192-1709-2-32

A Social-Ecological System Approach to Analyze Stakeholders Interactions within a Large-Scale Rangeland Restoration programme
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013
An energy-biochar chain involving biomass gasification and rice cultivation in Northern Italy
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

An energy-biochar chain involving biomass gasification and rice cultivation in Northern Italy The competing demand for food and bioenergy requires new solutions for the agricultural sector, which cannot be spoiled out of its fundamental role of feeding a world population continuously growing. In this context, the production of bioenergy from crop residues and residual biomass may be an interesting solution, since do not affect food production while creating energy. In particular, the gasification technology produces both energy and biochar, which seems to have positive agronomic effects in many experimental fields worldwide, also sequestering carbon in soil. However a full assessment of the energetic performances of gasification plants, as well as their impact in term of greenhouse gases (GHG), needs to be done. In this paper we complete a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of an advanced gasification plant located in northwestern Italy, in particular focusing on the GHG balance of the supply chain, including the field distribution of the resulting biochar in a typical paddy rice field. The results indicate that biochar has marginal, but positive effect on rice yield, not affecting soil aggregation in the short-term. Moreover, LCA suggested net emissions ranging between -0.54 and -2.1 t CO2e t-1 biochar depending on the allocation scenario adopted.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12028/abstract

Estimating soil organic carbon in Europe based on data collected through an European network
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Estimating soil organic carbon in Europe based on data collected through an European network In 2010, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC), which is charged with the collection of soil data at European scale and hosts the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), conducted a project to collect data on soil organic carbon and soil erosion in Europe using the European Environment Information and Observation Network for soil (EIONET-SOIL). The data submitted by participating countries are their best estimate and represent an official point of view. The technical approach taken allows a country to easily update the records when new data become available. This paper presents the first results obtained from analyzing the soil organic carbon data submitted to EIONET-SOIL. The collected data were compared with the modelled data of the European topsoil organic carbon content developed at the JRC. The modelled data follow the general pattern of the geographic distribution of collected data, but show higher values compared to the EIONET-SOIL data. The important role of soil organic carbon (SOC) as an indicator of soil quality underlines the need for using common methods of sampling, analysing and reporting soil organic carbon to provide a standard product, such as EIONET-SOIL. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

European Soil Data Centre: Response to European policy support and public data requirements
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

European Soil Data Centre: Response to European policy support and public data requirements Panagos P., Van Liedekerke M., Jones A., Montanarella L. (2012) European Soil Data Centre: response to European policy support and public data requirements Land Use Policy, 29 (2), pp. 329-338. In the context of the European Union's Soil Thematic Strategy, policy makers require easy access to soil data and information of various types and scales to assess the state of soils at European level. To satisfy this need, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) decided to establish the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), located at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. The ESDAC is one of ten environmental data centres that have been established during the last 4 years in support of policy development, implementation and monitoring by the European Commission's Directorate General for Environment. The ESDAC, located at http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu, has become the focal point for soil data and information at European Union level by hosting a series of soil products and web-based tools that allow access to the data. The ESDAC acts as the primary data contact point for the Commission and EEA to fulfill their information needs. The establishment and the evaluation of harmonised databases should facilitate improved soil protection measures.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837711000718

Legal frameworks for soil protection: current development and technical information requirements
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Legal frameworks for soil protection: current development and technical information requirements Kibblewhite M.G., Miko L., Montanarella L. Legal frameworks for soil protection: Current development and technical information requirements (2012) Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4 (5) , pp. 573-577. Protection of soil resources is a priority for policy makers concerned with future food security and biodiversity conservation. Current global, continental and national progress with legal frameworks and supporting technical information is reviewed. Better soil monitoring information is needed to support new investment in, targeting of, and evaluation of soil protection measures. Some but not all soil monitoring methods are adequate. Spatial risk estimation is essential for assessing the economic costs and benefits of soil protection and to target risk mitigation. However, while qualitative vulnerability assessments are available, substantial challenges remain to support quantitative risk assessment and evaluation. More reliable information is required about the efficacy of options for soil protection for different soils under different land use and management scenarios. Access the paper:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343512000978#

Soil erodibility estimation using LUCAS point survey data of Europe
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Soil erodibility estimation using LUCAS point survey data of Europe Panagos, P., Meusburger, K., Alewell, C., Montanarella, L. (2012) Soil erodibility estimation using LUCAS point survey data of Europe, Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 30, April 2012, Pages 143-145, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.11.002 Modelling soil erosion is mostly hampered by low data availability, particularly of soil parameters. One key parameter for soil erosion modelling is the soil erodibility, expressed as the K- factor in the commonly used soil erosion model USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation). The K-factor is related to crucial soil factors triggering erosion (organic matter content, soil texture, soil structure, permeability). We calculated soil erodibility using measured soil data, collected during the 2009 LUCAS (Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey) soil survey campaign across the member states of the European Union. The proposed dataset overcomes the problems of limited data availability for K-factor assessment and proposes a high quality dataset to modellers who aim at soil erosion estimation on local/regional, national or European scale.
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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815211002465

State of the art of national landslide databases in Europe and their potential for assessing landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

State of the art of national landslide databases in Europe and their potential for assessing landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk Van Den Eeckhaut M., Hervas J.State of the art of national landslide databases in Europe and their potential for assessing landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk (2012) Geomorphology, 139-140 , pp. 545-558. A landslide inventory is the most important information source for quantitative zoning of landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk. It should give insight into the location, date, type, size, activity and causal factors of landslides as well as resultant damage. In Europe, many countries have created or are creating national and/or regional landslide databases (LDBs). Yet little is known on their contents, completeness, format, structure, language use and accessibility, and hence on their ability to perform national or transnational landslide zoning. Therefore, this study presents a detailed analysis of existing national LDBs in the EU member states, EU official candidate and potential candidate countries, and EFTA countries, and their possible use for landslide zoning. These national LDBs were compared with a subset of 22 regional databases. Twenty-two out of 37 contacted European countries currently have national LDBs, and six other countries have only regional LDBs. In total, the national LDBs contain 633,696 landslides, of which 485,004 are located in Italy, while Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, and the UK also have >10,000 landslides in their LDBs. National LDBs are generally created in the official language of each country and 58% of them contain other natural hazards (e.g. floods and sinkholes).

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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X11006192

Monthly soil erosion monitoring based on remotely sensed biophysical parameters: a case study in Strymonas river basin towards a functional pan-European service
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Monthly soil erosion monitoring based on remotely sensed biophysical parameters: a case study in Strymonas river basin towards a functional pan-European service Panagos, P., Karydas, C.G., Gitas, I.Z., Montanarella, L. (2012) Monthly soil erosion monitoring based on remotely sensed biophysical parameters: a case study in Strymonas river basin towards a functional pan-European service. International Journal of Digital Earth , Vol. 5, Iss. 6, 2012, pp. 461-487 Currently, many soil erosion studies at local, regional, national or continental scale use models based on the USLE-family approaches. Applications of these models pay little attention to seasonal changes, despite evidence in the literature which suggests that erosion risk may change rapidly according to intra-annual rainfall figures and vegetation phenology. This paper emphasises the aspect of seasonality in soil erosion mapping by using month-step rainfall erosivity data and biophysical time series data derived from remote-sensing. The latter, together with other existing pan-European geo-databases sets the basis for a functional pan-European service for soil erosion monitoring at a scale of 1:500,000. This potential service has led to the establishment of a new modelling approach (called the G2 model) based on the inheritance of USLE-family models. The G2 model proposes innovative techniques for the estimation of vegetation and protection factors. The model has been applied in a 14,500 km2 study area in SE Europe covering a major part of the basin of the cross-border river, Strymonas. Model results were verified with erosion and sedimentation figures from previous research. The study confirmed that monthly erosion mapping would identify the critical months and would allow erosion figures to be linked to specific land uses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17538947.2011.587897

Statistical Modelling of Europe-wide Landslide Susceptibility Using Limited Landslide Inventory Data
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Statistical Modelling of Europe-wide Landslide Susceptibility Using Limited Landslide Inventory Data Van Den Eeckhaut M., Hervas J., Jaedicke C., Malet J.-P., Montanarella L., Nadim F. Statistical modelling of Europe-wide landslide susceptibility using limited landslide inventory data (2012) Landslides, 9 (3) , pp. 357-369. In many regions, the absence of a landslide inventory hampers the production of susceptibility or hazard maps. Therefore, a method combining a procedure for sampling of landslide-affected and landslide-free grid cells from a limited landslide inventory and logistic regression modelling was tested for susceptibility mapping of slide- and flow-type landslides on a European scale. Landslide inventories were available for Norway, Campania (Italy) and the Barcelonnette Basin (France) and from each inventory a random subsample was extracted. In addition, a landslide dataset was produced from the analysis of Google Earth images in combination with extraction of landslide locations reported in scientific publications. Attention was paid to have a representative distribution of landslides over Europe. In total, the landslide-affected sample contained 1340 landslides. Then, a procedure to select landslide-free grid cells was designed taking account of the incompleteness of the landslide inventory and the high proportion of flat areas in Europe. Using stepwise logistic regression, a model including slope gradient, standard deviation of slope gradient, lithology, soil and land cover types was calibrated. The classified susceptibility map produced from the model was then validated by visual comparison with national landslide inventory or susceptibility maps available from literature. The first results are promising and suggest that in case of landslide disasters the method can be used for urgently required landslide susceptibility mapping in regions where currently only sparse landslide inventory data are available.
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http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10346-011-0299-z

Soil processes and functions across an international network of Critical Zone Observatories: introduction to experimental methods and initial results
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Soil processes and functions across an international network of Critical Zone Observatories: introduction to experimental methods and initial results Banwart, S., Menon, M, Panagos, P. et al, (2012) Soil processes and functions across an international network of Critical Zone Observatories: Introduction to experimental methods and initial results. Comptes Rendus - Geoscience 344 (11-12) , pp. 758-772. Growth in human population and demand for wealth creates ever-increasing pressure on global soils, leading to soil losses and degradation worldwide. Critical Zone science, studies the impact linkages between these pressures, the resulting environmental state of soils, and potential interventions to protect soil and reverse degradation. New research on soil processes is being driven by the scientific hypothesis that soil processes can be described along a life cycle of soil development. This begins with formation of new soil from parent material, development of the soil profile, and potential loss of the developed soil functions and the soil itself under overly intensive anthropogenic land use, thus closing the cycle. Four Critical Zone Observatories in Europe have been selected focusing research at sites that represent key stages along the hypothetical soil life cycle; incipient soil formation, productive use of soil for farming and forestry, and decline of soil due to longstanding intensive agriculture. Initial results from the research show that soil develops important biogeochemical properties on the time scale of decades and that soil carbon and the development of favourable soil structure develops over similar time scales. A new mathematical model of soil aggregate formation and degradation predicts that set-aside land at the most degraded site studied can develop substantially improved soil structure with the accumulation of soil carbon over a period of several years. Further results demonstrate the rapid dynamics of soil carbon; how quickly it can be lost, and also demonstrate how data from the CZOs can be used to determine parameter values for models at catchment scale. Access the paper:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631071312001885

Soil erodibility estimation using LUCAS point survey data of Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2012

Modelling soil erosion is mostly hampered by low data availability, particularly of soil parameters. One key parameter for soil erosion modelling is the soil erodibility, expressed as the K-factor in the commonly used soil erosion model USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation). The K-factor is related to crucial soil factors triggering erosion (organic matter content, soil texture, soil structure, permeability). We calculated soil erodibility using measured soil data, collected during the 2009 LUCAS (Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey) soil survey campaign across the member states of the European Union. The soil erodibility dataset overcomes the problems of limited data availability for K-factor assessment and presents a high quality resource for modellers who aim at soil erosion estimation on local/regional, national or European scale.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815211002465

Impact of land-take on the land resource base for crop production in the European Union
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Impact of land-take on the land resource base for crop production in the European Union (2012) Science of the Total Environment, 435-436 , pp. 202-214. Spatial analyses of land productivity and land use data from 2000 and 2006 were performed to assess the deterioration of land resources for biomass production of the European Union. Data show that while all member states of the EU experiences constant decrease of its production capacity, there are also considerable differences among countries and regions. Based on the analysis of 25 member states, the EU lost 0.2% of its agricultural land and 0.23% of its productive potential in the period between 2000 and 2006 due to land take and conversion to artificial surfaces. The loss of agricultural land during the study period was the highest in the Netherlands, which lost with the land conversions 1.44% of its biomass production potential within six years. The figures are quite alarming for Cyprus (0.84%) and Spain (0.43%) as well. In metropolitan areas of Amsterdam, Berlin, Bratislava, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Madrid, Milan and Vienna infrastructural investment occurred on the better agricultural land while Budapest, Paris and Warsaw spread their urban growth to directions where less productive land of their regions situates. The Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland had to face the largest loss of their food production capacity accounted for each citizen, exceeding the equivalent of 1500 kg*ha-1 *year-1 wheat in all three countries. Access the paper:
Impact of land-take on the land resource base for crop production in the European Union

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969712009369

Combining satellite derived phenology with climate data for climate change impact assessment
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2012

The projected influence of climate change on the timing and volume of phytomass production is expected to affect a number of ecosystem services. In order to develop coherent and locally effective adaptation and mitigation strategies, spatially explicit information on the observed changes is needed. Long-term variations of the vegetative growing season in different environmental zones of Europe for 1982–2006 have been derived by analysing time series of GIMMS NDVI data. The associations of phenologically homogenous spatial clusters to time series of temperature and precipitation data were evaluated. North-east Europe showed a trend to an earlier and longer growing season, particularly in the northern Baltic areas. Despite the earlier greening up large areas of Europe exhibited rather stable season length indicating the shift of the entire growing season to an earlier period. The northern Mediterranean displayed a growing season shift towards later dates while some agglomerations of earlier and shorter growing season were also seen. The correlation of phenological time series with climate data shows a cause-and-effect relationship over the semi natural areas consistent with results in literature. Managed ecosystems however appear to have heterogeneous change pattern with less or no correlation to climatic trends. Over these areas climatic trends seemed to overlap in a complex manner with more pronounced effects of local biophysical conditions and/or land management practices. Our results underline the importance of satellite derived phenological observations to explain local nonconformities to climatic trends for climate change impact assessment.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112000562

Soil Information in Support of Policy Making and Awareness Raising
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2012

Soil Information in Support of Policy Making and Awareness Raising Bouma J., Broll G., Crane T.A., Dewitte O., Gardi C., Schulte R.P.O., Towers W. Soil information in support of policy making and awareness raising (2012) Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4 (5) , pp. 552-558. Soils play an important role in defining sustainable land-use options when facing major global environmental challenges such as food security, climate change, fresh water scarcity and biodiversity loss. Facing these problems, the 2006 EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (TSSP), provides an important focal point for soil research and awareness raising. Unfortunately, the TSSP has not yet been followed up with a legally binding Framework Directive mainly because of political barriers. Two approaches are discussed to overcome these barriers: First, we explore innovative ways to present soils and raise soil awareness. Soil information in terms of atlases, associated databases and interpretations, focusing on major environmental problems, is presented by the EU Joint Research Center (JRC) for Africa and South America using modern digital techniques and, particularly, a user-oriented approach. This contrasts with the traditional approach which is more soil-centered. Soil science has not yet effectively tapped the genuine and basic affinity of mankind with their soils. Therefore, more attention to local knowledge and management of soils is needed. Creating more awareness, by sharing experiences with various citizen groups, is also an effective mechanism to mobilize the political arena as is demonstrated by some German examples. Second, we show specific real-world examples as to the possible positive and innovative impact of the TSSP. An example is presented of Functional Soil Planning, based on maximizing soil functions at national and international level by customizing soil management at local level, balancing 'supply' and 'demand' by defining tradeoffs between conflicting functions. Finally, a case study for Scotland is presented dealing with EU policies for so-called: "Less Favoured Areas (LFA)".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2012.07.001

Sustainability, certification, and regulation of biochar
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2012

Biochar has a relatively long half-life in soil and can fundamentally alter soil properties, processes, and ecosystem services. The prospect of global-scale biochar application to soils highlights the importance of a sophisticated and rigorous certification procedure. The objective of this work was to discuss the concept of integrating biochar properties with environmental and socioeconomic factors, in a sustainable biochar certification procedure that optimizes complementarity and compatibility between these factors over relevant time periods. Biochar effects and behavior should also be modelled at temporal scales similar to its expected functional lifetime in soils. Finally, when existing soil data are insufficient, soil sampling and analysis procedures need to be described as part of a biochar certification procedure

https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0100-204X2012000500003&script=sci_...

Regional mapping and characterisation of old landslides in hilly regions using LiDAR-based imagery in Southern Flanders
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2011

Analysis of LiDAR-derived imagery led to the discovery of more than 330 pre-Holocene to recent landslides in Southern Flanders (4850 km2). The morphology of three landslides, including the 266.5 ha deep-seated gravitational slope deformation in Alden Biesen, was investigated in more detail. The analysis of the morphological and topographical characteristics (width–length relation, frequency–area distribution and topographical threshold) of the landslides revealed important differences compared to the characteristics reported in other landslide studies, and helped understanding possible landslide triggering mechanisms. Especially the possibility of a seismic origin of the landslides was investigated. Finally, a heuristic model for region-wide landslide susceptibility mapping was successfully tested. The susceptibility model and map allow prediction of future landslide locations and contribute to better understanding the role of individual causal factors on landslide location and spatial density. The results suggest that landslides on low-gradient, soil-mantled hills are a more important contributor to landscape evolution of hilly areas than was hitherto thought. The morphology of all hilly regions of Flanders is clearly marked by landslide processes and higher landslide densities often coincide with the presence of quaternary active faults. This study further shows that high-resolution topographical data such as LiDAR significantly contributes to a better detection of old, previously unknown landslides.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/quaternary-research/article/regi...

Assessing Soil Processes and Function across an International Network of Critical Zone Observatories: Research Hypotheses and Experimental Design
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2011

Assessing Soil Processes and Function across an International Network of Critical Zone Observatories: Research Hypotheses and Experimental Design Banwart Steven, Bernasconi Stefano,......., Panagos Panos, ..........Zhang Bin. Assessing Soil Processes and Function across an International Network of Critical Zone Observatories: Research Hypotheses and Experimental Design (2011), VADOSE ZONE JOURNAL , Vol 10, No 3, pp. 974–987.

European Union policy on soil threats and soil protection has prioritised new research to address global soil threats. This research draws on the methodology of Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) to focus a critical mass of international, multi-disciplinary expertise at specific field sites. These CZOs are selected as part of an experimental design to study soil processes and ecosystem function along a hypothesised soil life cycle; from incipient soil formation where new parent material is being deposited, to highly degraded soils that have experienced millennia of intensive land use. Further CZOs have been selected to broaden the range of soil environments and data sets to test soil process models that represent the stages of the soil life cycle. The scientific methodology for this research focuses on the central role of soil structure and soil aggregate formation and stability in soil processes. Research methods include detailed analysis and mathematical modelling of soil properties related to aggregate formation and their relation to key processes of reactive transport, nutrient transformation and carbon and food web dynamics in soil ecosystems. Within this programme of research, quantification of soil processes across an international network of CZOs is focussed on understanding soil ecosystem services including their quantitative monetary valuation within the soil life cycle.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2010.0136

Are grasslands important habitats for soil microarthropod conservation?
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2011

Biodiversity has been a focal aim of environmental protection since the Rio conference, but only with the beginning of the new millennium did soil biodiversity become an important aspect of international policy. Edaphic fauna play a key role in many soil functions, such as organic matter decomposition, humus formation and nutrient element cycling; moreover, affect the porosity, aeration, infiltration and distribution of organic matter in soil horizons, modifying soil structure and improving its fertility. The ecosystem services provided by soil animals are becoming progressively lost due to agricultural practice intensification, which causes a reduction in both abundance and taxonomic diversity of soil communities. In the present study, a permanent grassland habitat was studied in order to evaluate its potential as a soil biodiversity reservoir in agroecosystems. Grassland samples were compared with samples from a semi-natural woodland area and an arable land site. Microarthropod abundances, Acari/Collembola ratio (A/C), Shannon diversity index (H′) and evenness index (E) were calculated. QBS-ar index was used in order to evaluate soil biological quality. Microarthropod communities of the three land use typologies differed in both the observed groups and their abundance. Steady soil taxa characterized both woodland and grassland soils, whereas their abundances were significantly higher in woodland soil. Taxon diversity and soil biological quality in the grasslands did not differ from the woodland samples. The microarthropod community in the arable land showed a reduction both in taxa numbers and soil biological quality compared with the other sites. Soil biological quality and edaphic community composition highlighted the importance of grassland habitats in the protection of soil biodiversity.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-011-0017-0

European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM): preserving important soil data for public free access
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2011

European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM): preserving important soil data for public free access Panos Panagos, Arwyn Jones, Claudio Bosco & P.S. Senthil Kumar. European digital archive on soil maps (EuDASM): preserving important soil data for public free access (2011), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DIGITAL EARTH , Vol 4, No 5, pp. 434-443. Historical soil survey paper maps are valuable resources that underpin strategies to support soil protection and promote sustainable land use practices, especially in developing countries where digital soil information is often missing. However, many of the soil maps, in particular those for developing countries, are held in traditional archives that are not easily accessible to potential users. Additionally, many of these documents are over 50 years old and are beginning to deteriorate. Realising the need to conserve this information, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the ISRIC-World Soil Information foundation have created the European Digital Archive of Soil Maps (EuDASM), through which all archived paper maps of ISRIC has been made accessible to the public through the Internet. The immediate objective is to transfer paper-based soil maps into a digital format with the maximum possible resolution and to ensure their preservation and easy disclosure. More than 6,000 maps from 135 countries have been captured and are freely available to users through a user-friendly web-based interface. Initial feedback has been very positive, especially from users in Africa, South America and Asia to whom archived soil maps were made available to local users, often for the first time.
Access the paper:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17538947.2011.596580

Carbon Concentrations and Stocks in Forest Soils of Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2010

This study presents the results of a series of evaluations of a continent-wide soil database (EU/UN-ECE Level I) with the aim to estimate baseline soil carbon concentrations and stocks. The methodology included the biogeographic stratification of soil carbon measurements throughout Europe using climatic zones derived from the Soil Regions Map of Europe. The presented stock estimates range from 1.3 to 70.8 t C/ha for the O-layer, and from 11.3 to 126.3 t C/ha for the mineral soil 0–20 cm (Germany: 0–30 cm) (5 and 95 percentiles). Histosols were excluded because of methodological differences and data gaps. When looking at the median values of the strata investigated, relationships were found. For example, carbon stocks in the O-layer of sandy soils are distinctly higher than those of fine-textured soils. However, the variability is so high that some of these relationships disappear. For example in western and central Europe, the level of carbon stocks in the mineral soil between shallow soils (Leptosols) and more deeply developed soils (Podzols and Cambisols) do not differ very much. It was also found that just the investigation of topsoils is not sufficient to understand the regional pattern of organic matter in forest soils – unless the subsoil becomes included as well. It is hypothesized that for Europe, the impact of site factors such as climate, texture and relief are difficult to extract from such a database if the data are only stratified according to macro-climatic areas. It has to be considered that the effect of systematic error in the database is quite large (but cannot be identified on the level of the current data availability). In order to receive a first impression of the landscape-level distribution of carbon, a map of carbon concentrations in the topsoil was generated. The results support the relationships found between carbon stocks and site factors, such as climatic zones and soil type. Compared to the much lower carbon concentrations of agricultural soils, the results demonstrate clearly the importance of forest soils for the terrestrial carbon cycling in Europe.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112710001787

Estimating forest soil bulk density using boosted regression modelling
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2010

Soil bulk density (ρ) is an important physical property, but its measurement is frequently lacking in soil surveys due to the time‐consuming nature of making the measurement. As a result pedotransfer functions (PTFs) have been developed to predict ρ from other more easily available soil properties. These functions are generally derived from regression methods that aim to fit a single model. In this study, we use a technique called Generalized Boosted Regression Modelling (GBM; Ridgeway, 2006) which combines two algorithms: regression trees and boosting. We built two models and compared their predictive performance with published PTFs. All the functions were fitted based on the French forest soil dataset for the European demonstration Biosoil project. The two GBM models were Model G3 which involved the three most frequent quantitative predictors used to estimate soil bulk density (organic carbon, clay and silt), and Model G10, which included ten qualitative and quantitative input variables such as parent material or tree species. Based on the full dataset, Models G3 and G10 gave R2 values of 0.45 and 0.86, respectively. Model G3 did not significantly outperform the best published model. Even when fitted from an external dataset, it explained only 29% of the variation of ρ with a root mean square error of 0.244 g/cm3. In contrast, the more complex Model G10 outperformed the other models during external validation, with a R2 of 0.67 and a predictive deviation of ±0.168 g/cm3. The variation in forest soil bulk densities was mainly explained by five input variables: organic carbon content, tree species, the coarse fragment content, parent material and sampling depth.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00305.x

Effects of Soil-Surface Microbial Community Phenotype upon Physical and Hydrological Properties of an Arable Soil: A Microcosm Study
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2010
The nature of the first few millimetres of the soil surface strongly affects water infiltration rates, generation of run‐off, soil detachment and sediment transport. We hypothesized that the phenotypic community structure of the soil‐surface microbiota affects the physical and hydrological properties of an arable soil. A range of contrasting microbial community phenotypes were established in microcosms by manipulating the wavelength of light reaching the soil surface, with the microcosms being incubated in the field for approximately 6 months. Phenotypes were characterized by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), ergosterol and chlorophyll analysis. The microcosms were then subjected to simulated rainfall at an intensity of 60 mm hour−1 for 20 minutes at a slope gradient of 9°. Water infiltration rates, run‐off generation, soil loss (including a particle‐size analysis of the sediment) and soil‐surface shear strength were quantified.
 
Distinct microbial phenotypes developed on the soil surfaces with UV‐A and restricted‐UV treatments when compared with subsurface layers. There was significantly greater fungal biomass in the no‐light treatment when compared with all other treatments, with approximately 4.5 times more ergosterol being extracted from the subsurface layer of the no‐light treatment when compared with other treatments. The no‐light treatment produced the greatest amount of run‐off, which was approximately 15% greater than the restricted photosynthetically‐active radiation (PAR) treatment. Significant differences between treatments were also found in shear strengths, with increasing strength being correlated with increasing ergosterol concentration. Water infiltration, erosion and the sediment concentrations in run‐off were not significantly different between treatments. This work demonstrates that the quality of light reaching the soil surface affects the microbial phenotype, in turn producing functional consequences with regard to the physical and hydrological properties of arable soil surfaces.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2389.2010.01249.x

Basin characteristics and nutrient losses: The EUROHARP catchment network perspective
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2009
The EC-funded EUROHARP project studies the harmonisation of modelling tools to quantify nutrient losses from diffuse sources. This paper describes a set of study areas used in the project from geographical conditions, to land use and land management, geological and hydro-geological perspectives. The status of data availability throughout Europe in relation to the modelling requirements is presented. The relationships between the catchment characteristics and the nutrient export are investigated, using simple data available for all the catchments. In addition, this study also analyses the hydrological representativity of the time series utilised in the EUROHARP project.
 

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2009/EM/b822931g

Soil organic carbon content indicators and web mapping applications.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2008

Soil organic carbon content indicators and web mapping applications. Panagos, P., Van Liedekerke, M., Montanarella, L. and Jones, R.A (2008). ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, Elsevier LTD, Volume 23· Issue 9: pp 1207-1209, DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.02.010. Distributing geographic information via the Internet allows interoperability with similar information and real-time integration of data from around the world. The software developed allows the users to exchange, integrate, and analyze data in new ways. Users can combine various environmental indicators (Organic carbon con-tent) and information accessed via the Internet with their local data for display, query, and analysis. In order to guarantee interoperability, the developed services are based on international standards, as promoted by the INSPIRE initiative. Keywords: Web mapping services; Organic carbon; Environmental indicators; Interoperability; INSPIRE; European soil database. Access the paper

Northern Peatlands: their characteristics, development and sensitivity to climate change
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2006

Northern Peatlands: their characteristics, development and sensitivity to climate change C. Tarnocai and V. Stolbovoy In the past two decades there has been considerable work on global climatic change and its effect on the ecosphere, as well as on local and global environmental changes triggered by human activities. Download the Introduction or contact the Author V. Stolbovoy for more information Full Access to the research paper: Elsevier Publisher, Petlands - Evolution and Records of Environmental and Climate Changes. (35 pp)

The distribution of peatland in Europe
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2006

The distribution of peatland in Europe

L. Montanarella(1), R.J.A. Jones (2) and R. Hiederer (1) 

(1) Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, I-21020 Ispra (VA) - Italy,

(2) National Soil Resources Institute, Cranfield University, Silsoe, Bedford MK45 4DT, UK. © 2006 Published by Mires and Peat.

This paper derives the distribution of peatland in Europe as the extent of peat and peat-topped soils indicated by soil databases. 

Modeling sediment yields in Italian catchments
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2005

Modeling sediment yields in Italian catchments VAN ROMPAEY, A.J.J., BAZZOFFI, P., JONES, R.J.A. and MONTANARELLA, L.(2005). Modeling sediment yields in Italian catchments. Geomorphology 65 (2005) 157-169. Sediment yield observations, derived from 40 long-term sedimentation records in Italian reservoirs, were used to calibrate and validate the spatially distributed sediment delivery model WaTEM/SEDEM using the best data available at national scale Keywords: Sediment yield; Soil erosion; Reservoirs; Italy Look for the research paper: Elsevier Publisher
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X04001710

Variability in regional wheat yields as a function of climate, soil and economic variables: Assessing the risk of confounding.
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2005

Variability in regional wheat yields as a function of climate, soil and economic variables: Assessing the risk of confounding. BAKKER, M.M., GOVERS, G., Ewart, F., Roundsevell, Mark and JONES, Robert. (2005). Variability in regional wheat yields as a function of climate, soil and economic variables: Assessing the risk of confounding. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 110 (3-4), 195-209. Keywords: Wheat yields; Productivity; Climate; Soils; Economics; Regression analysis Look for the research paper: Elsevier Publisher