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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Bioremediation trial on aged PCB polluted soils - A bench study in Iceland
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2014

Bioremediation trial on aged PCB polluted soils - A bench study in Iceland Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) pose a threat to the envuronment due to their high adsorption capacity to soil organic matter, stability and low reactivity, low water solubility, toxicity and ability to accumulate. With Icelandic soils, research on contamination issies has been very limited, and no data has been reported either on PCB degradation potential or rate. The goals of this research were to assess the bioavailability of aged PBCs in the soils of the old NATO facility in Keflavík, Iceland, and to find the best feasable biostimulation method to decrease the pollution. The effectiveness of different iostimulation additives at different temperatures and oxygen levels were tested. PCB bioavailability to soil fauna was assessed with earthworms (Eisenia foetia). PCBs were biovailable to earthworms, with less chlorinated congeners showing higher bioaccumulation factors than highly chlorinated congeners. Biostimulation with pine needles at 10 degrees under aerobic conditions resulted in nearly 38% degradation of total PCBs after two months incubation. Detection of aerobic PCB degrading bphA gene supports the indigenous capability of the soils to aerobically degrade PCBs. Access the paper Last Update:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11356-013-2069-z#

Benefits of soil carbon: report on the outcomes of an international scientific committee on problems of the environment rapid assessment workshop
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

A Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment Rapid Assessment (SCOPE-RAP) workshop was held on 18–22 March 2013. This workshop was hosted by the European Commission, JRC Centre at Ispra, Italy, and brought together 40 leading experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America to create four synthesis chapters aimed at identifying knowledge gaps, research requirements, and policy innovations. Given the forthcoming publication by CABI of a book volume of the outcomes of the SCOPE-RAP in 2014, this workshop report provides an update on the global societal challenge of soil carbon management and some of the main issues and solutions that were identified in the four working sessions.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17583004.2014.913380

A new MONERIS in-Stream Retention Module to Account Nutrient Budget of a Temporary River in Cyprus
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

The nature of the nutrient budget for temporary rivers differs from that for permanent rivers because of the restricted nature of flow, the lack of adequate dilution, and weather conditions which are conducive to the development of algal blooms. We analyse the nutrient budget of three tributaries of a temporary river in Cyprus, the Kouris, with the aid of the MONERIS model. MONERIS in-stream retention module was modified to account for a 1-dimensional advection - dispersion pollutants transport rather than the general mass balance equation for mixed reactors. TRS plot classified Kryos stream as an Intermittent flow – Dry (I-D) stream (hydrologically altered) and Kouris and Limnatis as Intermittent – Pool (I-P) streams that need different lumped parameterization in MONERIS simulation. Point sources are important for nitrogen (64 %) and phosphorous emissions (22 %), and diffuse sources for nitrogen via erosion (15 %) and free grazing (12 %) and for phosphorous via free grazing (8 %). We estimate that around 40 % of N and 88 % of P entering streams is retained in the stream. An analysis of the model uncertainty and sensitivity to input data indicates that MONERIS model, even in semi-arid areas, may be used for the purpose of managing river basins.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11269-014-0646-7

European meteorological data: contribution to research, development, and policy support
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has developed Interpolated Meteorological Datasets available on a regular 25x25km grid both to the scientific community and the general public. Among others, the Interpolated Meteorological Datasets include daily maximum/minimum temperature, cumulated daily precipitation, evapotranspiration and wind speed. These datasets can be accessed through a web interface after a simple registration procedure. The Interpolated Meteorological Datasets also serve the Crop Growth Monitoring System (CGMS) at European level. The temporal coverage of the datasets is more than 30 years and the spatial coverage includes EU Member States, neighboring European countries, and the Mediterranean countries. The meteorological data are highly relevant for the development, implementation and assessment of a number of European Union (EU) policy areas: agriculture, soil protection, environment, agriculture, food security, energy, climate change. An online user survey has been carried out in order to assess the impact of the Interpolated Meteorological Datasets on research developments. More than 70% of the users have used the meteorological datasets for research purposes and more than 50% of the users have used those sources as main input for their models. The usefulness of the data scored more than 70% and it is interesting to note that around 25% of the users have published their scientific outputs based on the Interpolated Meteorological Datasets. Finally, the user feedback focuses mostly on improving the data distribution process as well as the visibility of the web platform.

https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/9229/1...

A classification of water erosion models according to their geospatial characteristics
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2014

In this article, an extensive inventory in the literature of water erosion modelling from a geospatial point of view is conducted. Concepts of scale, spatiality and complexity are explored and clarified in a theoretical background. Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is pointed out as facilitating data mixing and model rescaling and thus increasing complexity in data-method relations. Spatial scale, temporal scale and spatial methodologies are addressed as the most determining geospatial properties underlying water erosion modelling. Setting these properties as classification criteria, 82 water erosion models are identified and classified into eight categories. As a result, a complete overview of water erosion models becomes available in a single table. The biggest share of the models is found in the category of the mechanistic pathway-type event-based models for watershed to landscape scales. In parallel, geospatial innovations that could be considered as milestones in water erosion modelling are highlighted and discussed. An alphabetical list of all models is also listed in the Appendix. For manipulating scale efficiently, two promising spatial theories are suggested for further exploitation in the future such as hierarchy theory and fractals theory. Regarding erosion applications, uncertainty analysis within GIS is considered to be necessary for further improving performance of erosion models.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17538947.2012.671380

GlobalSoilMap: Toward a Fine-Resolution Global Grid of Soil Properties
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

Soil scientists are being challenged to provide assessments of soil condition from local through to global scales. A particular issue is the need for estimates of the stores and fluxes in soils of water, carbon, nutrients, and solutes. This review outlines progress in the development and testing of GlobalSoilMap—a digital soil map that aims to provide a fine-resolution global grid of soil functional properties with estimates of their associated uncertainties. A range of methods can be used to generate the fine-resolution spatial estimates depending on the availability of existing soil surveys, environmental data, and point observations. The system has an explicit geometry for estimating point and block estimates of soil properties continuously down the soil profile. This geometry is necessary to ensure mass balance when stores and fluxes are computed. It also overcomes some limitations with existing systems for characterizing soil variation with depth. GlobalSoilMap has been designed to enable delivery of soil data via Web services. This review provides an overview of the system's technical specifications including the minimum data set. Examples from contrasting countries and environments are then presented to demonstrate the robustness of the technical specifications. GlobalSoilMap provides the means for supplying soil information in a format and resolution compatible with other fundamental data sets from remote sensing, terrain analysis, and other systems for mapping, monitoring, and forecasting biophysical processes. The initial research phase of the core project is nearing completion and attention is now shifting toward establishing the institutional and governance arrangements necessary to complete a full global coverage and maintaining the operational version of the GlobalSoilMap. This will be a grand and rewarding challenge for the soil science profession in the coming years.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128001370000030

The Global Soil Partnership
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) has been established, following an intensive preparatory work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the European Commission (EC), as a voluntary partnership coordinated by the FAO in September 2011 [1]. The GSP is open to all interested stakeholders: Governments (FAO Member States), Universities, Research Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Industry and private companies. It is a voluntary partnership aiming towards providing a platform for active engagement in sustainable soil management and soil protection at all scales: local, national, regional and global. As a "coalition of the willing" towards soil protection, it attempts to make progress in reversing soil degradation with those partners that have a genuine will of protecting soils for our future generations. It openly aims towards creating an enabling environment, despite the resistance of a minority of national governments, for effective soil protection in the large majority of the countries that are genuinely concerned about the rapid depletion of their limited soil resources.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/25/1/012001/meta

Phosphorus levels in croplands of the European Union with implications for P fertilizer use
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

In the frame of the Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey sampling of topsoil was carried out on around 22,000 points in 25 EU Member States in 2009 and in additional 2 Member States in 2012. Besides other basic soil properties soil phosphorus (P) content of the samples were also measured in a single laboratory in both years. Based on the results of the LUCAS topsoil survey we performed an assessment of plant available P status of European croplands. Higher P levels can be observed in regions where higher crop yields can be expected and where high fertilizer P inputs are reported. Plant available phosphorus levels were determined using two selected fertilizer recommendation systems: one from Hungary and one from the United Kingdom. The fertilizer recommendation system of the UK does not recommend additional fertilizer use on croplands with highest P supply, which covers regions mostly in Belgium and the Netherlands. According to a Hungarian advisory system there is a need for fertilizer P input in all regions of the EU. We established a P fertilizer need map based on integrating results from the two systems. Based on data from 2009 and 2012, P input demand of croplands in the European Union was estimated to . Meanwhile we found disparities of calculated input need and reported fertilizer statistics both on local (country) scale and EU level. The first ever uniform topsoil P survey of the EU highlights the contradictions between soil P management of different countries of the Union and the inconsistencies between reported P fertilizer consumption and advised P doses. Our analysis shows a status of a baseline period of the years 2009 and 2012, while a repeated LUCAS topsoil survey can be a useful tool to monitor future changes of nutrient levels, including P in soils of the EU.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1161030113001950

Wind erosion susceptibility of European soils
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2014
Publisher: Geoderma

The EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identified soil degradation caused by erosion as one of the major threats to European soils. A thorough literature review revealed important gaps in research on soil erosion processes in Europe. This is particularly true for wind erosion processes. The current state of the art in erosion research lacks knowledge about where and when wind erosion occurs in Europe, and the intensity of erosion that poses a threat to agricultural productivity. To gain a better understanding of the geographical distribution of wind erosion processes in Europe, we propose an integrated mapping approach to estimate soil susceptibility to wind erosion. The wind-erodible fraction of soil (EF) is one of the key parameters for estimating the susceptibility of soil to wind erosion. It was computed for 18,730 geo-referenced topsoil samples (from the Land Use/Land Cover Area frame statistical Survey (LUCAS) dataset). Our predication of the spatial distribution of the EF and a soil surface crust index drew on a series of related but independent covariates, using a digital soil mapping approach (Cubist-rule-based model to calculate the regression, and Multilevel B-Splines to spatially interpolate the Cubist residuals). The spatial interpolation showed a good performance with an overall R2 of 0.89 (in fitting). We observed the spatial patterns of the soils' susceptibility to wind erosion, in line with the state of the art in the literature. We used regional observations in Lower Saxony and Hungary to ensure the applicability of our approach. These regional control areas showed encouraging results, and indicated that the proposed map may be suitable for national and regional investigations of spatial variability and analyses of soil susceptibility to wind erosion.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706114002389

Advances in soil erosion modelling through remote sensing data availability at European scale
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2014

Under the European Union’s Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) has identified the mitigation of soil losses by erosion as a priority area. Policy makers call for an overall assessment of soil erosion in their geographical area of interest. They have asked that risk areas for soil erosion be mapped under present land use and climate conditions, and that appropriate measures be taken to control erosion within the legal and social context of natural resource management. Remote sensing data help to better assessment of factors that control erosion, such as vegetation coverage, slope length and slope angle. In this context, the data availability of remote sensing data during the past decade facilitates the more precise estimation of soil erosion risk. Following the principles of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), various options to calculate vegetative cover management (C-factor) have been investigated. The use of the CORINE Land Cover dataset in combination with lookup table values taken from the literature is presented as an option that has the advantage of a coherent input dataset but with the drawback of static input. Recent developments in the Copernicus programme have made detailed datasets available on land cover, leaf area index and base soil characteristics. These dynamic datasets allow for seasonal estimates of vegetation coverage, and their application in the G2 soil erosion model which represents a recent approach to the seasonal monitoring of soil erosion. The use of phenological datasets and the LUCAS land use/cover survey are proposed as auxiliary information in the selection of the best methodology.

https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/9229/1...

Modeling soil erosion and river sediment yield for an intermountain drainage basin of the Central Apennines, Italy
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2014

The overall aim of this research was to investigate the spatial patterns of the soil erosion risk. We focused on accelerated soil erosion processes in an Italian central Apennine intermountain watershed using modeling techniques implemented in a GIS environment. Our thorough literature review revealed a gap in research on soil erosion processes in such forested, intermountain watersheds. To gain a better understanding of the soil erosion processes in such landscapes, we proposed an integrated modeling approach applying a RUSLE model and a Turbidity Unit Index. The model outcomes were validated through measurements of lake sediment deposition. Our findings indicate a potential high soil erosion risk. With 1.33 M t− 1 yr− 1 of annual sediment yield, corresponding to an area-specific sediment yield of 32.35 t ha− 1 yr− 1, the Turano drainage basin belongs to the Italian basins with the highest sediment discharge. The outcomes of the RUSLE model showed that, despite the diverse forms of forests that cover about 62% of the drainage basin area, sizable plots of the investigated area are prone to soil erosion. The validation of the model outcomes revealed that the TU Index model performed significantly better than the RUSLE model with regard to sediment yield prediction. Accordingly, we found that even though rill and interrill processes reach very alarming values (RUSLE), they are not the dominant sediment source within the Turano watershed. Other geomorphological processes contributing to the watershed sediment yield – for instance, megarill, gully, bank and channel erosion and re-entrainment of landslide sediments – were very active in the study area. If both models are used in a combined approach, the amount of river load (TU Index) as well as the relative spatial distribution of rill and interrill erosion processes (RUSLE) can be described with sufficient precision.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0341816213002518

 

Tier-based approaches for landslide susceptibility assessment in Europe
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

In the framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy and the associated proposal of a Framework Directive on the protection and sustainable use of soil, landslides were recognised as a soil threat requiring specific strategies for priority area identification, spatial hazard assessment and management. This contribution outlines the general specifications for nested, Tier-based geographical landslide zonings at small spatial scales to identify priority areas susceptible to landslides (Tier 1) and to perform quantitative susceptibility evaluations within these (Tier 2). A heuristic, synoptic-scale Tier 1 assessment exploiting a reduced set of geoenvironmental factors derived from common pan-European data sources is proposed for the European Union and adjacent countries. Evaluation of the susceptibility estimate with national-level landslide inventory data suggests that a zonation of Europe according to, e.g. morphology and climate, and performing separate susceptibility assessments per zone could give more reliable results. To improve the Tier 1 assessment, a geomorphological terrain zoning and landslide typology differentiation are then applied for France. A multivariate landslide susceptibility assessment using additional information on landslide conditioning and triggering factors, together with a historical catalogue of landslides, is proposed for Tier 2 analysis. An approach is tested for priority areas in Italy using small administrative mapping units, allowing for relating socioeconomic census data with landslide susceptibility, which is mandatory for decision making regarding the adoption of landslide prevention and mitigation measures. The paper concludes with recommendations on further work to harmonise European landslide susceptibility assessments in the context of the European Soil Thematic Strategy.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%252Fs10346-012-0349-1

Willingness to pay for soil information derived by digital maps: A choice experiment approach
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Willingness to pay for soil information derived by digital maps: A choice experiment approach Soil surveys and the information they provide are commonly believed to be good investment, with significant benefits accrued to their users. To date, the empirical evidence for this comes from studies that have shown how enhanced soil information can alter agricultural practices in order to yield higher returns. This study attempts to estimate the economic value of soil information generated by a host of new proximal and in situ geophysical methods for the assessment of the following soil properties: carbon content, water content, clay content, bulk density and soil depth. The study also adopts a novel approach to the economic valuation of soil information by employing for the first time a choice experiment in order to estimate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of potential users of the digital maps and their features. The choice experiment took the form of an online survey, administered to about a thousand individuals from the wider soil community. The results reveal significant WTP for maps of high resolution and accuracy that offer map interpretation in addition to a number of soil properties.
Access the paper:
http://vzj.geoscienceworld.org/content/12/4/vzj2012.0198.abstract

An estimate of potential threats levels to soil biodiversity in EU
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

An estimate of potential threats levels to soil biodiversity in EU Life within the soil is vital for maintaining life on Earth due to the numerous ecosystem services that it provides. However, there is evidence that pressures on the soil biota are increasing which may undermine some of these ecosystem services. Current levels of belowground biodiversity are relatively poorly known, and so no benchmark exists by which to measure possible future losses of biodiversity. Furthermore, the relative risk that each type of anthropogenic pressures places on the soil biota remains unclear. Potential threats to soil biodiversity were calculated through the use of a composite score produced from data collected from 20 international experts using the budget allocation methodology. This allowed relative weightings to be given to each of the identified pressures for which data were available in the European Soil Data Centre (ESDC). A total of seven different indicators were used for the calculating the composite scores. These data were applied through a model using ArcGIS to produce a spatial analysis of composite pressures on soil biodiversity at the European scale. The model highlights the variation of the composite result of the potential threats to soil biodiversity. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the intensity of land exploitation, both in terms of agriculture and use intensity, as well as in terms of land use dynamics, were the main factors applying pressure on soil biodiversity. It is important to note that the model should not be viewed as an estimate of the current level of soil biodiversity in Europe, but as an estimate of pressures that are currently being exerted. The results obtained should be seen as a starting point for further investigation on this relatively unknown issue and demonstrate the utility of this type of model which may be applied to other regions and scales. Access the paper

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12159/abstract

Tier-based approaches for landslide susceptibility assessment in Europe
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Tier-based approaches for landslide susceptibility assessment in Europe In the framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy and the associated proposal of a Framework Directive on the protection and sustainable use of soil, landslides were recognised as a soil threat requiring specific strategies for priority area identification, spatial hazard assessment and management. This contribution outlines the general specifications for nested, Tier-based geographical landslide zonings at small spatial scales to identify priority areas susceptible to landslides (Tier 1) and to perform quantitative susceptibility evaluations within these (Tier 2). A heuristic, synoptic-scale Tier 1 assessment exploiting a reduced set of geoenvironmental factors derived from common pan-European data sources is proposed for the European Union and adjacent countries. Evaluation of the susceptibility estimate with national-level landslide inventory data suggests that a zonation of Europe according to, e.g. morphology and climate, and performing separate susceptibility assessments per zone could give more reliable results. To improve the Tier 1 assessment, a geomorphological terrain zoning and landslide typology differentiation are then applied for France. A multivariate landslide susceptibility assessment using additional information on landslide conditioning and triggering factors, together with a historical catalogue of landslides, is proposed for Tier 2 analysis. Access the paper

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10346-012-0349-1

Highly spatially- and seasonally-resolved predictive contamination maps for persistent organic pollutants: Development and validation
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Highly spatially- and seasonally-resolved predictive contamination maps for persistent organic pollutants: Development and validation A reliable spatial assessment of the POPs contamination in soils is essential for burden studies and flux evaluations. Soil characteristics and properties vary enormously even within small spatial scale and over time; therefore soil capacity of accumulating POPs varies greatly. In order to include this very high spatial and temporal variability, models can be used for assessing soil accumulation capacity in a specific time and space and, from it, the spatial distribution and temporal trends of POPs concentrations. In this work, predictive contamination maps of the accumulation capacity of soils were developed at a space resolution of 1 × 1 m with a time frame of one day, in a study area located in the central Alps. Physical algorithms for temperature and organic carbon estimation along the soil profile and across the year were fitted to estimate the horizontal, vertical and seasonal distribution of the contamination potential for PCBs in soil (Ksa maps).The resulting maps were cross-validated with an independent set of PCB contamination data, showing very good agreement (e.g. for CB-153, R2 = 0.80, p-value = 2.2 · 10- 06). Slopes of the regression between predicted Ksa and experimental concentrations were used to map the soil contamination for the whole area, taking into account soil characteristics and temperatures conditions. These maps offer the opportunity to evaluate burden (concentration maps) and fluxes (emission maps) with highly resolved temporal and spatial detail.In addition, in order to explain the observed low autumn PCB concentrations in soil related to the high Ksa values of this period, a dynamic model of seasonal variation of soil concentrations was developed basing on rate parameters fitted on measured concentrations. The model was able to describe, at least partially, the observed different behaviour between the quite rapid discharge phase in summer and the slow recharge phase in autumn.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969713005056

European Scenarios for Exposure of Soil Organisms to Pesticides
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

European Scenarios for Exposure of Soil Organisms to Pesticides Standardised exposure scenarios play an important role in European pesticide authorisation procedures (a scenario is a combination of climate, weather and crop data to be used in exposure models). The European Food Safety Authority developed such scenarios for the assessment of exposure of soil organisms to pesticides. Scenarios were needed for both the concentration in total soil and for the concentration in the liquid phase. The goal of the exposure assessment is the 90th percentile of the exposure concentration in the area of agricultural use of a pesticide in each of three regulatory European zones (North, Centre and South). A statistical approach was adopted to find scenarios that are consistent with this exposure goal. Scenario development began with the simulation of the concentration distribution in the entire area of use by means of a simple analytical model. In the subsequent two steps, procedures were applied to account for parameter uncertainty and scenario uncertainty (i.e. the likelihood that a scenario that is derived for one pesticide is not conservative enough for another pesticide). In the final step, the six scenarios were selected by defining their average air temperature, soil organic-matter content and their soil textural class. Organic matter of the selected scenarios decreased in the order North-Centre-South. Because organic matter has a different effect on the concentration in total soil than it has on the concentration in the liquid phase, the concentration in total soil decreased in the order North-Centre-South whereas the concentration in the liquid phase decreased in the opposite order. The concentration differences between the three regulatory zones appeared to be no more than a factor of two. These differences were comparatively small in view of the considerable differences in climate and soil properties between the three zones. Access the paper

http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/lesb20

Contaminated sites in Europe: Review of the current situation based on data collected through a European Network
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Contaminated sites in Europe: Review of the current situation based on data collected through a European Network Under the European Union (EU)Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, the European Commission has identified soil contamination as a priority for the collection of policy-relevant soil data at European scale. In order to support EU soil management policies, soilrelated indicators need to be developed which requires appropriate data collection and establishment of harmonized datasets for the EU Member States. In 2011-12, the European Soil Data Centre of the European Commission conducted a project to collect data on contaminated sites from national institutions in Europe using the European Environment Information and Observation Network for soil (EIONET-SOIL). This paper presents the results obtained fromanalysing the soil contaminated sites data submitted by participating countries. According to the received data, the number of estimated potential contaminated sites is more than 2.5 million and the identified contaminated sites around 342 thousand. Municipal and industrial wastes contribute most to soil contamination (38%), followed by the industrial/commercial sector (34%).Mineral oil and heavymetals are themain contaminants contributing around 60% to soil contamination. In terms of budget, the management of contaminated sites is estimated to cost around 6 billion Euros (C) annually. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014
Contaminated sites in Europe: Review of the current situation based on data collected through a European Network.
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/158764/

Connecting the Green and Brown Worlds: Allometric and Stoichiometric Predictability of Above- and Below-Ground Networks
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

We examine the potential of trait-based parameters of taxa for linking above- and below-ground ecological networks (hereafter ‘green’ and ‘brown’ worlds) to understand and predict community dynamics. This synthesis considers carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus-related traits, the abundance of component species and their size distribution across trophic levels under different forms of management. We have analysed existing and novel databases on plants, microbes and invertebrates that combine physico-chemical and biological information from (agro)ecosystems spanning the globe. We found (1) evidence that traits from above- and below-ground systems may be integrated in the same model and (2) a much greater than expected stoichiometric plasticity of plants and microbes which has implications for the entire food-web mass–abundance scaling. Nitrogen and phosphorus are primary basal resources (hence, drivers) and more retranslocation of P than of N from leaves will lead to higher N:P in the litter and soil organic matter. Thus, under nutrient-rich conditions, higher foliar concentrations of N and P are reflected by lower N:P in the brown litter, suggesting less P retranslocated than N. This apparent stoichiometric dichotomy between green and brown could result in shifts in threshold elemental ratios critical for ecosystem functioning. It has important implications for a general food-web model, given that resource C:N:P ratios are generally assumed to reflect environmental C:N:P ratios. We also provide the first evidence for large-scale allometric changes according to the stoichiometry of agroecosystems. Finally, we discuss insights that can be gained from integrating carbon and nitrogen isotope data into trait-based approaches, and address the origin of changes in Δ13C and Δ15N fractionation values in relation to consumer–resource body-mass ratios.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124200029000020

Spatial interaction between collapsed pipes and landslides in hilly regions with loess-derived soils.
Resource Type: Documents, Publications in Journals, Maps & Documents
Year: 2013

While most studies focus on the effect of soil pipes on hillslope stability, this present study investigates the impact of landsliding on pipe development. It is hypothesized that poorly drained active and dormant landslides change the hillslope hydrology through (i) surface flow obstruction, by changing topography, as well as (ii) subsurface flow obstruction by tilting less‐permeable clay‐rich substrates. Hence, new preferential flow paths are created at reverse slopes within the landslide zone and at the boundary of the landslide, enhancing pipe formation. This study aims at a better understanding of the interaction between collapsed pipe (CP) occurrence and landslide (LS) occurrence in the Flemish Ardennes (Belgium) by comparing their respective spatial patterns. At least 24.5% of the 139 sites with CP were related to the occurrence of an observed LS. Poorly drained LS may create favourable conditions for pipe development. Outside LS, natural and anthropogenic (e.g. broken field drains, road drainage) causes may result in concentrated subsurface flow, resulting in pipe development. No evidence was found that pipe development enhanced LS, probably because the subsurface drainage discharge generated upslope of the LS is too low. Even when pipes become blocked, it is more likely that new pipes develop and new collapses occur than they trigger or reactivate LS. A conceptual model is presented summarizing all elements that influence piping erosion in the Flemish Ardennes, including the role of LS.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/esp.3325

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

Metal toxicity and biodiversity in serpentine soils: Application of bioassay tests and microarthropod index
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

Metal toxicity and biodiversity in serpentine soils: Application of bioassay tests and microarthropod index Giovanna Visioli, Cristina Menta, Ciro Gardi, Federica Delia Conti Eco-toxicological or bioassays tests have intensively been discussed as tools for the evaluation of soil quality. Tests with soil organisms, including microarthropods and plants, allow direct estimates of important soil characteristics and functions. In this study we compared the results obtained by two in vitro standard bioassays following ISO or OECD guidelines: i) the short term-chronic phytotoxicity germination and root elongation test using three different plant species Lepidium sativum L. (Brassicaceae), Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitaceae) and Medicago sativa L. (Fabaceae) ii) the inhibition of reproduction of Folsomia candida (Collembola) by soil pollutants (ISO 11267:1999) to investigate the toxicity of a serpentine soil present in the Italian Apennines, rich in heavy metals such as Ni, Cr, Co. In addition, microarthropod communities were been characterized to evaluate the effects of metal contents on the soil fauna in natural conditions. Abundances, Acari/Collembola ratio, biodiversity indices and QBS-ar index were calculated. Our results demonstrate that the two in vitro tests discriminate differences correlated with metal and organic matter contents in four sub-sites within the serpentinite. Soil fauna characterization, not previously performed on serpentine soils, revealed differences in peculiar groups of microarthropods among the four sub-sites: microarthropod community was found to be rich and well diversified in the sub-site characterized by the less metal content and the higher organic matter content and vegetation. Access the paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653512012222

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

Continental-scale assessment of provisioning soil functions in Europe Soil plays a crucial role in terrestrial ecosystems and maintaining life on Earth. The ecosystem services it provides to humans are manifold and complex. In this paper we propose a framework for the evaluation of soil ecosystem services on a continental scale in Europe and make an account of the repertoire of major soil functions and functioning capacities of soils. Soil functions and associated services are discussed in the context of the European soil protection strategy and related to the classification of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. In our attempt to characterize soil ecosystem services for the area of the EU in a spatially explicit manner we produced new data on provisioning soil ecosystem services, including productivity and raw material availability. Comparing the potentials for providing soil ecosystem services with individual soil functions in European areas highlight the complexity of decision making dilemma for resources utilization but also underlines the possibilities for resources use optimization and conscious management.

http://www.ecologicalprocesses.com/content/2/1/32

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

European perspective of ecosystem services and related policies In this paper we focus on the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide. EU policies, contributing to the conservation and maintenance of the ecosystem services in Europe are discussed and their current impacts briefly reviewed in the light of the main challenges that European ecosystems may face in the near future.
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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1400/full

An energy-biochar chain involving biomass gasification and rice cultivation in Northern Italy
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Year: 2013

The competing demand for food and bioenergy requires new solutions for the agricultural sector as, for instance, the coupling of energy production from gasification technology and the application of the resulting biochar as soil amendment. A prerequisite for the implementation of this strategy is the scale‐specific assessment of both the energetic performance and of the impacts in terms of greenhouse gases (GHG) emission and crop responses. This study considered the gasification process developed by Advanced Gasification Technology (AGT, Italy), which is a fixed‐bed, down‐draft, open core, compact gasifier, having 350 kW of nominal electric capacity (microgeneration); this gasifier uses biomass feedstock deriving from agricultural/forest products and byproducts. In this study, the resulting biochar, derived from conifer wood chips of mountain forestry management in North‐western Italy, was applied to a nearby paddy rice field, located in the largest rice agricultural area of Europe. We performed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) adapting the BEAT2 model specifically focusing on the GHG balance of the supply chain, from the forestry management to the field distribution of the resulting biochar. The results indicated that the gasification stage had the highest impact in the supply chain in terms of emissions, but net emissions allocated to biochar were always negative (ranging between −0.54 and −2.1 t CO2e t−1 biochar), hypothesizing two scenarios of 32% and 7.3% biochar mineralization rate in soil, over a time period of 100 years. Finally, biochar had a marginal but positive effect on rice yield, thus increasing the sustainability of this energy‐biochar chain.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12028