Water erosion reduces soil quality and causes ecological and economical damages to the environment, to farmers and the society by loss of water storage capacity, organic carbon and essential nutrients, and by their transfer into aquatic environments and urban areas.
Gaining a better understanding of sediment connectivity in agricultural landscape systems i.e. fields, rivers, ditches, streets, forests, grassland areas etc., can improve the impact of both in-field and off-site mitigation strategies and thereby reduce the off-site damages of soil erosion from agricultural land.
The SCALE project focus on ‘sediment connectivity‘, indicating, how easy it is for soil to flow from one place to another place without hindrance, and how strong for instance fields, rivers, streets are connected to each other.
To gain new knowledge, SCALE looks at current state-of-the-art of connectivity principles in modelling and legal standards. It is an objective to harmonise data sets and up- and downscaling methods. Measures and modelling approaches are evaluated and frameworks with mitigation measures and best management practices will be developed.
SCALE is a consortium of 13 research institutes from 9 EU-countries that aims to improve the management of sediment connectivity in diverse agricultural landscapes.
SCALE will significantly improve the harmonisation of data sets, observation and modelling techniques in connectivity research and bridge the gap between different spatial and administrative scales.
The project composes:
BAW (Federal Agency for Water Management), Austria
Responsible person from organization: Elmar Schmaltz
INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment), France
Responsible person from organization: Frédéric Darboux
AU (Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University), Denmark
Responsible person from organization: Goswin Heckrath
LUKE (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Finland
Responsible person from organization: Jaana Uusi-Kämppä
CREA (Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria), Italy
Responsible person from organization: Rosario Napoli
IUNG (The Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute), Poland
Responsible person from organization: Rafal Wawer
ULBF (University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty), Slovenia
Responsible person from organization: Marko Zupan
SupAgro (Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro), France
Responsible person from organization: Julien Fouché
BFW (Federal Research Centre for Forests), Austria
Responsible person from organization: Ernst Leitgeb
VPO (Government of Flanders, Department of Environment and Spatial Development), Belgium
Responsible person from organization: Petra Deproost
UNIPA (University of Palermo, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences), Italy
Responsible person from organization: Giuseppe Lo Papa
AIS (Agricultural Institute of Slovenia), Slovenia
Responsible person from organization: Borut Vrščaj
CSIC (Spanish Council for Scientific Research), Spain
Responsible persons from organization: José. A. Gómez and Víctor M. Castillo Sánchez
The 7th Environmental Action Plan of the European Union stated that by 2020: "land is managed sustainably in the Union, soil is adequately protected". Achieving these goals requires efforts in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil organic matter content. Land use aspects are to be integrated and coordinated with decision-making, all relevant government levels need to be involved. Soil and land need to be acknowledged as a resource, and targets for land planning and sustainable land and soil use and management should be defined addressing soil quality issues within a binding legal framework. Erosion processes (detachment, transport, and deposition) result in the loss of soil and SOM due to water and wind erosion in agricultural fields. Where does it occur? How can it be assessed? What is the impact and how can it be prevented?
The project should consider the ‘connectivity’ principles to identify key linkages at a range of scales across the landscapes that soil loss and the associated impact on C cycling, biodiversity and resilience. Projects should focus on different environmental zones and soil types.
Project type: Medium size research project / 150 PM