Start:1 February 2021
Duration:36 Months
Aim:To improve the management of sediment connectivity in diverse agricultural landscapes.

Project coordinator and Project communication representative: Elmar Schmaltz (

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.

It composes:

  1. Current state-of-the-art of connectivity principles in modelling and legal standards,
  2. Data set harmonisation,
  3. Harmonisation of up- and downscaling methods,
  4. Evaluation of on- and off-site measures and connectivity elements in common modelling approaches,
  5. Development of frameworks with mitigation measures and best management practices for stakeholders, 
  6. The communication of the project’s output.

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.

Project leader and partners

Project leader:

BAW (Federal Agency for Water Management), Austria
Responsible person from organization: Elmar Schmaltz

Project partners:

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

Call text: SR5



Landscape analyses: Erosion processes    

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