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 300 documents can also be inspected irrespective of the category (see 'All documents' below).

 

 

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Predicted distribution of SOC content in Europe (based on LUCAS, BioSoil and CZO) in the context of the EU-funded SoilTrEC project.
Resource Type: Datasets, Maps & Documents, Documents, Publications in Journals
Author: Ece Aksoy , Yusuf Yigini , Luca Montanarella
Year: 2016
Publisher: PLoS ONE 11(3): e0152098. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152098

The maps of predicted distribution of SOC content in Europe are based on aggregated 23,835 soil samples collected from the LUCAS Project (samples from agricultural soil), the BioSoil Project (samples from European forest soil), and the “Soil Transformations in European Catchments” (SoilTrEC) Project (samples from local soil data coming from five different critical zone observatories (CZOs) in Europe). The Predicted SOC content was the lowest in permanent crops and arable lands; highest values are found in wetlands and grasslands. Moreover, Hungary and Portugal show the lowest SOC content with the averages 2.21% and 2.68%, whereas Ireland (13.29%) and Sweden (11.15%) hshow ighest SOC contents.  

Spatial coverage: 25 European Union Member States (excluded Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia), and Switzerland
Pixel size: 1Km
Projection: ETRS89-LAEA-10-52
Temporal coverage: 2014
Input data source: LUCAS, BioSoil and CZOs point data

Via this page you can register for downloading the output and input data that are mentioned in the paper

The data are described in:

Combining soil databases for topsoil organic carbon mapping in Europe” (E. Aksoy, Y.Yigini and L. Montanarella), published in PLOS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152098, that is summarized as follows: 

Accuracy in assessing the distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) is important because it plays a key role in the functions of both natural ecosystems and agricultural systems. There are several studies in the literature with the aim of finding the best method to assess and map the distribution of SOC content for Europe. This study aims to search for the effects and performances of using aggregated soil samples coming from different studies and land-uses.

The total number of the soil samples in this study was 23,835 and they were collected from the “Land Use/Cover Area frame Statistical Survey” (LUCAS) Project (samples from agricultural soil), the BioSoil Project (samples from forest soil), and the “Soil Transformations in European Catchments” (SoilTrEC) Project (samples from local soil data coming from five different critical zone observatories (CZOs) in Europe). Moreover, 15 spatial indicators (slope, aspect, elevation, compound topographic index (CTI), CORINE land-cover classification, parent material, texture, world reference base (WRB) soil classification, geological formations, annual average temperature, min-max temperature, total precipitation and average precipitation (for the years 1960–1990 and 2000–2010)) were used as auxiliary variables in this prediction. One of the most popular geostatistical techniques, Regression-Kriging (RK), was applied to build the model and assess the distribution of SOC.

This study showed that, even though the RK method was appropriate for successful SOC mapping, using combined databases did not increase the statistical significance of the method results for assessing the SOC distribution as much as expected. Combining local data coming from CZOs with LUCAS samples was found as more significant than combining the two big datasets of the LUCAS and Biosoil Projects. Moreover, the effect of the chosen auxiliary variables on SOC prediction seems more important than increasing the number of the soil samples. According to the results: SOC variation was mainly affected by elevation, slope, CTI, average temperature, average and total precipitation, texture, WRB and CORINE variables at the European scale in the model. Moreover, the highest average SOC contents were found in the wetland areas; agricultural areas have much lower SOC content than forest and semi natural areas; Ireland, Sweden and Finland show the highest SOC values; Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Spain and Italy show the lowest values with an average 3%.

 

Data (available: 3 output datasets and 1 input dataset):

0.     Input: soil sample point data; attribute: SOC for each point.

1.     Predicted distribution of SOC content by using 1 dataset (LUCAS) (Figure 3 in the article)

2.     Predicted distribution of SOC content by using 2 datasets (LUCAS-CZOs) (Figure 4 in the article)

3.     Predicted distribution of SOC content by using 3 datasets (LUCAS-CZOs-BIOSOIL) (Figure 5 in the article)

 

Acknowledgments

Funding support is acknowledged from the European Commission FP 7 Collaborative Project “Soil Transformations in European Catchments” (SoilTrEC) (Grant Agreement no. 244118).

LUCAS 2018 - SOIL COMPONENT: Sampling Instructions for Surveyors
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Scientific-Technical Reports
Country: LU
Author: FERNANDEZ UGALDE Oihane, ORGIAZZI Alberto, JONES Arwyn, LUGATO Emanuele, PANAGOS Panagiotis
Year: 2017
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Language: en
The European Commission launched a soil assessment component to the periodic LUCAS Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey in 2009. Composite soil samples from 0-20-cm depth were taken, air-dried and sieved to 2 mm in order to analyse physical and chemical parameters of topsoil in 25 Member States (EU-27 except Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Cyprus). The aim of the LUCAS Soil Component was to create a harmonised and comparable dataset of main properties of topsoil at the EU. The LUCAS Soil Component was extended to Bulgaria and Romania in 2012. Overall, ca. 22,000 soil samples were collected and analysed. All samples were analysed for percentage of coarse fragments, particle-size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, phosphorous, total nitrogen, extractable potassium, cation exchange capacity, multispectral properties and heavy metals. In 2015, the soil sampling was repeated in the same set of points of LUCAS 2009/2012 to monitor changes in topsoil physical and chemical parameters across the EU. The soil component was extended to points above elevations of 1000 m, which were not sampled in LUCAS 2009/2012. Furthermore, soil samples were taken in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Switzerland. The soil sampling was carried out following the instructions already used in LUCAS 2009/2012. Approximately 27,000 samples were collected and will be analysed during 2016 and 2017. In 2018, a new soil sampling campaign will be carried out within the LUCAS framework. Soil samples will be taken in repeated points of LUCAS 2009/2012 and LUCAS 2015. The novelty of the survey is that new physical, chemical and biological parameters will be analysed. Key parameters for evaluating soil quality, such as bulk density and soil biodiversity, will be analysed. These analyses require specific methods of soil sampling, preparation and storage of samples. Furthermore, field measurements such as the thickness of organic layer in peat soils, and visual assessment of signs of soil erosion will be carried out in 2018. This technical report compiles the instructions for collecting the various soil samples and for performing field measurements in the soil survey of 2018. These instructions will be used for all LUCAS surveyors, to create a comparable database of soil characteristics all over Europe.
A new baseline of organic carbon stock in European agricultural soils using a modelling approach
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

A new baseline of organic carbon stock in European agricultural soils using a modelling approach Proposed European policy in the agricultural sector will place higher emphasis on soil organic carbon (SOC), both as an indicator of soil quality and as a means to offset CO2 emissions through soil carbon (C) sequestration. Despite detailed national SOC datasets in several European Union (EU) Member States, a consistent C stock estimation at EU scale remains problematic. Data are often not directly comparable, different methods have been used to obtain values (e.g. sampling, laboratory analysis, etc.) and access may be restricted. Therefore, any evolution of EU policies on C accounting and sequestration may be constrained by a lack of an accurate SOC estimation and the availability of tools to carry out scenario analysis, especially for agricultural soils. Under this context, a comprehensive model was established at a pan-European scale (EU + Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Norway) using the agro-ecosystem SOC model CENTURY. Almost 164,000 combinations of soil-climate-land use were computed, including the main arable crops, orchards and pasture. The model was implemented with the main management practices (e.g. irrigation, mineral and organic fertilization, tillage, etc.) derived from official statistics. The model results were tested against inventories from the European Environment and Observation Network (EIONET) and approximately 20,000 soil samples from the 2009 LUCAS survey, a monitoring project aiming at producing the first coherent, comprehensive and harmonized top-soil dataset of the EU based on harmonized sampling and analytical methods. The CENTURY model estimation of the current 0-30 cm SOC stock of agricultural soils was 17.64 Gt. The model predicted an overall increase of this pool according to different climate-emission scenarios up to 2100, with C loss in the south and east of the area (involving 30% of the whole simulated agricultural land) compensated by a gain in central and northern regions. Generally, higher soil respiration was offset by higher C input as a consequence of increased CO2 atmospheric concentration and favourable crop growing conditions, especially in northern Europe. Considering the importance of SOC in future EU policies, this platform of simulation appears to be a very promising tool to orient future policymaking decisions. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

Prediction of Soil Organic Carbon at the European Scale by Visible and Near InfraRed Reflectance Spectroscopy
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

Prediction of Soil Organic Carbon at the European Scale by Visible and Near InfraRed Reflectance Spectroscopy Soil organic carbon is a key soil property related to soil fertility, aggregate stability and the exchange of CO2 with the atmosphere. Existing soil maps and inventories can rarely be used to monitor the state and evolution in soil organic carbon content due to their poor spatial resolution, lack of consistency and high updating costs. Visible and Near Infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is an alternative method to provide cheap and high-density soil data. However, there are still some uncertainties on its capacity to produce reliable predictions for areas characterized by large soil diversity. Using a large-scale EU soil survey of about 20,000 samples and covering 23 countries, we assessed the performance of reflectance spectroscopy for the prediction of soil organic carbon content. The best calibrations achieved a root mean square error ranging from 4.1 to 15 g C kg-1 for mineral soils and a root mean square error of 50 g C kg-1 for organic soil materials. Model errors are shown to be related to the levels of soil organic carbon and sand content in the samples. Although errors are ~5 times larger than the reproducibility error of the laboratory method, reflectance spectroscopy provides unbiased estimates of the soil organic carbon content that could be used for assessing the mean soil organic carbon content of large geographical entities or countries. This study is a first step towards providing uniform continental-scale spectroscopic estimations of soil organic carbon, meeting an increasing demand for information on the state of the soil that can be used in biogeochemical models and the monitoring of soil degradation. 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
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

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

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

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 Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

The LUCAS topsoil database and derived information on the regional variability of cropland topsoil properties in the European Union The Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS) is a pilot project to monitor changes in the management and nature of the land surface of the European Union. Sampling is based on the intersection points of a 2 x 2 km grid covering the EU. In the 2009 LUCAS exercise, the sampling of soil complemented the general land use and land cover survey, through the collection of topsoil samples from around 10% of the sites visited in that year. Nearly 21,000 soil samples were collected in twenty-five EU Member States (EU-27 except Bulgaria and Romania) with the aim to produce the first coherent physicochemical database of soils at pan-European Scale. Soil samples have been analysed for basic soil properties, including particle size distribution, pH, organic carbon, carbonates, NPK and CEC, and multispectral properties. Preliminary studies show the outstanding potential of the dataset in enhancing the knowledge base for soils in the EU. The current paper provides an introduction to the LUCAS Topsoil 2009 project and provides an example of data applicability by highlighting some of the results on organic carbon measurements in a regional comparison. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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 Last Update: 14/10/2014

Report on landslide mapping concepts and methods for landslide risk management in Europe.
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

Report on landslide mapping concepts and methods for landslide risk management in Europe. Landslide inventories and susceptibility and hazard maps are key tools for land use planning and management, civil protection plans, civil engineering works, and risk reduction programmes. Their importance helps understanding why approximately one sixth of all contributions to the Second World Landslide Forum were related to recent advances in these topics. This volume presents the state of the art on landslide inventory and susceptibility and hazard zoning. It contains experiences, methods and techniques applied in different physiographic, geological and climate settings of the world and for different types of landslides, from site-specific investigations to global scale analysis Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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 Last Update: 14/10/2014

Spatial prediction of soil properties at European scale using the LUCAS database as an harmonization layer
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

Spatial prediction of soil properties at European scale using the LUCAS database as an harmonization layer The Land Use and Cover Area frame Statistical survey (LUCAS) is a project, initiated by Eurostat, aimed at the collection of harmonized data about the state of land use/ land cover over the extent of European Union (EU). The survey, initiated in 2006, started with the classification, through photo-interpretation, of 106 georeferenced points placed at the nodes of a 2km grid covering EU. Among these 2105 were selected for validation and a topsoil survey was conducted at about 10% of these sites. Topsoil sampling locations were selected as to be representative of European landscape using a latin hypercube stratified random sampling, taking into account CORINE land cover 2000, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEM and its derived slope, aspect and curvature. In this study we will discuss how the LUCAS database can be used to map soil properties at continental scale over the geographical extent of Europe. Several soil properties (namely: soil texture, pH, carbon and nitrogen content) were predicted using hybrid approaches like regression kriging. Regression models were fitted using, along other variables, remotely sensed data coming from the MODIS sensor. The high temporal resolution of MODIS allowed detecting changes in the vegetative response due to soil properties, which can then be used to map soil features distribution. We will also discuss the prediction of intrinsically collinear variables like soil texture which required the use of models capable of dealing with multivariate constrained dependent variables like Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines. Cross validation of the fitted models proved that the LUCAS dataset constitutes a good sample for mapping puropses leading to regression R2 between 0.4 and 0.7 for different soil properties and normalised errors between 4 and 10%. Finally a strategy about how to use LUCAS as an harmonization layer to attune heterogeneous soil information sources is presented and discussed Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

Chapter Two – Connecting the Green and Brown Worlds: Allometric and Stoichiometric Predictability of Above- and Below-Ground Networks We examine the potential of trait-based parameters for linking above-ground and below-ground ecological networks (hereafter 'green' and 'brown' worlds) to forecast community dynamics. We examine whether the brown and green worlds can be linked into a general model by combining classic allometric scaling and elemental stoichiometry. This synthesis considers carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus-related traits, numerical abundance of component species and size distribution across trophic levels. To realize this synthesis, we have re-analyzed plant, microbial and invertebrate databases that combine physico-chemical and biological information from terrestrial ecosystems spanning the globe. We found (1) indirect evidence to suggest that the traits from above-ground and below-ground systems can be integrated in the same model and (2) strong evidence for a much greater than expected stoichiometrical plasticity of plants and microbes that has implications for the entire food web. Nitrogen and phosphorus are primary basal resource drivers and more retranslocation of P than of N from leaves will lead to higher N:P in the litter. Under nutrient-rich conditions, higher foliar concentrations of N and P are mostly accompanied by lower N:P in the litter, suggesting that less P was retranslocated. This apparent stoichiometric dichotomy could result in shifts in threshold elemental ratios critical for ecosystem functioning and has important implications for a general food-web model, given that resource C:N:P ratios reflect environmental C:N:P ratios. We discuss insights that can be gained from integrating carbon and nitrogen isotope data into trait-based predictions, and address the origin of changes in ?13C and ?15N fractionation values as related to consumer–resource body-mass ratios. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

SoilTrEC: A Global Initiative on Critical Zone Research and Integration
Resource Type: Publications in Journals, Documents, Maps & Documents

SoilTrEC: A Global Initiative on Critical Zone Research and Integration Global soils provide a variety of ecosystem services. However, currently, global soils are under various threats and in specific cases catastrophic decline in these services is observed across the continents. In this context, , the European Commission published the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a specific policy need to address the threats to soil and ecosystem services that it provides. SoilTrEC which stands for Soil Transformations in European Catchments aims to research on soil processes and functions in a CZ context and, to provide recommendations to the stakeholders to develop appropriate policies on soil protection and ecosystem services. This paper presents an overview of the SoilTrEC project, its organizational structure, the methodology and the expected outcomes. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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: 14/10/2014

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

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 Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

Comparison of pedotransfer functions to estimate the van Genuchten parameters from soil survey information The aim of the research was to compare the reliability of the methods used to estimate the parameters of the soil water retention curve (SWRC) from Hungarian soil map information and to investigate how the methods could be improved, using 11,470 soil horizon data series from the Hungarian Soil Hydrophysical Dataset (the MARTHA dataset). Among the methods found in the literature, the SWRC estimation method has only yet been tested in Hungary for the Kreybig Digital Soil Information System (BAKACSI et al., 2012). These authors determined the FAO texture class (FAO, 1995) of the given soil on the basis of soil hygroscopic data (hy). Then class pedotransfer functions (class PTFs) derived on the HYPRES dataset by WÖSTEN et al. (1999) and on the HUNSODA dataset by NEMES (2003) were used to estimate van Genuchten parameters of the SWRC for the mapped texture classes (HYPRES_hy and HUNSODA_hy). The relationship between hy and the five FAO texture classes was then tested on the MARTHA dataset following the procedure of BAKACSI et al. (2012). Texture was also estimated on the basis of the upper limit of plasticity according to Arany (KA). The van Genuchten parameters of the characteristic SWRC for each FAO texture class were calculated on the training set of MARTHA using the method of WÖSTEN et al. (1999). The calculation was first carried out for soil samples having at least three measured water retention values (MARTHA_min3pF) and then only for those where at least five ?(h) data pairs were available (MARTHA_min5pF). It was found that the FAO texture class of soil samples could be assigned more efficiently on the basis of KA than using hy. In cases where data on the particle size distribution were not available and FAO texture class was given on the basis of soil hygroscopicity, the reliability of SWRC estimation was significantly worse. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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 Last Update: 14/10/2014

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

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

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

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. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014

The Remediated sites and brownfields–Success stories in Europe
Resource Type: Maps & Documents, Documents, Scientific-Technical Reports
Author: Ana Payá Pérez, Sara Peláez Sánchez, Marc Van Liedekerke
Year: 2015
Publisher: European Commission, Joint Research Centre

This document is published at the initiative of the Eionet National Reference Centres for Soil, which established in 2015 an ad-hoc working group on contaminated sites and brownfields in Europe.The objective was to collect cases and successful stories of remediated sites and brownfields, harmonise and facilitate exchanges of information on contaminated soils and soil remediation between the Eionet contributing countries. These stories have been compiled in the present report as a publication to the International Year of Soil 2015. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of the remediation of contaminated sites and brownfields rehabilitation which is essential for sustainable land use management and to share best practices and new techniques in soil remediation and management of contaminated sites, meanwhile raising awareness of the enormous efforts needed to succeed. This document presents examples of success stories of remediation of contaminated soils in various contexts and different European countries. It is not meant to provide an exhaustive inventory of remediated sites in all countries.

Thirteen countries comprising 19 European regions present a total of 29 cases which illustrate how soil and brownfields remediation along with sustainable land management have become essential for reversing the trend of soil degradation and ensuring the provision of ecosystem services by soil.

Extending Geographic and Thematic Range of SPADE/M with HYPRES Soil Profile Data
Resource Type: Scientific-Technical Reports

Extending Geographic and Thematic Range of SPADE/M with HYPRES Soil Profile Data The measured soil profile data of the Hydraulic Properties of European Soils (HYPRES) were evaluated for their potential use in extending the geographic coverage and thematic range of the profiles of the Soil Profile Analytical Database of Europe of measured profiles (SPADE/M) database. The aim of increasing the number of measured profiles is to improve the definition of pedo-transfer rules (PTRs) to extend the range of parameters characterizing soils and the validation of model runs.The HYPRES and SPADE/M databases follow different concepts in the compilation of soil profiles. These differences were reflected in the organization of storing profile data in the databases. A specific conceptual problem to extending the SPADE/M data set is posed by recording repeated measurements in the HYPRES database for horizons of a profile and multiple profiles for a plot. The two data sets also differ with respect to the properties recorded, the measurement units and the database model. To increase the number of measured soil profile data of the SPADE/M data set with HYPRES profiles the data from the latter has to be standardized to be adjusted to comply with the specifications of the SPADE/M data set. The standardization process involves conversions of units or reference systems, such as the plot co-ordinate transformation or the extraction of properties from comment fields, but also conceptual adaptations of the method used to characterize a soil horizon in the database. The outcome of the standardization process is a series of soil profiles which can be seamlessly added to the SPADE/M data set. Author(s): R. Hiederer Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union 2011 – 43 pp. – EUR 26540 EN Scientific and Technical Research series – ISBN 78-92-79-21593-3(online), doi:10.2788/8209 Download report: (Size: 1 MB) Preview FrontPage : Last Update: 21/08/2014

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

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. Access the paper Last Update: 14/10/2014