Title
Cover Management factor (C-factor) for the EU
Abstract

Land use and management influence the magnitude of soil loss. Among the different soil erosion riskfactors, the cover-management factor (C-factor) is the one that policy makers and farmers can mostreadily influence in order to help reduce soil loss rates. The present study proposes a methodology forestimating the C-factor in the European Union (EU), using pan-European datasets (such as CORINE LandCover), biophysical attributes derived from remote sensing, and statistical data on agricultural crops andpractices. In arable lands, the C-factor was estimated using crop statistics (% of land per crop) and data onmanagement practices such as conservation tillage, plant residues and winter crop cover. The C-factor innon-arable lands was estimated by weighting the range of literature values found according to fractionalvegetation cover, which was estimated based on the remote sensing dataset Fcover. The mean C-factor inthe EU is estimated to be 0.1043, with an extremely high variability; forests have the lowest mean C-factor(0.00116), and arable lands and sparsely vegetated areas the highest (0.233 and 0.2651, respectively).Conservation management practices (reduced/no tillage, use of cover crops and plant residues) reducethe C-factor by on average 19.1% in arable lands.The methodology is designed to be a tool for policy makers to assess the effect of future land use andcrop rotation scenarios on soil erosion by water. The impact of land use changes (deforestation, arableland expansion) and the effect of policies (such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the push to growmore renewable energy crops) can potentially be quantified with the proposed model. The C-factor dataand the statistical input data used are available from the European Soil Data Centre. More information about the LANDUM model and the data on C-factor in: Panagos, P., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, C., Alewell, C., Lugato, E., Montanarella, L., 2015. Estimating the soil erosion cover-management factor at European scale. Land Use policy 48C: 38-50.


References
A complete description of the methodology and the application in Europe is described in the paper: Panagos, P., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, C., Alewell, C., Lugato, E., Montanarella, L., 2015. Estimating the soil erosion cover-management factor at European scale. Land Use policy journal. 48C, 38-50
Data ownership
European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
Publication Date
Type
Raster Data
Keywords
cover crops , Management practices , Cfactor , soil conservation , land use , Agriculture , Tillage practices , Plant residues , LANDUM , Covermanagement
Category
Environment
environmental resources, protection and conservation. Examples: environmental pollution, waste storage and treatment, environmental impact assessment, monitoring environmental risk, nature reserves, landscape
Regions
Europe

Maintenance Frequency
5-10 Years, Data Is Updated In Intervals That Are Uneven In Duration
Edition
1
Purpose

This layers is used as input for soil erosion modelling

Language
English

Spatial Representation Type
grid data is used to represent geographic data
Attribute Name Label Description
C_factor None None

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    C-factor

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