Supporting World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD17) - 17th June 2017

RECARE - Halting the desertification of Iceland's fragile sols


RECARE scientisst visiting desertification restoration area below the Hella volcano (Photo@ Erik van den Elsen)In the battle to save the planet’s soil from desertification, the black volcanic sands below Iceland’s largest active volcano seems an unlikely place to start. The RECARE project, funded by the European Union, is involved in finding and sharing solutions to soil threats across Europe and recently the project scientists visited the RECARE case study site in Iceland to learn more about the efforts to halt the soil threat of desertification.

Our host Johann Thorsson from the Icelandic Soil Conservation Service (SCSI) explains that Mount Hella (pronounced HeK-la) is overdue for an eruption. Sensors are detecting that the mountain is swelling with magma entering its upper chambers, but that should not distract from the business of restoring the soil as demonstrated in the trial plot. Johann and his team are experimenting with ways in which to halt the desertification of Iceland and to restore the fertility and health they have not had for several centuries. Prior to settlement, Iceland, like many islands colonised by humans with axes and followed by sheep, was not as it appears today. The first people found an island covered with trees, some of which stood at over 10 metres and were later used for building boats. Underpinning these verdant forests was a soil that was both fertile and protected from the vicissitudes of Iceland’s weather.

Video on soil compaction from RECARE Danish Case Study

A video from an event held at the RECARE Danish Case Study on techniques to minimise soil compaction is now available to watch here.  The video is narrated by Per Schjønning, the Case Study leader, who explains some of the causes of soil compaction and the work of the RECARE project in finding solutions to minimise this soil threat.  The video is in Danish with English subtitles

For more information about the soil threat of compaction visit our soil compaction web page or contact Per Schjonning This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Fifth RECARE Newsletter Now Available

Newsletter5 frontThe fifth RECARE newsletter is now available and can be downloaded here. This edition covers:

  1. Details of new Review Report on EU Policies Towards Soil Protection.

  2. Case Study Focus: Norway and Slovakia - preventing floods and landslides

  3. Soil Threat Feature: Decline of Soil Organic Matter in Peat Soils

  4. RECARE Publications Trees

  5. RECARE at Conferences and Events

 

RECARE research presented at JRC Soil erosion modelling workhsop

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A number of RECARE partners presented at the Soil Erosion Modelling Workshop, run by Joint Research Centre (JRC), in Ispira, Italy between 20th to 22nd March 2017.  The aim of the workshop was to discuss how local/regional modeling results can be upscaled (or applied) to the European scale. The workshop also served as a follow-up to recent JRC modelling developments and published maps for soil erosion by water and wind. The workshop focused on how various projects or local/regional modelling applications can improve the “know-how” at European scale, with emphasis given to management practices that can reduce soil erosion.

Jan Jacob Keizer, from the University of Aveiro, Portugal gave a presentation about the effectiveness of mulching with forest logging residues to reduce post-fire erosion: combined evidence from laboratory and field studies drawing on the RECARE case study experiments.  Hedwig van Delden, from Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS), Netherlands presented on Modelling the impacts of European policies on preventing and mitigating soil threats.  She discussed the development of the RECARE Integrated Assessment Model which aims to assess the impact of different external factors, policy options and management options on a number of (ecosystem service) indicators relevant to the range of soil threats.

For more information about the presentations, please contact RECARE partners: Jan Keizer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Hedwig van Delden (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

For more information about the workshop, please contact RECARE partner: Panos Panagos (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Tyre stressRECARE results on soil compaction presented at stakeholder congress in Denmark

Results obtained in the RECARE Case Study on Soil Compaction were presented at the annual ‘Plantekongressen’ (Crop Congress) on 18th January 2017. The event was attended by ~1900 individuals, comprising farmers, consultants, researchers, students, business people, and public servants. MSc student Hans Christian G. Carstensen presented an inventory of soil compaction risk in Danish agriculture that was undertaken during his employment in RECARE in 2015. The compaction risk was assessed by the decision support system Terranimo®. The results (summary and PowerPoint show) indicated that around 38% of all traffic events monitored gave rise to serious risk of compaction in the subsoil. The most problematic farming operations were slurry application in early spring and small grain harvest by modern-day very heavy combine harvesters.

Mathieu Lamandé had another presentation, highlighting the potentials in use of tracks mounted on slurry wagons to mitigate the compaction risk (summary and PowerPoint show). This presentation was a spin-off from the demonstration part of the RECARE Case Study Soil Compaction stakeholder workshop II.

The RECARE presentations at ‘Plantekongressen’ were attended by around 350 individuals, which reflects an increasing awareness of the compaction challenge as a result of the RECARE project activities.

For more information, please contact Per Schjønning This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.