Finding and sharing solutions to

protect our soils

Europe's soil research hub

Who is RECARE-Hub for?

Farmers & Forestry

RECARE-Hub contains the latest information on preventing soil threats, and cost-benefit analysis on proven remediation techniques.


Discover innovative sustainable land management measures that can combat threats to key soil functions.

Policy makers

Find out more about land care strategies relevant to your region and our integrated assessment of existing soil related policy.


Access a wealth of European research data on soil threats and the efficacy of land care strategies.

Teachers & environmentalists

Whether you're a teacher or a concerned environmentalist, find out why Europe's soils are under threat and what researchers are doing to help combat the problems.

Resources designed for you


The soil that underpins Europe's agricultural systems faces numerous threats.

If you are interested in learning about specific soil threats, you can explore the individual threats below. If you want detailed guidance for assessing soil degradation or learning about management measures to prevent and remediate against soil degradation, you might want to head straight over to RECARE's resources.



Assessment methods

Some of the commonest methods for measuring salinization include:

  • Electrical conductivity as a measure of salinity: Salinity in soils can be estimated conveniently from the electrical conductivity (EC) of a soil solution.


  • Leaching fraction: Simple empirical approach developed by Shaw and Thorburn (1985) to predict salt leaching for dryland soils and which is also applicable to irrigation.


  • Root zone salinity: Plants respond to salinity throughout the root zone, so it is useful to be able to convert measurements at various depths in the root zone into a single number that can be used when considering plant response.


  • Sodicity in soils and waters
    • ESP (Exchangeable sodium percentage), which is the proportion of sodium adsorbed onto the clay mineral surfaces as a proportion of the total cation exchange capacity
    • SAR (Sodium adsorption ratio), which is the relative concentration of sodium to calcium and magnesium in the soil solution or (irrigation) water.


  • Salinization mapping

Remote sensing, contact & non-contact ground-based geophysical methods to assess:

  • The mass and extent of salt in the landscape can be estimated
  • Areas of potential salinity hazard and salt loads likely to be mobilised under a wetter equilibrium

Commonly used remote sensing methods:

  • Aerial photography
  • Thematic Mapping (TM)
  • Airborne multi-spectral scanner (MSS)
  • Airborne geophysics.

Case Study Sites

 Click on the map below to find out more about RECARE's case study sites
Case Studies

Project Partners


RECARE is multidisciplinary team of 27 different organisations assessing the current threats to Europe's soils and innovative solutions to prevent further soil degradation.

Academic Contact
Professor Coen Ritsema 
Wageningen University
E: coen.ritsema[AT]

Media Contact
Dr Matt Reed
E: mreed[AT]


Funded by the European Commission FP7 Programme, ENV.2013.6.2-4 ‘Sustainable land care in Europe’.

EU grant agreement: 603498.

Project officer: Maria Yeroyanni.

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