Preventing desertification

1) Spain Case Study - Mitigating soil erosion in agricultural land

The Spanish Case Study is testing the mulching impact of straw on soil and water losses.

Strawmulch Mulch experiment
Straw mulching experiment to prevent soil erosion



Scientific articles

Alicia Morugán-Coronado, Fuensanta García-Orenes, Artemi Cerdà (2015) Changes in soil microbial activity and physiochemical properties in agricultural soils in Eastern Spain. Spanish Journal of Soil Science Vol 5, No. 3 DOI: 10.3232/SJSS.2015.V5.N3.02

Prosdocimi M, Burguet M, Di Prima S, Sofia G, Terol Esparza E, Rodrigo Comino J, Cerdà A, Tarolli P (2017) Rainfall simulation and Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry for the analysis of soil water erosion in Mediterranean vineyards. Published in: Science of the Total Environment, 2017, 574, 204-215

Prosdocimi, M., Tarolli, P., Cerdà, A (2016) Mulching practices for reducing soil water erosion: A review. Published in: Earth-Science Reviews, 2016, 161: 191–203

Cerdà, A., González-Pelayo, O., Giménez-Morera, A., Jordán, A., Pereira, P., Novara, A., Brevik, E.C., Prosdocimi, M., Mahmoodabadi, M., Keesstra, S., García Orenes, F., Ritsema, C. (2016) The use of barley straw residues to avoid high erosion and runoff rates on persimmon plantations in Eastern Spain under low frequency – high magnitude simulated rainfall events. Published in: Soil Res, 2016, 54, 2, 154-165

Keesstra, S., P. Pereira, A. Novara, E. C. Brevik, C. Azorin-Molina, L. Parras-Alcántara, A. Jordán, and A. Cerdà (2016) Effects of Soil Management Techniques on Soil Water Erosion in Apricot Orchards. Published in: Science of the Total Environment, 2016.  551-552: 357- 336 

Rodrigo Comino, J., T. Iserloh, T. Lassu, A. Cerdà, S. D. Keesstra, M. Prosdocimi, C. Brings, et al. (2016) Quantitative Comparison of Initial Soil Erosion Processes and Runoff Generation in Spanish and German Vineyards. Published in: Science of the Total Environment, 2016, 565: 1165-1174

Rodrigo Comino J, Iserloh T, Morvan X, Malam Issa O, Naisse C, Keesstra SD, Cerdà A, Prosdocimi M, Arnáez J, Lasanta T, Ramos MC, Marqués MJ, Ruiz Colmenero M, Bienes R, Ruiz Sinoga JD, Seeger M, Ries JB (2016) Soil Erosion Processes in European Vineyards: A Qualitative Comparison of Rainfall Simulation Measurements in Germany, Spain and France. Published in: Hydrology, 2016, 3 (1), 6;


For more information about this RECARE experiment, please contact Artemi Cerda: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2) Iceland Case Study - reclamation methods to increase land resilience to soil erosion by wind

The researchers in Iceland are testing the effectiveness of various selected land reclamation methods with respect to increased land resilience.  Different methods are being applied, including synthetic fertilizer, organic fertilizer, grass seeding, lupine seeding, tree establishment.

A land reclamation area in the Hekluskógar area. This is an old active sand advancing front that has been stabilized with Lyme grass (Leymus arenarius)

Preliminary results:

The figure shows how treatments responded variously from zero to 2 t/ha biomass.


The biomass was highest in Leymus, Lupinus and bone meal treatments (see photos below).


 Control, no restoration treatment (left) and leymus treatment year 2000 (right) area: dunes  result pic1
 Control (left) and lupines treatment year 2000 (right) area: million  result pic2
 Control (left) and bone meal treatment year 2014 (right) area: kot  result pic3



For more informaiton about the RECARE experiment, please contact Jóhann Þórsson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.