Digital Soil Mapping of land degradation risks in Africa

By dr. ir. VL (Titia) Mulder

Land-use change continues at an alarming rate in sub-Saharan Africa, adversely affecting ecosystem services provided by soil. Understanding, quantifying and mapping the impacts are of great interest. At the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) there are several on-going projects, including one on Earth Observation (, land restoration, and sustainable agricultural intensification. Digital Soil Mapping and spectroscopy-supported Digital Soil Mapping is one of the key methods to provide a spatially-exhaustive overview of the impacts and map land degradation risks. Here at the group, we support the ongoing projects at ICRAF with various MSc thesis and internships projects where students can go into the field to sample data and map specific land degradation risks. Research results are foreseen in toolboxes, scientific papers and project proposals to start new PhD projects.


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·       Mulder, V.L., Lacoste, M., Richer de Forges, A., Arrouays, D. (2016). GlobalSoilMap France: high-resolution spatial modelling the soils of France up to two meter depth. Science of the Total Environment 573, 1352-1369.

·       Lacoste, M., Mulder, V.L., Martin, M., A., Arrouays, D., (2016). Evaluating large-extent spatial modeling approaches: A case study for soil depth in France. Geoderma Regional, (7), 137-152.

·       Mulder, V.L., van Eck, C.M., Friedlingstein, P., D. Arrouays, Regnier, P.A.G., (2017). Soil-landscape controls on the impact of extreme warm and dry events on terrestrial ecosystems within continental Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Pedometrics 2017, 26 June to 1 July 2017 – Wageningen, The Netherlands.