Intensification of agriculture can result in soil compression, erosion, salinisation, acidification, desiccation, soil sealing, loss of organic matter, increased soil diseases and pests, biodiversity, etc. These processes are considered to have a negative effect on the soil's ability to provide the services required of it. Nevertheless, the European Commission has been unable to persuade the member states to accept its Soil Strategy.
The reason for this failure is suspected to be the insufficient quantification of long-term consequences and the lack of refinement that a location-specific soil-services relationship offers with regard to climate requirements and management options.
The quality of European soil is under pressure, and as a result, the soil's ability to sustainably provide food, feed, fuel and forest, regulate and produce clean water, recycle nutrients and provide habitats for biodiversity is declining.
The LANDMARK project aims to provide an evidence base to further develop the management plans for sustainable soil use by individual businesses and to develop policy at the member-state and European level.
- Identification and integration of existing soil-quality concepts (WP1).
- Collection and interpretation of existing data sets that make connections between services and soil properties (WP2).
- Understanding of separate soil services and their interactions (WP3).
- Development of optimal scenarios (WP4).
- Development of tools for policy development (WP5).
Results and products
A set of agreed guidelines for sustainable soil management.
- Round Table conferences focusing on interaction with stakeholders (growers' organisations, environmental managers, government bodies) and necessary scientific disciplines.
- A glossary (EN, FR, DE, IT, ES) of relevant terms and definitions (WP1).
- Review papers in relation to interactions between soil properties (S), weather and climate conditions (E) and management options (M) for each of the five identified services (WP3).
- Decision-support systems for growers and government bodies (WP5).
- Knowledge sharing (communication to and impact on target group(s)).
Via 'publication trees' that popularise every scientific publication via publications in local popular agricultural journals, via the website and via an app that will be developed at a later date.