RECARE undertakes a major review of soil threats in Europe

WP2 ReportcoverThe RECARE project has just completed a major review of soil threats in Europe. The report, Soil threats in Europe: Status, methods, drivers and effects on ecosystem services was co-ordinated by Jannes Stolte from NIBIO with contributions from 61 authors.  It provides an up to date overview of existing information on soil threats and degradation at the European scale.

Eleven soil threats are covered by the report. These soil threats are soil erosion by water, soil erosion by wind, decline of organic matter (OM) in peat soils, decline of OM in mineral soils, soil compaction, soil sealing, soil contamination, soil salinization, desertification, flooding and landslides and decline in soil biodiversity

The report is organised into 14 chapters. A chapter is dedicated to each soil threat which gives a description of the following:

  • definition of the soil threat and processes involved
  • state of the soil degradation
  • drivers/pressures (including climate, human activities, policies)
  • key indicators of the soil threat
  • methods to assess the soil threat
  • effects of the soil threat on soil functions.

In addition, the report contains a chapter reviewing the concepts and application of ecosystem services and soil functions.  To download the final report, please click here.  For more information about this report please contact WP2 leader, Jannes Stolte: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

REPORT 5.1New RECARE report published  'Measures for Preventing, Mitigating and Remediating Soil Threats in Europe - a Literature Review'

A new RECARE report has been publised 'Measures for Preventing, Mitigating and Remediating Soil Threats in Europe - a Literature Review'. This comprehensive review, compiled by Zhanguo Bai and collegues of the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC), presents an extensive literature review of measures for preventing, mitigating and remediating soil threats in Europe and the wider world that has been conducted using a wide range of data sources and personal communication with RECARE project partners. The review focuses on actual measures being applied around the world to prevent, mitigate or remediate the 12 soil threats as specified by RECARE. The existing measures are presented for each of the RECARE soil threats.

Whereas measures for control of erosion by water and wind, desertification, and contamination can easily be found, much less information is available for arresting decline in organic matter in peat and mineral soils, flooding, landslides, soil sealing, or loss of soil biodiversity.

The report can be downloaded here

RECARE project features on Portuguese national TV

TV itemIn the International Year of Soils, the University of Aveiro and the Municipality of Tondela, participated on October 17th 2015, in the Portuguese TV programme Biosfera XIII ‘Soils – How can we stop the degradation of a non-renewable resource’, highlighting the collaboration between researchers and local stakeholders in the RECARE project. The interview took place in a pine area that had been burned by the 2013 wildfires affecting more 9000 ha in the Caramulo mountains.  The area was selected for the application of a so-called emergency stabilization measure in the framework of PRODER (Rural Development Programme). The specific measure applied at the pine site was the construction of barriers using residues from the post-fire logging.  The measure was selected for PRODER funding following an application by the municipality of Tondela and its local administrative units (freguesias) most affected by the wildfires. The effectiveness of this measure as well as other post-fire soil conservation measures that have been identified and selected in RECARE stakeholder workshops, is being monitored and assessed by the RECARE team of the University of Aveiro.

To view the complete interview, please click here.  The RECARE feature starts are at 19:30.


poster lamande et al

A poster on the potential use of rubber tracks for mitigating subsoil compaction prepared by the RECARE project team at Aarhus University, Denmark, was presented at the 20th international conference of the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO) in Nanjing, China, September 2015.
Compaction is an increasing and serious threat to the continued fertility of agricultural soils. Subsoil compaction has been shown to be effectively persistent and affects a range of soil ecosystem services.

Under the RECARE project, a case study in Denmark explores potential solutions to soil compaction. The poster presents comparative studies of wheels and tracks at a farmer taking part in a group of stakeholders involved in the project: The case study in addition evaluates the effects from different traffic systems in a field experiment.
For more information about soil compaction:


milan EXPO tn

To mark the International Year of Soils 2015 the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission has organised a conference on 'Healthy Soils for Feeding the Planet and for Climate Change Adaptation' at the Universal Exposition EXPO2015 in Milan (Italy) on 20 October 2015, 10:30 - 16:30hrs.

This event aims to raise awareness of the importance of healthy soils for a healthy life and to address European and global challenges. At the European level, in the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 the EU is committed to addressing soil degradation, including the identification of threats to soil.

The conference is strongly embedded into the Expo's theme 'Feeding the planet, Energy for Life' and consists of two sessions: the first session addresses the crucial role of soil in climate change adaptation, also in the context of Climate Change negotiations (UNFCCC COP 21) in Paris in autumn of this year; the second session focuses specifically on the links between healthy soil and food security and agriculture.

Conference programme (updated regularly)

The video trailer of the RECARE project has been selected by the organisers of the conference to be screened during the programme on October 20th in the conference room in EU Pavilion, at 13:30.