BOKU - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien - Forschungsinformationssystem

Logo BOKU-Forschungsportal

Gewählte Publikation:

Schiefer, J; Lair, GJ; Blum, WEH.
(2016): Potential and limits of land and soil for sustainable intensification of European agriculture
AGR ECOSYST ENVIRON. 2016; 230: 283-293. FullText FullText_BOKU

Population and consumption growth causes a 50% greater demand for food and fiber in the next 35 years. This causes increasing pressure on agricultural production often accompanied by an increasingly degraded environment. To overcome this problem, the concept of "sustainable intensification" (SI) was introduced. The concept recognizes the need to simultaneously increase agricultural productivity and further reduce negative environmental impacts. So far, the importance of soil and its natural resilience was not included into the studies of SI. The aim of this study was to identify and localize arable soils with a high potential of recovery after disturbances (i.e. resilience) in Europe. Therefore, in a first step we attributed the new LUCAS 2009 topsoil data from 25 EU member states to the arable land in the Corine Land Use Cover 2006 data set as well as to the European digital soil map (ESDB). This resulted in the identification of 671,672 km(2), approximately two-thirds of the total arable land in Europe. In a second step, a recently established classification scheme based on 6 intrinsic soil and land indicators (i.e. soil pH, contents of soil organic carbon and clay plus silt, cation exchange capacity, soil depth, slope) was applied to the arable land. These six measured soil indicators try to comprise the main biochemical and physical soil properties influencing soil resilience. The results show that from a soil perspective, almost half (44%) of the investigated arable land cannot be recommended for SI. More than 3% of this area should be de intensified in order to reduce environmental harm. 16% of the arable land can be recommended for SI with restrictions, whereas 40% of arable land has the potential for SI without impacting the delivery of goods and services provided by soils. The application of the presented classification scheme on a local study area (1.56 km(2)) in Central Europe revealed clearly that for any final decisions on SI it is important to consider the heterogeneity of soil at the local scale. Our results of this and a previous study demonstrate that the presented classification scheme can be used on different scales including the local, regional and continental scale. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Blum Winfried E.H.
Lair Georg
Schiefer Jasmin
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Soil resilience
Soil performance
Soil indicators
Environmental protection
Food security

© BOKU Wien Impressum