Policy implications of multiple concurrent soil erosion processes in European farmland

Borrelli, Pasquale; Panagos, Panos; Alewell, Christine; Ballabio, Cristiano; de Oliveira Fagundes, Hugo; Haregeweyn, Nigussie; Lugato, Emanuele; Maerker, Michael; Poesen, Jean; Vanmaercke, Matthias; Robinson, David A. ORCID: 2023 Policy implications of multiple concurrent soil erosion processes in European farmland. Nature Sustainability, 6 (1). 103-112.

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Soil erosion is a serious threat to soil functions leading to land productivity decline and multiple off-site effects. Here we show, using a multi-model approach, the spatial risk of soil erosion by water, wind, tillage and harvesting and where the co-occurrence of these different processes is observed. Moreover, we analysed where these locations of multiple erosion co-occurrence are likely to intersect with the projected increase of dry/wet climate conditions. Of the ~110 million hectares (M ha) of arable land in the European Union, our estimates show that 43 M ha are vulnerable to a single driver of erosion, 15.6 M ha to two drivers and 0.81 M ha to three or more drivers. About 3.2 M ha of arable land are vulnerable to the possible interaction of increased flood, drought, water and wind erosion. We contend that this set of predictions serves as a basis for developing an efficient stratified monitoring network and informing targeted mitigation strategies under the Common Agricultural Policy 2023–2027. The road to the sustainable, carbon-neutral and biodiversity-friendly system of agriculture advocated for in the EU Green Deal goes through a thematic strategy for soil protection from multiple concurrent erosion processes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2398-9629
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Publisher link (see Related URLs) provides a read-only full-text copy of the published paper.
Additional Keywords: environmental impact, geomorphology
NORA Subject Terms: General > Science Policy
Agriculture and Soil Science
Related URLs:
Date made live: 31 Jan 2024 10:21 +0 (UTC)

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