Next Article in Journal
Amino Acid: Its Dual Role as Nutrient and Scavenger of Free Radicals in Soil
Previous Article in Journal
The Rapid Urban Growth Triad: A New Conceptual Framework for Examining the Urban Transition in Developing Countries
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1404; doi:10.3390/su9081404

Effects of the European Union Agricultural and Environmental Policies in the Sustainability of Most Common Mediterranean Soils

1
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, LEAF, Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre, Escola Superior Agrária de Elvas, Av. 14 de janeiro 21, 7350 Elvas, Portugal
3
CIEO—Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
4
Área de Edafología y Química Agrícola (Facultad de Ciencias) and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
5
Área de Producción Vegetal (Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias) and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, Ctra. de Cáceres, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2958 KB, uploaded 9 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

Agro-environmental measures promoted by the European Union focus mainly on environmental protection by maintaining sustainable levels of productivity that are adequate to the agro-ecological conditions of each region on different Member States. Among these European Union promoted measures the one known as “Extensive Forage Systems” is particularly relevant for the Mediterranean Region. In order to analyze the impact of this measure and to verify if the high expenditure of communitarian funds, with its implementation in Mediterranean soils, is aligned with the predicted benefits, a seven-year study in a southern Portugal region was conducted. In this regard, several soil chemical parameters such as organic matter, pH, electrical conductivity, “available” phosphorus, “available” potassium and heavy metal levels (Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb and Ni), were assessed, in 1329 different plots in order to represent some of the existing diversity of the Mediterranean environment, identified by the Portuguese Parcel Identification System, and considering the possibility to evaluate the evolution of these parameters on the main soil types of the region. The obtained results enabled us to verify that the application of the agro-environmental measure “Extensive Forage Systems” did not lead, during the 7 years of the study, to any significant change in terms of organic matter, soil pH and/or heavy metals content. Still it contributed for a small growth on “available” phosphorus and potassium levels and to a significant increase on Soil electrical conductivity (EC). As a final conclusion we can refer that the application of the agro-environmental measure “Extensive Forage Systems”, in soil, clime and cultural conditions prevailing in this study (Typical Mediterranean conditions from the South of Europe), did not reach its main objective, which was to increase the organic matter content in soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: community subsidies; agro-environmental measures; Extensive Forage Systems; Mediterranean environment; soil chemical parameters community subsidies; agro-environmental measures; Extensive Forage Systems; Mediterranean environment; soil chemical parameters
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Nunes, J.M.R.; Bonito, A.; Loures, L.; Gama, J.; López-Piñeiro, A.; Peña, D.; Albarrán, Á. Effects of the European Union Agricultural and Environmental Policies in the Sustainability of Most Common Mediterranean Soils. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1404.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top