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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4416; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124416

Assessing Impacts of Soil Management Measures on Ecosystem Services

1
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 10, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
2
Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Soil Section, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
3
Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7014, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, 35020 Padova, Italy
5
Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia. Blasco Ibáñez 28, 46010 Valencia, Spain
6
School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece
7
Department of Land and Water Resources Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 11, 810 05 Bratislava, Slovakia
8
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Frederik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Aas, Norway
9
IRNAS, CSIC, Av. Reina Mercedes 10, 41012 Seville, Spain
10
Wageningen Environmental Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
11
Department of Soil Science Erosion and Land Protection, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation—State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland
12
Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, 851 Hella, Iceland
13
Centre for Agri-Environmental Research and Soil Research Centre, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK
14
Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
15
Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS), Hertogsingel 11B, 6211 NC Maastricht, The Netherlands
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School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia
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National Research and Development Institute for Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Environment, Bd. Marasti 61, Sector 1, 011464 Bucharest, Romania
18
The Cyprus Institute, Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, 20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Governance of Sustainable Soil Management)
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Abstract

Only a few studies have quantified and measured ecosystem services (ES) specifically related to soil. To address this gap, we have developed and applied a methodology to assess changes in ecosystem services, based on measured or estimated soil property changes that were stimulated by soil management measures (e.g., mulching, terracing, no-till). We applied the ES assessment methodology in 16 case study sites across Europe representing a high diversity of soil threats and land use systems. Various prevention and remediation measures were trialled, and the changes in manageable soil and other natural capital properties were measured and quantified. An Excel tool facilitated data collection, calculation of changes in ecosystem services, and visualization of measured short-term changes and estimated long-term changes at plot level and for the wider area. With this methodology, we were able to successfully collect and compare data on the impact of land management on 15 different ecosystem services from 26 different measures. Overall, the results are positive in terms of the impacts of the trialled measures on ecosystem services, with 18 out of 26 measures having no decrease in any service at the plot level. Although methodological challenges remain, the ES assessment was shown to be a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the trialled measures, and also served as an input to a stakeholder valuation of ecosystem services at local and sub-national levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil; ecosystem services; land management; soil remediation; Europe soil; ecosystem services; land management; soil remediation; Europe
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Schwilch, G.; Lemann, T.; Berglund, Ö.; Camarotto, C.; Cerdà, A.; Daliakopoulos, I.N.; Kohnová, S.; Krzeminska, D.; Marañón, T.; Rietra, R.; Siebielec, G.; Thorsson, J.; Tibbett, M.; Valente, S.; Van Delden, H.; Van den Akker, J.; Verzandvoort, S.; Vrînceanu, N.O.; Zoumides, C.; Hessel, R. Assessing Impacts of Soil Management Measures on Ecosystem Services. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4416.

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