|Coordinatore||UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN
address: Place De L'Universite 1
|Nazionalità Coordinatore||Belgium [BE]|
|Totale costo||166˙800 €|
|EC contributo||166˙800 €|
Specific programme "People" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013)
|Anno di inizio||2011|
|Periodo (anno-mese-giorno)||2011-01-03 - 2013-04-13|
UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN
address: Place De L'Universite 1
|BE (LOUVAIN LA NEUVE)||coordinator||166˙800.00|
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'The general research objective of this proposal is to improve our understanding of the role of the agricultural soil resource in environmental change with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon sequestration and crop productivity. This will be achieved through: (i) the development and validation coupled geomorphic/agro-ecosystem models that will substantially reduce uncertainties by moving from conceptual and simplified coupled approaches to more advanced process-level approaches; (ii) the development and application of novel upscaling methods that explicitly accounts for the intermediate landscape scale. The management and future evolution of carbon stocks remains highly uncertain and a critical area for EU member states. This is recognised in the 7th FP Work Programme Area “220.127.116.11 The Global Carbon cycle”. GAEMASS maps onto this priority and will make an important contribution to address key science questions by advancing understanding of the distribution and vulnerability of carbon stocks in the context of the dual threats of soil erosion and climate change. GAEMASS will lead to an improved quantification of the impact of agricultural activities, erosion, climate variability on crop yields and soil carbon storage in European agricultural landscapes. GAEMASS will result in a better assessment of its current state as well as development/improvement of scientific-based projections of its future evolution. In turn, this will give the opportunity to draw links with other EU projects and to make the results relevant to larger scale Earth system models.'
Researchers have developed regional-scale models of agricultural soil ecosystems to better understand the impact of agriculture and climate change on soil erosion and crop productivity.
Current models of soil function under agriculture focus on either small-scale (individual plots) or large-scale (national or continental) dynamics. Due to the variable topography found in Europe, there is a need for an intermediate-scale model of soil changes.
The EU-funded GAEMASS project aimed to improve our understanding of agricultural soil resources and how they are affected by changes in environment and climate. Project scientists set out to develop and validate a geomorphic and agro-ecosystem model that focuses on the intermediate scale.
They linked geomorphic and soil erosion models to existing local-scale agro-ecosystem models to produce a coupled model that focuses on processes. The model was validated against data from three European agricultural regions.
The GAEMASS model was also compared to previously developed soil ecosystem models, which demonstrated that the model offered better data on erosion and water supply issues. In addition, the model showed that soil redistribution had a major effect on crop productivity.
Project outcomes will lead to a better understanding of how erosion, climate change and agricultural activities will impact soil quality. This is ultimately important for ensuring maximal crop productivity.
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