Current status of iSQAPERiS content

This website contains the main scientific results of the »iSQAPER project, as presented in the project deliverables. Deliverables are being written and added to the website throughout the period of the project, until it ends in November 2021.

The availablility of and access to the website content is indicated in the introductions to each section

 Public access 
 Restricted access  (for project partners only, to allow authors time to publish their results)
 Not available yet  (the research is still underway)

Good soil quality is of fundamental importance to both local and global food production and to ecosystem resilience. Agricultural soils world-wide are subject to threats and pressures including: increasing demand for food and biofuels, changing diets, land degradation and associated productivity decline, all made worse by climate change. Reliable knowledge and data help land users assess their soils and make well-informed decisions about its use. When information on alternative land use practices is easily available, it supports farmers in improving their land management.
iSQAPER aims to provide: interactive soil quality assessment in Europe and China for agricultural productivity and environmental resilience providing decision makers with science-based, easy to apply and cost-effective tools to manage soil quality and function.

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Key messages

Booklets, factsheets and video clips provide information about soil quality in succinct and easy to read formats.

 

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Soil quality: assessment, indicators & management

Good soil quality is of fundamental importance to both local and global food production and to ecosystem resilience, but how do we define and measure soil quality and the impact that management practices have on it?

In this section of iSQAPERiS we integrate soil science and agricultural management practices. We review concepts of soil quality and measured or visually assessed soil properties (such as organic matter content or earthworm density) that can be used as indicators of quality. Using data from long-term field experiments, both in the iSQAPER study sites and elsewhere, we identify those soil quality indicators that respond to changes in management practice. We describe the ways in which many soil quality indicators can be readily assessed in the field making them useful for monitoring the impact of changes in practice.

 

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Pedoclimatic zones & cropping systems

Pedoclimatic zones are areas of relatively homogenous soil type and climate conditions. There may be several such zones in a single country. Using farming systems that optimise the use of available soil and climate resources, that are well matched to the pedoclimatic zone, should contribute to long-term sustainable agricultural productivity.  

In this section of iSQAPERiS we analyse the data sources and methods for defining pedoclimatic zones and farming systems in Europe and China. This information is used in »Sustainable land management practices to ensure that the experimental areas in the iSQAPER study sites cover a representative range of zones and systems. Agricultural management practices that enhance soil quality in these different zones have been investigated and the recommendations made by »SQAPP are specific for the local pedo-climatic zone.  These same zones and systems are used in model scenarios that »Upscale from local to regional the effects of widespread implementation of selected management practices. ***

 

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SQAPP: the soil quality assessment app

Setting a new standard in soil quality assessment - iSQAPER has built an app for mobile devices to use anywhere in the world, providing location-specific soil quality information and sustainable land use management options.

A multi-actor approach underpins the development of SQAPP - the app has been developed, tested, evaluated and improved by farmers, scientists, practitioners, agricultural service providers and policy makers.

 

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Sustainable land management practices

In this section of iSQAPERiS we present empirical evidence for the effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality, shared between farmers and scientists.

 

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Upscaling from local to regional

In this section of iSQAPERiS we upscale the effect of agricultural management practices on representative farming systems, to evaluate the soil environmental footprint in Europe and China. The upscaling model relies on work developed in other parts of iSQAPER particularly »Pedoclimatic zones and farming systems (which provides the spatial frame of reference through the identification of detailed agro-climatic zones) and »Soil quality: assessment, indicators & management (which describes how soil type, climate zone, topography and crop and land managment interact to affect indicators of soil quality).

 

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Integrating promotion of soil quality and sustainable land management into policy

Recommendations for the integration of activities that promote soil quality and sustainable land management into regional, national and EU level policies.

 

 

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