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Soil biodiversity enhancement in European agroecosystems to promote their stability and resilience by external inputs reduction and crop performance increase

Project description

New practices to boost crop quality and production

Soil biodiversity and associated ecosystem services may result in crop production and quality increases. EU policies encourage management practices and production systems that ensure agricultural stability, resilience and growth. The EU-funded SoildiverAgro project aims to propose new practices increasing quality and production of crops while reducing external inputs. SoildiverAgro will be deployed in nine European regions using advanced management practices based on mycorrhiza and plant growth promoting bacteria, appropriate management of soil organisms, suitable crop rotations and intercropping, pest alert systems, nutrient catch crops, trap crops for pest control, by-products as soil ameliorants and adequate tillage systems. Project outcomes will be evaluated for soil biodiversity, ecosystems services delivery, and environmental, social and economic impact of crop management


With the long-term view of fostering synergies between crop production, biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services of local, regional and global relevance, the main objective of SoildiverAgro is the adoption of new management practices and cropping systems that enhance soil genetic and functional biodiversity to reduce the use of external inputs while increasing crop production and quality, the delivery of ecosystem services and the EU agricultural stability and resilience. To achieve this objective 90 farm systems will be analysed in 9 pedoclimatic regions in Europe and 15 field case studies will be designed and established in six of the pedoclimatic regions. The focus will be on the use of innovative management practices based on soil mycorrhiza and plant growth promoting bacteria (including the development and testing of new commercial products), appropriate management of soil organisms (e.g. fungivores), the application of suitable crop rotations, multiple cropping and intercropping, the development of pest alert systems, the use of nutrient catch crops, the use of trap crops for pest control, the use of by-products as soil ameliorants and the application of adequate tillage systems. SoildiverAgro outputs consider: 1) enhancement of soil biodiversity; 2) reduction of pest/diseases incidence; 3) increases in plant growth and development; 4) increases in crop yields, quality and value; 5) the reduction of inputs; 6) increases in soil fertility; 7) reductions of soil contamination; 8) reduction in GHG emissions; and 9) increases in soil C sequestration. To ensure rapid adoption of measures fostering soil biodiversity, improved methods and tools including for monitoring will be developed. The successful crop management practices will be also analysed from the environmental, economic and social perspectives. Operational diversity targets will be defined, with development of best agricultural practice strategies and tools for existing EU policies update.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 987 875,00
36310 Vigo Pontevedra

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Noroeste Galicia Pontevedra
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 987 875,00

Participants (21)