The overall aim of the project is to elaborate guidelines for afforestation of set aside land to counteract any harmful environmental effects on the soil water system.
The aim involves four operational subaims.
- Quantify contents and binding characteristics of heavy metals in relation to pH, organic matter and dissolved organic matter in afforested systems
- Focus on pH, organic matter (OM) and dissolved organic matter (DOC) as factor influencing the soil at afforestation and quantify how these factors are changed by afforestation under certain site conditions and management strategies
- Model development of soils subjected to afforestation at various scenarios of management, climate change etc.
- Develop guidelines for management of afforestation projects (tree species, soils, amendments) and for policy decisions on land use
The project is consistent with the objectives of work-programme area 4
emphasising the multifunctional management of forests with focus on the possibility to reach a sustainable management of afforested systems with a minimum of unwanted impacts on neighbouring ecosystems.
In Europe today about 8.5 million hectares of agricultural land will be available for alternative land use. During the agricultural land use heavy metals have been added to the soils through fertilizers, lime etc and kept immobile in the soil due to a high pH. At a shift of land use, conditions that favour mobilization of the heavy metals may occur (lower pH, changes in organic matter etc.) The benefits of this project will be guidelines for afforestation projects of set aside land and for policy decisions on land use.
The project is a joint programme of countries in northern Europe that are submitted to a great change of land use and that have soils sensitive of acidification, water stagnation and reduction. Experimental sites are selected from 5 countries, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK, and the Netherlands. The sites are located at afforested agricultural land and adjacent arable or grazing land and include different tree species, age classes and site conditions.
In total 7 partners are involved, taking advantage of their qualifications in terms of expertise, ongoing research activities and equipment.
The research tasks involved in the proposal are: 1) selection of sites 2) soil sampling site and stand description 3) general soil analyses 4) total and sequential analysis of heavy metals in soil 5) basic mineralogical properties 6) soil water chemistry 7) heavy metal associations 8) DOC and pH induced mobilisation 9) field acidification manupilation 10) heavy metals and SOM/DOC turnover and dating 11) modelling and scenario analyses 12) development of guidelines for management and policy decisions.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6709 PE Wageningen
AB15 8QH Aberdeen
LA11 6JU Grange-over-sands
1871 Frederiksberg C