The Challenge of Deterioration of Agricultural Land in the EU and in Particular in Southern Europe

15-09-2009

Soil degradation is a natural process accelerated by human activities and involves both the physical loss (erosion) and the reduction in quality of topsoil associated with nutrient decline and contamination. It has been caused by a number of factors many of which are tied to human development as deforestation, overexploitation, overgrazing, and industrialization. They have both localised and widespread impacts and affect soil quality for agriculture. This study aims to present the current situation of the European agricultural land and examine the possible options to stop or recover soil degradation.

Soil degradation is a natural process accelerated by human activities and involves both the physical loss (erosion) and the reduction in quality of topsoil associated with nutrient decline and contamination. It has been caused by a number of factors many of which are tied to human development as deforestation, overexploitation, overgrazing, and industrialization. They have both localised and widespread impacts and affect soil quality for agriculture. This study aims to present the current situation of the European agricultural land and examine the possible options to stop or recover soil degradation.

Externý autor

José Arnáez (University of La Rioja, Spain), C. Kosmas and O. Kairis (Agricultural University of Athens, Greece) and Maria da Conceição Gonçalves (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, Portugal)