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Investigating soils for agri-environmental protection in arid Spain

AutorCastañeda del Álamo, Carmen ; Méndez, S.; Herrero Isern, Juan ; Betrán Aso, Jesús Ángel
Palabras claveMonegros
Fecha de publicación2010
CitaciónCastañeda C, Mendez S, Herrero J, Betrán J. Investigating soils for agri-environmental protection in arid Spain. In: Zdruli P, Pagliai M, Kapur S, Faz A (Eds.) Land Degradation and Desertification: Assessment, Mitigation and Remediation: 561-568 (2010).
ResumenThe saline wetlands of the Monegros Desert, in the central Ebro Basin (NE Spain), host valuable biodiversity and pedodiversity. A part of this area has been proposed for inclusion in the European Union Natura 2000 network. However, agricultural intensification is changing the area as more land is consolidated for new irrigation or is plowed to earn CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) subsidies. Soil mapping is needed to assist in the delimitation of natural habitats and to make conservation compatible with agriculture. The methodology presented here to characterize agri-environmental areas takes into account current agricultural and environmental practices. We examined the opinions of farmers and agricultural and environmental officers concerning a new agri-environmental measure, which could be proposed for inclusion in the Rural Development section of the CAP. The measure would save agriculture inputs in unproductive areas and also comply with nature conservation objectives. A GIS database was built for selecting the farming plots suitable for new agricultural practices favoring biodiversity and pedodiversity. At the local scale, we used remote sensing and pedodiversity criteria for selecting low production areas to be prospected. The opinion poll resulted in a positive response and confirmed the interest of farmers in having detailed maps of those soil features that limit crop production. The soil survey reveals soil salinity, and high contents of gypsum and calcium carbonate, as significant features to map low production areas for making agriculture compatible with habitat conservation.
Descripción7 Pag., 1 Tabl., 1 Fig. The definitive version is available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-90-481-8656-3/
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-8657-0_41
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