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Managing Mediterranean soil resources under global change: expected trends and mitigation strategies

Abstract

The soils of the Mediterranean Basin are the products of soil processes that have been governed by a unique convergence of highly differentiated natural and anthropogenic drivers. These soils are expected to be dramatically affected by future climate and societal changes. These changes imply that suitable adaptive management strategies for these resources cannot simply be transposed from experiments that are performed in other regions of the world. Following a framework that considers the chain of “drivers-soil process-soil capital-ecosystem services/disservices,” the paper review the research undertaken in the Mediterranean area on three types of Mediterranean soil degradation than can be expected under global change: (i) soil losses due to the increase of drought and torrential rainfall; (ii) soil salinization due the increase of droughts, irrigation, and sea level; and (iii) soil carbon stock depletion with the increase of temperature and droughts. The possible strategies for mitigating each of these degradations have been largely addressed and are still studied in current research projects. They should include changes in agricultural practices, soil water management, and vegetal material. As a pre-requisite for the site-specific adaptations of such mitigation strategies within viable Mediterranean agrosystems, it is highlighted that methodological advances are necessary in integrated assessment of agricultural systems and in finer resolution soil mapping.

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Lagacherie, P., Álvaro-Fuentes, J., Annabi, M. et al. Managing Mediterranean soil resources under global change: expected trends and mitigation strategies. Reg Environ Change 18, 663–675 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1239-9

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Keywords

  • Soil
  • Erosion
  • Carbon
  • Salinization
  • Climate change