We continue with the defence of soil biodiversity in Europe that we have been carrying out in this blog. Thus, in this post we aim to list some of the practices to keep soil alive. In the EU, 80% of land is used for agriculture (43%) or forestry (37%) (Eurostat, 2020). Harmful agricultural practices over the last 70 years are considered to be the main threat to soil biodiversity.
However, there are soil management practices to protect soil biodiversity which include:
– Reduction of contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals, mineral fertilisers).
– Permanent soil cover through intercropping, mulching, intercropping, catch crops and no-till or conservation tillage.
– Prevention of soil compaction by avoiding the use of heavy machinery.
– Landscape management by increasing wildlife reservoirs such as hedgerows, grass margins, agroforestry, etc.
– The addition of organic amendments such as manure, but taking into account quality, storage, contaminants and treatment (e.g. composting) and biostimulant preparations, whether commercial or home-made.
More information can be found in this article, “In defence of biodiversity: towards an inclusive protection in the Europe Union“.