Assessing Impacts of Soil Management Measures on Ecosystem Services

Schwilch, Gudrun; Lemann, Tatenda; Berglund, Örjan; Camarotto, Carlo; Cerdà, Artemi; Daliakopoulos, Ioannis; Kohnová, Silvia; Krzeminska, Dominika; Marañón, Teodoro; Rietra, René; Siebielec, Grzegorz; Thorsson, Johann; Tibbett, Mark; Valente, Sandra; van Delden, Hedwig; van den Akker, Jan; Verzandvoort, Simone; Vrînceanu, Nicoleta Olimpia; Zoumides, Christos and Hessel, Rudi (2018). Assessing Impacts of Soil Management Measures on Ecosystem Services. Sustainability, 10(12), p. 4416. MDPI 10.3390/su10124416

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Only a few studies have quantified and measured ecosystem services (ES) specifically
related to soil. To address this gap, we have developed and applied a methodology to assess changes in ecosystem services, based on measured or estimated soil property changes that were stimulated by soil management measures (e.g., mulching, terracing, no-till). We applied the ES assessment methodology in 16 case study sites across Europe representing a high diversity of soil threats and land use systems. Various prevention and remediation measures were trialled, and the changes in manageable soil and other natural capital properties were measured and quantified. An Excel tool facilitated data collection, calculation of changes in ecosystem services, and visualization of measured short-term changes and estimated long-term changes at plot level and for the wider area. With this methodology, we were able to successfully collect and compare data on the impact of land
management on 15 different ecosystem services from 26 different measures. Overall, the results are positive in terms of the impacts of the trialled measures on ecosystem services, with 18 out of 26 measures having no decrease in any service at the plot level. Although methodological challenges remain, the ES assessment was shown to be a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of the trialled measures, and also served as an input to a stakeholder valuation of ecosystem services at local and sub-national levels.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwilch, Gudrun, Lemann, Tatenda


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics






[422] RECARE - Preventing and Remediating Degradation of Soils in Europe through Land Care Official URL
[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2019 13:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:25

Publisher DOI:





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