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RECONDES

Fullname Conditions for Restoration and Mitigation of Desertified Areas Using Vegetation
Funding Source EC
Programme FP6
Total Cost 1 226K€
Start Date 01/02/2004
Duration 39 months
Status Completed
Coordinator
Contact Person
Telephone Number
Website http://www.port.ac.uk/research/recondes

Project abstract

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The major objective was to produce practical guidelines on the conditions for use of vegetation in areas vulnerable to desertification, taking into account spatial variability in geomorphological and human-driven processes related to degradation and desertification. These guidelines identify the attributes and land use practices putting areas at risk of desertification whose state could be improved by new techniques based on vegetation management and restoration. The guidelines also include a strategy and method of identifying problems and key locations for application of vegetation and the species that could be used for this and their life-traits. Moreover, the guidelines identify the conditions under which they could be used and where those conditions are found, particularly in relation to degradation processes and critical soil functions. Finally, they include the location, spacing and combination of vegetation treatments which will give maximum effectiveness for restoring or maintaining soil and land quality and ecosystem health in a range of Mediterranean land uses.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The literature review is published as a book by the European Commission. Methods for assessing landscape connectivity were produced and enabled identification of areas of water flow and erosion, related to land practices and features; these are the ‘hotspots’ for targeting vegetation. Suitable species for reducing erosion and increasing sedimentation in different zones were identified from analysis of their tolerance of conditions and their effectiveness, particularly of root properties. Abandonment of land increases gullying mainly due to terrace breaching. Vegetation recovery in forested areas is poor due to low seed banks and inhibiting effects of pine litter. Hydrological assessments indicate some potential for growth of cover crops in orchards. Guidelines on methods of identifying key locations for vegetation treatment, most suitable plants and methods of application are available as a booklet in English and Spanish, suitable for regional land managers, farmadvisors, farmers and policy-makers.

List of partner organisations

University of Portsmouth (UOP), GB
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), ES
Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL), BE
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), NL
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche(CNR), IT
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), BE