Soil in the Mediterranean region is degrading faster than soil anywhere else in Europe and turning into desert, according to a recent analysis. Experts warn that the combined effects of unsustainable land applications and climate change are depleting the limited resource to a critical point.
A recent statement by a European commission on soil health states that 70% of the soils in the EU are important. ecological found that it had lost its capacity to provide functions.
The shallow soils of the Mediterranean are particularly vulnerable to seawater intrusion, erosion, drought and Forest fires, this region has the highest erosion rates and lowest soil organic matter levels in the EU.
Meanwhile, the dense population in this area has also led to the spread of concrete or asphalt streets and ground contamination with heavy metals and pesticides (Pesticides are substances or mixtures of substances used to prevent, control or reduce harmful organisms).
When the soil is healthy, it stores and filters water. It also produces 95% of the food humans eat. When the soil deteriorates, its essential life-sustaining functions do not function properly.
Despite this, little research has been done on potential causes of land degradation in the region.
Many studies included in the review focused on soil degradation by erosion, but only a few evaluated the effects of biodegradation.
Ants and earthworms are known to help regulate nutrients underground, and their actions support the integrity of the soil. Have these communities living on the ground changed by human influence? And how does this affect their environment?
Unfortunately we don’t have the answers and we’re running out of time to find them.
Drought has been increasing in the Mediterranean since the 1950s. This is already causing some farmers to leave their land because of the fact that they are at risk of future desertification. Said desertification can also increase the likelihood of forest fires.
“Changes in agricultural systems, along with other land use changes, lead to critical habitat loss,” the authors write. biological This is of particular concern, as it is characterized by diversity…”
The first study to examine and summarize the state of soil in the European Mediterranean, this research indicates that there is still no specific EU legislation protecting rural lands from urbanisation. Also, certain EU policies do not address salinization (salting) despite scrutiny seen as a significant threat to soil.
“Overall, it is a general shortcoming that there are regular systematic assessments of Mediterranean soils and the absence of a formal authority to compile and synthesize available information.” it means.
If the EU wants to prevent further soil degradation, it must stop treating this valuable resource as sand.
Study, Total Environmental SciencePublished in .