DESPRAL An environmental soil test to determine the potential from Sediment and Phosphorus transfer in Run-off from Agricultural Land

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   30/4/2000         Duration: 48 months         Project Type: RTD
Contract Number: EVK1-CT-1999-00007
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Soil-->Soil quality
Water resources and their management -->Water resources and their management Overview
Project objectives:
The objectives of DESPRAL were:   
•	To develop an environmental soil test to determine the potential for sediment and particulate phosphorus (P) detachment from agricultural soils.    
•	To quantify the relative contribution of natural geographic and agricultural management factors determining soil susceptibility to dispersion of 
P-enriched particles from agricultural soils. • To incorporate the environmental soil test into a risk assessment procedure to predict soil and P delivery from critical source areas in catchments with
diffuse pollution problems. • To identify practical and effective land management options to minimize soil and P transfer in critical source areas at the field and catchment scale.
• To develop guidelines on assessment and control of soil and phosphorus transfer within catchments in consultation with end-users.
Project Summary:
Control of the accelerated transfer of soil particles and associated phosphorus (P) from agricultural land is needed to preserve and/or improve the biodiversity 
of aquatic ecosystems and water quality for a range of users. This project aims to develop a simple methodology to identify where significant soil erosion and
P loss is most likely to occur and assess the degree to which agriculture has contributed to particulate P enrichment. The methodology will be applied at the
farm and catchment scale to identify cost-effective measures to control soil erosion and P transfer under a range of site and climatic conditions. The need
for such methodology has been identified under EU COST Action 832 and the project will lead to management tools and guidelines that can be used as part of integrated
river basin management strategies for the control of diffuse pollution.
Achieved Objectives:
The physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of 26 EU benchmark soils have been determined. Indoor and outdoor rainfall simulation procedures have 
been developed and applied to the benchmark soils (indoor runs), and selected field sites from which the soils were obtained (outdoor runs). Initial comparisons
of indoor rainfall simulation data and the results form the candidate laboratory dispersion tests suggest simple gentle water dispersion can be used to predict
soil vulnerability to particle detachment and mobilisation in fields. In addition, the test can differentiate the background dissolved P signal which appears
to be relatively constant in run-off and independent of the concentration of suspended soil particles. The data suggest a limited effect of agricultural P
inputs on soil dispersibility, and dispersed particles appear to have considerably modified soil P release properties compared to the bulk soil. However,
further work is underway to verify these preliminary conclusions. The soil dispersion test therefore has the advantage of detecting those soils which have
both high dispersibility and a high P release potential.
Product Descriptions:
The aim of the project was to develop simple, user-friendly methodologies for assessing site susceptibility to detachment and transfer of P-enriched particles, 
identifying high soil and P loss risk areas within catchments for targeting of control measures, and developing novel management practices appropriate to
different site conditions within a locality. The following publications are available: Azazoglu E., P. Strauss, , I. Sisák und W.E.H. Blum (in press): Einfluss der Wasserqualität auf Oberflächenabfluss Bodenabtrag und Infiltration – Ein Beregnungsversuch
in Ungarn. Mitt.Österr. Bodenk. Gesellsch. Azazoglu E., P. Strauss, , I. Sisák, E. Klaghofer und W.E.H. Blum (in press): Einfluss erosiver Niederschläge auf Bodenabtrag, Oberflächenrauhigkeit
und Scherspannung landwirtschaftlich genutzter Böden. Mitt.Österr. Bodenk. Gesellsch. Strauss, P., Barberis, E. Azazoglu. E. Soil erosion and phosphorus losses on low slopes of the Italian Po valley. other not public available
Additional Information:

Project Resources:
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 5
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Prof Paul Bardos  Who does what?  03/07/2003 17:48:00
Updated by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  29/09/2006 16:29:00