Agroecosystems health cards: conservation of soil and vegetal diversity in mountain and bottom valley grazing areas

The main objective of SOIL-montana Project is to demonstrate, in Gorbeia National Park and its vicinity, the viability of an innovative methodology for the conservation of soil and vegetation biodiversity in mountain and bottom valley grazing areas, based on the application of Agroecosystems’ Health Cards (TSAs).

lifeThis objective is well aligned with the objectives of the Commission Communication “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010- and beyond” and the Commission Communication “Options for an EU vision and target for biodiversity beyond 2010”. In addition, the project addresses Biodiversity and soil, one of the priorities of LIFE+ Biodiversity.

The project has also the specific objectives listed below:

  1. To develop a new tool: the agroecosystems health cards to evaluate the grazing agroecosystems
  2. To demonstrate, by means of TSA, the positive impact of certain agricultural operations (existing or alternative ones) in the conservation of soil and vegetal biodiversity in several grazing habitats
  3. To extend the use of soil (micro)biological indicators for the integral diagnosis of the health of the grazing agroecosystems, together with the traditional physiochemical indicators.
  4. To tune the portable NIR (Near Infrared Spectroscopy) technology that allows to stretch the prediction of the soil health to broader areas in a quick and low cost way.
  5. To demonstrate the relationship between the biodiversity on the surface (vegetation) and under the surface (soil) in grazing agroecosystems, as well as to advance in the knowledge of the mechanisms of such relationship and influences.
  6. To give value to society of the pasture activity for the conservation of vegetal and soil biodiversity in grazing agroecosystems.
  7. To ensure the transference and easy replicability of the developed methodology both at national and at European level.

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