Impacts of agricultural practices on soil and water quality in the Mediterranean region and proposed assessment methodology

George Zalidis, Stamatis Stamatiadis, Vasilios Takavakoglou, Kent Eskridge, Nikolaos Misopolinos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

177 Scopus citations

Abstract

In countries around the Mediterranean basin, the degradation of soil and water resources is a serious threat for the human welfare and the natural environment as a result of the unique climate, topography, soil characteristics, and peculiarities of agriculture. The detrimental effects of agricultural practices on soil quality include, erosion, desertification, salinization, compaction, and pollution. The resultant impacts on water resources include pollution due to nutrient and pesticide leaching and intrusion of seawater into aquifers. In order to select the appropriate sustainable strategies for preventing those impacts, research should focus on development of an accurate soil quality monitoring system at multiple scales based on a functional evaluation of soils. The objectives of this work are: (a) to point out the peculiarities of the Mediterranean region; (b) to underline the most important impacts of agricultural practices on soil and water quality, in respect to the above peculiarities; and (c) to propose a simple and cost effective methodology for the assessment of soil quality at a watershed scale, based on zones of specific functional interest. The proposed assessment methodology would provide information about the status of the soil resources, correlate soil quality with management and aid with the development of sustainable management practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 8 2002

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Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Assessment methodology
  • Mediterranean
  • Soil quality
  • Watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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