prof. dr. ir. Verdoodt Ann
Soil erosion losses threaten food security and environmental quality. The UGent project identifies sediment sources and determines variation in soil loss and deposition rates.
Future modellers need spatial data on erosion patterns in response to societal demands (land use/management choices, agro-environmental measures). Our research unit conducts plot-, field- and watershed-scale soil erosion risk assessments using traditional (erosion pins, field and lab rainfall simulators) and emerging (fallout radionuclides) methods. In collaboration with the Isotope Bioscience Laboratory, we can identify sediment sources and determine inter-as well as intra-field variation in soil loss and deposition rates. In an attempt to upscale the 7Be methodology at watershed level, fundamental knowledge on soil physics, chemistry and mineralogy (collaboration with colleagues) is combined with practical experience to address boundary conditions for its application, and propose adapted approaches.
Soil erosion losses need to be effectively addressed to increase food security and increase environmental quality. Land users will however only adopt erosion control measures if they are convinced of their biophysical and related economic efficiency.