Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 551834
Title Controlling factors for land productivity under extreme climatic events in continental Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
Author(s) Mulder, V.L.; Eck, C.M. van; Friedlingstein, P.; Arrouays, D.; Regnier, P.
Source Catena 182 (2019). - ISSN 0341-8162
Department(s) Soil Geography and Landscape
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Availibility Full text available from 2021-11-01
Keyword(s) Extreme climatic events - Land degradation - Soil functioning - Soil variability - Vegetation activity

Within the context of achieving Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030, this work studied to which extent soil variability acts as controlling factor for changes in observed land productivity under extreme climatic events. This was done by analysing 30 years of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and coinciding extreme warm, dry and their compound events in continental Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. In order to better understand the response of vegetation activity to extreme climatic events in relation to soil functioning, the data was segmented into different climate zones and further studied as a function of land cover and soil type. This study demonstrated that extreme climatic events cause substantial reductions in the NDVI with the maximum median impact up to 31%, one month after the occurrence of an extreme climatic event. However, the magnitude of NDVI drop largely depended on land cover and soil type. Our analysis showed that for soil types with root depth limitations, lower water retention capacity and the absence of specific symbiotic species in the soil, vegetation activity was more impacted by climate extremes compared to soil types having favourable growing conditions. Natural land cover types, especially taiga and boreal forest, were most sensitive. Consequently, with the expected increase in extreme events, the now stable and productive ecosystems may become unstable and less capable to absorb the CO2 in the future, thereby enhancing climate change and land degradation. Therefore, it is important to have mitigation policies tailored towards maintaining soil functioning in vulnerable ecosystems.

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