The BioSoil project is the single largest forest soil and biodiversity monitoring exercise implemented at an EU scale so far© Alfred Borchard
The BioSoil Demonstration Project: first findings
Thanks to the success of the BioSoil Demonstration Project, JRC scientists have concluded that large scale monitoring of soil conditions and biodiversity in forests is achievable. This goes part way towards fulfilling the main aims of the project: to provide harmonised soil and biodiversity data EU-wide, to evaluate the methodology of European soil and forest biodiversity monitoring programmes, and to provide a baseline to assess future trends in the soil condition and biodiversity of forests in the EU.
Soil characterisation data are essential to discover how an ecosystem works. In light of this, initial ideas for the BioSoil project emerged in 2004 in the context of the Forest Focus Regulation; a Community scheme for harmonised, comprehensive and long-term monitoring of European forest ecosystems. Within the Forest Focus Biosoil project, participant countries have increased the range of forest monitoring activities (on atmospheric pollution and forest fires) by intensifying surveys on soil characteristics and forest biodiversity indicators.
The implementation of the BioSoil Demonstration project has been a joint effort of the European Commission (Environment Directorate-General and JRC) and EU Member States. This is the single largest soil and biodiversity monitoring exercise implemented at an EU scale so far, with data collected from twenty-one participating countries. In February, the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) published a preliminary Scientific and Technical Report presenting initial analysis and results. Subsequent to this preliminary data analysis, a more comprehensive evaluation of the final project data will published jointly by the Commission's Environment Directorate-General and JRC in 2010.