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Assessment and reduction of heavy metal input into agro-ecosystems

The overall purpose of this concerted action is to establish a European research network on the heavy metal problem in agriculture, in order to foster the efficiency of the research activities. This includes ecological, economic, legal and social aspects. All the available data and information on heavy metals with respect to agriculture will be collected, input / output balances will be calculated and the areas of main concern defined. Following that, the participants will work out ways of reducing the heavy metal input into agro-ecosystems and recommendations for changes of the relevant legal regulations will be made. Finally, the results will be presented to the public at an international conference.

The main objectives of AROMIS can be summarised as follows:
1. the creation of Europe-wide contacts between research institutions to link heavy metal related research activities in Europe and enhance the exchange of knowledge of ecological, economic, technical and legal aspects
2. the identification of the pathways of heavy metals in agro-ecosystems and the evaluation of the relative significance of the various metal input and output pathways
3. the provision of information on current legal regulations relating to heavy metals in agriculture
4. the description of possible technical and legal measures for reducing heavy metal inputs, and the assessment of the potential effectiveness and practicality of selected measures
5. the identification of future research and technology transfer demands.

A database was developed to collate all the data provided by the project partners on heavy metal inputs, legislation, research activities etc.
A tool was developed which allowed the calculation of farm level heavy metal balances. For countries where sufficient data was available, balances were calculated for typical or model livestock and arable farms.
The project has highlighted the lack of reliable data to allow a full evaluation of the input and output pathways of heavy metals in agro-ecosystems, metal behaviours in soils and changes in soil metal concentration over time.
The AROMIS consortium advocates the creation of an European-wide network for heavy metal research and monitoring. This should link the leading agricultural research and technology transfer institutions, representing the main agricultural production regions in Europe and covering the range of conditions for agricultural production throughout Europe.

Classified in SOIL

Scientist responsible for the project

Bartningstrasse 49
64289 Darmstadt
Germany - DE

Phone: +49 6151 7001177
Fax: +49 6151 7001123


Project ID QLRT-1999-30670
Organisation Kuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft e.V.
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 September 2000
Duration (months) 30
Total cost 387 240 €
Total EC contribution   387 240 €
Status Completed

The partners

  • Federal Research Institute for Agriculture in Alpine Regions, Austria - AT
  • CEMAGREF, Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts, France - FR
  • Kuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft e.V., Germany - DE

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