The MASCC Project

MASCC (Mediterranean Agricultural Soils Conservation under global Change) is funded by ARIMNet2 from September 2016 to September 2019. Its aims to address mitigation and adaptation strategies to global change by assessing current and future development of Mediterranean agricultural soil vulnerability to erosion in relation to projected land use, agricultural practices and climate change. It targets to

  • assess the similarities/dissimilarities in dominant factors affecting the current Mediterranean agricultural soil vulnerability by exploring a wide range of Mediterranean contexts;
  • improve the ability to evaluate the impact of extreme events on both the current and projected agricultural soil vulnerability and the sediment delivery at catchment outlet;
  • evaluate the vulnerability and resilience of agricultural production to a combination of potential changes in a wide range of Mediterranean contexts,
  • and provide guidelines on sustainable agricultural conservation strategies adapted to each specific agro-ecosystem and taking into consideration both on- and off-site erosion effects and socio-economics issues.

To achieve these objectives, the MASCC project will gather researchers from six Mediterranean countries (France, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Spain and Portugal) which monitor mid- to long-term environmental catchments and benefit from mutual knowledge created from previous projects and network.
The major assets for the proposed project are:

  • the availability of an unrivalled database on catchment soil erosion and innovative agricultural practices comprising a wide range of Mediterranean contexts,
  • the capacity to better evaluate the impact of extreme events on soil erosion,
  • the expert knowledge of the LANDSOIL model, a catchment-scale integrated approach of the soil-landscape system that enables to simulate both the sediment fluxes at the catchment outlet and the intra-catchment soil evolving properties
  • the multi-disciplinarity of the involved researchers with an international reputation in the fields of soil science, modelling changes in soil properties, erosion and sediment transport, agronomy and socio-economy.

The MASCC project will be implemented throughout six work-packages: a coordination work-package (WP0) and a dissemination work-package (WP5) in addition to four scientific work-packages (WP1 to WP4). WP1 will undertake a comparative analysis of present soil degradation intensities based on the extensive existing database; WP2 will elaborate plausible scenario (climatic, land use and adaptive innovative agricultural practices) for the future (in 2050) ; WP3 will simulate soil vulnerability for current conditions and for scenarios fixed on WP2; and WP4 will focus on the evaluation of present and future on-site and off-site effects of soil erosion on agriculture sustainability.
In addition to the international research and student communities, the MASCC project will be useful for stakeholders and local farmers operating in the Mediterranean area.