WPs and Tasks

The MASCC project is composed of six Work Packages (WP) and nine tasks (T) that are linked to each other. Four work-packages deal with the scientific aspects addressed by MASCC. Each WP is animated by a binational pair of managers. WPs are listed hereafter.

Flowchart of the MASCC project (click to enlarge)

Flowchart of the MASCC project

  • WP1 'Present soil degradation and extreme events' (coordinated by Yves Le Bissonnais @ France and Jérome_Latron @ Spain) focuses on the analysis of present soil degradation intensities based on the extensive existing database. This work-package comprises two tasks: Task one (T1.1) assesses the similarities/dissimilarities in dominant factors affecting the current Mediterranean agricultural soil vulnerability in a wide range of Mediterranean contexts whereas Task two (T1.2) evaluates the impact of extreme events on present agricultural soil vulnerability and the sediment delivery at the catchment outlet.
  • WP2 'Elaborating scenarios based on a shared experience of mitigation strategies' (coordinated by Mohamed Sabir @ Maroc and João Pedro Nunes @ Portugal) elaborates plausible scenarios for the future; i.e. 2050. This work-package is implemented through two tasks. An assessment of innovative agricultural practices in terms of soil vulnerability and agricultural productivity (T2.1) is undertaken on the basis of i) a review of literature and recent project results; and ii) expertise from ongoing field experiments in each country. The socio-economic relevance and viability of these agricultural conservation techniques are analysed through agricultural actors and stakeholders' surveys using a shared questionnaire for all sites. Various "narrative" scenarios (T2.2) will then be proposed by merging projections of climate and agricultural mitigation strategies based on "acceptable and efficient" innovative agricultural practices identified in T2.1. Task T2.2  benefits from expertise on scenario definition acquired previously (French-funded ANR MESOEROS or ANR LANDSOIL, USA-funded MCC initiatives, Portuguese-funded FCT ERLAND) or ongoing (French-funded Transmed ALMIRA, Portuguese-funded GestAqua.AdaPT) projects. We will explore four narrative scenarios for 2050 combining four probable evolutions of landscape management with one climate projection (the most probable). In the first scenario (S1) so-called "business as usual", we will consider the present land use and agricultural practices in order to evaluate the impact of climate change solely. In the second scenario (S2) so-called "production", we will consider a land use and agricultural practices development devoted to optimizing agricultural production capacities without any consideration of sustainability. In the scenario (S3) so-called "protection", we will evaluate the impact of protective agricultural strategy with no consideration in terms of agricultural production capacities or socio-economic acceptability. In the last scenario (S4) so-called "sustainable", we will define a trade-off between agricultural production and soil conservation implementation.
  • WP3 'Numerical modelling' (coordinated by Stéphane Follain @ France and Feliciana Licciardello @ Italy) uses the LANDSOIL model to evaluate present and future soil erosion rates. LANDSOIL is a catchment-scale integrated approach of the soil-landscape system which enables to simulate both sediment fluxes at the catchment outlet and soil evolution anywhere within the catchment area. The extensive database on the current conditions (land uses, agricultural practices and climate) for the six studied catchments allows both the parameterization and validation of the model (T3.1), providing the baseline simulations for the different catchments. The four narrative scenarios defined in T2.2 will then be integrated into LANDSOIL (T3.2) to simulate both on-site and off-site soil erosion, which will be used in WP4 to evaluate their respective impacts on agricultural soil management sustainability.
  • WP4 'Assessment of mitigation strategies' (coordinated by Mustapha Naimi @ Morocco and Mohamed Annabi @ Tunisia) focuses on deriving guidelines on sustainable agricultural conservation strategies adapted to each agro-ecosystem from the comparative analysis of the LANDSOIL simulations provided by T3.2. T4.1 will evaluate on-site soil resilience by comparing the present and future on-site effects of soil erosion on agriculture sustainability for each site. A similar present to future comparative analysis for water mobilization potentialities (off-site effects) in relation to sediment fluxes and water turbidity at the catchment scale will be undertaken in T4.2. For these two tasks, the outputs of the models will be analyzed in terms of evolution and durability of natural resources used by agriculture as compared to the baseline for each site. Finally the best mitigation strategies in western Mediterranean countries in relation to the environmental and socio-economic context (T4.3) will be identified by comparing agriculture sustainability in the six study sites and for the four scenarios. For that we will attribute a cost value on soil degradation in order to demonstrate the benefit from soil preservation. For on-site impacts, this may include the cost of replacing nutrients, organic matter and fine earth on eroded soils and the cost of water needed to compensate the decrease of soil water storage capacity. Off-site impacts will be assessed by determining the cost of water losses due to reservoir silting and the cost of water treatment and/or the cost of dredging.

Two additional work-packages are devoted to scientific coordination and project organization (WP0) and to the dissemination of project outcomes (WP5).