Summary: STRIVE Report 118 - Gerard Kiely et al
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The quality and characteristics of Irish soils are shaped not only by their parent geological material but also by climate and land use. This project has shown that the temperate, perennially moist climate in Ireland has the effect of maintaining and sustaining Irish soils at elevated soil organic carbon (SOC) levels, high levels of porosity and lower levels of bulk density than is the case in drier climates for similarly textured soils. This
results in Irish soils having greater hydraulic conductivities than similarly textured soils in drier climates.
Grassland is the dominant land cover in Ireland, and this enables Irish soils to be protected and, to some extent, insulated from serious erosion, loss of organic matter and landslides. In many European Union (EU) countries, soil quality is under threat from a host of natural and anthropogenic activities. These threats include erosion, loss of organic matter (or SOC), compaction, surface sealing (or urbanisation) and landslides. The aims of this project were to attempt to quantify these threats across Ireland.