Kamilla Skaalsveen

Research Scientist

(+47) 988 22 515

Ås O43

Visiting address
Oluf Thesens vei 43, 1433 Ås

To document


Soil improvement measures need to be ecologically credible, socially acceptable and economically affordable if they are to enter widespread use. However, in real world decision contexts not all measures can sufficiently meet these criteria. As such, developing, selecting and using appropriate tools to support more systematic appraisal of soil improvement measures in different decision-making contexts represents an important challenge. Tools differ in their aims, ranging from those focused on appraising issues of cost-effectiveness, wider ecosystem services impacts and adoption barriers/opportunities, to those seeking to foster participatory engagement and social learning. Despite the growing complexity of the decision-support tool landscape, comprehensive guidance for selecting tools that are best suited to appraise soil improvement measures, as well as those well-adapted to enable participatory deployment, has generally been lacking. We address this gap using the experience and survey data from an EU-funded project (RECARE: Preventing and REmediating degradation of soils in Europe through land CARE). RECARE applied different socio-cultural, biophysical and monetary appraisal tools to assess the costs, benefits and adoption of soil improvement measures across Europe. We focused on these appraisal tools and evaluated their performance against three broad attributes that gauge their differences and suitability for widespread deployment to aid stakeholder decision making in soil management. Data were collected using an online questionnaire administered to RECARE researchers. Although some tools worked better than others across case studies, the information collated was used to provide guiding strategies for choosing appropriate tools, considering resources and data availability, characterisation of uncertainty, and the purpose for which a specific soil improvement measure is being developed or promoted. This paper provides insights to others working in practical soil improvement contexts as to why getting the tools right matters. It demonstrates how use of the right tools can add value to decision-making in ameliorating soil threats, supporting the sustainable management of the services that our soil ecosystems provide.


The hydrological processes associated with vegetation and their effect on slope stability are complex and so difficult to quantify, especially because of their transient effects (e.g. changes throughout the vegetation life cycle). Additionally, there is very limited amount of field based research focusing on investigation of coupled hydrological and mechanical influence of vegetation on stream bank behavior, accounting for both seasonal time scale and different vegetation types, and none dedicated to marine clay soils (typically soil type for Norway). In order to fill this gap we established hydrological and mechanical monitoring of selected test plots within a stream bank, covered with different types of vegetation, typical for Norwegian agricultural areas (grass, shrubs and trees). The soil moisture, groundwater level and stream water level were continuously monitored. Additionally, soil porosity and shear strength were measured regularly. Observed hydrological trends and differences between three plots (grass, tree and shrub) were analysed and formed the input base for stream bank stability modeling. We did not find particular differences between the grass and shrub plot but we did observe a significantly lower soil moisture content, lower soil porosity and higher shear strength within the tree plot. All three plots were stable during the monitoring period, however modeling scenarios made it possible to analyse potential differences in stream bank stability under different vegetation cover depending on root reinforcement and slope angle.