Implementing sustainability of marginal lands: outreach and demonstration

INTENSE will deliver remediation methods and management strategies for a number of marginal land situations, including various pollution scenarios, and a climate gradient across Europe. Besides providing practical experience from and tailor made solutions for special problem sites it is essential to deliver a toolbox with a hierarchical set of methods to stabilize soils, improve soil life, maximise productivity, at high level of carbon sequestration, water retention, and nutrient cycling. This WP will integrate data from WPs 1-4 during the whole project and implement their results into an integrated management setup that mirrors best practices on a higher level of abstraction. Hence, for a final proof of principle experiment, the plantmicroorganism partnerships with best performance will be selected, soil amendments proven to yield highest stability and beneficial effects on soil ecological functions will be used, and biomass will be converted to the products yielding best revenues to the farmer. The process of integration will be accompanied by scientific meetings in 6-month intervals, and close stakeholder contact. ESR, ER and end-users will be involved in this WP by contacts before and during implementation at sites, workshops and round-tables, and a summer school with practical implementation examples will be run during the final experiment.

Description of the tasks

Task 5.1: Best management practices
Partners involved: SGGW, UPARMA, all partners

SGGW and UPARMA will cooperatively evaluate the soil improvement based on biological and physico-chemical parameters and feed the date into models for prediction. An estimate of the farm gate expenses and yields will be submitted to UHAS and NIBIO groups for economical modelling.
Task 5.2: Decision support system for best species
Partners involved: all partners

The best performing plants in terms of resistance to the stresses on marginal soils will be identified by HMGU, and their rhizospheres characterized by UHAS in the second year. Together with BIOGECO a DSS available from the GREENLAND project will be implemented before the final experiment.
Task 5.3: Organizing the final joint experiments
Partners involved: all partners

Sites will be prepared (likely Lommel and Martl-Hof, Tegernsee) for the adoption of the best farming methods and species. The success of experiments will be monitored by all partners, to determine the increase of sustainability, productivity and other ecosystem services with all tools available within the project.
Task 5.4: Validate results
Partners involved: all partners

The surplus productivity, economic growth, and sustainability indicators will be scrutinized, and fed into the available models. The role of MACSUR is of high importance in this respect and contacts are held by NIBIO.
Task 5.5: Outreach activities to ER and ESR
Partners involved: all partners

During the project ESR and ER will be involved in the experiments, the social media, and evaluation of data. One or two summer schools will be held to demonstrate the importance of the bioeconomy and the implementation of marginal lands into production. The final summer school will be held at UHAS, in connection to the final joint experiment.