Links4Soils is in its final year now. The project aimed to link soil knowledge with practice. The Alpine Soil Partnership meeting in Aosta showed applicable management guidelines that were developed in Links4Soils for different land uses and questions.
What can be done to restore soils after constructional measures? The University of Torino presented their case study results for soil-saving measures in tourism infrastructure development e.g. ski slopes. The properties of the soil need to be surveyed before and after construction. To reduce soil erosion and compaction the use of machinery, the selection and planting of local seeds require special care.
How is forest productivity linked to soil management and what does that mean in times of climate change? The regional administration of Tyrol and the Slovenian Forest Service developed management guidelines for forestry taking into consideration the local dynamics of soils. This means that depending on the vulnerability of soils concerning erosion and compaction risks, the management needs to be adapted. Following a traffic light system the Office of the Tyrolean Government developed an easily readable algorithm for forest owners and managers. The results show for each site if the whole tree biomass including branches and leaves may be removed without impairing the soil productivity and if the soil compaction risk is low enough for the use of heavy machinery.
40 participants including Links4Soils project partners and representatives of regional administrations and soil organisations took part in the presentation of the Links4Soils results followed by a hands-on excursion to local soil profiles in the Aosta valley.
The end of the exchange of experience event was the demonstration of a long going field experiment on soil erosion processes on steep vineyards showing the importance of contour-line planting to reduce surface and sediment run-off.
The Links4Soils project partner took the following day to concretise the final steps of the project and plan the final conference "Alpine Soil Forum - perspectives for soil management fit fur the future" on 14th-16th October 2019 in Innsbruck.