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(Phyto)management of contaminated soils improves soil biodiversity, functionality and ecosystem services.

Axis 5: Environment and resource efficiency
Reinforcing the cooperation of the SUDOE stakeholders of the natural sites through the development and the use of joint methods.
STATE: Terminado
CODE: SOE1/P5/E0189
Petra Susan Kidd


SECTORS: Integrated management of the ressources and natural sites
1 July, 2016
31 October, 2018
RESULTS: 0000-00-00
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Instituto de Investigaciones Agrobiológicas (ES)

2. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela ES
3. NEIKER-Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, S.A. ES
4. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. UMR1202 BIOGECO FR
5. Universidade de Coimbra. faculdade de ciências e tecnologia PT
6. Centro de Estudios Ambientales de Vitoria-Gasteiz ES
7. Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Centro Regional do Porto PT
8. Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología ES
9. Universidade de Aveiro PT
10. Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, IP PT

Soil contamination is a generalised problem in south-west Europe that has a severe impact on biodiversity and human health. With the objective of recovering soils, the PhytoSUDOE project will promote the use of a novel technique by owners and administrators of contaminated land: phytomanagement. This alternative has been subject to little research up to now and is beneficial to the environment, and also profitable by means of the cultivation of non food plants that absorb contamination or inactivate the contaminating agents of the land.

It is estimated that soil pollution generates an annual cost of 6 billion euros. Therefore, a large number of large areas remain untreated. PHYTOSUDOE proposes an economically and technically more advantageous solution to deal with decontamination: phyto-management. The latter, despite its great advantages, remains poorly used due to lack of knowledge about the latter. Thus, PHYTOSUDOE starts from the stabilization of contaminants of affected soils and their restoration using plants in non-food crops to recover the spaces.

For this, PHYTOSUDOE has created a network of 8 sites with contaminated soils to study the use of certain plants in decontamination. Each of these areas, with different characteristics but responding to an oceanic climate, have undergone the procedure. All this has made it possible to carry out comparisons and establish potential scenarios taking into account variable factors such as soil types, types of pollutants or climatic circumstances.

Following these studies, methodologies have been developed with specific recommendations to use phyto-management. In addition, a European network of phyto-management experts for degraded or contaminated soils, the GreenReMed network, has been created. The PHYTOSUDOE project has managed to involve all the key actors in decontamination, including soil managers, administrations and education systems. On the other hand, it has placed special emphasis on training in the field by organizing special masters and summer courses. One of the greatest successes of the project has been the use of phyto-management in the so-called green ring of Vitoria-Gasteiz: the peripheral industrial zone of the city with a great deterioration of its soils. This practice is going to be institutionalized in other municipalities.