Estimation of Soil Loss Tolerance in Olive Groves as an Indicator of Sustainability: The Case of the Estepa Region (Andalusia, Spain)



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Rodríguez Sousa, Antonio Alberto and Barandica Fernández, Jesús María and Rescia Perazzo, Alejandro Javier (2019) Estimation of Soil Loss Tolerance in Olive Groves as an Indicator of Sustainability: The Case of the Estepa Region (Andalusia, Spain). Agronomy, 9 (12). p. 785. ISSN 2073-4395

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Spain is the world’s leading producer of olive oil, with the largest number of olive agro-systems in the Andalusia region. However, rural migration, low profitability, and biophysical limitations to production have compromised their sustainability. Soil erosion is the main cause of declining production and must be controlled to sustain production and keep soil loss below a threshold (soil loss tolerance, SLT). In this paper, the Soil Loss Tolerance Index (SLTI) for non-specific crops was calculated, theoretically, in different Andalusian olive-growing areas. A new Soil Loss Tolerance Index specifically for olive groves was developed (SLTIog) using soil variables related to erosion corresponding to the Estepa region. This index and the Soil Productive Index (SPI) were estimated. Andalusian olive groves with severe erosion were unsustainable for a 150-year period according to SLTI. However, applying the SLTIog in olive groves of Estepa, soil loss was not unsustainable. Although no statistically significant differences were detected between the two SLT indices, the consideration of specific soil variables in the SLTIog made it more accurate and reliable for the assessment of potential long-term sustainability. The use of specific indices for olive groves can inform the adoption of management measures to maintain productivity and support conservation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:agricultural indices; ground cover; irrigation; soil erosion; soil management; soil productivity; sustainable management
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Botany
Medical sciences > Biology > Soil science
ID Code:64380
Deposited On:16 Mar 2021 16:03
Last Modified:17 Mar 2021 09:16

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