Maximising the effectiveness of riparian buffer zones in the Mediterranean

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Lancaster Environment Centre


Diffuse pollution from agriculture represents a serious threat to water quality, especially in Mediterranean regions. With future climate scenarios projecting increased frequencies of extreme precipitation, these problems are likely to become more pressing. Tackling diffuse pollution at source is a cost effective way to address this issue and riparian buffer strips and intercrop planting represent potentially cost-effective solutions. However, little is known about how species composition can be used to maximise their efficiency and enable sustainable intensification of food production. Plants can alter soil properties by storing nutrients, increasing porosity, creating water-stable aggregates, changing hydrophobicity, and decreasing density. Using a combination of greenhouse and laboratory studies and field trials in Spain this project will address this knowledge gap resulting in recommendations for farmers about the best species to plant to reduce soil erosion. Working directly with fruit producers the successful candidate will have the opportunity to change agricultural practice to reduce diffuse pollution.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/S507210/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022
2114189 Studentship BB/S507210/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Helena Ripley