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Development of agro-environmental scenarios to support pesticide risk assessment in Europe

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Professor Hayley Fowler



This paper describes work carried out within the EU-funded FOOTPRINT project to characterize the diversity of European agricultural and environmental conditions with respect to parameters which most influence the environmental fate of pesticides. Pan-European datasets for soils, climate, land cover and cropping were intersected, using GIS, to identify the full range of unique combinations of climate, soil and crop types which characterize European agriculture. The resulting FOOTPRINT European agro-environmental dataset constitutes a large number of polygons (approximately 1,700,000) with attribute data files for i) area fractions of annual crops related to each arable-type polygon (as an indicator of its probability of occurrence); and, ii) area fractions of each soil type in each polygon (as an indicator of its probability of occurrence). A total of 25,044 unique combinations of climate zones, agricultural land cover classes, administrative units and soil map units were identified. The same soil/crop combinations occur in many polygons which have the same climate while the fractions of the soils and arable crops are different. The number of unique combinations of climate, soil and agricultural land cover class is therefore only 7961. 26-year daily meteorological data, soil profile characteristics and crop management features were associated with each unique combination. The agro-environmental scenarios developed can be used to underpin the parameterization of environmental fate models for pesticides and should also have relevance for other agricultural pollutants. The implications for the improvement and further development of risk assessment procedures for pesticides are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Centofantia T, Hollis JM, Blenkinsop S, Fowler HJ, Truckell I, Dubus I, Reichenberger S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Science of the Total Environment

Year: 2008

Volume: 407

Issue: 1

Pages: 574-588

Date deposited: 24/05/2010

ISSN (print): 0048-9697

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.08.017


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Commission through its 6th Framework Programme