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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

Print version ISSN 0871-018X


GONCALVES, M. C.; RAMOS, T. B.; MARTINS, J. C.  and  KOSMAS, C.. Use of PESERA and MEDALUS models to assess soil erosion risks and land desertification in Vale do Gaio watershed. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2010, vol.33, n.1, pp.236-246. ISSN 0871-018X.

In this study two methodologies were tested to assess soil erosion and land deserti­fication risks in Vale do Gaio watershed (513 km2), located in the Alentejo region. Cambisols, Luvisols, and Regosols are the dominant soils in the watershed. Oak tree Mediterranean woodland, Agricultural crops and pastures are the major land uses. Soil erosion risks were assessed by estimating soil loss by water erosion with the PESERA model. Land area at risk of desertification was determined based on the MEDALUS methodology. Based on meteorological data from the period 2001-2006, the three most representative classes of soil loss by water erosion were: <0.5 t/ha/year in 32.1% of the area; 5-10 t/ha/year in 23.3% of the area; and 10-20 t/ha/year in 16.9% of the area. Considering the same time period, the land area at risk of desertification was classified: 1.8% as none threatened; 3.9% as potential; 68.4% as fragile; and 25.9% as critical to desertification.

Keywords : Water erosion; Land desertifi­cation; PESERA; MEDALUS.

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