1- Functional land use


  • Agroforestry

    A type of land use that combines production on the same plot of land, from annual agricultural activities (such as crops and pasture) and from delayed long-term production by trees (for example timber and services). This is obtained either by planting trees on agricultural land or by cropping (for example after thinning) on forested land. Plots that combine arable intercrops with forestry trees are silvoarable plots, while wooded plots with pasture under the tree canopy are known as silvopastoral plots.

  • Attribute

    A characteristic of the soil system contributing to the generation of a soil function. One attribute can contribute to more soil functions. Attributes can be quantified with indicators A concrete aspect of the system (in the case of LANDMARK: plausibly linked to a soil function) for which indicators can be envisaged. Soil pH, NO3-transport to groundwater, NH3-release, water infiltration rate, soil respiration, crop management, pedo-climatic zone, and land use are examples of attributes which are relevant for LANDMARK’s soil functions. Attributes can be quantified by applying a suitable indicator.



  • Carbon sequestration

    The capacity of a soil store carbon in a non-labile form with the aim to reduce the CO2 concentration.

  • Climate regulation

    The capacity of a soil to reduce the negative impact of increased greenhouse gas (i.e., CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions on climate, among which its capacity to store carbon.

  • CO2 equivalent

    A metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global-warming potential (GWP), by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. Carbon dioxide equivalents are commonly expressed as million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, abbreviated as Mt CO2e. The carbon dioxide equivalent for a gas is derived by multiplying the tonnes of the gas by the associated GWP: Mt CO2e = (million metric tonnes of a gas) * (GWP of the gas). For example, the GWP for methane is 21 (minus 1 unit if pertaining to biogenic CH4 as that would alternatively have become 1 CO2) and for nitrous oxide 310. This means that emissions of 1 million metric tonnes of methane and nitrous oxide respectively is equivalent to emissions of 21 and 310 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.




  • Indicator

    An instrument (measurement, dataset, model, expert elicitation system) for quantifying an attribute, providing quantitative information of the system. For instance, the protocol for soil sampling and pH (KCL) measurement is an indicator for the ‘soil pH’, and the extraction, counting, identification of nematodes and calculation of the maturity index is an indicator for the ‘nematode community in the soil system’. Note that this definition differs from the daily practice where, for example, the pH or the nematode community as such, and not the protocol, is seen as the indicator.


  • Land cover

    The observed (bio)physical cover of the Earth’s surface. The main classes in the LUCAS land cover nomenclature are as follows (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ramon/other_documents/lucas/index.htm):

    Classes Nomenclature
    A00 Artificial land
    B00 Cropland
    C00 Woodland
     D00 Shrubland
     E00 Grassland
     F00 Bareland
     G00 Water
     H00 Wetland
  • Land use

    The socio-economic purpose of the land. The main classes in the LUCAS land use nomenclature (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/ramon/other_documents/lucas/index.htm) are as follows:

    Classes Nomenclature
    U110 Agriculture
     U120 Forestry
     U130 Fishing
     U140 Mining and quarrying
     U150 Hunting
     U210 Energy production
     U220 Industry and manufacturing
     U310 Transport, communication networks, storage and protective works
     U320 Water and waste treatment
     U330 Construction
     U340 Commerce, finance and business
     U350 Community services
     U360 Recreational, leisure and sport
     U370 Residential
     U400 Unused

    Note: Within the framework of the LANDMARK project only Agriculture (U110) and Forestry (U120) will be considered


  • Natural capital

    Refers to both the living (e.g. fish stocks, forests) and non-living (e.g. minerals, energy resources) aspects of nature which produce value to people, both directly and indirectly. It is this capital that underpins all other capital in our economy and society. Natural capital can often be confused with ecosystem services. However, whilst similar concepts, they are fundamentally different. Natural capital refers to the actual stock (living and non-living parts) that provides value whereas ecosystem services refer to the flow of benefits that this stock provides. Essentially, natural capital is about nature’s assets, whilst ecosystem services relate to the goods and services derived from those assets (http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/?s=natural+capital).

  • Nestedness

    This is a specific feature of LANDMARK deliverables from WP3 (i.e. the harmonization of proxy indicator systems among different spatial and temporal scales). One of the means to realize this is to collect indicators, and/or proxies, which have overlap for use at different spatial/temporal scales. For instance, land use as proxy should be useful for the EU/national and at the regional scale, while crop rotation should be useful for the regional and farm scale.

  • Nutrient Cycling

    The capacity of a soil to receive nutrients in the form of by-products, to provide nutrients from intrinsic resources or to support the acquisition of nutrients from air or water, and to effectively carry over these nutrients into harvested crops.


  • Proxy

    A measure linking information from an indicator to a non-concrete (immaterial) end-point (‘soil function’ in the case of LANDMARK). However, a proxy only contributes to a soil function and cannot be held responsible to full quantification (see proxy indicator system).

  • Proxy indicator system

    A combined set of indicators, weighting factors and algorithms for quantification of a soil function based on the quantification of an agreed set of attributes. A proxy indicator system aims at the assemblage of a wide-ranging set of information from indicators (in fact: all required proxies) and provides a quantification protocol of a specific soil function, being as such a compromise between ease of measurement / data availability, whilst providing sufficient, if minimal, information on the attribute (set). Different proxy indicator systems may arise for one soil function, depending on requirements for a) specific spatial/temporal scale, b) agricultural objective, soil texture and climate conditions, and c) the required performance (reduction of uncertainty) and available budgets to harness the proxy indicator system with reliable data and models. It is the objective of LANDMARK to produce proxy indicator systems which are at least partially overlapping (see ‘nestedness’).


  • Resilience

    The ability of an ecosystem to maintain diversity, integrity and ecological processes following disturbance (i.e. by returning to its initial state after stress).

  • Resistance

    The ability of an ecosystem to withstand a stress or perturbation without adverse changes to its structure or function, thereby maintaining an equilibrium state.