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See detailSoil contamination near a former Zn-Pb ore-treatment plant: Evaluation of deterministic factors and spatial structures at the landscape scale
Liénard, Amandine ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Journal of Geochemical Exploration (in press)

Historical soil contamination within a 3 km radius of a former ore treatment plant was evaluated. A total of 247 topsoil samples were collected in a stratified random sampling design taking into account ... [more ▼]

Historical soil contamination within a 3 km radius of a former ore treatment plant was evaluated. A total of 247 topsoil samples were collected in a stratified random sampling design taking into account three factors: land use (LU), soil type (ST) and wind direction (WD). Concentrations of trace elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and major elements (Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Al, Mn) as well as various soil properties (pHwater, pHKCl, TOC and N) were measured. Total Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations were higher than typical background values. Enrichment factors for these three metals were, respectively, 260, 77.4 and 35.5. Principal components analysis (PCA) and factor analysis segregated anthropogenic contamination as a premier factor in influencing concentrations, followed by a second lithogenic factor. The anthropogenic origin of substantial contamination was confirmed though mapping of sample locations relative to contaminant sources. Factor 1 (26.5% of the variance) impacts a large area around the contaminated site and is also indicative of WD influence. Factor 2 (23.9% of the variance) is naturally linked to the local lithology and geology. LU and soil fertility are, respectively, represented by factor 3 (16.5% of the variance), which is linked to pH, and factor 4 (9.3% of the variance), related to organic content. The significance of landscape factors in the spatial distribution of metallic trace elements (MTE) was assessed with an ANCOVA using “distance to the source” as a covariate. Results of the analysis support the hypothesis that Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations are mainly driven by anthropogenic factors, specifically historical industrial activity at the former ore treatment plant. The ANCOVA also provides a means to quantify the impact of LU and ST as well, particularly on MTE availability in soils. The presence of MTE in soil poses known, and potentially significant, risks to both human health and the environment. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution des propriétés morphologiques et chimiques d’un sol le long d’un versant forestier
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Revue Forestière Française (in press)

La fertilité d’un sol conditionne la productivité des plantes, c’est pourquoi il est intéressant de connaitre la distribution des caractéristiques chimiques et morphologiques du sol afin de permettre une ... [more ▼]

La fertilité d’un sol conditionne la productivité des plantes, c’est pourquoi il est intéressant de connaitre la distribution des caractéristiques chimiques et morphologiques du sol afin de permettre une exploitation et une gestion optimales de celui-ci. Un versant forestier, en pente forte (140m de long, 40m de dénivelée), sur matériaux schisto-gréseux et sous une plantation de résineux fait l’objet d’un suivi du fonctionnement hydrodynamique et pédochimique en relation avec le développement des arbres. Au vu du contexte de forte pente, nous suspectons la présence d’apports par solifluction. La position dans le versant est souvent un facteur de différenciation des sols et, en préalable à l’étude de l’évolution temporelle des propriétés des sols et de la végétation et de l’évolution spatiale des flux d’eau, nous nous sommes attachés à la caractérisation de la distribution des propriétés morphologiques et chimiques le long du versant. Huit fosses ont été creusées et échantillonnées selon les horizons. Outre les descriptions selon un protocole standardisé, nous avons effectué des comptages racinaires, des mesures de densité apparente et de charge caillouteuse. Les analyses en laboratoire visent la caractérisation du statut nutritif : pH, teneurs échangeables (NH4Cl) en K, Mg, Na et Ca, et P assimilable (Dyer). Les résultats confirment l’importance de la différenciation verticale au sein des profils. On notera également une légère tendance à la hausse du pH et des teneurs en éléments nutritifs entre le haut et le bas du versant, à l’exception du dernier profil de la séquence. [less ▲]

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See detailÉVOLUTION DE LA TENEUR EN EAU LE LONG D’UNE TOPOSEQUENCE FORESTIERE ARGILO-LIMONEUSE
Deraedt, Deborah ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Degré, Aurore ULg

in Milieux Poreux et Transferts Hydriques (in press)

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and ... [more ▼]

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and steep slope. The soil water content is monitored at several positions on the toposequence and at different depth. During rain events, peak in soil water content are observed in different depth depending on the position along the toposequence. [less ▲]

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See detailBioRefine Project: Detection of bioavailability of Metallic Trace Elements in soils by the use of microbial biosensors
Tarayre, Cédric ULg; Hurdebise, Quentin ULg; Fischer, Christophe ULg et al

Poster (2014, September 09)

Zinc, lead and cadmium are the main Metallic Trace Elements (MTEs) found in soils contaminated by the mining industry in Europe. MTEs are spread in the environment because of the disruption of ... [more ▼]

Zinc, lead and cadmium are the main Metallic Trace Elements (MTEs) found in soils contaminated by the mining industry in Europe. MTEs are spread in the environment because of the disruption of biogeochemical cycles caused by human activities. Due to their low mobility and biodegradability, they accumulate in soils where they are strongly bound to particles. It has become necessary to understand interactions between MTEs and the environment and to implement remediation actions. This work is focused on remediation monitoring techniques by using whole cell microbial biosensors able to detect zinc, lead and cadmium. Biosensors provide a signal in response to the bio-available concentration in MTEs, which are valuable for the design of efficient techniques involving bioremediation. Whole cell biosensors used in this work are based on Escherichia coli strains carrying a fluorescent reporter system. The reporter element contains a promoter sensitive to MTEs and a gene coding for the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). MTEs activate the synthesis of GFP, which is a very stable protein, causing the accumulation of GFP inside the cells. Then, fluorescence can be measured by flow cytometry. In this study, two biosensors were investigated: E. coli pPzraPgfp and E. coli pPzntAgfp. The last strain provided a linear response to zinc up to 20 mg/l and a curvilinear response to cadmium up to 0.15 mg/l. No detection was highlighted regarding lead. In practical cases, soils and wastes are contaminated by several types of MTEs. Consequently, combined contaminations were also tested. This work allowed highlighting that the strain E. coli pPzntAgfp can be used to assess the bioavailability of cadmium in soils, although the experimental procedure must be improved. This work is supported by the BioRefine Project, a European project in which various member states focus on recovery of inorganics from organic wastestreams. We gratefully acknowledge the INTERREG IVB NWE programme, which financed the BioRefine Project (ref. 320J-BIOREFINE). [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity of Bacterial Communities in a Profile of a Winter Wheat Field: Known and Unknown Members
Stroobants, Aurore ULg; Degrune, Florine ULg; Olivier, Claire et al

in Microbial Ecology (2014)

In soils, bacteria are very abundant and diverse. They are involved in various agro-ecosystem processes such as the nitrogen cycle, organic matter degradation, and soil formation. Yet, little is known ... [more ▼]

In soils, bacteria are very abundant and diverse. They are involved in various agro-ecosystem processes such as the nitrogen cycle, organic matter degradation, and soil formation. Yet, little is known about the distribution and composition of bacterial communities through the soil profile, particularly in agricultural soils, as most studies have focused only on topsoils or forest and grassland soils. In the present work, we have used bar-coded pyrosequencing analysis of the V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene to analyze bacterial diversity in a profile (depths 10, 25, and 45 cm) of a well-characterized field of winter wheat. Taxonomic assignment was carried out with the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) Classifier program with three bootstrap scores: a main run at 0.80, a confirmation run at 0.99, and a run at 0 to gain information on the unknown bacteria. Our results show that biomass and bacterial quantity and diversity decreased greatly with depth. Depth also had an impact, in terms of relative sequence abundance, on 81 % of the most represented taxonomic ranks, notably the ranks Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteridae, and Acidobacteria. Bacterial community composition differed more strongly between the topsoil (10 and 25 cm) and subsoil (45 cm) than between levels in the topsoil, mainly because of shifts in the carbon, nitrogen, and potassium contents. The subsoil also contained more unknown bacteria, 53.96 % on the average, than did the topsoil, with 42.06 % at 10 cm and 45.59 % at 25 cm. Most of these unknown bacteria seem to belong to Deltaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Rhizobiales, and Acidobacteria. [less ▲]

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See detailLa Carte des Sols de la Belgique : un héritage à se réapproprier
Legrain, Xavier ULg; Michel, Brieuc ULg; Bock, Laurent ULg et al

Conference (2014, July 03)

Une cartographie systématique à grande échelle des sols de Belgique a été conduite entre 1947 et 1991. Les observations étaient effectuées au moyen de sondages à la tarière jusqu’à une profondeur standard ... [more ▼]

Une cartographie systématique à grande échelle des sols de Belgique a été conduite entre 1947 et 1991. Les observations étaient effectuées au moyen de sondages à la tarière jusqu’à une profondeur standard de 125 cm dans la mesure du possible, avec une densité moyenne de 2 sondages à l’hectare. Des plans cadastraux au 1/5 000 ont servi à noter les observations et à tracer les limites des plages cartographiques, généralisées par la suite par transcription sur fond de carte topographique au 1/10 000. La carte finale a été publiée par planchettes à l’échelle du 1/20 000, associées à des livrets explicatifs. La carte s’appuie sur une légende originale, basée majoritairement sur des critères morphologiques du sol, aisément identifiables sur le terrain, objectifs (sans a priori d’interprétation) et les plus permanents possibles. La combinaison de ces critères, transcrits en symboles alphanumériques, est à l’origine de la très grande richesse sémantique de la légende, forte de plus de 10 000 unités cartographiques de sols. La numérisation de la Carte des Sols de la Belgique et la structuration de l’information délivrée par la légende ont ouvert de nombreuses perspectives en terme d’applications. Mais au-delà du produit final qu’est la carte, le véritable héritage légué est l’extraordinaire connaissance experte accumulée par les cartographes durant la durée du projet. Si une part inestimable de ce savoir s’en est allée en même temps qu’eux, une part tangible est accessible à travers de nombreuses publications (livrets explicatifs, monographies, thèses, articles) ou parsème divers documents d’archive (notes de terrain, PV de réunion, rapports d’excursions). Ces derniers sont également une invitation à se replonger dans le contexte historique, scientifique et philosophique de l’époque des levés. Ils permettent de ce fait de mieux cerner la manière dont la légende a été pensée, élaborée, adaptée, remaniée. L’éclairage que ces publications et documents d’archive donnent sur la carte et sa légende laisse entrevoir une richesse d’information insoupçonnée. Se la réapproprier par une interprétation avertie de la carte est essentiel préalablement à toute valorisation. Cette communication se propose de justifier l’intérêt de cette démarche au travers de multiples exemples. Ils ont été choisis de manière (i) à présenter la diversité des cas rencontrés et (ii) à illustrer l’impact d’une telle interprétation sur la qualité des produits issus de 2 projets menés actuellement : la corrélation de la légende de la Carte des Sols de la Belgique avec le système de classification international World Reference Base et la contribution belge au projet mondial GlobalSoilMap. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil infrastructure evolution and its effect on water transfer processes under contrasted tillage systems - overview of methodologies with preliminary results
Parvin, Nargish ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Garré, Sarah ULg et al

Conference (2014, June 10)

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect ... [more ▼]

The heterogeneity of soil structure and porosity are highly influenced by external factors like tillage systems and other land management approaches. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of soil tillage along with residue management on the changing pattern of soil structure. This investigation will help to emphasize the different water flow dynamics especially the preferential flow processes through the soil that are influenced by the changes in structural distribution in the soil profile. The experimentation has been started from June 2013 in the research field in Gembloux. Soil profile description together with soil sampling has been carried out in the four objects of land management. Soil samples will be used for the measurement of water retention capacity (done), hydraulic conductivity and x-ray microtomography. The assessment of soil water retention curves with pressure plate technique show significantly (p<0.05) higher water retention (Hwr) in WP than ST at 9.8 to 98 hPa, Hwr in WP than NI at 39 to 14710 hPa, Hwr in ST than NI at 294 to 14710 hPa and Hwr in WP than NO at 69 to 98 hPa. There was no significant difference in the water retention between NO and NI and ST and NO. Since, tillage practices generally increase soil porosity, the correlation between soil hydraulics and porosity distribution would expect to be different for different tillage systems. In our study, WP retains more water due to the increase of macroporosity than ST, NI and NO. As the changes in soil structure are usually noticed in the range of 9.8 to 98 hPa, so, we can conclude that there is certainly structural change between WP and conservation practices of ST, NI and NO. In our study, there will be also soil moisture sensors (Decagon 10HS, 5TM and ML3 Thetaprobe) to capture the total soil moisture networks in the field under four different trials. The soils from the different trials and also from different depths (0-15, 25-30 and 50-60 cm) were used for zone specific calibration of the sensors. All the experiments will be repeated twice a year. For the specific spatio-temporal comparison, the monitoring results from electrical resistance tomography will be available from the collaborated project of the same faculty. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of tillage practices and crop residue exportation on earthworm communities and soil physico-­chemical properties in silt loam arable soil (Belgium)
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg et al

Poster (2014, June 08)

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers due to their capacity to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers due to their capacity to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil environments. Therefore, it is important to understand how earthworm communities are impacted by tillage systems and crop management practices. In the present study, earthworm and soil samples were collected from wheat cultivated fields in Gembloux, Belgium under the following four experimental treatments: (1) conventional tillage with crop residues left in the soil (CT/IN); (2) conventional tillage with crop residues removed from the field (CT/OUT); (3) reduced tillage with crop residues left in the soil (RT/IN); and (4) reduced tillage with crop residues removed from the field (RT/OUT). The different tillage systems were applied for four consecutive years prior to the initiation of the current study. Results indicated soil compaction was significantly higher in RT compared with CT up to a depth of 6–49 cm. Significant differences were not detected between residue incorporation depth systems, where results showed mean earthworm abundance was respectively 182.25 and 180 individuals.m-2 in CT and RT. Mean earthworm biomass was similarly not significantly different between CT and RT, where results were respectively 48.52 and 57.27 g.m-2. However, a significant difference was observed between IN and OUT treatments, suggesting the exportation of wheat residues will limit earthworm abundance and biomass in CT and RT plots. Data showed high representation of the endogeic earthworm ecological category, notably N. c. caliginosus regardless of treatment. Despite tillage system and exportation of crop residues, N. c. caliginosus, L. terrestris, and A. r. rosea exhibited high abundance, indicating tolerance to soil environmental conditions. For each depth, measures of soil physico-chemical properties showed significant differences among treatments. Furthermore, soil chemical property attributes were significantly higher in the first soil centimetres compared to lower soil layers. These results were attributable to earthworm activity and wheat residues, suggesting earthworms contributed to nutrient dynamics, particularly at increased soil depths. Overall, the results emphasise the influence of exportation of crop residues on earthworm community and also, the important influence of earthworm activity on soil physico-chemical properties change, processes which are closely linked. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthèse bibliographique sur la mobilité des éléments traces dans les sols et l’utilisation de la stabilisation physico-chimique comme technique de gestion in situ des sites contaminés
Liénard, Amandine ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(2), 273-289

Industrial activities have deeply impacted the quality of biophysical environment at places. This review focuses on consequences of soil contaminations by metallic trace elements: what conditions the ... [more ▼]

Industrial activities have deeply impacted the quality of biophysical environment at places. This review focuses on consequences of soil contaminations by metallic trace elements: what conditions the mobility of contaminants in soils and what are the remediation practices based upon physico-chemical stabilization? This technique is an in situ remediation which aims at limiting the dispersion of metals in the environment by use of soil conditioners and amendments in contaminated sites. First of all, we reviewed the concepts of mobility of trace elements and their indicators. Then, we compiled the different kinds of amendments applied to stabilize contaminants in soils and the processes involved. [less ▲]

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See detailDecoding implicit information from the soil map of Belgium and implications for spatial modelling and soil classification
Dondeyne, Stefaan; Legrain, Xavier ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 29)

A systematic soil survey of Belgium was conducted from 1948 to 1991. Field surveys were done at the detailed scale of 1:5000 with the final maps published at a 1:20,000 scale. Soil surveyors were ... [more ▼]

A systematic soil survey of Belgium was conducted from 1948 to 1991. Field surveys were done at the detailed scale of 1:5000 with the final maps published at a 1:20,000 scale. Soil surveyors were classifying soils in the field according to physical and morphogenetic characteristics such as texture, drainage class and profile development. Mapping units are defined as a combination of these characteristics but to which modifiers can be added such as parent material, stoniness or depth to substrata. Interpretation of the map towards predicting soil properties seems straight forward. Consequently, since the soil map has been digitized, it has been used for e.g. hydrological modelling or for estimating soil organic carbon content at sub-national and national level. Besides the explicit information provided by the legend, a wealth of implicit information is embedded in the map. Based on three cases, we illustrate that by decoding this information, properties pertaining to soil drainage or soil organic carbon content can be assessed more accurately. First, the presence/absence of fragipans affects the soil hydraulic conductivity. Although a dedicated symbol exits for fragipans (suffix “...m”), it is only used explicitly in areas where fragipans are not all that common. In the Belgian Ardennes, where fragipans are common, their occurrence is implicitly implied for various soil types mentioned in explanatory booklets. Second, whenever seasonal or permanent perched water tables were observed, these were indicated by drainage class “.h.” or “.i.”, respectively. Stagnic properties have been under reported as typical stagnic mottling – i.e. when the surface of soil peds are lighter and/or paler than the more reddish interior – were not distinguished from mottling due to groundwater gley. Still, by combining information on topography and the occurrence of substratum layers, stagnic properties can be inferred. Thirdly, soils with deep anthropogenic enriched organic matter (Anthrosols) are distinguished for their specific profile development (code “..m”). Obviously, when assessing soil organic carbon content these soil types need particular consideration. Soils in the Campine region with anthropogenic layers only 30 to 40 cm thick, not being Anthrosols, got a specific suffix code (“. . . 3”). Still, as these soils may have a buried Ah horizon of up to 20 cm, their soil organic carbon content can be comparable to those of Anthrosols. The buried Ah horizon is however not explicitly mapped; its presence needs to be inferred from other environmental information. In conclusion, conventional soil maps convey more information than what transpires from just the explicit legend’s semantics. Although a challenge, decoding the implicit information should be particularly useful for spatial modeling. The cases also point to the importance of classifying soil characteristics explicitly, wherever possible, and in particularly when soil maps are integrated into geographical information systems. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of earthworms on soil components and dynamics. A review
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18

Earthworm populations are important decomposers contributing to aggregate formation and nutrient cycling processes involving nitrogen cycles, phosphorus and carbon. They are known to influence soil ... [more ▼]

Earthworm populations are important decomposers contributing to aggregate formation and nutrient cycling processes involving nitrogen cycles, phosphorus and carbon. They are known to influence soil fertility by participating to important processes in soil such as soil structure regulation and organic matter dynamics. Earthworms also modify the microbial communities through digestion, stimulation and dispersion in casts. Consequently, changes in the activities of earthworm communities, as a result of soil management practices, can also be used as indicators of soil fertility and quality. It is therefore important to understand how earthworm communities affect soil dynamics. This review adresses the current state of knowledge on earthworm’s impacts on soil structure and soil organic matter (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) dynamics, with special emphasis on the effects of land management practices on earthworm communities. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Eisenia fetida on metal uptake of heavy metals from polluted soils by Vicia faba and Zea Mays
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Liénard, Amandine ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 26)

Earthworms are known to increase availability of heavy metals in soils and also play an important role in maintaining the structure and quality of soil. The introduction of earthworms into soils ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are known to increase availability of heavy metals in soils and also play an important role in maintaining the structure and quality of soil. The introduction of earthworms into soils contaminated with metals has been suggested as an aid for phytoremediation processes. In Belgium (Wallonia), a century of industrial metallurgic activities produced significant heavy metal soil pollution. A large q u a n t i t y o f s m e l t e r w a s t e c r e a t e d a g r a d i e n t o f zi n c, lead and cadmium c o n c e n t r a t i o n . The objectives of our study were to evaluate : (i) the potential toxicity of heavy metal elements on the epigeic earthworms Eisenia fetida and on two plants Zea mays and Vicia faba and (ii) to determine the effects of the earthworms on the growth and contaminants phytoextraction process. The combination of behavioural factor measurements (survival, growth, reproduction of earthworms), physico-chemical parameters such as metal absorption, bioaccumulation by earthworms, soil physico-chemical changes, and plant responses (root and shoot elongation, dried biomass,…) provided a valuable indication of pollutant bioavailability and ecotoxicity. After 56-days exposure, the results suggest that adult earthworms have a strong tolerance for heavy metals exposure, but the responses depend on metal elements. Earthworms modify the bioavailable heavy metals in root and shoot in the contaminated soils and their activities alter shoot and root biomass of V. faba and Z. mays. The presence of earthworms led to a change in physico-chemical caracteristics in contaminated soils. These results show that the ecological context for phytoremediation should be broadened by considering earthwom – plant – soil interactions as they influence both plant health and absorption of heavy metals. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the use of Belgian Soil Map to predict risk of nitrate and pesticide lixiviation
Bah, Boubacar Billo ULg; Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg; Deneufbourg, Mathieu ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 26)

Pollution by nitrate and pesticides has impacts on drinking water reserves and aquatic systems. Nowadays, this problem is the key point of the European Policy with the implementation of the Water ... [more ▼]

Pollution by nitrate and pesticides has impacts on drinking water reserves and aquatic systems. Nowadays, this problem is the key point of the European Policy with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). According to these legislations, Member States are supposed to take measures to limit environmental and toxicological effects caused by nitrate and pesticides use. This paper presents three different approaches allowing assessment of diffuse (non-point sources) pollution risks of water resources by nitrate and pesticides. The first approach consists on the interpretation of the geomorphopedological information (geologic substratum type, presence of karst phenomena, soil texture, natural drainage, profile development, type and percent of stoniness, soil thickness, …) provided by the Digital Soil Map of Wallonia. Soil physical characteristics are assessed in terms of soil water percolation/infiltration, runoff, pollutants retention, mineralization, and erosion. Second approach consists on the use of spatially distributed mechanistic models. Nitrate lixiviation from agricultural land to groundwater has been simulated from the SWAT model. Pesticide lixiviation from soil to groundwater has been predicted from the one-dimensional, dynamic, multi-layered model named PEARL (Pesticide Emission Assessment at Regional and Local scales). Model input parameters are mainly extracted from the existing soil physical and physico-chemical, crop and pesticides properties databases. Relevant soil parameters not directly available in existing databases, such as bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, potential evapotranspiration… have been derived from pedotransfers functions. Third approach consists on in situ lixiviation studies by the way of lysimeters. Concentrations measured at the bottom (2 m deep) of lysimeters represent a straight “index of risk” for groundwater and, on the other hand, allow the validation of simulation models used to predict nitrate and pesticides lixiviation risk under different scenarios. The Digital Soil Map of Wallonia, one of the core data source, allows the spatialisation of the predicted lixiviation risk at regional level, providing to the local authorities and the decision makers a tool for the identification of the areas at risk of pollution, where specific monitoring actions and prevention measures for the protection of waters can be implemented. [less ▲]

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