The UK and many areas of Europe have witnessed unprecedented flooding this winter. Severe long-term flooding of agricultural land can have disastrous impacts on ecosystem functioning as well as having severe consequences on the economic and social wellbeing of rural communities. The persistence and magnitude of floodwaters in parts of the UK (e.g. Somerset Levels) provide a unique opportunity to investigate the impacts of long-term floodwater inundation on soil health and ecosystem service delivery. The aim of this 'Urgency' project is to: (1) provide vital information on the negative effects of recent flood events on soil functioning, (2) identify potential tipping points in terms of inundation time, (3) quantify rates of ecosystem function recovery and any potentially irreversible effects, (4) identify potential future intervention measures to promote ecosystem recovery, (5) provide stakeholders (e.g. landowners, Defra, NFU, EA) with critical scientific information to be able to make informed decisions (i.e. to minimize immediate impacts such as production losses) and respond and adapt to potential future flood events.
|Effective start/end date||1/03/14 → 1/06/15|