swales design and implementation

Current research & projects:

  1. A contour trench system or swales can easily be designed and constructed on a plot of land. One of our 2019 projects was to visualize three design variations that all store the same amount of water for a soil with an average infiltration capacity. A design with many trenches with a relatively low capacity to a trench system with few trenches with a high storing capacity.

  2. In 2019 one of our students developed a keyline design for an existing plot on the farm. In this work, this field is redesigned with a keyline pattern design to prevent further erosion damage and restore the topsoil layer.

  3. One of our students in 2018 measured the effects of swales on yield and organic matter. As his research pointes out, adding swales and tree lines in the grain rotation can increase farm profit.

New projects:

  1. Evaluation of effects of existing contour trenches (soil, moisture measurements, hydrus modeling)

sediment traps

Current research & projects:

  1. One of our students in 2019 has done his research on sediment traps and the different ways that they combat erosion which is very important in the south of Spain with high erosion and desertification rates.

effect of ponds on aquatic life & pollinators

Current research & projects:

  1. In 2018 we started to research the effect of water quality on aquatic life and its habitat. The presence of certain species can be linked to the quality of the water. Dragonflies, for example, are rather picky and only lay their eggs in water of high quality. Furthermore, animals and plants can affect the state of the pond and promote or prohibit clear water. We use water quality indicators and will research if the introduction of certain plants can influence the development of healthy ecosystems in newly dug ponds.

New projects:

  1. Develop an experimental research to investigate how ponds relate to pollination. Scientific articles claim that ponds have a positive effect on pollination because they provide a habitat for pollinators. However, there are also articles that claim that ponds also increase the insects that prey on pollinators, and therefore have a negative effect on pollinators. How is the relation between ponds and pollinators on La Junquera?

Water quality in ponds

Current research & projects:

  1. In 2018 we started a research project focuses on how the ponds and its function can be secured for the future taking into account the effects of climate change in this arid region. We analyzed the climate trends of the last- and upcoming years and determined the current condition and functions of the pond. This research resulted in a technical report including an advice for the farm

New projects:

  1. What is the underlying mechanism of different salinity levels in ponds and soils at La Junquera The ponds and soils at La Junquera have different salinity levels. What is the composition of the salts in the (irrigation) water, what causes the different levels of salinity in the ponds and how will the salinity develop over the seasons and over the years? These are important questions to be answered for La Junquera farm to secure the functioning of the farming ecosystem.