Artemi Cerda – Merche B. Bodí

Dr. Artemi Cerdà. Department of Geography. University of Valencia. Blasco Ibañez, 28. 46010-Valencia, Spain

Tel. 34 (9) 6 3864237/4882. Fax. 34 (9) 6 3864249.







Artemi collecting data from a raingauge. Fiorentina site.                Merche on a fire affected woodland. Sierra de Enguera, Spain.

Spain. Organic farming orchard in L’Alcúdia, Valencia                       She is studying the effects of ash on soil properties

Picture by Debbie Page Dumroese.                                                         Picture by Artemi Cerdà



Summer Courses

Erosión Hídrica del Suelo en España del 21 al 23 de julio de 2010   Folleto

El suelo y los Incendios Forestales    del 19 al 20 de julio de 2010  Folleto


Last publications


Cerdà, A., Hooke, J. Romero-Diaz, A., Montanarella, L., Lavee, H. 2010. Soil erosion on Mediterranean Type-Ecosystems Land Degradation and Development. Editors. DOI 10.1002/ldr.968.

Giménez Morera, A., Ruiz Sinoga, J.D. y Cerdà, A. 2010.  The impact of cotton geotextiles on soil and water losses in Mediterranean rainfed agricultural land. Land Degradation and Development , 210- 217. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.971.

García-Fayos, P., Bochet, E. y  Cerdà, A. 2010. Seed removal susceptibility through soil erosion shapes vegetation composition. Plant Soil, in presss, DOI 10.1007/s11104-010-0382-6.

García-Orenes, F.,  Guerrero, C., Roldán, A., Mataix-Solera, J., Cerdá, A., Campoy, M., Zornoza, R., Bárcenas, G., y  Caravaca, F. 2010. Soil microbial biomass and activity under different agricultural management systems in a semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystem. Soil and Tillage Research, In press.

González-Hidalgo, J.C., Batalla, R.J., Cerdà, A. y de Luis, M. 2010. Contribution of the lartest events to suspended sediment transport across the USA. Land Degradation & Development, 83-91. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.897.

Cerdà, A., Flanagan, D.C., le Bissonnais, Y. y Boardman, J. 2009. Soil Erosion and Agriculture. Soil and Tillage Research, 107-108. doi:10.1016/j.still.2009.10.006

Cerdà, A., Giménez-Morera, A. y Bodí, M.B. 2009. Soil and water losses from new citrus orchards growing on sloped soils in the western Mediterranean basin. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, 1822-1830. DOI: 10.1002/esp.1889

Cerdà, A., Jurgensen, M.F. y Bodí, M.B. 2009. Effects of ants on water and soil losses from organically-managed citrus orchards in eastern Spain.  Biologia, 3, 527-531. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-009-0114-7

García-Orenes, F., Cerdà, A., Mataix-Solera, J., Guerrero, C., Bodí, M.B., Arcenegui, V., Zornoza, R. y Sempere, J.G. 2009. Effects of agricultural management on surface soil properties and soil-water losses in eastern Spain. Soil and Tillage Research, doi:10.1016/j.still.2009.06.002

Cerdà, A. y Doerr, S.H. 2008. The effect of ash and needle cover on surface runoff and erosion in the immediate post-fire period. Catena, 74 , 256- 263. doi:10.1016/S0341-8162(02)00027-9

Cerdà, A. y Jurgensen, M.F. 2008. The influence of ants on soil and water losses from an orange orchard in eastern Spain. Journal of Applied Entomology-Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie. 132, 306-314. doi 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2008.01267.x

Cerdà, A. & Doerr, S.H. 2007. Soil wettability, runoff and erodibility of major dry-Mediterranean land use types on calcareous soils.  Hydrological Processes, 21, 2325-2336. (doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2008.03.010)

Cerdà, A. 2007. Soil water erosion on road enbankments in eastern Spain. Science of the Total Environment, 378, 151-155

Cerdà, A., Imeson, A.C. y Poesen, J. 2007  Soil Water Erosion in Rural Areas.  Catena special issue, 71,191- 252

Doerr, S.& Cerdà, A. 2005. Fire effects on soil system functioning: new insights and future challenges  International Journal of Wildland Fire Preface. International Journal of Wildland Fire 14(4) 339–342

Cerdà, A. & Doerr, S. 2005. The influence of vegetation recovery on soil hydrology and erodibility following fire: an eleven-year research. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 14 (4)

Cerdà, A. & Lasanta, A. 2005. Long-term erosional responses after fire in the Central Spanish Pyrenees: 1. Water and sediment yield. Catena, 60, 59-80.

Lasanta, A & Cerdà, A. 2005. Long-term erosional responses after fire in the Central Spanish Pyrenees: 2. Solute release. Catena, 60, 80-101.Ceballos, A. Cerdà, A. & Schnabel. 2003. Runoff production and erosion processes on a Dehesa in Western Spain. Geographical Review, 3, 333-353.

Cerdà, A. 2002. The effect of season and parent material on water erosion on highly eroded soils in eastern Spain. Journal of Arid Environments, 52, 319-337.

Cerdà, A. & P. García-Fayos, P. 2002. The influence of seed size and shape on their removal by water erosion. Catena, 48, 293-301.

Cerdà, A. 2001. Effects of rock fragment on soil infiltration, inter-rill runoff and erosion. European Journal of Soil Science, 52 (1)  1-10.

Cerdà, A. 2000. Aggregate stability against water forces under different climates on agriculture land and scrubland in southern Bolivia. Soil and Tillage Research, 36, 1- 8.

García-Fayos, P. García-Ventoso, B. & Cerdà, A.  2000. Limitations to Plant establishment on eroded slopes in Southeastern Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science, 11- 77- 86.

Cerdà, A. 1999. Seasonal and spatial variations in infiltration rates in badland surfaces under Mediterranean climatic conditions. Water Resources Research, 35 (1) 319-328.

Bergkamp, G., Cerdà, A., & Imeson, A.C.1999. Magnitude-frequency analysis of water redistribuiton along a climate gradient in Spain. Catena, 37, 129-146.

Cerdà, A. 1999. Parent material and vegetation affect soil erosion in eastern Spain. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 63, 362-368

Cerdà, A. 1998. Postfire dynamics of erosional processes under mediterranean climatic conditions. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, 42 (3) 373-398.

Cerdà, A., Schnabel, S., Gómez-Amelia, D. & Ceballos, A. 1998. Soil hydrological Response under simulated rainfall in the Dehesa ecosystem, Extremadura, SW, Spain.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 23, 195- 209.

Cerdà, A. The influence of geomorphological position on the erosional and hydrological processes on a Mediterranean slope. Hydrological Processes, 12 (3) 661- 671.

Cerdà, A. 1998.  Soil aggregate stability under different Mediterranean vegetation types.  Catena, 32, 73-86.

Cerdà, A. 1998.  Changes in overland flow and infiltration after a rangeland fire in a Mediterranean scrubland. Hydrological Processes, 12, 1031-1042.

Cerdà, A. 1998. Effect of climate on surface flow along a climatological gradient in Israel. A field rainfall simulation approach. Journal of Arid Environments, 38, 145-159.

Cerdà, A. 1998. The influence of aspect and vegetation on seasonal changes in erosion under rainfall simulation on a clay soil in Spain. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 78, 321-330.

Cerdà, A. Relationship between climate and soil hydrological and erosional characteristics along climatic gradients in Mediterranean limestone areas. Geomorphology, 25, 123-134.

Imeson, A.C., Lavee, H., Calvo, A. & Cerdà, A. 1998. The erosional response of calcareous soils along a climatological gradient in Southeast Spain. Geomorphology, 24, 3-16.

Cerdà, A. & García-Fayos, P.1997. The influence of slope angle on sediment, water and seed losses on badland landscapes. Geomorphology, 18, 77-90.

García-Fayos, P. & Cerdà, A. 1997.  Seed losses by surface wash in degraded mediterranean environments. Catena, 29, 73-83.

Cerdà, A.1997.  Soil erosion after land abandonment in a semiarid environment of Southeastern Spain. Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation, 11, 163-176.

Cerdà, A. 1997. The effect of patchy distribution of Stipa tenacissima L. on runoff and erosion. Journal of Arid Environments, 36, 37-51.

Cerdà, A., Ibáñez, S. & Calvo, A. 1997. Design and operation of a small and portable rainfall simulator for rugged terrain. Soil Technology, 11, (2) 161-168.

Cerdà, A.  1997. Seasonal Changes of the Infiltration Rates in a Typical Mediterranean Scrubland on Limestone in Southeast Spain. Journal of Hydrology, 198 (1-4) 198-209

Cerdà, A. 1997. Rainfall drop size distribution in Western Mediterranean Basin, València, Spain. Catena, 31, 23-38.

Solé, A., Calvo, A., Cerdà, A., Lázaro, R., Pini, R. & Barbero, J. 1997. Influences of micro-relief patterns and plant cover on runoff related processes in badlands from Tabernas (SE Spain). Catena, 31, 23-38.

Cerdà, A. 1996. Seasonal variability of infiltration rates under contrasting slope conditions in Southeast Spain. Geoderma, 69, 217-232.

Cerdà, A. 1996. Soil aggregate stability in three mediterranean environments. Soil Technology, 9, 129-133.

García-Fayos, P., Recatalà, Mª. T., Cerdà, A. & Calvo, A. 1995. Seed population dynamics on badland slopes in SE Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science, 6, 691-696.

Cerdà, A., Imeson, A.C. & Calvo, A. 1995. Fire and aspect induced differences on the erodibility and hydrology of soils at La Costera, Valencia, Southeast Spain.  Catena, 289-304.

Cerdà, A. 1995. Soil moisture regime under simulated rainfall in a three years abandoned field in Southeast Spain. Physics and Chemistry of The Earth, 20 (3-4), 271-279.




Fire Effects on Soils and Restoration Strategies (2009)
Artemi Cerdà. Departament de Geografia, Universitat de Valéncia, Spain
Peter R. Robichaud.
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Moscow, Idaho, USA

Efectos de los incendios forestales sobre los suelos en España (2009)
Artemi Cerdà. Departament de Geografia, Universitat de Valéncia, Spain
Jorge Mataix-Solera. Grupo de Edafología Ambiental. Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Spain

Erosión y degradación del suelo agrícola en España (2009)
Artemi Cerdà. Departament de Geografia, Universitat de Valéncia, Spain




Research topics and background


1. Soil erosion

Soil erosion is the relocation of surface material, largely water, and takes place in three steps: removal, transport and sedimentation. It affects mineral as well as organic soil particles. The research topic studies processes, mechanisms, factors and measurement methods in different parts of the world (Bolivia, Israel, USA…) with special references to the Mediterranean region. Researches were carried out on silvo-pastoral land uses the Spanish Dehesa (Cáceres, SW Spain), Israel (from the Galilee Mountains to the Dead Sea), the Central Spanish Pyrenees, the south-eastern badlands areas of Spain and the mountains of eastern Spain. Vegetation/soil/erosion relations are examined using current scientific methods, with special reference to the vegetation-erosion interaction and removal of seeds by overland flow. The topic is moreover focussed on the effects of land use and management on soil erosion in order to develop strategies to reduce soil losses on degraded land.

Soil erosion causes disturbances to the eroded soils. The transported particles also induce disturbances in fluvial systems (rivers, creeks, lagoons), and depositional locations (lakes, alluvial plains, deltas, etc.). The transported sediments can contain substances harmful to the environment due to their sources being located, for example on road embankments, mining areas, farms or degraded lands.





2. Soil hydrology.


Soil erosion is related to soil water dynamics. In this research topic surface and subsurface fluxes are examined in order to determine the runoff generation model which best fits Mediterranean soils, slopes and watersheds. Previous studies have demonstrated that the Hortonian runoff generation model does not fit, at any rate completely, the soil and topographical conditions of Mediterranean ecosystems. Partial areas and variable source area models seem more adequate due to the patchy spatial distribution of the vegetation, which determines the soil infiltration capacity and the runoff production. Since 1989 the hydrological response of soils has been studied using ring infiltrometers and simulated rainfall measurements, mainly focussed on infiltration capacity and soil water dynamics.





Land abandonment affect soil hydrology as wetting fronts show



3. Desertification.


Desertification is the loss of soil fertility in the arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid zones of the Earth. There may also be degradation of ecosystems due to overexploitation of water deficit areas. Desertification supposes the loss of natural of soil fertility, induced by the reduction of soil water capacity, degradation of soil structure, alteration of vegetation cover, development of surface crusts, interference with natural water fluxes and finally an increase in soil losses. Desertification processes are directly linked to human activities in the territory concerned. This research topic aims (i) to identify the changes suffered by ecosystems as a consequence of desertification and (ii) to design strategies to prevent them.






Current research fields




  1. Agriculture and soil erosion.


Agriculture results in the reduction of vegetation cover, and an increase in overland flow and soil loss. In spite of the significance of agriculture to soil erosion, to date little work has been done on strategies to control erosion in Spain.  This research topic is devoted to the assessment of the soil-erosion rates under different Mediterranean crops, with current emphasis on olive and orange groves. Strategies to control soil erosion are being developed and tested at the El Teularet Soil Erosion Experimental Station in the Sierra de Enguera in Eastern Spain. Other experimental stations are currently being designed to measure soil losses under crops such as vineyards, almonds and cereal, and also oranges newly-irrigated sloping land. The strategies being developed to control soil erosion are tested under natural and simulated rainfall. Ground covers such as green manures, straw mulching and geo-textiles are being tested, together with more usual agricultural land management methods such as herbicides, ploughing and no-tillage.




2 Road embankments erosion.


Road construction results in the development of artificial slopes -road embankments- in which soil erosion rates are extraordinarily high due to lack of vegetation cover, steepness of slopes angles and non-development of soils. During of road construction works increased soil erosion rates are triggered by the vegetation removal, soil disturbance and the transit of heavy vehicles. Strategies to control erosion are inadequate. The present research topic aims (i) to determine the rates of erosion of road embankments, railways embankments, mine-spoil banks and other environments where soils are created by artificial earth-movement; and (ii) to develop strategies to reduce these high erosion rates to sustainable levels. The use of geo-textiles, grassing, shrub- and tree-planting are among the strategies tested. Erosion control in these vulnerable environments is a key question for sustainable land development; especially in areas where building activity is extremely high such as coastal Spain.




Stop to the soil loss. The road enbankments are a widespread environmental problem




3. Geomorphological effects of forest fire.


The increase in land affected by forest fire in Spain during the 1970’s was due to the abandonment of the mountainous land, the increase in easily-burnt vegetation and the environmental conditions favourable to recurrent fires. Such fires cause sudden to vegetation cover and soils, which induce modification to geomorphological processes. In particular, after wildfire soil loss has been found to increase, which affects the recovery of vegetation and soils. Currently, the research is focussed on the role that climate plays on the recovery in fire-affected land. For this purpose a climatic gradient from the Ebro basin to the Pyrenees is being studied to shed light on the effect of fire under different climatic conditions. The preliminary results show that in the driest areas fire induces an increase in soil erosion variability. These changes suggest that the variability of rates of geomorphological processes may increase with anticipated climate changes, especially those processes affected by forest fire. Recovery after soils after fire, and the effects of the changes in the vegetation cover on soil erosion rates are also being studied.





4. Soil organic matter decomposition network and fauna effects on soil.








Brief CV


1989-1993. Ph. D, University of Valencia. The infiltration capacity of soil of the  Valencia Country. Factors and spatio-temporal variations (in Spanish).



2002 to present   Professor Titular. Department of Geography. University of Valencia.

2001-2002            Científico Titular. Pyrenean Institute of Ecology. Spanish Council for Scientific Research. Zaragoza.

1999-2000           Researcher. Desertification Research Centre. Spanish Council for Scientific Research. Valencia.

1996-1998           Researcher. Department of Geography. University of Valencia.

1993-1995           Researcher. Fysisch Geografisch Bodemkunding Laboratorium. Universiteit van Amsterdam.

1992-1993           Researcher. Department of Geography. Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

1989-1992            Researcher. Department of Geography. University of Valencia, Spain.



2002 to present         Degree in Geography. Degree in Environmental Sciences. University of Valencia.

1997-2002                 Degree in Environmental Science Engineering. World University.

1989-2001                 Degree in  Geography. University of Valencia.  


 Research Projects

Land and Ecosystem Degradation and Desertification: Assessing the Fit of Responses. LEDDRA 243857 CONSORTIUM AGREEMENT. 2007-2-TREN. - European Union FP7. ENV.2009 243857. Eleni Brissouli

Impacts of wildfires on hydrological processes and soil erosion: an Iberian perspective. ACIN - Acciones Integradas - Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. PT2009-0073. Universidasd de Aveiro. Jan Jacob Keiser.

Pérdida de suelo en nuevas explotaciones citrícolas en pendiente. Estrategias para el control de la erosión hídrica.  Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica y Desarrollo Tecnológico. CGL2008-02879/BTE. Artemi Cerdà

Las hormigas en los procesos edáficos, hidrológicos y erosivos.  Conselleria d’Educació. Direcció General de Política Científica. BEST/2010/149. Artemi Cerdà.

Efectos de los incendios forestales sobre los suelos (FUEGOREDIII). Acción complementaria.


Current teaching (2006-2007)

Climatology. Degree in Geography

Water in the Mediterranean Environments. Degree in Geography

Human impact on Ecosystems. Degree in Environment Sciences