Agroforestry Innovation Networks
Agroforestry (AF) is a type of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. Based on the economic and environmental relevance of this activity, a consortium of 13 partners from 9 European countries, launch AFINET (AgroForestry Innovation NETworks), a thematic network aimed to foster the exchange and the knowledge transfer between scientists and practitioners in the agroforestry. AFINET will act at EU level in order to take up research results into practice and to promote innovative ideas to face challenges and resolve problems of practitioners. To achieve this objective AFINET proposes an innovative methodology based on: (i) The creation of a European Interregional network, composed of “Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks (RAINs)”, working groups created in 9 strategic regions of Europe (Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland), interconnected and articulated through the figure of the “Innovation Broker”. RAINs represent different climatic, geographical, social and cultural conditions and they include a balanced representation of the key actors with complementary type of knowledge: farmers, policy makers, advisory services, extension services, etc. (ii) The creation of an European reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of AF with an end-user friendly access (the “Knowledge Cloud”), where all the information collected and the materials created in the project will be published.
Principal Investigator: Joana Amaral Paulo
CEF Budget: 256.031,00 €
Forest ecosystem management decision making methods: an integrated bioeconomic approach to sustainability
This project aims at bringing together multidisciplinary state-of-the-art knowledge on forest ecosystem models, forest ecosystem management planning methods and non-market forest-services payments mechanisms, to design tools that may help forest policy and decision makers address current challenges to the forest sector. Namely, it will contribute to excellent science by building the interdisciplinary synthesis needed to develop tools that may realize the forest ecosystem management paradigm, promote industrial leadership, and provide the knowledge framework needed to address key societal challenges, namely the increase of the provision of non-market forest ecosystem services and resource sustainability.
Principal Investigator: José G. Borges
CEF Budget: 167.534 €
Brazilian Fire-Land-Atmosphere System
Vegetation burning and associated emissions of gases and aerosols have substantial ecological, atmospheric and climatic impacts. In Brazil, particularly the Cerrado savanna and the Amazon rainforest are significantly affected by anthropic fires every year, also becoming regionally and globally important sources of pyrogenic emissions. With this proposal we aim to develop improved daily and monthly burned area maps for Brazil, using data from the latest generation of Earth observation satellites, and to combine those maps with other relevant environmental data to estimate aerosol and gas emissions, including an assessment of uncertainty and a sensitivity analysis of the estimates. The project will then address the interactions between climatic and ecological drivers of fire activity in the Cerrado and in the rain forest, characterizing the current situation; it will also develop short-term predictive models concerning fire risk dynamics at the regional level. Statistical models will also be developed to understand and forecast future fire regimes under a variety of climate change scenarios available for the region. A fundamental consequence of this project will be the operational implementation of its results in INPE´s existing operational Fire System, improving the overall quality of its products, benefiting the many users, comprising government agencies, research groups, fire managers, NGOs, etc.
CEF Budget: 99.629 €
Understanding the interaction between cork oak trees and the vegetation in its neighborhood
Plant-plant interactions strongly influence plant community dynamics and ecosystem structure. This is particularly true in the cork oak ecosystem, a complex system that almost always includes one or more vegetation layers – natural or cultivated – below the trees. The data will be gathered in plot-sets specifically established for this project. This will be accomplished by selecting stands, preferably within which different neighborhood environments will be artificially created (the treatments): with and without shrubs, with and without “pastures”, with and without fertilization, or other management operations with impact on the individuals interactions. The idea behind the project is not only to measure the effect of local competition on growth but also to contribute for the explanation for the underlying mechanisms. A operational result will be the inclusion of the interaction between the cork oak trees and the surrounding vegetation in the existing model for simulation of cork oak stands – SUBER model, which will have important practical consequences. The need for this improvement was identified by forest managers at dissemination workshops, held in the last years.
Principal Investigator: Margarida Tomé
CEF Budget: 156.000 €