Pine species dominate much of the Mediterranean forest landscape, but global change is significantly impacting their performance and survival. Drought and heat events associated with climate warming are synergistically interacting with forest management modifying forest fire frequency and extension. These factors combined with global trading also lead to greater biotic risks by exotic pests and pathogens along with range expansion of current threats to new environments and, even, new species. Due to intraspecific trade-offs and the structure of genetic correlations between life-history traits, extreme mortality events may lead to strong selection pressures in the surviving progenies and, potentially, to changes in the forest functional attributes. Here, we will examine the patterns of genetic and plastic variation and covariation among key traits that underlie the adaptive potential of the current genetic resources and the resilience of our pinewoods to this new environmental scenario.
Fungal communities play key roles in driving multiple ecosystem functions and services in forest ecosystems, representing up to one third of the total C budget of soils. Nowadays, forest ecosystems are subjected to multiple modes of environmental and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g. fires and forest management) that drives mainly changes in vegetation component, as well as in plant-soil interactions. However, despite the importance of forest fungi, we know relatively little about the extent to which forest disturbances may have a cascading effect on the diversity, productivity (mycelial and mushrooms) and functioning of soil fungi and airborne spore communities, especially in Mediterranean forests. The project idea is to provide scientific bases to develop forest management methods that maintain soil fungal diversity, the mushroom yields and their associated ecosystem services in response to present and future forest disturbances.
SINCERE’s main strategic goal is to advance innovative mechanisms (IM) (including novel policies and business models) that support the provision of Forest Ecosystem Services across Europe and beyond, and to align them with a coordinated supportive policy framework in view of working towards a Europe-wide incentive system for Forest Ecosystem Services.
Global climate change is affecting the area of distribution of plant species resulting in migration to higher altitudes and latitudes. However, plants are also bound to daylight rhythmicity, both on a diel and seasonal scale, and this might hamper species distribution under, and fast acclimation to, rapid environmental change. It may thus happen that the potential distribution range of a species, defined by temperature and precipitation, moves north due to climate change, but that the photoperiod cues at this new latitude do not match the evolutionary demands of that species. With this project, we will provide the mechanistic basis and a conceptual framework to understand how climatic and daylight/photoperiod cues jointly affects tree functioning.
MEDfOR - Mediterranean Forestry and Natural Resources Management is a two-year Erasmus Mundus Master Course Programme that answers a call for a coordinated approach throughout the Mediterranean basin to develop reliable information and tools - based on sound science and a multidisciplinary approach, in order to improve Mediterranean forestry and natural resources management and policy-making. The partners of the MEDFOR master are Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal - University of Padova, Italy - University of Lleida, Spain - University of Valladolid, Spain - Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey - University of Tuscia, Italy - Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal.
The purpose of INCREdible is to address the existing research and innovation knowledge divide in relation to NWFP-service systems of the Mediterranean basin. In particular, INCREdible aims to link knowledge and foster collaboration among different groups of stakeholders, developing innovative business models and enhancing the expertise of rural regions towards the development of inclusive economic strategies.