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CASCADE - CAtastrophic Shifts in drylands: how CAn we prevent ecosystem DEgradation
Coordinator - Coen Ritsema (ALTERRA)
CESAM Responsible researcher - Celeste Coelho/Jan Jacob Keizer
Programme - EU FP7 Environment (ENV.2011.2.1.4-2)
Execution dates - 2012-01-01 - 2017-06-30 (66 Months)
Funding Entity - EU
Funding for CESAM - 499680 €
Total Funding - 7715999 €
Proponent Institution - ALTERRA (The Netherlands)
Participating Institutions
Universidade de Aveiro
ALTERRA Netherlands
TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF CRETE TUC Greece
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DELLA BASILICATA Unibas Italy
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS France
UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE UA Spain
FONDAZIONE PER LO SVILUPPO SOSTENIBILE DEL MEDITERRANEO MEDES Italy
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS UNIVLEEDS United Kingom
UNIVERSITAET BERN UNIBE Switzerland
UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT UU Netherlands
JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION JRC Belgium
CYPRUS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY CUT Cyprus
WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITEIT WU Netherlands
FUNDACION CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS AMBIENTALES DEL MEDITERRANEO
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CASCADE The aim of the project is to obtain a better understanding of sudden ecosystem shifts that may lead to major losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to define measures that can be used to prevent such shifts. The focus of CASCADEis explicitly on drylands as being one of the most fragile and threatened ecosystems in Europe.


CASCADE will investigate the historical evolution of dryland ecosystems in six Mediterranean study sites, and improve understanding of the biogeochemical mechanisms underlying sudden and catastrophic shifts through a combination of experimentation and modeling. Experiments in laboratory and field will be used to assess the biogeochemical processes that are thought to underlie regime shifts in drylands, to study the interplay between competition and facilitation, and to assess the effects of biotic and abiotic processeson vegetation structure and composition. Field surveys will identify changes in ecosystem structure and functions that indicate approaching or crossing of tipping points, link these findings to experimental results, and assess potentials for restoration. Models will be developed to describe regime shifts in the studied drylands in terms of changes in vegetation composition, abundance and spatial patterning. Based on both experimentation and modelling, CASCADE will develop management schemes for sustainable resource use and conservation of ecosystem services. By combining physical with socio-economicmodeling, measures will be defined that work from an ecological as well as a socio-economic perspective.


The results of CASCADE will be made accessible to natural resource and biodiversity managers, policy makers, and other audiences, using a variety of dissemination methods such as reports, booklets, newsletters, meetings, videos, and TV. All project results and recommendations will be stored and made accessible to the public by developing a web-based harmonized CASCADEinformation system (CASCADIS).


http://www.cascade-project.eu/

Members on this project

post-doctoral research fellow
Celeste Coelho
team member
Cristina Ribeiro
research fellow
Frank G.A. Verheijen
post-doctoral researcher
Glória Catarina Pinto
post-doctoral researcher
Jan Jacob Keizer
coordinator UAVR team
João Pedro Carvalho Nunes
post-doctoral researcher
María Eufemia Varela Teijeiro
post-doctoral researcher
Mário Cerqueira
consultor UAVR team
Peter Cornelis Roebeling
assistant researcher
Sandra Valente
post-doctoral researcher
Valdemar Esteves
consultant of UAVR team