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MONTESNational ProjectsDec 2008 to Dec 2013

Spanish mountains and global change: threats and opportunities

MONTES research project general objective is to improve our basic understanding of the interaction between woodlands and global change and to determine how woodland management can be effectively integrated into the strategies to adjust and mitgate the effects of global ghange.

Introduction

The MONTES Project is a research programme for Mediterranean woodland ecosystems of the relationship among global change drivers (climatic change, changes in atmospheric composition and in fire regimes, land use change and the introduction of exotic species) and ecosystem services (maintenance of atmospheric conditions and water resources and biodiversity) with the aim of providing guidance to management opportunities and adaptation.

The general objective of this program is organized around three main axes: 

  1. influence of global change on the structure and function of woodlands; 
  2. ways in which woodlands may modulate the consequences of global change; and 
  3. modification through management of the effects of global change on woodlands and of the latter on global change itself.

The Project is structured into seven work packages, a condensation of all possible interactions among the components of global change and the ecosystem services, plus an eighth work package focussed in crossing and interactions:

  1. Interactions between woodlands and the atmosphere
  2. Changes in carbon fixation in woodlands
  3. Changes in species distributions caused by climatic change
  4. Water availability
  5. Consequences of land use change and fragmentation for species conservation
  6. Species vulnerability to fire and preventive management of large-scale fires
  7. Biological invasions and consequences to biodiversity

The study incorporates the local and regional scale by nine core study areas distributed throughout Spain. They cover non-Mediterranean mountains (Pyrenees, Montseny) and Mediterranean mountains (Sierra Nevada, Alto Tajo, Prades) and lowlands (Garraf, Sierra del Segura, Doñana), plus an experimental crop land.

The MONTES Project brings together more than 90 scientists belonging to 13 research groups and universities (CREAF, CTFC, IRTA, IDAEA, CIEMAT, IRN-CSIC, EBD-CSIC, UB, UGR, UCLM, URJC, NCAR and U Edimburgh) as a competitive and multi-skilled international platform. The double impact of MONTES is based on the inherent scientific relevance of the research results and applications, but also on the creation and long term maintenance of a research transfer net in Spain.

For more information please visit http://www.creaf.uab.es/MONTES/

Conclusions