In this area, CREAF focuses its research on the structure, dynamics and functioning of forests.
Forests are the most prominent and influential terrestrial ecosystems on the planet. They cover approximately 30% of the Earth's surface and are found on all of the continents. They contain 80% of terrestrial ecosystem's plant biomass and account for 75% of gross primary productivity. Forests provide a large number of ecosystem services which are vital for society. They absorb and fix carbon, play a key role in the regulation of water resources, and curb erosion and desertification processes. They also help regulate gas exchange, produce wood, and favor the conservation of biodiversity and habitats. However, global change has significantly modified the structure, composition and functioning of forest ecosystems. Forests are being affected by different natural processes and disturbances, such as forest fires, acid rain, drought, and pests, as well as different forest management regimes.
In this area, CREAF focuses its research on the structure, dynamics and functioning of forests. In particular, we study the decline, regeneration and global functioning of forests by studying nutrient and water cycles and uses. In addition, we develop mathematical models, carry out forest inventories, and create databases. The results of this research are used to plan and improve sustainable forest management strategies that allow us to preserve the natural, social and economic value of forests.
The main lines of work and expertise of CREAF in this field include:
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