Mediterranean Global Change Research Priorities
A new paper has been published on “Reassessing global change research priorities in Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems: how far have we come and where do we go from here?”
This paper is the result of the collaboration between an interdisciplinary group of scientists from the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) as a result of the Consolider-MONTES project.
The article revisits the research priorities proposed in a 1998 assessment by Lavorel et al. regarding Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems in the face of global change. As scientific development and environmental pressures have increased, it is necessary to evaluate recent progress and to challenge research priorities for the investigation of global change.
A new set of thirteen research priorities is proposed based on a framework describing how Mediterranean ecosystems will respond to human-induced global change, including ecosystem services derived from ecosystem functioning and incorporating mechanisms for monitoring, studying and seeking to modify these responses.
The two main conclusions extracted from the proposed list to be applied to ecosystems were, firstly, that interactions among the different drivers of global change remain poorly understood, and secondly, that regional and global-scale models should be developed, which are more tightly connected with large scale experiments, data networks and management practice.
Finally, particularly in the Mediterranean, drought-related forest decline and the current relevance of historical land use are new issues requiring special attention.
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