The Arid Iberian South East LTSER Platform - Spain
The Arid Iberian South East LTSER Platform
The Arid Iberian South East
The Arid Iberian South East LTSER Platform aims to seek multidisciplinary solutions to the environmental problems occurring in the socio-ecological systems of Anthropocene. The Platform encompasses a wide range of humanized and semi natural landscapes which make up interesting socio-ecosystems. These singular environments represent both natural processes of aridification as traditional land uses, forcing an effective management of the scarce and irregular water resources. Further, agricultural land abandonment linked to land use changes is driving biodiversity loss and alteration of the ecosystem functioning. All these features provide excellent natural laboratories where researching “in live” similar scenarios as those forecasted in other Mediterranean regions and testing adaptive management models to improve ecosystem resilience. The platform area has an extension of 1,426446 ha including a wide orographic heterogeneity and an altitude gradient from the sea level until 2,260 m. The climate is Mediterranean hot (annual average temperature between 12º-15ºC ) and dry, with some localities where rainfall is lower than 200 mm/year. The traditional uses of natural resources were mining and the exploitation of the species Macrochloa tenacissima as vegetable fibre. Currently, the most frequent land uses are intensive agriculture (e.g., greenhouses), marble quarries, tourism and the service sector derived from these activities. The monitoring program includes several dozens of standardised methodological protocols producing up to date results on ecosystem functioning, biophysical processes, biodiversity trends and social perceptions. Facilities are composed by a laboratory on remote sensing and GIS, a laboratory for biological and chemical analysis, Eddy covariance systems for carbon and water fluxes measurement (atmosphere- ecosystem-soil), a weather station, field instrumental for measuring ecophysiological processes, biological collections, a 4x4 wheel vehicle. The research areas covered by the Arid Iberian South East LTSER Platform are regional ecology by using remote sensing, carbon/water exchange ecosystem-atmosphere/soil-atmosphere and water balance, phenology of xerophytic vegetation, occurrence of invasive alien species, climate trends, land use changes, biophysical and socio-cultural assessment of ecosystem services, spatial distribution of species (birds, mammals and plants), ecological integrity of arid riparian environments, karst systems, and water quality. We are working to guarantee the quality of our datasets and searching for collaborators with the aim of expanding our current dataset catalogue.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information