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Last update: May 2021

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WP leader R. Alia, P13
Participants P1, P2, P3, P5, P7, P8, P9, P13, P15
The objective of the WP3 is to assess the biological flexibility (i.e. potential of change and time scale of the response to disturbance) of forest species or ecosystems under different management scenarios, through a simulation approach. This will be achieved by using existing data from a series of case study sites and for a different set of processes. The WP will focus in the two types of case studies. The focused case studies will be used to improve our knowledge on the processes and interaction among the processes and the flexibility of the system. The integrated case studies will be used (in collaboration with WP2 and WP4) to provide information to assess the resilience of the systems.
T3.1. Assessment of biodiversity and functional flexibility
Task leader F. Aravanopoulos, P7
Objectives To clarify the concepts, methods and tools (existing data and models) for the assessment of biodiversity and functional flexibility of forest ecosystems; to improve knowledge on the basic mechanisms of the response to disturbance under given management scenarios based on combined empirical and modeling approaches; and to assess the ecological components of resilience in the integrated case studies as well as in a selection of focused case studies.
Methodology A literature review on the ecological components of resilience, with a focus on forest ecosystems, assessment tools and methods, will be conducted. In the selected case studies, different management scenarios will be evaluated for their impact on biodiversity composition and function, with identification of tipping points and leverage. Both within-species flexibility of keystone tree species and flexibility of communities regarding different kinds of disturbance will be investigated. The interactions among biodiversity dynamic processes, across spatial scales (from population to landscape) and among organisational levels (from genetics to communities) will be considered. Existing models accounting for demographic, physiologic and genetic processes as well as management practices will be used as the main tool to assess biological flexibility in the case studies. A summer school on functional and evolutionary response of Mediterranean forests to forest management under global change will be organised in relation to EVOLTREE Network and ERASMUS Master programmes.
Deliverables D3.1, D3.2
Milestones M3.1, M3.2
T3.2. Model coupling in ecology
Task leader G. Simioni, P1
Objectives To develop a process-based approach of the response to disturbance and to assess the time scale of functional response to biodiversity changes by coupling population dynamics with functional, evolutionary, and disturbance processes.
Methodology The task will require the use of existing sophisticated modeling tools (platforms) or methods (meta-modeling) to cope with different spatial and temporal scale time in this project. The partners already use different models, accounting for different processes at various scales, in Mediterranean forest ecosystems. An extensive review of existing models and their requirements (input parameters and variables), as well as modeling platforms, will first be achieved. A workshop on methods for coupling models of different types or accounting for processes operating at different scales will be organised in order to define strategies (possibilities and limits) for coupling models in ecology aiming to predict the response to disturbance. A second workshop will be devoted to multi-site comparisons in relation to model genericity (e.g. response to rainfall exclusion, comparing gradient sites, trait comparison, cross site model validation,...). Finally, coupled models will be implemented and tested in some case studies.
Deliverables D3.3, D3.4
Milestones M3.3, M3.4, M3.5, M3.6