What is CASCADE about?
One of the most challenging themes in ecology over the last decades is the quest for the understanding of discontinuous changes in ecosystems. Discontinuous shifts have already been observed and analyzed for a wide variety of ecological systems, including lakes, drylands, peatlands, rangelands, marine systems, and musselbeds.
Some of these discontinuous shifts in ecosystems imply undesired and irreversible changes. For example, shallow lakes can suddenly change into eutrophic systems with a large loss in biological diversity.
CASCADE will investigate and analyze a range of dryland ecosystems in southern Europe to obtain a better understanding of sudden shifts in drylands that may lead to major losses in biodiversity and concomitant ecosystem services.
Based on these analyses, CASCADE will develop ways to predict the proximity of the CASCADE’s dryland ecosystems to thresholds in such a way that these predictions can be used by policymakers and land users for more sustainable management of drylands worldwide.
- Published on Friday, 28 August 2015 07:18
- Written by Erik van den Elsen
Nichola Geeson has been working hard to publish Newsletter 2, which is now available from the Newsletter page. The newsletter reports about the latest plenary meeting that was held on Crete, about deliverable 2.1 ('Historical evolution of dryland ecosystems') that was produced by our collegues from the Technical University of Crete, and about the conceptual framework for catastrophic shifts (D1.2), that was developed by the consortium during a number of sessions. Furthermore, there is an article about 'Management practices for natural resources' - D7.1, which is a contribution by our collegues from UNIBE in Switzerland.
- Published on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:50
- Written by Erik van den Elsen
Soil is the foundation of our lives and of all ecosystem services, although it is so far little present in public consciousness. But it is a very important part of our nature: it enables food production, serves as an important water storage and water filter, converts and dissipates organic residues and makes pollutants harmless. Remarkably there are more organisms living in soils than on its surface! Today we take soil for granted, resulting in numerous negative consequences such as soil loss and soil destruction. 350-400 km² of arable soils are lost every day worldwide. Now it is necessary to protect soils sustainably as a resource and therefore for our existence. For that reason the United Nations proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Soils. The World Soil Day (5th of December) also offers an annually opportunity to point the way for the impor tance of soil as a resource and to campaign for soil protection.
This year the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival calls to send in films about soils. For the first time there is a separate category for films concerning soils which also has its own film award. The best film on the topic of soil will be awarded a prize worth 2.000 €.
Each film is an important contribution to raise awareness for soil. For more information see: http://www.inff.eu/competition/prizes/