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A new interdisciplinary research project led by Dr Estela Nadal-Romero will study the effects of afforestation in Mediterranean ecosystems. Nadal-Romero was awarded an FP7 Marie Curie People fellowship and will be carrying out her research with Dr Erik Cammeraat at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED).

Human-induced afforestation has been one of the main strategies for environmental management of forest landscapes in Mediterranean areas. Over the last decades, studies have started to focus on the impacts of these newly planted forests on the properties and processes inside the soil and how they affect the local geomorphology and hydrology. 

Developing new recommendations

Few studies have intensively focussed on the consequences of afforestation on soil and water resources, particularly in arid Mediterranean mountain areas. There is an urgent need for detailed recommendations on the correct approach for afforestation management. The MED-AFFOREST project of Dr Nadal-Romero aims develop new guidelines for optimized afforestation scenarios which take into account the constraints of local water resources and carbon sequestration inside the soil. Such recommendations will benefit local and regional management and strategies for afforestation polices.

Measuring effects on the local hydrology.

Interdisciplinary research

Nadal-Romero’s will use an interdisciplinary approach to understand the effect of afforestation on the hydrological and geomorphological dynamics, local soil properties and carbon sequestration inside the soil. The study will target these processes on different spatio-temporal scales in the landscape.