Viterbo Headquarters
Viale Trieste 127, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Tel: +39 0761 309587
Secretary and Administration:
E-mail – segreteria.iafes.vt@cmcc.it

Sassari Headquarters
via De Nicola, 9 – 07100 Sassari, Italy
c/o DipNeT, Department of Science for Nature and Environmental Resources
(University of Sassari)
Tel: +39 079 229933
Fax: +39 079 229337
Secretary:
Gavriil Kyriakakis – gavriil.kyriakakis@cmcc.it

The Division’s Lines of Activities focus on the diagnosis and prediction of the climate change impacts on agriculture and on terrestrial natural and semi-natural ecosystems, and on the services they provide, at local to global scale.
The activities comprise basic and applied research, up to operational purposes in the context of ecosystem services.
Particular attention is paid to the monitoring, modeling and analysis of:

  • Agriculture and the water and nutrients’ requirement, including the ecological footprint;
  • Carbon cycle through soil-water-vegetation-human environment dynamics, including their feedbacks to the climate system;
  • Soil water balance and hydrological cycle at different scales, considering the different uses and services of water resources;
  • Land use and land degradation up to desertification;
  • Prevention, planning and managing wild fires and the consequent emissions;
  • Exposure, vulnerability and risk of vegetation and rural-urban and forest-urban interfaces to the fire danger.

All these activities are supporting strategies for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

Research unitsTop
  • Modelling the impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and their services

    Research unit leader: Alessio Collalti // Arianna Di Paola

    Both empirical and mechanistic models are developed, tested and applied to study the impact of climate change, including extreme events, on the terrestrial ecosystems (natural and semi-natural) and agriculture. The impacts are quantified in terms of consequences on the biomass, water, carbon and other nutrients dynamics at the interface among soil-vegetation-atmosphere, detailing from species to plant functional types, and from local to global scale. The 3D-CMCC model and its module are further developed, and statistical-mathematical analyses are combined to assess the land productivity and suitability, considering also the development, hot-spots of presence and co-existence of vegetation types. Cooperation is expected with the ASC, REMHI and CSP Divisions.

  • GHG Emissions and mitigation strategies

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Maria Vincenza Chiriacò // Lucia Perugini
    This activity concerns the combination and analysis of experimental data, analytical approaches and complex models to quantify the impacts in terms of GHG emissions from agriculture, wetlands, natural or managed forests, and other systems. Moreover, emissions considered are related to the provision of goods and services from forestry and agriculture, from the production of raw material to the processing and distribution of the end products. The different scales and approaches are harmonized through the assessment of the environmental footprints and the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), in order to support the mitigation policies while taking into account the needed adaptation to climate change. Cooperation is expected with the ECIP and CSP Divisions.
  • Carbon balance monitoring

    Research Unit Leader:

    Dario Papale // Antonio Bombelli

    This activity concerns carbon fluxes (in terms of both CO2 and CH4) measurement and processing from Eddy Covariance stations, and other field measurements, as well as remote data, in different terrestrial ecosystems (forestlands, grasslands, croplands and wetlands) and climatic zones (tropical and temperate). Carbon fluxes are also corrected and standardized. Field campaigns are carried out for biomass sampling and/or to measure other GHG (like N2O) emissions and other biophysical parameters. All these data are integrated to identify the processes and conditions that affect the spatio-temporal variability of fluxes. Cooperation is expected with the ECIP and ODA Divisions.

  • Impacts on the hydrological balance and on the integrated uses of water resources

    Research Unit Leader:

    Monia Santini
    Hydrological balance models are developed, tested and applied at various spatio-temporal scales (from vertical fluxes into the soil to lateral fluxes at catchment scale) in order to quantify the impacts on water resources, their competitive uses, and their inter- and intra-annual variability, including extreme events like droughts. Tools of different complexity (from analytical models to numerical simulations) are integrated to produce synthesis information through quantitative indicators or qualitative indexes, and then promote their dissemination and use by stakeholders, for a robust support of water resources’ management and protection. Cooperation is expected with the REMHI and RAAS Divisions.
  • Land use and degradation and feedbacks to the climate system

    Research Unit Leader:

    Lucia Perugini, Monia Santini
    Models that reproduce the dynamics of the climate impacts on land use are studied, up to assess land degradation and desertification. The feedbacks of land use change on the climate system are quantified from both biogeochemical and biophysical point of view. Different approaches are considered and elaborated: from the emission factors at national/sectoral/source level, according to IPCC, to the integrated (e.g. land use and climate) numerical modelling. The analysis ranges from the local to the regional and global scales, considering both natural and anthropic systems. Cooperation is expected with the ECIP and  REMHI Divisions.
  • Remote Sensing and GIS for ecosystem

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Gaia Vaglio Laurin // Sergio Noce
    Data acquired by different platforms and sensors (satellite and airborne; light and radar wavelength; hyperspectral and LIDAR) are processed and used, and analytical tools and spatial modelling based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are developed, to monitor the earth surface. Remote sensed data at different spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions, particularly when integrated by GIS techniques, are  useful to assess the changes of earth surface and natural resources (vegetation, soil, water) to be then projected under different climate change scenarios. The activities concerns tropical and temperate biomes (biomass, biodiversity, plant productivity, and response to extremes), crop systems (productivity, variability, precision farming), water resources (availability, dynamics and impacts on food security) and land cover and land use change. Scientific support to missions and experiments of the European Space Agency (ESA) is given on the above subjects. Cooperation is expected with the ASC Division.
  • Climate change impacts, assessment of adaptation and mitigation strategies on agriculture, and food security

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Valentina Mereu // Antonio Trabucco
    Assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture and evaluation of possible adaptation and mitigation strategies through implementation and application of dynamic crop models coupled with climate models or seasonal forecasting, taking also into account extreme weather events. Development of integrated approaches for analyzing crop growth, phonological phases, and yield under different crop management (fertilization, irrigation, processing, and rotation) and spatial scale. Computation of carbon, nitrogen, plant-soil-water balances, for achieving a suitable productivity in view of food and energy (biofuels) security and ensure a sustainable use of resources considering alternative cropping systems. Development and application of agro-climatic and land suitability indexes.
  • Models for irrigation demand planning and management

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Noemi Mancosu // Simone Mereu
    Application of soil water balance models to assess crop water requirements and evaluate hypothetical irrigation schemes for optimizing water usages in agriculture under climate change and extreme weather events conditions. Analysis of system dynamics for a sustainable water resources management aimed to satisfy water needs among socio-economic sectors such as agriculture and hydropower.
  • Monitoring and modeling approaches for analyze energy, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes into soil of natural, agricultural, and urban ecosystems

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Costantino Sirca // Serena Marras
    Direct measurements (Eddy Coviariance technique) and modeling tools are used to monitor energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes at the ecosystem-lower atmosphere interface, for different spatial and temporal scales. The research activity allows analyzing the ecosystem behavior (with its relationships and feedbacks among environmental variables), identifying the driving and stressing factors, studying the impact of climate change, and analyzing the role of human activities in altering these processes.
  • Vulnerability of ecosystems to extreme weather events and fire risk analysis

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Michele Salis // Costantino Sirca
    Development of new approaches for assessing the vulnerability of ecosystems, human settlements, and assets to extreme weather events (e.g., drought, heat waves), fire risk, and fire danger, through multi-risk and multi-impact assessments. Fire danger models along with fire risk and exposure are coupled with climate and seasonal forecast models with the aim to identify and assess climate change, socio-economic and land use impacts on forest fires (from local to Euro-Mediterranean scale).
  • Strategies and support systems for adaptation policies and management of forest fires risk

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Michele Salis // Valentina Bacciu
    Application of tools and methodologies to identify strategies to manage and reduce risks and negative effects of forest fires on ecosystems and assets. The main objective of this activity is leading and advising stakeholders and policy makers through the translation of scientific results in specific and operational programs and policies to prevent, plan, and manage forest fires in the perspective of an efficient and cost-effective use of resources.
  • Impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and natural systems

    Research Unit Leaders:

    Antonio Trabucco // Simone Mereu
    Bioclimatic layers are used to analyze the aggregations of ecosystem functions and estimate the shift of ecosystems and related services due to climate change. Environmental niche models are applied to estimate the distribution of forest species and their migrations due to climate change. The analysis on distribution and coexistence of different species allow estimating the ecosystem functional diversity and defining relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services functioning.
Scientific organizationTop

IAFES-Organization-Chart

ModelsTop