Impacts on Agriculture, Forests and Ecosystem Services

The IAFES Division is organized in two poles located in Sassari and Viterbo. The main research focus is on integrated modeling, monitoring and analysis of climate change impacts on natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems, with a focus on forests, agriculture and urban systems and their resources and services, considering both food and water security. The following research topics are addressed: i) hazards, exposure, vulnerability and risks related to wildfires, droughts, plant diseases and other disturbances in the context of climate change, variability and extreme events; ii) carbon and nitrogen cycle, and greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) emissions modeling and monitoring, also based on life cycle assessment (LCA) approaches, as well as on land and water consumption under a footprint perspective; iii) the nexus among water-land/ecosystem-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient land management and sustainable development.

Scientific and technical advice on mitigation and adaptation options at national and international level are provided, interfacing between science and policy.

Earth observations, spatial analysis and both process-based and statistical-based modeling tools are developed, fine-tuned and applied to assess, predict (short term) and project (long term) conditions and modifications, including land suitability, on the above sectors and resources.

IAFES Projects

  • SOCLIMPACT - DownScaling CLImate imPACTs and decarbonisation pathways in EU islands, and enhancing socioeconomic and non-market evaluation of Climate Change for Europe, for 2050 and beyond

    The SOCLIMPACT consortium involves 24 partners, many of them coming from 12 European islands and archipelagos: European Small States Islands: Cyprus and Malta; European islands: Baltic...

  • PARIS-REINFORCE - Delivering on the Paris Agreement: A demand-driven, integrated assessment modelling approach

    PARIS REINFORCE aims to underpin climate policymaking with authoritative scientific processes and results, and enhance the science-policy interface, in light of the Paris Agreement and associated...

  • VERIFY - Observation-based system for monitoring and verification of greenhouse gases

    As the negative impacts of rising global temperatures become increasingly evident, national governments are enhancing efforts to curve down the emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for...

  • IAFES Publications

    Predicting range shifts of Asian elephants under global change

    Kanagaraj R., Araujo M.B., Barman R., Davidar P., De R., Digal D.K., Gopi G.V., Johnsingh A.J.T., Kakati K., Kramer-Schadt S., Lamichhane B.R., Lyngdoh S., Madhusudan M.D., Ul Islam Najar M., Parida J., Pradhan N.M.B., Puyravaud J.-P., Raghunath R., Rahim P.P.A., Muthamizh Selvan K., Subedi NTrabucco A., Udayraj S., Wiegand T., Williams A.C., Goyal S.P.
    2019, Diversity and Distributions, 25, 5, 822-838, DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12898, web page

    The potential carbon neutrality of sustainable viticulture showed through a comprehensive assessment of the greenhouse gas (GHG) budget of wine production

    Chiriacò M. V. , Belli C., Chiti T., Trotta C., Sabbatini S.
    2019, Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI:, web page

    Using daily data from seasonal forecasts in dynamic crop models for yield prediction: A case study for rice in Nepal’s Terai

    Jha Prakash K., Athanasiadis P., Gualdi S., Trabucco A., Mereu V., Shelia V., Hoogenboom G.
    2019, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 265, 349-358, DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.11.029, web page

    Latest on Water, Food, and Land Use

    Exploiting forest biodiversity to increase CO2 sequestration

    Understanding the relationships between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions to increase CO2 sequestration as well as other ecosystem services in a…

    Guerra alla plastica: ragazzi, scienziati ed esperti per salvaguardare la salute del mare

    Settanta studenti delle scuole leccesi, chili di plastica tolti dalla spiaggia limitrofa all’area delle Cesine e raccolti in oltre 60…



    Antonio Bombelli

    Division Manager

    Alessandra Settimi

    Viale Trieste 127
    01100 Viterbo, Italy


    Deputy Director

    Valentina Bacciu

    Division Manager

    Serena Marras

    Via De Nicola, 9
    07100 Sassari, Italy

    IAFES Models

  • LUC@CMCC - Land use change model

    The land use change model LUC@CMCC was reformulated in Santini and Valentini (2011) starting from the CLUEs model (Verburg et al 2002) to reproduce the dynamics of land use/cover change in the past...

  • IDI - Integrated Desertification Index

    The Integrated Desertification Index (IDI) was developed (Santini et al, 2010) to combine in a semi-quantitative way multiple processes leading to desertification and simulated via mechanistic to...

  • Research Units

    Research Unit Leaders: Arianna Di Paola and Antonio Trabucco

    Assessment, through modelling and spatial analysis approaches, of impacts and biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks between climate dynamics and terrestrial ecosystems, ranging from agriculture, natural vegetation, managed forests, urban areas, water resources, soil and their connected functions and services.

    Research Unit Leaders: Simone Mereu and Monia Santini

    Implementation of tools for water management in agriculture, water basin management, and ecosystem conservation, under a nexus approach cutting across water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient management.

    Research Unit Leaders: Serena Marras and Dario Papale

    Monitoring trees structure, physiological variables and ecosystems’ carbon and GHG fluxes to quantify their responses to climate change, and possible feedbacks, as well as to other stresses (e.g. fires, pests, diseases).

    Research Unit Leaders: Valentina Mereu and Lucia Perugini

    Supporting: i) the definition of policies for the valorization of ecosystem services in the agriculture and forestry sectors; ii) national GHG inventory in the land sector (AFOLU); iii) local and regional governments for climate risk assessment and the development of adaptation plans and risk mitigation options; iv) integrated water resource management, including water supply and sanitation, sustainable production and investment choices.

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