Impacts on Agriculture, Forests and Ecosystem Services

The IAFES Division is organized around two poles located in Sassari and Viterbo with integrated and complementary competencies. The main goal of the research, consultancy and service activities of the IAFES Division is analyzing the interactions between climate change and terrestrial – natural and semi-natural – ecosystems and anthropic sectors. These include agriculture, forests, soil and urban systems, with particular attention to connected resources and generated services, like food and water security, climate regulation, and mitigation of hazards deriving from the combination of climate conditions and land management.

In particular, the following topics are addressed by the IAFES Division: i) hazards, exposure, vulnerability and risks related to wildfires, erosion, droughts, loss of biomass and productivity, phytopathologies (pests, diseases) and other disturbances in the context of modifications in climate trends, variability and related extreme events; ii) water, carbon and nitrogen cycle as well as greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) emissions modeling and/or monitoring, also based on life cycle assessment (LCA) approaches, and on land and water consumption under a footprint perspective; iii) the interactions and nexus among water-land/ecosystem-food-energy-climate, also in the context of land suitability, for more resource-efficient land management and sustainable development.

Through the IAFES Division activities, several tools are designed, developed, set-up and applied based on the integration among Earth Observations, spatial analysis (exploiting GIS environment), process-based modelling and statistical-mathematical approaches to assess, predict (on the short term) and project (on the long term) the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and of services they provide, including uncertainty consideration.

The results of the Division research activities and studies allow to consolidate the scientific knowledge and, acting as interface between science and policy, to formulate more robust recommendations about mitigation and adaptation options at local, national and international level.

IAFES Projects

  • HIGHLANDER - High performance computing to support smart land services

    Through the use of High Performance Computing, HIGHLANDER will make it possible…

  • TEACHER-CE - joinT Efforts to increase water management Adaptation to climate CHanges in central EuRope

    TEACHER-CE intends to integrate and harmonize results of previously or ongoing projects…

  • NEMESI - NanotEcnologie chiMiche green per la protEzione Sostenibile delle pIante

    The NEMESI project is aimed at the creation of biobased / biomaterial…

  • IAFES Publications

    The Global Methane Budget 2000–2017

    Saunois M., Stavert A.R., Poulter B., Bousquet P., Canadell J.G., Jackson R.B., Raymond P.A., Dlugokencky E.J., Houweling S., Patra P.K., Ciais P., Arora V.K., Bastviken D., Bergamaschi P., Blake D.R., Brailsford G., Bruhwiler L., Carlson K.M., Carrol M.,  ., Castaldi S., Chandra N., Crevoisier C., Crill P.M., Covey K., Curry C.L., Etiope G:, Frankenberg C., Gedney N., Hegglin M.I., Höglund-Isaksson L., Hugelius G., Ishizawa M., Ito A., Janssens-Maenhout G., Jensen K.M., Joos F., Kleinen T., Krummel P.B., Langenfelds R.L., Laruelle G:G., Liu L., Machida T., Maksyutov S., McDonald K.C., McNorton J., Miller P.A., Melton J.R., Morino I., Müller J., Murguia-Flores F., Naik V., Niwa Y., Noce S., O'Doherty S., Parker R.J., Peng C., Peng S., Peters G.P., Prigent C., Prinn R., Ramonet M., Regnier P., Riley W.J., Rosentreter J.A., Segers A., Simpson I.J., Shi H., Smith S.J., Steele L.P., Thornton B.F., Tian H., Tohjima Y., Tubiello F.N., Tsuruta A., Viovy N., Voulgarakis A., Weber T.S., Van Weele M., Van der Werf G.R., Weiss R.F., Worthy D., Wunch D., Yin Y., Yoshida Y., Zhang W., Zhang Z., Zhao Y., Zheng B., Zhu Q., Zhu Q., Zhuang Q.
    2020, Earth System Science Data, 12, 1561–1623, DOI: 10.5194/essd-12-1561-2020, web page

    Climate change impacts on phenology and yield of Hazelnut in Australia

    Jha P.K., Materia S., Zizzi G., Costa Saura J. M. , Trabucco A., Evans J., Bregaglio S.
    2020, Agricultural Systems, (in press)

    An Innovative Tool for the Management of the Surface Drinking Water Resources at European Level: GOWARE—Transnational Guide Towards an Optimal WAter REgime

    Rizzo A., Banovec P., Cilenšek A., Rianna G., Santini M.
    2020, Water - MDPI, 12(2), 370, DOI: doi:10.3390/w12020370, web page

    Latest on Water, Food, and Land Use

    Designing and planning effective urban blue spaces

    he first online tool to assess blue spaces has just been launched. Designed and developed by the CMCC Foundation in…

    The Circular Economy Challenge: towards Climathon Venice 2020

    Twenty-four hours dedicated to teamwork and to create innovative projects to find sustainable solutions towards the Circular Economy. The 5th…



    Monia Santini

    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…

  • IDI - Integrated Desertification Index

    The Integrated Desertification Index (IDI) was developed (Santini et al., 2010) to…

  • Coexistence Model

    The coexistence model (Di Paola et al., 2012) is a simple quantitative…

  • SWAT

    SWAT is a hydrologic model, developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS)…


    3D-CMCC FEM - Three Dimension Forest Ecosystem Model (Collalti et al., 2014,…

  • Research Units

    Research Unit Leaders: Maria Vincenza Chiriacò and Antonio Trabucco

    Assessment, through modeling 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

    Design, development and implementation of tools for proper water use 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 cycle and GHG fluxes to quantify their responses to climate change, and possible feedbacks, as well as to extremes and other stresses (e.g. fires, pests, diseases, droughts, heatwaves).

    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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