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

IAFES Publications

Widespread inhibition of daytime ecosystem respiration

Keenan T.F., Migliavacca M., Papale D., Baldocchi D., Reichstein M., Torn M., Wutzler T.
2019, Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 3, p. 407-415, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0809-2, web page

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

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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: 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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