Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

New project promoting the resilience of agroforestry systems in drylands is being implemented across the LTSER Montado Platform

10 May 2022

A new project funded by Portuguese national funds (FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) started in March 2021 and will run until 2024 with the support of LTSER Montado platform.

Project RENEWAL (PTDC/ASP-SIL/7743/2020) is aimed at promoting the resilience of agroforestry systems in drylands to a more arid future, ensuring ecosystem functions and services. It addresses climate change effects on oak woodlands (montados), semi-natural agroforestry systems of high ecological and socio-economic importance, dominating southern Portugal.

Montados are highly vulnerable to climate change and are currently in decline due to multiple interacting environmental factors, coupled with unsustainable land use. RENEWAL´s aim is to use complementary biodiversity metrics of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity as indicators of resilience to climate of key ecological functions in these semiarid systems. It also aims to promote the montados’ resilience to climate change and inform land management strategies and decision-making. This will be done using a spatiotemporal correlational approach, studying these indicators along space and over time at different scales, complemented with drought-induced manipulative experiments.

These experiments are being installed at three Research and Monitoring Stations of the montado Long-term Ecological Research platform, namely at Companhia das Lezírias, Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo and Herdade da Coitadinha.