Past Projects (5 years)

Project OASIS: How to run regulated rivers in semi-arid regions? PTDC/AAC-AMB/120197/2010
Principal Investigator: Francisca C. Aguiar

Riparian forests are a central element of river landscapes. In Mediterranean and semi-arid regions they emerge from the surrounding landscape matrix as “linear oasis”, and contain a disproportionate share of regional biodiversity. Besides the unquestionably ecological value, riparian forests provide goods and numerous societal and economic benefits, including flood mitigation, aquifer recharge, and maintenance of water quality. We propose a functional trait-based approach developed under a hybrid framework methodology to determine environmental flows for riparian vegetation and the river ecosystem, i.e the quantity and timing of water flows required to sustain the proper ecosystems’ functioning in regulated rivers. The project was founded in three highly-connected tasks, according to four processes: i) obtaining and systematizing riparian and ii) hydrological information, iii) model development and calibration, iv) model validation and testing for different flow scenarios and cost analysis.


FLOWBASE: a riparian plant traitbase

FLOWBASE is a riparian plant trait base which provides standardized information on 225 woody species from 65 families that can be found in Mediterranean and semi-arid worldwide riparian habitats. FLOWBASE aims to make easily and freely accessible currently scattered information about Mediterranean riparian plants, their connections to flow processes and information on geographic locations. At the moment, data compilation addresses 55 functional plant traits characterizing dispersal, establishment and persistence in riparian areas and with expected linkages with hydrological changes, water availability and flood resistance.

S-PerforMA Species Performance Modeling Algorithm (PTDC/AAC-AMB/113394/2009)

Principal Investigator: Jorge Orestes Cerdeira
This project creates a new approach to understand and predict species potential distributions, gathering well-established ecological principles and an innovative geometric mathematical approach to determine species niches. The main advantage of this algorithm relies on the fact that it is independent of statistical fittings and does not require standardizations, making it flexible and widely applicable. It can also be used as a predictive tool, to track species distributions in response to environmental change. We intend to address some of the known limitations of SDM, proposing a new technique that is threshold-independent, does not require absence data nor standardizations, produce easily interpretable results, and do not rely upon any particular family of species response curve, and henceforth being independent of statistical fittings.

ClimAdapPT.Local – Municipal Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change
Principal Investigator: Filipe Duarte Santos; Gil Penha-Lopes

Summary: The ClimAdaPT.Local project has the goal of starting in Portugal a continuous process leading to the elaboration of Municipal Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change (Estratégias Municipais de Adaptação às Alterações Climáticas – EMAAC, in Portuguese) and its integration in municipal planning tools. In order to achieve this goal, it is intended to capacitate municipal staff persons in climate change adaptation, to raise awareness of local stakeholders, and to develop tools and products which will enable the formulation and implementation of the Municipal Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation in the municipalities participating in the project and, in the future, in all Portuguese municipalities.