Special Issue “Modelling and Monitoring the Effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation”

We invite you to submit a paper to the Special Issue “Modelling and Monitoring the Effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation” in the journal Water. Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on many ecosystem services affecting livelihoods and human well-being worldwide. Adaptation measures are required to secure food production and freshwater availability for the growing global population and increase our resilience to more extreme hydro-meteorological climate events (floods, droughts, landslides, forest fires). There is a growing recognition that NBS can provide cost-effective and sustainable alternatives to hard engineering or grey infrastructures to adapt to future climate conditions considering a range of ecosystem services. NBS include but are not limited to approaches based on Sustainable Land Management, Conservation Agriculture, Green Infrastructures, Community Based Adaptation, and Integrated River Basin Management.

We welcome modelling and monitoring studies assessing the impacts of NBS on hydrology, soil erosion, diffuse pollution, vegetation development, forest fires, ecosystem services, and studies performing cost-benefit analysis of NBS. We especially encourage contributions combining on-site (e.g. soil moisture, plant water stress, soil erosion) and off-site impacts (e.g. flood frequency, water availability, sediment yield) of NBS, and studies evaluating the effectiveness of NBS under past, present, and future climate conditions. We also welcome large-scale monitoring studies and assessments of the effectiveness of NBS using remote sensing technologies. We are interested in experiences with participatory monitoring and modelling to support the upscaling and co-creation of NBS best fit to local conditions.

Click here for more info and to submit a contribution to this special issue.

coastal kick-off meeting

COASTAL: Collaborative Land-Sea Integration Platform

The kick-off meeting of the COASTAL project, in which the our group is actively involved, took place at the beginning of this month in Brussels. COASTAL is a unique collaboration of 29 partners from 8 EU Member States, representing coastal and rural business entrepreneurs, administrations, and scientific experts. By combining local knowledge and scientific expertise in a co-creation process the COASTAL project will engage actors and stakeholders at all levels to improve coastal-rural interdependence and collaboration by identifying problems and setting up evidence-based business roadmaps and policy solutions, focusing on economic growth, marine spatial planning, and environmental protection, including inland water quality. Our group will lead the case study of the Mar Menor lagoon and its watershed with the help of FECOAM and the Regional Government of Murcia.


You can find more info here or at the COASTAL twitter account.

Fieldwork in the Turrilla catchment

We have made a short video about our activities in one of our field locations. In the Turrilla catchment we do research on the dynamics of water and sediment. The video shows some of the tasks we perform at this field site. Enjoy!

High school students obtain research experience within the Diverfarming project at CEBAS-CSIC

The EU funded DIVERFARMING project (Crop Diversification for products and ecosystem services, H2020 program of the EC) is collaborating with the educational project of the Region of Murcia IDIES (I+D in Secondary Education)

CEBAS-CSIC is a partner of DIVERFARMING and hosts three students of the high school “Salvador Sandoval” from Torres de Cotillas (Murcia). During the entire academic year these students take a special research introduction course during which they will be researching soil properties and soil erosion in irrigated citrus and rainfed almond plantations at DIVERFARMING field site in the Region of Murcia.

Dr. María Martínez-Mena and Dr. Elvira Díaz Pereira coordinate this work while the students also collaborate with Bram Koning, a Master student of the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands) who is developing his Master thesis in the same field site. A stimulating experience for all in the framework of an ongoing research project!

The pictures give an impression of the students and researchers starting field work in heavily eroded traditional terraced terrains of rainfed almond plantations (photo 1), recently levelled new almond plantations (photo 2 and 3) and irrigated citrus trees (photo 4 and 5).

photo 1
photo 2
photo 3
photo 4
photo 5

Student visiting from Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Bram Koning, a MSc-student from Wageningen Univeristy and Research (WUR) specialized in Hydrology, is currently doing fieldwork for his MSc-thesis at CEBAS-CSIC for a three month period (September-December 2017). His work consists of an erosion assessment at an agricultural property near Cabeza de la Plata (Circa 15 km west of Murcia). He will map and quantify soil erosion features for different land management strategies and, subsequently, will try to upscale his findings using GIS software. The research is done under supervision of Jantiene Baartman from the Soil Physics and Land Management group (SLM) of Wageningen Univeristy. Supervision and guidance from CEBAS-CSIC is provided by Maria Martinez-Mena, Pedro Perez Cutillas and Carolina Boix-Fayos.

Se busca candidato/a para solicitar una beca FPI de la Fundación Séneca

Se busca una persona interesada en realizar una Tesis Doctoral sobre los impactos a medio plazo (6-7 años) del cambio climático sobre la vegetación, la microbiota edáfica y la materia orgánica del suelo de ecosistemas de matorrales mediterráneos semiáridos, mediante experimentos manipulativos en campo con alto nivel de replicación. Esta propuesta de tesis se enmarca dentro del proyecto de investigación del Plan Nacional Retos de la Sociedad titulado “Alteraciones en la estequiometria y productividad primaria de matorrales semiáridos en respuesta al cambio climático”. El solicitante llevaría a cabo la tesis en tres sitios experimentales de campo donde se manipulan las condiciones climáticas de precipitación y temperatura para simular escenarios futuros de cambio climático en comunidades de matorrales semiáridos en la región Mediterránea desde 2011. El proyecto de investigación incluye múltiples aspectos (centrados en evaluar las respuestas de plantas, microbiota edáfica, suelo y sus interacciones) y se anima a los candidatos a proponer, en base a sus intereses, nuevos experimentos y enfoques.

La tesis se llevaría a cabo en el Departamento de Conservación de Suelos y Agua y manejo de residuos orgánicos del CEBAS (CSIC) en Murcia con trabajo de campo en comunidades de matorral de Sorbas (Almería), Aranjuez (Madrid) y Sax (Alicante).

Según establece la convocatoria los solicitantes deberán tener el grado o licenciatura en el área de Ciencias con fecha de titulación posterior al 1 de Enero de 2012, estén preinscritas, hayan sido admitidas o se encuentren matriculadas en un programa de doctorado en el curso 2017/2018 en algunas de las universidades de la Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia y una nota media del expediente académico superior a 7,50. Los solicitantes deberán tener vecindad administrativa en un municipio de la Región de Murcia al menos desde el 1 de enero de 2016, haber nacido en la Región de Murcia o quienes acrediten a esa fecha haber cursado 300 créditos entre estudios universitarios y máster en una universidad de la Región de Murcia.

Los interesados pueden contactar por email enviando sus expresiones de interés, Curriculum Vitae y la nota de expediente académico.

Plazo de presentación: 18 de Octubre al 14 de Noviembre (14h).

Más información sobre la convocatoria: aqui.


Nacho Querejeta

Iván Prieto Aguilar (+34 968 39 62 00 Ext: 6394)

Visiting PhD student from Italian National Research Council and University of Basilicata

Italian PhD student, Civil-environmental Engineer with a MSc in Hydraulic Engineering and Violinist.

Antonella Dimotta comes from the Italian National Research Council and University of Basilicata (School of Agricultural School Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences). Her PhD Program is on land, environmental and forestry science. At CEBAS-CSIC she will study the soil erosion process as affected by land use change, by using the Soil and Water Conservation Research Group’s experience with different environmental modelling and assessment approaches. Antonella applies the InVEST model to model soil erosion and various other incidences on the environmental economic scope at a regional scale (Basilicata, South Italy).

For this purpose, the main goals of her PhD research are the following:

  • Soil erosion modeling and methods application in the Mediterranean areas
  • On-site and off-site effects due to the soil loss by erosion
  • Economic and environmental assessment of the soil erosion effects and impacts
  • Economic and environmental impacts on the agricultural productivity
  • Landscape evolution and transformation in relation to different territorial scales
  • Land Management and Land Use Policy: insights and potential developments.

UNCCD COP13: decisions, new report and policy brief on SLM

Over the last 2 weeks (6-17 September), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organized its Conference of the Parties (COP13) in Ordos (China). During this bi-annual meeting a series of decisions were taken emphasizing the importance of implementing Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices to deal with problems related to desertification, land degradation and drought as well climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The decisions include recommendations towards the country representatives to:

  • Consider the use of locally adapted SLM practices to contribute to prevent, reduce and reverse land degradation, while also contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.
  • Overcome potential barriers for large scale implementation of SLM practices through:
    1. integration of SLM practices in land use planning,
    2. development of economic incentives form SLM implementation
    3. improving land tenure security,
    4. organizing capacity-building at all relevant levels of decision-making.
  • Institutionalize meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout the planning, implementation and monitoring phases of SLM strategies.

The COP decisions are based upon a new study and recommendations made by the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UNCCD that can be downloaded here and here.

Dr. Joris de Vente, researcher at our group and member of the SPI, was one of the coordinating authors of the report that was developed in collaboration with ‘BC3 Basque Centre for Climate Change’, and of the related Science-Policy Brief (SLM for climate and people) that can be downloaded here.

MOOC Landscape Restoration for Sustainable Development: a Business Approach

On 1th May a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was launched on the Coursera platform entitled ‘Landscape Restoration for Sustainable Development: a Business Approach’.
Our group participates in the development of this free online course as one of the partners of the ENABLE project within the European ‘ERASMUS+ Strategic partnerships’ program.
The European Network for Advancement of Business and Landscape Education (ENABLE) develops education on integrated landscape management based on sustainable business models. In the MOOC you will learn WHAT land degradation is, HOW it can be reversed, and WHO can grasp the opportunity. It is aimed at business students, professionals as well as anyone with an interest in business-driven landscape restoration.
The course offers learners comprehensive knowledge of landscape degradation and landscape restoration from an integrated perspective, including natural and social sciences, economics and business administration.

The course program covers diverse topics such as:

  • Land degradation and restoration of degraded ecosystems
  • Economics of land degradation and sustainable land management
  • Practical examples of Commonland restoration projects
  • Wicked problems and multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • How to design a sustainable business model?
  • Practical example of landscape restoration for sustainable development: a business approach for southeastern Spain.

More information:

Vídeo presentation:

Visiting students from Wageningen University

Two students from Wageningen University and Research (the Netherlands), Paula Duske and Felipe Castaño Díaz, are currently doing their MSc in Environmental Sciences with the focus on Environmental Systems Analysis. As part of their thesis project they will stay in CEBAS-CSIC. They will look into the impacts of sustainable land management practices on the provision of ecosystem services in the area of the Segura river catchment under the supervision of Dr. Joris de Vente. They will be working with the soil and water conservation research group for a period of two months (April – May).