Research

We perform basic and applied interdisciplinary research on the functioning of ecological, hydrological and geomorphological processes involved in land degradation, desertification and restoration in semiarid environments, with the ultimate aim to identify and evaluate sustainable land management scenarios.

Our research line is:

analysis of the impact of global change on soil, water and vegetation resources for the sustainable management of semiarid ecosystems

Our scientific objectives are to:

  1. predict the impacts of changes in hydrologic and erosive dynamics on ecosystem services
  2. identify sustainable management scenarios of soil, water and vegetation for natural and agricultural ecosystems
  3. evaluate the effects of land use and management changes on carbon sequestration, on soil organic matter stabilization and on the hydro-geomorphological response of ecosystems
  4. determine the role of soil erosion on the carbon cycle at different spatial and temporal scales
  5. investigate the response of natural vegetal communities to climatic change
  6. develop more effective methods for vegetation restoration based on a combination of functional types and complementary strategies of water and nutrient use
  7. design vegetation cover for long-term improvement of ecosystem services, particularly concerning regulation of the water cycle, soil fertility, biodiversity maintenance and recovery.

Knowledge transfer to society

The senior staff members of the group are involved at University level education through teaching and thesis supervision in several MSc and PhD academic programs. The group has also established its own dynamics for mutual learning and research discussion through organization of regular research seminars and workshops (academic – technical writing, research design, presentations, and career orientation) to facilitate knowledge exchange within and beyond the research group members.

The group is actively involved in the transfer of scientific results to society through organization of participatory workshops and demonstration activities in the field sites related to specific research projects, dissemination of research findings through workshops at schools and participation in the Science Week of the Region of Murcia on an annual basis. Research updates and relevant international scientific developments are further disseminated via our Twitter account (@CEBAS_SWC).