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 is subdivided into three research lines. Research line 1 is:

Impact of climate change and land use change on hydro-geomorphological processes and biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients in natural and agricultural Mediterranean ecosystems

The scientific objectives are:

  • to evaluate the impact of climate change and land use change on hydro-geomorphological processes, soil degradation, soil quality, carbon sequestration, and on the stabilization of soil organic matter
  • to determine the role of soil erosion in the carbon cycle at different spatial and temporal scales

Research line 2 is:

Sustainable land management of agricultural and natural Mediterranean ecosystems for the adaptation and mitigation of global change

The scientific objectives are:

  • to identify and evaluate sustainable land management strategies and practices to promote the integrated management of natural resources and the resilience of Mediterranean ecosystems to global change
  • to analyse socio-ecological and political systems for the transfer of knowledge and the implementation of sustainable land management in Mediterranean socio-ecosystems

Research line 3 is:

Soil restoration and vegetation cover in Mediterranean ecosystems

The scientific objectives are:

  • to investigate the response of natural plant communities to climate change and the co-limitation of primary productivity by water and nutrients in semi-arid ecosystems
  • to define ecological management and restoration practices for degraded areas with the aim to improve ecosystem services, focussing on the regulation of water cycles, erosion control, soil fertility and carbon sequestration, and the maintenance and recovery of biodiversity

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).