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Imatge de Berta Caballero

Science Research

Natural diversity

Functional ecology in agroecosystems

This line of research falls within the framework of the ‘Consolidated Research Group of Agroecosystems‘. It is common knowledge that the intensification of agricultural activities is one of the major causes of the decline in biodiversity and is often associated with the loss of ecosystem functions such as biological control or pollination. The aim of the project, therefore, is to try and analyse the effects of agricultural intensification on the biodiversity (flora and entomofauna) of rain-fed grain fields, in order to evaluate more accurately the ecological repercussions on ecosystem function.

Research projects

  • EcoStack - Stacking of ecosystem services: mechanisms and interactions for optimal crop protection, pollination enhancement, and productivity

    European Union (Horitzon 2020)
    5 years

    Coordinator: Francesco Pennacchio (Universidad de Näpoles)

    Countries: PT, ES, FR, UK, IT, DK, SE, FI, DE, BA, RS, BG

    Agriculture has to face the great challenge of balancing the demand for high productivity, imposed by the global increase of human population, with environmental impacts and social acceptability of new production strategies. EcoStack will develop ecologically, economically and socially sustainable crop production strategies via stacking of biodiversity service providers and bio-inspired tools for crop protection, within and around agricultural fields, in order enhance sustainability of food production systems across Europe[AdB1] .

  • • Agricultural intensification, functional biodiversity and ecosystem services in Mediterranean arable farming: design of innovative systems for enhancing crop protection, pollination and productivity.

    MICIU 2018 (RTI2018-095597-B-I00)
    3 years

    The project aims to disentangle the effects of the spatial configuration and the functional diversity of plant communities in agricultural landscapes on the functioning of pollination and biological control of pests in Mediterranean dryland arable systems. Furthermore, analyses the effect of agricultural management at field level on the functional structure of weed communities in organic and conventional cereal crops at the centre and the edge of them for two years to integrate year-to-year climate variability. The project aims to generate information that allows developing management programs based on the acquired knowledge about the role of plant communities for the delivery of ecosystem services.

  • Previous projects

    List of projects prior to 2019, and related publications