Assessing processes, methods and variables for the Potential Mediterraneanization of socio-ecosystems in Western Europe

We examined forest SES in temperate European where the potential spread of dry Mediterranean-like conditions may induce not only vegetation changes but the ways people relate to ecosystems.

Funded in the framework of the White Call for Projects 2014, the Tplus3 project took place over 2 years (2015-2016).
Project leaders: Juan FERNANDEZ (ESE) and Stephane Dupas (EGCE)
Academic partners in BASC: CIRED         Outside BASC: LMD Ecole Polytechnique, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (Spain), Universidad de Alcala de Henares, AgroClim (INRA Avignon), BIOGECO (INRA Bordeaux), Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa

One of the largest difficulties for studying the impact of global changes in social-ecological systems is that there is very little consensus on the questions, methods and disciplines required to address such problems. The objective of this proposal is to create a network of researchers of Portugal, Spain and France to identify key processes, methods and variables necessary to address the dynamics of social-ecological changes in transitions zones between the Mediterranean and Temperate regions in Western Europe under the influence of global changes.

Starting with a "core" group of a plant ecologist, a population biology modeler, a climatologist and an economist, a series of 4 one-day workshop meetings during a year (3 month intervals in between) will be implemented with local and invited researchers in order to advance conceptually towards the development of a joint methodology. This series of one-day workshops would be preceded by one kick-off meeting for identifying key participants. Between workshops, participants will be assigned tasks to synthesize/propose methodologies needed to tackle studies of socio-ecosystem dynamics under global change.

Besides the construction of a solid network ready to apply for larger grants, it is expected that an innovative conceptual/methodological paper emerges at the end of the period.


Tplus3 is a network project that aimed at identifying adaptation strategies to global changes at the local scale by looking at the socio-ecological transects that exist between Mediterrenean and Temperate areas in Western Europe. Social-ecological systems (SES) occurring along climatic gradients can provide real examples of how local adaptations to global processes like climate change can be made. We examined forest SES in temperate European where the potential spread of dry Mediterranean-like conditions may induce not only vegetation changes but the ways people relate to ecosystems. Models in this area predict widespread increases of evergreen and xeric vegetation with potential increases in fire risks. Moreover, current demographic trends of rural land abandonment can increase the levels of fire risk if biomass is left to accumulate unattended under warmer and drier climates. While open husbandry and agroforestry may provide new opportunities preventing fires in temperate areas, low diversity fuel-wood plantations, local knowledge loss, and emerging diseases on keystone species may hamper the adaptation process to climate change. Policymakers can use observations along gradients to make adaptations proactively, combining solutions that would otherwise be difficult to identify.

(Click on the poster from the 2017 BASC days to enlarge it)

Publications (non exhaustive)

> Fernández-Manjarrés J. F., Ruiz-Benito P., Zavala M., Camarero J. J., Pulido F., Proença V., Navarro L., Sansilvestri R., Granda E., Marqués L., Temunovič M., Bertelsmeier C., Drobinski P., Roturier S., Benito-Garzón M., Cortazar-Atauri I. G., Simon L., Dupas S., Levrel H., Sautier M. (2018). Forest  Adaptation to Climate Change along Steep Ecological Gradients: The Case of the Mediterranean-Temperate Transition in South-Western Europe. Sustainability 10, no. 9: 3065. doi:10.3390/su10093065

Modification date: 14 September 2023 | Publication date: 26 December 2014 | By: BASC, DM