WATER-NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN THE RESTORATION OF LOW RAINED DEGRADED SITES

Id:
4

Funder:
MINECO

Title:
WATER-NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN THE RESTORATION OF LOW RAINED DEGRADED SITES

Project Reference:
AGL2008-05532-C02-02

Coordinator:
VALDECANTOS DEMA ALEJANDRO

Organisation:
FUNDACION CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS AMBIENTALES DEL MEDITERRANEO

Department:
FUNDACION CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS AMBIENTALES DEL MEDITERRANEO

Centre:
FUNDACION CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS AMBIENTALES DEL MEDITERRANEO

Country:
SPAIN

SRIA Themes:
{sriathemes}

Start Date:
01/01/2009

End Date:
31/03/2012

Summary:
THIS PROPOSAL CONSIDERS THE JOINT UTILIZATION OF SIMPLE RUNOFF HARVESTING SYSTEMS (MICROCATCHMENTS) AND APPLICATION OF ORGANIC REFUSES (COMPOSTED SEWAGE SLUDGE) TO IMPROVE THE RESULTS OF REFORESTATION PROJECTS IN SEMIARID MEDITERRANEAN AREAS. THE APPROACH IS ESSENTIALLY PRACTICAL AND THE FINAL AIM IS TO PROVIDE USEFUL CRITERIA TO FOREST MANAGERS FOR IMPLEMENTING THESE TECHNIQUES IN THE RESTORATION OF DEGRADED RANGE AREAS. THESE CRITERIA WILL BE ESTABLISHED FROM AVAILABLE SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AND THAT RELEASED FROM THE PROJECT. WE HYPOTHESIZE THAT BOTH A DECREASE IN WATER STRESS, ESPECIALLY IN THE MORE SEVERE DROUGHT PERIODS, AND AN INCREASE IN SOIL ORGANIC MATTER AND NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY WILL SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE FOREST RESTORATION ACTIVITIES IN SEMIARID AREAS. THE FIRST IMPLIES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL FIELD PLOTS WITH DIFFERENT SITE PREPARATION IN THE SOURCE AND-OR SINK AREAS (RUNOFF HARVESTING STRUCTURES, PLASTIC MULCH, BURIED CLAY POTS, COMPOST AMENDMENTS). THE RESOLUTION OF THE INITIAL HYPOTHESIS IMPLIES AN INCREASE IN WATER AVAILABILITY IN THE CRITICAL PERIODS. ONE OF THE LIMITATIONS FOR THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE MICROCATCHMENTS IS THAT A THRESHOLD INTENSITY RAIN EVENT IS NEEDED TO PRODUCE RUNOFF. WE CONSIDER AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT ("BENCH WITH IMPROVED MICROCATCHMENT ") WITH SMALL WATERPROOF SURFACES THAT CHANNEL THE RUNOFF WATER TO THE BENCH IN SMALL RAINFALL EVENTS THAT NORMALLY WILL NOT PRODUCE RUNOFF (< 1 - 10 MM). THESE SMALL INTENSITY EVENTS ARE THE MOST ABUNDANT ALL YEAR THROUGH, AND ESPECIALLY DURING THE CRITICAL SUMMER PERIOD. THE FIRST GOAL WILL BE TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ASSESSED TECHNIQUES IN INCREASING WATER AVAILABILITY DURING THE MORE STRESSFUL DROUGHT PERIODS. WE WILL MONITOR THE EXPERIENCES BY SEEDLING SURVIVAL AND GROWTH AND ECOPHYSIOLOGICAL MEASURES TO GO DEEPER IN THE RESPONSE OF SEEDLINGS TO THE EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENTS, AND THEIR ECOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY IN USING WATER AND NUTRIENTS. SECONDLY, WE AIM AT IDENTIFYING LIKELY NUTRIENT LIMITATIONS IN SEMIARID MEDITERRANEAN AREAS, AS WELL AS THE KNOWN WATER LIMITATION OF THESE SYSTEMS. THE COMBINATION OF NUTRIENT ENRICHED ROOT TRAPS AND FERTILIZED PLANTING HOLES WITHIN A NARROW GRADIENT OF RAINFALL AND NUTRIENTS WILL RELEASE VALUABLE INFORMATION TO DEFINE THE SEASONALITY OF NUTRIENT LIMITATION. AT THE SAME TIME WE WILL QUANTIFY A NET BALANCE OF THE ADDED NUTRIENTS AND THE EFFECTS ON THE PHYSIOLOGICAL STATUS OF THE INTRODUCED SEEDLINGS. THE LAST TASK WILL FOCUS ON THE PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL CHANGES IN THE RHIZOSPHERE OF THE PLANTED SEEDLINGS, AND ON THE EVENTUAL MODIFICATIONS PRODUCED IN THE FLOW OF SEDIMENTS (EROSION RISK). WE WANT TO CHECK WHETHER THE ARTIFICIAL CHANGES IN THE RUNOFF FLOWS MODIFY THE NATURAL PATTERN DOWNSLOPE.

Keywords:
CONTINUOUS AND DISCONTINUOUS NUMERICAL M INTERFACES RIVERS ESTUARIES LANDFORM EVOLUTION