Work Packages

CASCADE is organized in 9 interrelated Work Packages (WP's) as shown in Figure 1. Work 'Packages 2 to 8 address scientific matters within the project, while Work Package 1 is devoted to project coordination and management, and Work Package 9 to knowledge transfer and dissemination. 


Figure 1. The Work Package structure of CASCADE. 

  • The project will be coordinated and managed by Work Package 1, which will also establish the project website.
  • Work Package 2 will collate observations on changes in drylands, and, by relating them to external drivers including human activity and changes in climate, will provide guidelines for experimental work in WPs 3, 4 and 5.
  • Work Package 3 will conduct field observations and experiments at micro plots in the field, to study the effects of abiotic conditions on plants as well as of facilitation and competition between plants.
  • Work Package 4 will carry out mesocosm experiments on artificial slopes to study the relationship between availability of resources and plant pattern and between plant pattern and sudden regime shifts. WP4 will also conduct experimental plantations to identify restoration thresholds and tipping points.
  • Work Package 5 will work at landscape scale and will assess the ecosystems in the study sites, and evaluate the potential for restoring these, using process knowledge gained in WP3 and 4.
  • Work Package 6 will develop models that predict sudden regime shifts in dryland ecosystems, using knowledge and data from WPs 2-5.
  • Work Package 7 will identify and evaluate potential management practices that could be used for sustainable management of dryland ecosystems.
  • Work Package 8 will develop a socio-economic model that uses results of the biophysical model from WP6, will model scenarios of promising land management strategies, and will provide policy recommendations.
  • Finally, Work Package 9 will develop a communication and dissemination strategy, will inform the different types of stakeholders, and will develop the web-based information system CASCADIS, which will house the project results.