- Published: Monday, 03 July 2017 08:46
- Written by Erik van den Elsen
The CASCADE project has officially ended as of June 30th 2017. We have worked on this project for 51/2 years and developed a lot of new insights in dryland ecosystems and their behavior when under pressure. The results of this research can be found in various report on the download page.
The CASCADE Project has showed (in study sites in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Crete and Cyprus) that cost-effective and efficient management of vulnerable ecosystems has benefitted from long-term field experiments to improve understanding of non-linear ecosystem dynamics and early warning signals. The complexity of soil and plant ecosystems is highlighted particularly in areas prone to forest fires, overgrazing and land abandonment. At all grazed sites we observed a profound difference in species composition, attributed at least in part, to the increase in competitive ability of unpalatable species under increased grazing pressure. New incentives and strategies to prevent land abandonment are required, including social, cultural and economic considerations. Policy makers rely on scientists for information to inform decision-making. Better knowledge sharing is essential, e.g. on the UNCCD’s knowledge hub, to make research results more accessible to national governments.