Centre for Environmental Biology
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  research project: Modeling Ecosystem Structure and Functional Diversity as early-warning indicators of Desertification and Land-degradation
  • Setting the scene
  • Aim
  • Ongoing work
  • Team
  • Outreach

Large areas of mainland Portugal have a semi-arid climate. And many of those areas are currently undergoing a desertification and land-degradation process.


More than characterizing the current status of desertification and land degradation we aim at to provide a set of indicators to assist us in detecting the early signs of desertification and land degradation and even to anticipate it.

We propose a new approach on the problem of “which areas are more susceptible to desertification, now and in the future?


We established a climate gradient and chosen sampling sites using a stratified random way. In those sampling sites we are measuring a large range of plant functional traits together with assessment of vegetation structure, measured at the regional level both in space and in time.


Cristina Branquinho (coordinator)
Adriana Silva
Alice Nunes
Amílcar Soares
Ana Horta
Anna Vergat
Cristina Máguas
Lúcio do Rosário
Maria João Pereira
Otília Correia
Paula Matos
Pedro Pinho
Rita Durão
Susana Tápia




UNCCD - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification


The Environmental Stress & Functional Ecology is a research group within CBA, Centre for Environmental Biology