MEDFATE project

Introduction: Being able to anticipate the impact of global change on ecosystems is one of the major environmental challenges in contemporary societies. However, uncertainties in how ecological systems function and practical constraints in how to integrate available information prevent the development of robust and reliable predictive models. Despite the amount of knowledge accumulated about the functioning and dynamics of Mediterranean ecosystems, the scientists should make coordinate their efforts to address the challenge of integrating the different global change drivers in a modelling framework useful for research and applications.

MEDFATE project: MEDFATE is a long-term initiative whose main aim of is to stimulate the coordinated development of a landscape simulation model to predict the integrated effects of climatic (i.e. wildfires and severe drought) and anthropogenic (i.e. forest management) drivers on the structure and composition Mediterranean forests at the landscape to regional level.


Research team: An interdisciplinary group of experts coordinates and overviews model developments at different stages:


  • Project grants: CGL2011-29539/BOS; CONSOLIDER MONTES (CSD2008-00040), CGL2014-59742-C2-2-R, CGL2017-89149-C2-2-R.
  • Fellowships: RYC-2012-11109 to M. De Cáceres.

Publications related to model developments:

  • De Cáceres M, Martínez-Vilalta J, Coll L, Llorens P, Casals P, Poyatos R, Pausas JG, Brotons L (2015) Coupling a water balance model with forest inventory data to predict drought stress: the role of forest structural changes vs. climate changes. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 213: 77-90 (doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.06.012).
  • Cabon A, Martínez-Vilalta J, Martínez-de-Aragón J, De Cáceres M (2018) Applying the eco-hydrological equilibrium hypothesis to model root distribution in water-limited forests. Ecohydrology  11: e2015 (10.1002/eco.2015).
  • De Cáceres M, Alvarez A, Pausas JG, Casals P, Vayreda J, Beltrán M (in prep) The role of understory fuel characteristics in the regional variation of fire hazard of Mediterranean forests.

Publications related to model applications:

  • Karavani A, De Cáceres M, Martínez de Aragón J, Bonet JA, de-Miguel S (2018) Effect of climatic and soil moisture on mushroom productivity and related ecosystem services in Mediterranean pine stands facing climate change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 248:432–440 (doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.10.024).
  • Ameztegui A, Cabon A, De Cáceres M, Coll L (2017). Managing stand density to enhance the adaptability of Scots pine stands to climate change: A modelling approach. Ecological Modelling 356:141–150 (doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.04.006).


Relationship with other initiatives: The MEDFATE project is shared between the Vegetation Modeling group and the Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology group at CTFC. It is part of larger initiative, the MED-LDM project, that has the same general modelling goal but intends produce landscape dynamic models operating at different levels of vegetation detail.