The Forest Research Area focuses on developing the scientific basis for improving forest management under Mediterranean conditions. Specifically, within this area we investigate the response capacity of ecosystems to cope with more frequent and intense processes derived from climate change, such as mega-fires, the increase in water scarcity due to extreme droughts, the increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, desertification processes and forest decline processes. All these phenomena require an integrated and multidisciplinary approach, through the understanding of the singularities of vegetation, the water cycle, the history of land uses, as well as their possible multiple interactions. In this regard, our research is addressed from two main approaches, with continuous interactions between them:

  1. Impacts of extreme climatic events and derived disturbances in Mediterranean ecosystems, such as droughts, fires, droughts-fires-droughts, forest decline or pests. Determination of ecological vulnerability factors, resilience capacity and critical thresholds resulting in severe degradation.
  2. Management and ecological restoration of ecosystems in response to Global Change aimed at improving functionality and ecosystem services. Research for the restoration of burned forests, including fuel management, and integrating pre- and post-fire management, restoration of degraded environments in semi-arid areas and areas exploited by mining activity.

Our research is developed in an integrative framework, with manipulative and observational experiments, encompassing several scales. At spatial scale, experiments are carried out from the individual to the landscape scale, whereas at temporal scale there are multiple permanent experimental designs where monitoring has been carried out for more than 30 years.

The results obtained from this research are oriented to knowledge transfer to the different levels of society: academia, administrations and, ultimately, to the citizenship. Therefore, the aim is to 1) promote applied research, especially in the area of forestry, contributing to the sustainable management and conservation of resources and ecosystems; 2) develop methodological tools to facilitate decision-making and improve management; 3) disseminate scientific and technological knowledge through advisory activities, particularly to the forestry administration of the Generalitat Valenciana, and dissemination.