The ECOFUN group organizes two technical conferences at the CTFC

31 May 2024

On Tuesday, May 28th, the research group on Biodiversity, Functional Ecology, and Global Change (ECOFUN) of the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) organized two technical conferences: “The Role of sown biodiversity in forage productivity” and “Micrometeorological infrastructures to quantify productivity and CO₂ exchanges in mountain meadows”.

The aim of the conferences was to disseminate and discuss the results of the DEMOMIX demonstration project, which evaluates the economic and ecological advantages of sown diversity, or polycultures, concerning monocultures, through the international projects Susforage and Legacynet.

The first conference, “The Role of Sown Biodiversity in Forage Productivity”, generated a debate on the economic advantages of polyculture forage production, its characteristics, and the challenges to improve its applicability. Participants highlighted the importance of the farming sector and its sustainable management, especially in the Mediterranean region due to water scarcity.

During the afternoon technical session, a project was presented that focuses on the use of eddy flux towers (eddy covariance) to measure CO₂ productivity and exchanges in mountain meadows. These towers make it possible to quantify the CO₂ flux between the surface and the atmosphere, helping to determine whether an ecosystem acts as a source or sink of CO₂. The project has three towers located at different altitudes, climatic conditions, and grassland management systems in Catalonia, specifically in Castellar de n’Hug, la Bertolina (Navès, Solsonès) and Pla de Riart (Lladurs).

Among the conclusions of the project, the vulnerability of mountain meadows to climate change stands out. A reduction in the net capacity of CO₂ uptake was observed because of the decrease in gross primary production driven by low water availability and high temperatures. On the other hand, the mixture of cereals and legumes in mountain meadows was seen to improve CO₂ uptake capacity, while ensuring forage productivity and quality. Eddy flux measurements are essential for understanding the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems and promoting agricultural practices that maximize carbon sequestration and ensure forage quality.

After the session at the CTFC, the Pla de Riart tower was visited to show the instruments, giving a practical explanation of their operation and their importance in data collection.

Last modified: 31 May 2024