The impact of climate change and land use change in a fire-prone forest in NW Portugal

16:15 Wednesday 29 May


Room S2


Amandine, Valérie Pastor (France) 1,2; Rossano Ciampalini (France) 2; Myke Koopmans (France) 3; Yves Lebissonnais (France) 2; Jantiene Baartman (Netherlands) 3; Damien Raclot (France) 2; Joao Pedro Nunes (Portugal) 1

1 Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Lisbon University; 2- LISAH, Univ Montpellier, INRA, IRD, Montpellier SupAgro, Montpellier: 3 Department of Soil Physics, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

In this study, we present the results of the MASCC (Mediterranean Agricultural Soils Conservation under global Change) project for a forest site of NW Portugal. In this site, soil erosion is severe due high slopes where eucalyptus are planted and due to post-fire mismanagement of the soil. A large number of studies show that fires lead to accelerated soil erosion and land degradation. Additionally, heavy ploughing was shown to exacerbate erosion in post fire forest areas. We studied the impact of climate change and land use change with the erosion model LANDSOIL to evaluate the impact of fires and conservation management in The Macieira de Alcôba catchment (Águeda river basin), part of the Caramulo region in NW Portugal. For that, socioeconomic scenarios were designed for the project (S1:Business-as-usual, S2:productivist, S3:environmental protection, S4:sustainable) and land use maps based on narrative scenarios that were developed from socio-economic surveys sent to local researchers. We also analysed the impact of climate change with downscaled rainfall data and fire weather index until 2050 with the climate scenario RCP4.5 until 2050. Finally, the impact of different land managements and land uses was assessed on soil erosion. We found that adapting good soil conservation practices could help mitigate fire and climate change impacts especially by adopting grass strips along the stream and applying mulch after a fire.