The rationale for CIRRE
CIRRE’s approach is to develop multifunctional understanding of land use which delivers a range of outputs (such as recreation and renewable resources) while retaining economically viable agriculture/forestry and delivering of environmental goods through “ecosystem services”.
An understanding of how changes feedback on land use and how ecosystems both respond and contribute to climate change is needed. An essential requirement for developing such a multifunctional view of land use is a greater understanding of the ecology of managed landscapes using the powerful tools of genomic and metabolomic technologies and new approaches to ecological and systems modeling as demonstrated in the diagram below.
CIRRE aims to understand how different forms of land use will affect the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems, and the consequences of perturbations in these ecosystems on carbon, nutrient and sediment stocks and their fluxes. Key elements will be: (a) the development of omics-level ‘sentinel’ technology that can be applied above- and below-ground to indicate ecosystem-level ‘health’, stress, recovery or stability, and (b) the use of ecological and systems modelling to integrate information from gene to landscape levels within these complex systems.
The ultimate aim is to enable the impact of processes to be assessed across spatial and temporal scales within landscapes of contrasting structures. And socio-economic contexts.
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