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Integrated experimentation to forecast the impacts of climate and land-use changes on ecosystems
The Infrastructure for Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems (AnaEE) is a distributed Research Infrastructure designed to provide the knowledge needed to support a sustainable future. This infrastructure aims, through state-of-the-art experimental facilities, to support scientists in testing the potential impacts of climate change and land use in Europe, and forecasting the risks on European ecosystems, including agricultural systems. AnaEE will thus enable policy-makers, scientists and the industry to develop climate mitigation strategies and provide solutions to the challenges of food security, with the aim of stimulating the growth of a vibrant bio-economy.
In the ESFRI Roadmap since 2010, AnaEE is expected to become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and start operations in 2019.
The sustainability of agricultural, forested, freshwater and other managed and natural ecosystems is critical for the future of mankind. However, the services provided by these ecosystems are under threat due to climate change, loss of biodiversity, and land-use changes. In order to meet the challenges of preserving or improving ecosystems services, securing food supply and building a 21st century bio-economy, we need to understand and forecast how ecosystems will respond to current and future changes including new management approaches and potential environmental tipping points. Without sufficient understanding of the sensitive interdependencies between ecosystems and the environment, Europe will be unable to assess the impacts, control the risks, or potentially utilize the benefits of anticipated large changes in ecosystems structure and function, for the production of nutritious food and goods which are environmentally sustainable and in balance with growing energy demands. Key benefits will include greenhouse gas mitigation and climate adaptation.
AnaEE will adopt an experimental approach built around ecosystems manipulation, measurements, modelling, mitigation and management. At the core of AnaEE’s approach are the distributed experimental facilities needed to expose ecosystems to potential conditions to produce results that will inform predictive models and deliver realistic simulations. AnaEE research has to be process-oriented and address how major biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions, including agricultural systems’ function, will change under the various experimental drivers. The AnaEE experimental facilities will be equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and Information Technology Tools and will use common standards of measurements and analysis. AnaEE provides a nexus between the environment and food domains, and aims to cover the greatest number of ecosystem types, soil types, pressures and other factors in terms of experimentation on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The infrastructure will include open-air and enclosed experimental platforms as well as analytical and modelling platforms.
AnaEE is currently in the Implementation Phase with six countries – France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel and Italy. Additional countries are expected to join in 2018. The infrastructure coordination with its Central Hub has been attributed to France. The Technology Centre has been attributed to Denmark, the Interface and Synthesis Centre to Czech Republic and the Data and Modeling Centre to Italy. The application for the ERIC has been submitted in 2018 and the recruitment of the AnaEE Director General is ongoing.
The coordination and integration of the national platforms, through the Hub and centres will ensure international access, improved measurements and data harmonization, technology development, links between data and models, open access to raw data and syntheses. The Research Infrastructure will be based on distributed advanced experimental platforms that are sustainably funded and responding to a number of key commonly agreed-upon criteria in terms of quality and state-of-the-art equipment.
Institut National de la Recherche
Agronomique - INRA