Case Study Scale

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H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 4: Management and impact of Invasive Alien Species in Lough Erne in Ireland

Lough Erne (c) Tim O‘Higgins

The AQUACROSSCase Study examines the implications of the regulation on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) (i.e. non-native plants and animals harming the local ecosystem) for practical management in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in the context of existing environmental commitments under EU legislation.


Birds and amphibians support on wet meadows

34 case studies were planned by the H2020 PEGASUS project in different farming and forest systems and along the supply chain in 10 EU countries, to: 

  • examine the issues faced in ensuring effective provision of public goods/ecosystem services from farming & forest activities; and 
  • find solutions to enable the economic social and environmental sustainability of the EU’s farmed & forest areas.

H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 3 - Danube River Basin - harmonising inland, coastal and marine ecosystem management to achieve aquatic biodiversity targets

Danube River connected sidearm (c) Andrea Funk

Restoring river-floodplains to protect biodiversity: The Danube’s river biodiversity is threatened by changes to hydrology and geomorphology (so-called hydro-morphological alterations), such as disconnection of floodplains. Multiple human activities, including the construction of hydropower plants, expansion of agriculture, and large-scale river regulation measures to increase navigation and flood protection are resulting in an ongoing loss of habitat and biodiversity. Our aim: In this Case Study, we apply the AQUACROSS Assessment Framework to identify how management of...


H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 2: Analysis of transboundary water ecosystems, Green and Blue Infrastructures in the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean (IBRM): Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco.

El Estrecho (c) Alejandro Iglesias-Campos

Protecting areas to protect biodiversity: The IBRM is home to several remarkable protected sites, high biodiversity richness and an important cultural heritage. However, pressures from human activities in the area are threatening these distinct values. Our aim is to use diverse data plus stakeholder input to understand the social and ecological system and design a multifunctional network of  areas – that allow conservation, exploitation and restoration - and identify ideal sites for restoring degraded freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.


Good practice guide for sustainable harvesting of wild plants

The main objective of this guide and its booklets for each species is to provide the pickers with knowledge of specific aromatics and medicinal plants and to serve as support for their training to adopt respectful practices guaranteeing sustainable management of the natural resources.

Its construction is based on a collection of knowledge and practices of pickers, analyzed with a group of scientists with regard to sustainable resource management (threats and renewal challenges).

The objective is also to enhance the picking profession by disseminating its knowledge and know-...


Quantifying carbon stocks in Pinus pinea stands: simple allometric models using easily measurable tree variables

Pinus pinea plantation in Central Portugal

Allometric models establish relationships between tree morphological parameters and the respective biomass in its various components, allowing to make forest carbon estimates. In this sense, this study aims to develop models for the stone pine (Pinus pinea) gathering biomass information from sampled trees in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. These models use simple-to-measure tree variables (diameter at breast height – d, and total height - h) and are suitable for obtaining carbon estimates of aboveground biomass and roots in stone pines across the Mediterranean region.


Registered elite clones for cone production in grafted stone pine orchard plantations

The high prices paid for genuine Mediterranean pine nuts kernels as gourmet nut are resulting from an sustained demand on the world market uncovered by the production harvested from the wild.  The use of grafted Mediterranean stone pine trees allows landowners to establish profitable new plantations with precocious cone yields. For this purpose, genotypes have been selected in Spain and Portugal. Here we present 15 clones registered in Spain with estimated gains around +10-30% in mean cone yield.


Feasibility of small crops of wild medicinal and aromatic plants

Comercial cultivation of arnica (Arnica montana),  edelweis (Leontopodium alpinum) and marigold (Calendula officinalis) by Taüllorgànics company in the Catalan Pyrenees mountains (Taüll, LLeida, Spain). Autor: Taüllorgànics.

 The production of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) from wild collection or by cultivation raises environmental, social and economic issues. The demand for a wide variety of wild species is increasing with the growth of human needs and trade. There is an awareness that many wild plants are being overexploited, which many experts recommend incorporating into cropping systems, but several aspects that determine their viability have to be taken into account. An alternative is small-scale cultivation.


Abandoned lands: Agricultural shifts in the Mediterranean

This exemplar examines how changes in the way farmers manage their land in the Mediterranean area lead to changes in sustainable provisioning of ecosystem services. Land management needs to respond to threats such as economic crises, poverty, climate change, changing water availability, increasing dependency on technology, urbanization and pollution. In the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, all of these issues are present. Governments, farmers and land owners are searching for information to make the best decisions possible for the future.


From gene to resin

Forest of Epiceas in the north-east of France.

The objective of the project is to provide preliminary information, both bibliographic and ethnological, chemical, genomic, biochemical, technical and economic, in order to assess the relevance of restarting the resin extraction of forest species other than maritime pine to supply the growing societal demand for terpene biomolecules.  


Pan European Policy: Conflicts and synergies across Europe

Evaluating how recent and forthcoming EU policy developments affect the levels of ecosystem services (ES) and natural capital (NC) in Europe. Many of Europe's natural habitats and species are in decline. While the EU has a number of policies in place to safeguard habitats and species, losses are ongoing for many habitats, species and associated ecosystem services.


PLANT WILD: Best training practices for collectors of medicinal and aromatic plants

Plant wild training

The objective of the project PLANT WILD-Forest Plant Wild Harvesting Learning in Europe(2011-2013) was to promote the employment opportunities in rural and mountainous areas and sustainable wild harvesting techniques, generating best training practices to obtain environmental and economical sustainability and determining tools to support trainers, learners and professionals. Partipating partners developed the necessary methodologies for implementing an effective training on Wild Collection (WC) of Non Wood Forests Products (NWFP), focusing in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs).


Traversing waters : Recognizing Wetland Ecosystems Value in the Lower Danube

Persina Nature Park has high conservation value but is also of importance to local economies through its fish resources, climate regulation and biomass production. However, the societal, economic and environmental value of this wetland is not well recognized by local and national stakeholders and decision-makers. This exemplar aims to explore the link between Danube ecosystems and a range of environmental benefits for local and Danube-region communities, given the application of an appropriate set of instruments to safeguard or improve them.


Field sampling methods for cork value evaluation before cork debarking

Cork sample (cala) being extracted from a tree.

The objective of the current work is the analysis of alternative sampling methods and intensities for estimating cork value before its extraction (price per unit of weight), considering the trade-off between sampling precision and costs. The dataset includes 30 sampling clusters for each of the 6 stands, where the measurement of the tree coordinates in each plot allowed for the simulation of several sampling methods and intensities, and the comparison of the percent errors and sampling costs.


The Archi method applied to cork oak

Mature and healthy cork oak

Cork harvesting, every 10 to 15 years depending on the region, requires trees in good phytosanitary conditions and is a potential source of stress, especially if debarking is poorly done. Hence the interest in having a tool to assess the trees phytosanitary conditions, which can be used as a decision support tool when carrying out silvicultural operations. This tool is based on a visual diagnostic method called Archi, developed by CNPF. ARCHI is based on the reading of tree crown architecture using a specific identification key referring to different architectural types related to...


Predicting impacts of climate change on growth and production of Mediterranean stone pine

Pinus pinea stands in Castile y Leon

Climate change is affecting health and productivity of the Mediterranean stone pine (Pinus pinea) stands in the Spanish Northern Plateau. The main research lines for adapting this forest ecosystrems and mitigating the effect of climate change are presented. The finding shoild allow for giving recommendations for the future management of these stands.



"Nectariss": truffle flavour from real truffles

Nectariss logo

Nectariss aims to create the ultimate truffle flavour from real truffles, addressing three main problems of truffle products:

  • the lack of authenticity of existing truffle aromas that are mainly prepared either synthetically or from seafood and vegetables;
  • the poor diversity of existing commercial truffle flavours (only few compared to hundreds of truffle sorts);
  • the lack of geographical traceability in truffle products and the consequent consumers' misconceptions that truffles exclusively come from few regions (i.e. Alba, Périgord), when they are really
  • ...

Cooperation to reach the market of wild medicinal and aromatic plants

Baskets of hawthorn fruit (Crataegus monogyna) harvested in France by AFC members. Source:

The production of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) has interesting growth prospects, but the atomization of farms hinders their business development, having to bet on a cooperative model, that facilitates the transformation and commercialisation. This is an issue that affecting both agricultural production and wild exploitation. This factsheet presents the needs of the stakeholders and some success stories.


H2020 AQUACROSS Case Study 1: Trade-offs in ecosystem-based fisheries management in the North Sea aimed at achieving Biodiversity Strategy targets

North Sea wind farms (c) RBINS

The AQUACROSSCase Study aims to improve the knowledge base available to stakeholders to enable a more informed decision-making process toward the achievement of the Biodiversity Strategy targets, including the provisioning of ecosystem services. This includes several existing European marine policy frameworks: Habitats and Birds Directives, MSFD, CFP & IMP.



Conservation and sustainable exploitation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants from mountain areas

Sideritis grown in the wild

Sideritis sp. are among the most overhavested in Greece and many wild populations are threatened. It is used for the preparation of herbal tea, known as Mountain tea which is widely consumed due to its properties known from folk medicine. The traditional use of 4 Sideritis sp. has been adopted by HMPC in a herbal monograph (1) and several studies have been reported on its pharmacological properties. The overharvesting has put a pressure onto its populations. The MOUNTEA-CONSE project (2) aimed at the development of conservation and sustainable exploitation activities for...


Promotion of cork oak recruitment in the Mediterranean

Cork oak regeneration assessment

Environmental conditions have a great effect on regeneration, especially in arid or semi-arid ecosystems, such as the Mediterranean basin. In these systems the plants suffer a high water stress during the summer, due to the reduced availability in water and the high temperatures, which are limiting for the survival of the natural regeneration. Knowing the factors that influence the success of regeneration and what techniques currently exist to enhance its occurrence, are tools to support the management of the cork oak forests, ensuring the long-term sustainability.