Sicmed - Surfaces and Interfaces on the Continental Mediterranean - is an international program on the functioning and the evolutions of the rural anthropo-ecosystems facing climatic and human pressures. The program is part of the Mistrals initiative. Sicmed is developed with the support of French research institutes CNRS-Insu, IRD, INRA and IRSTEA Contents [hide]
Goals and Issues
The Mediterranean environment, exploited for a long time, is now facing rapid and important changes resulting in critical situations. Agricultural production deficit and water scarcity are the two main examples. The goal of the Sicmed programme is to study and forecast the functioning and the evolutions of rural and peri-urban Mediterranean anthropo-ecosystems, under existing and future human and climatic pressures. Sicmed combines several scientific teams from the Mediterranean basin working both in a long term research approach and in an open collaboration spirit. Sicmed develops pluridisciplinary research focusing on:
- Biophysical processes regulating water and biogeochemical cycles,
- Biotechnical evolutions (agricultural practices, hydraulic works...),
- Social and territorial dynamics (governance, economy...).
Beyond these research activities, SICMED aims to develop training and transfer actions to contribute to the sustainable management of Mediterranean anthropo-ecosystems.
SICMED is built on a strategy crossing disciplinary and ecosystemic approaches. The disciplinary approach concerned several major topics: Hydrologic cycle and water resource management, Water and soils biogeochemistry, Functioning of plants canopies, Farming systems and social, Economical and institutional dynamics. The ecosystemic approach focused on environments representa- tive of the Mediterranean basin both in terms of the characteristics of the ecosystems and the nature of the issues (current and forecast) affecting their evolution and management:
- Agricultural areas (irrigated or rain fed)
- Rangelands, forest, transition areas (peri-urban...),
- Specific environments (mining areas...).
Sicmed Study Sites
The major sites are selected to be representative of the main Mediter- ranean anthropo-ecosystems. They possess a history in terms of scientific data and benefit from ongoing scientific instrumentation and surveys. They are illustrative of the current pressures influencing the regional evolution. Currently five study sites are in activity:
- Crau plain (France),
- Herault valley (France),
- Lebna catchment (North Tunisia),
- Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia),
- Tensift-Haouz (Morocco).
Future sites will be selected probably in Algeria and Spain.
All the socio-environmental issues cannot be tackled in the major sites. Thematic networks complete the SICMED organization by conducting targeted research on specific issues. They enable to analyse the variability of processes across the range of local conditions in the network study areas. 6 networks are currently supported:
- Cartag-Eau: fluxes in coastal aquifers
- Metasim: Modelling of soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer
- Mine-Med: Mining activities, interactions with Ecosystem-Health-Society . R-OSMed: Soil erosion
- Resamed: Aquifer recharge
- Semafor: Forest evolution under global change
More networks will in time become part of the SICMED dynamic.fr:Sicmed
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