Humans are changing the climate. One of the main missions of CREAF is to analyze the impacts of this climatic change on human and natural systems, evaluate vulnerabilities, and study capacities for adaptation and mitigation. We are also interested in understanding how impacts on human and natural systems may have additional repercussions for the climate.

This is undertaken with observations made in the field, with satellites, and with airborne sensors. We also conduct experiments in the laboratory and in the field, and create models based on empirical processes at local, regional, and global scales. The goal of these activities is to analyze and make predictions of the relationships among climate, nature and humans.

  • Climate change simulation experiments: We conduct experiments in mesocosms, greenhouses, pastures, shrublands, and forests where we simulate climate change and nitrogen deposition. 
  • Global-scale studies: We carry out macroecological observational studies over global geographical gradients and coordinate related international scientific networks.
  • Community-scale studies: We study the effects of climate change on communities of organisms. 
  • Ecosystem-scale studies: We study how climate change can alter the productivity and diversity of ecosystems.
  • Genetic studies: We study genetic and epigenetic changes of plant species in response to climate change. 
  • Physiological and demographic mechanisms: We analyze the physiological and demographic mechanisms that determine the responses of microorganisms, flora and fauna to changes in climate.
  • Phenology: We study phenological responses to local and regional climate change.
  • Ecohydraulic changes: We study the future of water availability in watersheds and basins.
  • Biogeochemical cycles: We study alterations of biogeochemical cycles caused by drought and warming, species invasions, and nitrogen deposition. 
  • VOCs: We analyze the impacts of climate change on biogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds.
  • Biophysical and biogeochemical changes: We analyze how biophysical changes and alterations of biogeochemical cycles can affect the climate. 
  • Extreme events: We study how meteorological variability and extreme events affect ecosystems and society. 
  • Forests and climate change: We study the vulnerability of forest ecosystems and their associated ecosystem services to climate change. We carry out modeling of the dynamics of plants under different climate scenarios.
  • Adaptive forest management: We study the potential of forest management as a tool to reduce the vulnerability of forests to climate change.
  • Metabolomics: We measure the impact of climatic changes on organism function worldwide by introducing the omics techniques to ecological field studies. We carry out metabolomic analysis by determination with 1HNMR, HPLC-MS/MS, and 31P NMR.