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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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Professor Bill Adams

 
Dr Jean Adams

 
Dr David Aldridge

 
Professor Julian Allwood

 
Dr Foivos Anastasiadis

 
Professor Andrew Balmford

 
Dr Shima Barakat

 
Dr Tina Barsby

 
Professor Sir David Baulcombe

 
Dr Paulo Bombelli

 
Laura Bouvet

 
Luke Braidwood

 
Ana Bravo

 
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Dr Alexandra Brintrup

 
BBSRC Research Development Fellow C.E. Bryant , Prof.

 
Professor Clare Bryant

 
Nicola Buckley

 
Dr John Carr

 
Dr Matt Castle

 
Dr Josephine Chambers

 
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Kher Xing (Cindy) Chan

 
José Ciro Martínez

 
Dr Yolande Cordeaux

 
Dr Polly Courtice

 
Dr Andrew Craig

 
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Dr Gemma Cranston

 
Dr Otti A. Croze

 
Dr Nik Cunniffe

 
Dr Helen Curry

 
Sarah Dalzell

 
Dr Ciara Dangerfield

 
Dr Matthew Davey

 
Anna Davies

 
Dr Jane Davies

 
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Dr Julia Davies

 
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Professor Cristiane Derani

 
Dr Robert Doubleday

 
Professor Paul Dupree

 
Dr Pauline Essah

 
Professor Steve Evans

 
Dr Mariana Fazenda

 
Dr Shailaja Fennell

 
Dr Richard Fenner

 
Francisco Oliveira Filho

 
Dr Tom Finch

 
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Helen Francis

 
Jacqueline Garget

 
Sarah Garland

 
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Emma Garnett

 
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Lauranne Gateau

 
Dr Ksenia Gerasimova

 
Arsalan Ghani

 
Professor Chris Gilligan

 
Professor Beverley Glover

 
Dr Sabrina Gonzalez-Jorge

 
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Dr Rie Goto

 
Dr Andrew Grant

 
Professor Howard Griffiths

 
Dr Theo Hacking

 
Alison Harvey

 
Dr Ian Henderson

 
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Dr Mercedes Hernandez-Gomez

 
Professor Julian Hibberd

 
Professor Ian Hodge

 
Dr Gareth Hollands

 
Dr Mark Holmes

 
Carol Nkechi Ibe

 
Dr Fumiya Iida

 
Hanadi Jabado

 
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Dr Laura James

 
Katy Jeary

 
Emma Jennings

 
Dr Wei Jiang

 
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Dr Alexander Jones

 
Professor Martin Jones

 
Sacha Khoury

 
content_reference

Water resources are becoming increasingly scarce as a result of increasing human demand and climate change. Monitoring forest water use is important in order to devise good management strategies that will optimize water use and minimize water loss by evapotranspiration. Woodlands are key players in their local ecosystem and at the global scale, as they are affected by climate change but also impact it by balancing global carbon stocks. Within the Mediterranean basin, significant land abandonment in the northern (European) regions in recent decades has resulted in an accumulation of biomass at a regional scale, while the southern (African) and eastern regions (Middle East) still suffer from deforestation because of different management practices. Even though the spontaneous regeneration of woodland is leading to sequestration of more carbon and protection of soils, it may also lead to higher transpiration rates and interception of a greater proportion of precipitation before it reaches reservoirs, posing questions about water security. Alto-Tajo, for example, has immense cultural value.; it is famous for its canyons and gorges formed by the Tagus river, its tributaries bordered by dryland farming in the moors, and fields of sunflowers and willow. These ecosystems could be affected by woodland densification. In fact, the accumulation of biomass in this region leads to an increase in competition between species for water resources and increase the overall evapotranspiration, and the management strategies of these woodlands could severally impact water availability under future climatic conditions. My study is aimed at estimating canopy water content at different spatial scales, to improve understanding of the monitoring strategies available to optimize water use by these ecosystems. Remote sensing technologies have been developed over the years to monitor changes on multiple scales; they are ever more relevant today in ecology and conservation because of the pressing challenges of climate change and resources scarcity. From global, low-resolution sensing to local, high-resolution sensing, scientists are attempting to answer important ecological question with increasing confidence and accuracy to assist policy makers and practitioners in managing efficiently the world’s resources. In my study will be collecting the spectral signatures of tree leaves at a number of sites across Alto Tajo, to assess water content and compare it with vegetation indices calculated from high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery (Landsat and sentinel 2) and the hyperspectral sensor AisaFENIX. This will indicate how well we can monitor forest water use using satellite imagery in face of future climatic changes and droughts. A validated remote sensing method would provide a valuable alternative to expensive, intensive ground based measurements. This work will be carried out within sites established by the FUNDIVeurope project, and plots established by Professor Fernando Valladares as part of the ERA-LEARN 2020 SPONFOREST project.

Professor Yasemin Kor

 
Dr Mukesh Kumar

 
Ms Martina Kunz

 
Ben Lang

 
Professor Nigel Leader-Williams

 
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

 
Dr Diane Lister

 
Dr Sara Lopez-Gomollan

 
Dr Paula MacGregor

 
Professor Theresa Marteau

 
Professor Nicholas Mascie-Taylor