The Basic Field Programme of Medalus II is designed to collect
the field data necessary for quantifying and understanding
desertification processes at selected sites across southern
Europe. It continues measurements begun during Medalus I and
initiates a number of new activities. The data collected will
form inputs into the other Medalus Projects (Projects 2 and 3)
where it will be used to validate and develop models (Project 2)
and to help develop procedures for managing desertification and
understanding socio- economic interactions.
The general methodological approach by which the project goals
will be achieved is essentially experimental. Similar harmonised
experimental programmes will be carried out at all field sites.
The parameters being measured have been selected with respect to
the requirements of the Medalus models, the need to understand
basic differences and similarities between the Medalus sites, and
key processes and knowledge gaps that became apparent during
Medalus I. The methodology is composed of the following elements:
The Medalus Core Field Programme: Plot will be instrumented to
measure hydrological, climatological and ecological parameters
according to written guidelines. The data collected will be
stored in a specially developed data base.
Spectral radiometry of different DRUs and training areas:
Measurements of spectral signatures will be made and input into a
data base. This will be related to the DRU and field site
characterisations carried out under 1 above and in Medalus
Field investigations of specific topics about which more
information is required: These are: stony soils, rainfall
exclusion and plant growth, grazing exclusion, exotic vegetation,
soil moisture-vegetation-nutrient relations and patterns.
These special studies will involve monitoring parameters under
both natural and controlled experimental conditions. The studies
will be linked to the modelling components of Medalus Project 2.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts