Ecosystem Services

Diagnosis of the UP services

The CLIMARK project focuses on six Landscape Units (LUs) that represent the broadest spectrum of Catalonia’s landscape and territorial diversity. A diagnosis of the ecosystem services was initially undertaken in each one of these landscape units in order to determine the overall needs, limitations and strengths of each territory. Subsequently, the most significant indicators (carbon, water and/or biodiversity) of each LU were determined to act as the global baseline on the landscape unit level with regard to forest management mitigation actions and impacts.

At the same time, these carbon, water and/or biodiversity indicators will be analysed on the stand level to define the baseline for the characterisation and assessment of the impact of mitigating forest management on one or several of them. The stands to be diagnosed will be located in both non-managed plots and those that are managed in the traditional manner or subject to actions taken within the framework of European projects as part of the Network of Demonstrative Plots (XPD) of the Forest Ownership Centre (CPF).

Climate regulation

Forest ecosystems, especially woodland areas, potentially contribute to the mitigation of climate change thanks to their impact on the global carbon cycle, that is, growing trees capture carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks, branches, leaves and roots, acting as carbon sinks. Moreover, forests generate lumber for use in wooden items such as poles, tables and planks, which continue to store carbon throughout their life cycle, and other products such as biomass, which replace fossil fuels and prevent the generation of their associated carbon emissions.

Unfortunately, the new climate change paradigm and the scant forest management indicate there is a risk of a reduction in the carbon fixation function of European forests and a decrease in current carbon stocks.

In order to contribute to meeting the current challenges the CLIMARK project will study the best forest management practices with a view to optimising the carbon fixation capacity and maximising carbon storage periods both in the forest itself and in the various wood products that are obtained.

Water regulation

The climate change models currently predicted in the Mediterranean context forecast a change in the precipitation system, reducing the annual quantity of rain and affecting the distribution of rainfall throughout the year. Accordingly, the expected greater scarcity of water and increase in temperatures will result in droughts, meaning that plants will need a larger quantity of water to survive (evapotranspiration) and if this water is scarce or completely lacking, there will be a loss in growth and the very structure of the forests will change.

The CLIMARK project will study how plants use water to grow and therefore store carbon in a range of different forest formations within the Mediterranean context using different forest management models and processes. This will determine which species and forest structures are the most efficient in terms of water use.


Climate change, environmental disturbances, the absence of forest management and the loss of agroforestry mosaics are considered to be the main factors behind the loss of biodiversity and community habitats. In order to determine the biodiversity of our forests and foster its preservation and improvement it is necessary to develop a series of tools that are capable of numerically quantifying the forest’s potential biodiversity. The CLIMARK project aims to take action in this scope by identifying the most significant variables with a view to orienting forest management to biodiversity and quantifying it with an index expressly designed to assess the biodiversity potential of Catalonia’s forests (IPBB).