The 25th International Long Term Ecological Research network (ILTER) conference has taken place in Nantes, France, from Oct 2nd to Oct 4th 2017, combined with the French Zone Atelier biennial Conference.  It focussed on many aspects of the ecological research, including also the socio-economical aspects of ecological research. The purpose of this joint conference has been to bring together scientists, engineers from environmental sciences and social sciences, programme managers and policy makers to exchange knowledge, to share experiences and research results, to discuss the most recent developments and applications on environmental research.
The diversity of the presentations given revealed the great need for a multidisciplinary approach in any of the contexts and of the ecosystems investigated.
A great interest has been devoted to the  study of the anthropogenic impact on global biogeochemical cycle, with a  session aimed at showing how long-term monitoring of ecosystems (and of the critical zone) is crucial not only for a better understanding of ecosystem behaviour and trajectories but also for identifying key processes and feedbacks between the physical, biological and social system components of the biosphere.
ECOPOTENTIAL scientists have taken part to the conference with two oral presentations and one poster by CNR-IGG (IT), one presentation by Technion (IL) and with partners who are active members of the coordination of the ILTER network. Here the link to the programme of the conference and to the abstract book:


Researchers Night is a Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun learning. This year it took place on Friday 29 September, with hundreds of events in over 300 cities in Europe and neighbouring countries. The events showcase what researchers really do for society in interactive and engaging ways, promoting research careers to young people and their parents.

After last year success, ECOPOTENTIAL participated in different countries also this year, such as Italy (Pisa), Greece (Heraklion, Crete) and Spain (Granada). All the partners showed posters and videos produced by the project for the public, give out leaflets and provided information about project’s aims and activities. The “scientific game” was also an opportunity for younger people to test their knowledge about ecosystem services and scientific method!

Other specific activities were organised: for example the group from the University of Granada carried out an activity for teenagers in which they explained the expected impacts of global change in the Mediterranean area as well as the concept of ecological model. The students had the opportunity to manipulate and execute a simplified Agent-Based Model simulating the population dynamics of the pine processionary moth, a species expected to benefit from global change. In the model, they could increase or decrease the average temperature and see how the processionary population was affected by this growth, as well as how the pine on which it feeds would develop under such new conditions. The students were very interested in the population dynamics of the pine processionary moth (they are in fact familiar with this species), showing great participation and interaction with the Agent-Based Model. Furthermore it was a great example for them to understand how climate change is a real threat in their life.

The original model in which this simplified version is used by the University of Granada research group and is based on Lidar-processed images to define the distribution of the pines on the landscape. Work is on-going within the group to use satellite images to detect defoliation caused by this species and thus validate model results.

A new open access publication by ECOPOTENTIALists  Danijela Markovic, Oskar Kärcher and Ariane Walz has been published in Global Change Biology.
The paper  introduces a novel framework for assessing climate change vulnerability tailored to freshwater ecosystems. The resulting indices were overlaid to assess the climate change vulnerability of all European freshwater ecosystems at the catchment scale and identify priority catchments that facilitate the development of climate change conservation management strategies.

Check the video summary of the study!


Washington DC, 23-27 October 2017

The ECOPOTENTIAL project will participate at the GEO-XIV Plenary meeting in Washington DC, USA. Latest activities and main outputs of the project will be presented through a series of posters and videos displayed at the European Commission’s booth in the Exhibition area.
Two of these videos are shown here:

ECOPOTENTIAL storylines tell the major ecological challenges related to each Protected Area and the tools and models used to address them, as described in this new ECOPOTENTIAL video accompanied by wonderful pictures of the study areas. Enjoy!


One of the main outputs of the Project is the ECOPOTENTIAL Virtual Laboratory (VLAB). It is a cloud-based virtual platform enabling information access and knowledge generation for the ecosystem science community of practice, where users can access data and information on protected areas and related storylines.


On October 23-27 2017, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community will come together at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. for GEO Week 2017. GEO Week 2017, consisting of GEO-XIV Plenary, side events and exhibition, will highlight and promote the role, applications and opportunities to use Earth observations (EO) in delivering 'Insight for a changing world'.
With a focus on delivery and impact, GEO Week 2017 will explore the use and applications of EO in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of humankind.

For more information and registration visit:



Tallinn, 3–9 November 2017

The European Space Week is organised by the European Commission under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and co-organised by the European Space Agency, AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen and Garage48. The event will take place in Tallinn – Estonia – from 3 to 9 November 2017.

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Oct 2nd - 6th 2017, Nantes, France
The LTER-France - Zones Ateliers Network & Critical Zone Observatories – will host the 25th ILTER annual meeting. It will be combined with the Zone Atelier Biennial Conference and it will focus on the further achievement of Long Term Socio-ecological Research.
The purpose of the joint conference is to bring together scientists, engineers from environmental sciences and social sciences, programme managers and policy makers to exchange knowledge, to share experiences and research results, to discuss the most recent developments and applications in environmental research and to consider future research.
Paper submission deadline: July 21st, 2017
Registration deadline: August 28th, 2017
Further info at website:

At the start of July, there was a WP6 meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by IST, which surrounded the topics of data assimilation, utilization of remote sensing in models, as well as operationalization and cloud deployment of models.  Each of the participants presented his/her model and a round-table discussion was then held in order to determine the feasibility of integrating the various remote sensing products developed through ECOPOTENTIAL as well as those which are already available via various web services. Additionally, Ghada El Serafy provided an introductory lecture on data assimilation for both state updating and automated parameter estimation. As uncertainty quantification is one of the key elements require of both models and remote sensing products in order to utilize data assimilation, a further discussion on methodologies of uncertainty quantification was held. In the end, various paths forward describing experiments that could be executed across all statistical and process-based models in order to derive a synthesis on European protected areas as a whole concluded the wrap-up of the session. Each of the partners present will spend time over the summer post-processing and attempting first trials of data assimilation as well as generating model-specific experiments in line with the overarching goals derived at the meetings conclusion in order to prepare for a post-summer discussion and generation of a focused work-package wide work plan.

Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions - Syntheses, challenges and new opportunities
Lisboa, Portugal, 4th – 8th September

The aim of the EMAPI of 2017 is to promote the opportunity of sharing findings and experiences, and presenting syntheses of state-of-the-art knowledge on alien plant invasions in order to face the many challenges of this thematic and create new opportunities to address it. Scientists, managers and policy makers from around the world will interact and explore ways to face global and regional challenges presented by alien plant invasions, for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Duccio Rocchini, associate scientist of Ecopotential, will be an invited keynote speaker, with a plenary lecture on session "Chasing invasive species with high technology", talking about the opportunities offered by remote sensing for mapping the current distribution of invasive plants and the early detection of new incursions.

Registration and abstract submission is open until July 15th.

More information at:

On the night of last June 24, a dramatic fire broke out in the pine forests of Moguer (Huelva Province, Spain), spreading during all night and day of Sunday 25 with varying winds from West to Northwest to the interior of the Protected Area of Doñana.

On Sunday 25, EBD Remote Sensing & GIS Lab (LAST-EBD) downloaded the MODIS image (250 m resolution) from the TERRA satellite through the MODIS Rapid Response Service. Using a 7-5-1 band combination (false color using 2 bands in short wave infrared -SWIR- and a third in red) the zone affected by the fire at the time of capture (12:20 PM) can be very well appreciated , i.e. about 3000 ha. Smoke clouds are also visible north of active focus (orange pixels).

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Helsinki,  19-21 June 2017

The European GEO Workshop, organised by EU/Easme to present all the EU projects that contribute to GEOSS, is taking place this week at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki.
The purpose of the conference is to bring together European stakeholders interested in and actively contributing to the Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS). The event is a forum to exchange ideas and inform participants about work and initiatives undertaken in the context of GEOSS.

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The 60th annual symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) will take place in Sicily, Italy. The venue will be the Palermo Botanical Garden, and excursion will be organized in both the Sicilian coast and mountains. The theme of the symposium will be “Vegetation patterns in natural and cultural landscapes”.

Vegetation science can inform the sustainable management of landscapes that preserve natural ecosystems and their associated services. Moving towards a shared and integrated strategy for sustainability requires a substantial revision of the general objectives of growth and development: conservation, innovation and new ideas on human habitats should jointly proceed, recognizing the natural vegetation as a readily available monitoring target. At the same time, some reflection would be necessary also for the role of vegetation science and vegetation scientists in promoting ideas of sustainability.

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Ioannis Manakos and his team at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), participated with an exhibition stand at the annual open day of the Information Technologies Institute (ITI) in Thessaloniki, GR, on the 16th of May.

With the help of his colleague, Georgios Chantziaras, they presented their Remote Sensing activities. ECOPOTENTIAL was among the main topics of the presentation, with the objective to inform the public/visitors about the accomplishments of CERTH/ITI and explore potential collaborations.

ECOPOTENTIAL was prominently presented with relative demo, poster, leaflets and animations to an audience of about 110 visitors, organized in 10 groups. Visitors were interested public persons, enterprise representatives, and local actors.

As part of its continuing education program, the University of Geneva proposes a new Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) called “Geomatics for a Sustainable Environment” in English. The instructor-led teachings will take place as a Geneva summer school from 4 to 15 September 2017.

Several tools, thematics and hands-on exercises covering GIS, Remote Sensing, Spatial Data Infrastructures, Geoprocessing, Geostatistics, Species Distribution Modeling, Soil and Water Assessment as well as Ecosystem Services Assessment will be presented, giving attendees an expertise or consolidated knowledge in geomatics and environmental fields.

More details at:

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we crop (the so called “ecosystem services”) they all depend on the quality of our ecosystems. From the mountain tops to the deep seas, there is a huge variety of habitats protected by National, Nature, Regional, Natura2000, Marine or Periurban Parks. In Europe, nature has a level of protection thanks to the work of our Parks: they preserve our natural resources and authentic hubs of biodiversity. They are our life support system.

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The Annual General Meeting of the ECOPOTENTIAL project has been held in Heraklion, Crete, from 15 to 19 May 2017, hosted by the Institute of Remote Sensing Laboratory of Computational Mathematics, FORTH. According to the local organizer, the Director of Research at FORTH, Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis, ECOPOTENTIAL is an important effort for a deeper understanding of the functioning of Ecosystems using appropriate simulation models, which are parameterized with combined use of satellite observations and terrestrial measurements.

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Budapest, 28-29 September 2017 - The First Conference on Community Ecology is the opening of a conference series accompanying the journal Community Ecology. The scientific focus is wide, presenting all aspects of community ecology and its connections to landscape ecology, multivariate statistics, systems ecology, vegetation science, macroecology and many other fields. Attending this conference can be advised and enjoyable to both students and senior researchers who can find themselves in a highly international and interdisciplinary scientific environment.

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Pisa, Italy, 2 May 2017 - Innovative technologies for Earth Observation and modelling are emerging and European Protected Areas have the opportunity to be at the forefront of how they are used, a meeting of scientists and park managers is demonstrating today.
Around 60 participants have gathered for a week to see how new Earth Observation tools, such as satellite imagery, can contribute to better understanding threats faced by Protected Areas and changes to their health. Protected Area representatives  from across Europe are attending such as Sierra Nevada, Wadden Sea and the Danube Delta.

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ECOPOTENTIAL  will be presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017- Vienna by Antonello Provenzale (coordinator of the project) this Friday, April 28th as a Highlight presentation!

Session: "Complexity in Geosciences: from chaotic-stochastic dynamics to ecology and sustainability"
A. Provenzale: "Geosphere-biosphere interactions in European Protected Areas: a view from the H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL Project", Room M2, 16:45–17:00.