LTER community offers training course on the effects of nitrogen on ecosystems

An international training school will be held in Portugal on the effects of nitrogen on air quality, ecosystems and biodiversity and involving experts from the international long-term ecosystem research community.

The training school (NecoSchool) is being organised by the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, with support from the NitroPortugal project, whose partners are: ISA (Portugal), FCUL (Portugal), CEH (United Kingdom) and Aarhus University (Dennmark). Further support is provided by International LTER (ILTER), INMS and the LTsERmontado research sites.

The training school, entitled “Global and long-term effects of nitrogen on ecosystems”, welcomes those interested in or already engaged in scientific activities related to the threats of nitrogen to air, greenhouse gases balance, ecosystems and soil, and in long-term ecological studies. The programme will link science to practice, research to environmental management needs and training of decision makers.

Lectures will be complemented by detailed case studies, short practical training sessions on specific techniques and four days of field work. Students will be introduced to tools for research and management of nitrogen emissions and effects on the environment.

Available existing data from the Portuguese Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network will also be used to critically assess the impact of nitrogen deposition on Mediterranean ecosystems.

The field work and many practical examples will be based at LTSERmontado, a network of sites devoted to the long-term study of this Mediterranean savannah-like ecosystem which has been shaped by human activities for millennia. The montado system provides an example of a semi-natural ecosystem where the provision of multiple ecosystem services co-exists with high levels of biodiversity, and where nitrogen deposition is a potential threat for many of these ecosystem services.

Applications for NecoSchool are now open (deadline: 31 March 2017). For full details, see the course website.

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