this for escaping w3 validation warning

European Research Council Grant- Contribute to a long-term perspective on human adaptation and establishment of resilient cultivation systems in dry lands

European Research Council Grant- Contribute to a long-term perspective on human adaptation and establishment of resilient cultivation systems in dry lands

Today, drylands cover over 40% of the Earth’s surface and are home to approximately 2.3 billion people (International Institute for Environment and Development- iied.org). At the beginning of the 1990s, desertification was recognized as one of the main challenges of sustainable development by the United Nations, and in 1994, the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was created (unccd.int). One of the aims of UNCCD is to put science, technology, and traditional knowledge at the forefront in dealing with desertification. In accordance with these principles, RAINDROPS aims to provide a long-term perspective on human adaptation to and the establishment of resilient cultivation systems in drylands (defined as in the UNCCD, as ‘arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas’).

RAINDROPS’ research is truly interdisciplinary and groundbreaking in several aspects. The project will develop and provide the research community with an innovative and reliable methodology to understand past water management practices for C4 crops. This will further our understanding of human-water dynamics and augment knowledge of past land use strategies to inform global and continental models of land cover and climate change. RAINDROPS’ long-term perspective on human adaptation to drylands can also advise policies that challenge the effects of desertification and can contribute to the debate on food security in drylands. Finally, the proposed project is also relevant to the general field of plant physiology, contributing to the wider work on the improvement of plant adaptation to arid conditions.

The main objectives of RAINDROPS are:

1) to develop a cutting-edge methodology for identifying direct evidence of water management practice from crop remains,

2) to identify strong adaptive practices in drylands cultivation, with particular emphasis on rain-fed agriculture and drought-resistant crops (i.e. finger millet and sorghum); and,

3) to establish past water management and land use practices at three biophysical hotspots in Asia and Africa.

The deliverables from this work are:

1) To assess the potential of isotopic studies in C4 modern plants.

2) To establish the relationship between water availability, isotopic signals, and phytoliths ratio.

3) To assess inter- and intra-sample variability in isotopic signals and phytolith production.

Experimental design and analyses will be conducted on finger millet and sorghum grown in experimental fields at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India (in collaboration with V Vadez, theme leader of System analysis for climate-smart agriculture innovation – www.gems.icrisat.org)

The isotopic analysis will be carried out at the Laboratory for Mass-Spectrometry and Isotopic Analyses of the University of Salento (Italy).

 

Feedback