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Green and Blue Infrastructure thematic strand includes 17 integrated members from Groups I and III, namely landscape architects, phytosociologists and agronomists with several specializations (lithology /geomorphology, soil, vegetation and crops protection, vegetation conservation and hydric relations). This team will cooperate with researchers from other LEAF’s groups and from other research units as in previous practice. Each one of these fields of knowledge will constitute task teams that will contribute to GI implementation as follows:


Landscape architecture: as a transversal discipline and with its past experience, this task team will promote the inflexion of sectoral task teams with the objective of creating Green and Blue Infrastructures. This includes five sequential steps: 

1) Planning at all scales of landscape. Using integrative methodologies and computer tools, such as GIS and CAD;

2) Selection of implementation cases: search for critical areas where GI should be implemented demands for criteria definition and the stakeholders involvement, looking for funding;

3) Design of selected cases until construction project phase;

4) Construction: technical assistance to construction;

5) Management: to define management and monitoring recommendations.


All task teams will participate in all these implementation steps.


Vegetation conservation: aims the improvement of the legal framework for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity determined by Decree-law nº 142/2008 of July 24th a) expanding the detection and analysis of priority Natura 2000 habitats in territories outside the presently existing sites of Community importance; b) improving the evaluation criteria for the identification of plant communities of conservation interest; c) using remote sensing and other geographic data sources as heuristics for the detection of relevant areas for nature conservation; d) delimitation of different levels of protection inside the limits of classified areas and also on the integration of additional conservation tools (e.g. plant micro-reserves).

This task team will participate as experts in “in situ” conservation such as in the scope of an European project for the Red List of EU Habitat, and in “ex situ” conservation for what we have several important Herbaria, a Botanical Garden and other biologic collections. The participation in the Infrastructure Consortium PORBIOT, which includes the most important National institutions, aims to promote the inclusion into wider international initiatives, particularly LIFEWATCH Europe and GBIF.


Vegetation and crops protection: The objective will be to decrease the fertilization, water and pesticides inputs in agricultural and wood lands systems by promoting natural soil fertility, sustainable use of water, and by improving the role of functional biodiversity through the adequate design of the ecological infrastructures, following the International Organizations for Biological and Integrated Control’s guidelines.


Soil: The many functions of soil in ecosystems, as medium for plant growth, as a recycling system for water, nutrients and organic wastes, as carbon sink and as biodiversity reserve, are of upmost importance in green infrastructures.


Hydric relations: The European Union pays the utmost attention to environmental issues. In the resolution of environmental problems related to pollution by pesticides, a framework was established to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EC), through the proper selection of pesticides with the least side effects on human health and the environment. The Directive reinforces specific measures to protect the aquatic environment laid out in the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). Pesticides transported from soil surface have influenced water quality in rural areas in Portugal giving relevance to use fate models and assess aquatic risk to reduce effects on environmental quality.


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