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How to plan tomorrow’s forest? New animated film to celebrate the International Day of Forests

21/03/2021. Text by Adriana Príncipe, edited by Marta Daniela Santos.

To celebrate the International Day of Forests, on March 21, researchers from the Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes - cE3c launch the English version of the animation film 'How to plan tomorrow's forest?'. With about three minutes, the film aims to be a starting point for reflecting about factors that threaten forests and what can be done to ensure their long term sustainability.

In 2021, The International Day of Forests is dedicated to forest restoration as a path to recovery and well-being: theme launched by the United Nations in this that is the first year of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

It is a special day to highlight, in particular, the importance of forests in semi-arid areas, where vegetation is limited by the availability of water and threatened by climate change and land use changes. That is the subject of the animated film 'How to plan tomorrow's forests?', inspired by the research that Adriana Príncipe is developing in her PhD, in the 'Ecology of Environmental Change' group of the Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes - cE3c, at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

In her PhD, Adriana Príncipe studies the restoration of mediterranean forests, with a particular focus on species characteristic of the semi-arid climate in Portugal, such as holm oak and cork oak. The goal? To accurately map the various factors that act at different scales in these ecosystems and determine the success of restoration.

"The work we have done so far has shwon that there is a high contribution from local effects to the establishment and distribution of forest trees in semi-arid areas. Quantifying the influence of local factors at different scales will contribute to better precision management of the forests in these ecosystems, which may have important practical applications in inreasing the success of reforestation, by allowing the mapping of the places where the planted trees are more likely to survive", explains Adriana Príncipe.

Developed by several researchers from cE3c and with production, illustration and animation by Hélder Pais, this animated film aims to alert to the role of local effects in the establishment and distribution of trees in these Mediterranean areas, results evidenced in this doctoral work. Quantifying local factors at different scales and with spatial continuity can thus contribute to better management and future recovery of forests in these ecosystems. 

Film credits: 

Production, Illustration & Animation: Hélder Pais (http://helderpais.com) 

Narrated by: Marta Daniela Santos (cE3c) 

Script & Scientific Coordination: Adriana Príncipe (cE3c) – o guião foi inspirado no seu tema da tese de Doutoramento; Maria Amélia Martins-Loução (cE3c/SPECO); Cristina Branquinho (cE3c/FCUL); Helena Serrano (cE3c/SPECO); Marta Daniela Santos (cE3c); Maria Castanheira (cE3c); Fabrício Mota (cE3c); Pedro Pinho (cE3c). 

Centre for EcologyEvolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa 

This film was financed by national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., within the scope of the financing of R&D Units, UIDB/00329/2020. 

We thank: 

FCiências.ID - Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências (http://www.fciencias-id.pt) 
Ciências ULisboa - Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (https://ciencias.ulisboa.pt) 

ILTER - International Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network (https://www.ilter.network/) 

LTsERmontado - Plataforma Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research - Montado (http://www.ltsermontado.pt) 

SPECO - Sociedade Portuguesa de Ecologia (https://www.speco.pt) 

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