A common tool has been develop and applied in order to characterize the quality and ecological connectivity of terrestrial and riparian ecosystems. Ecological Relevant Units (ERU) were defined as key vegetation elements able to maintain and enhance structural complexity and promote local biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. A set of biological groups were selected to investigate the relation between ERU structural connectivity and biodiversity in distinct landscape matrices (forest production, agriculture intensive and agroforestry systems). ISA partner selected ants, dummy caterpillars and bats, as biological elements, as they simultaneous provide biodiversity measures (richness and abundance) and ecosystem services (pest predation, seed dispersal and soil enrichment).
Field work in CERES project already started in the Mediterranean region!