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WP 2.6 Future projections on water resources and ecosystems

A correct estimation of the impacts and risks associated with climate and environmental changes requires to simulate the future evolution of the meteo-climatic conditions over a given region (using numerical models of the climate systems and appropriate downscaling methods, WP 2.5) and to assess how these variations are expected to determine changes in the terrestrial systems, either surface and subsurface water resources, cryospheric resources or natural ecosystems.

Future assessments rest on the development and implementation of deterministic/process models or empirical models aimed at simulating the response of the specific resource at hand to a given hypothesized climate/forcing scenario.

This will allow to provide an estimate of the possible changes in the environmental (water and ecosystem) services provided by the mountains in response to the current and expected global changes.

Within this WP, deterministic and/or empirical models will be developed, implemented and employed to be applied to the following kinds of environmental services:

Task 1. Water resources

- Models that simulate the response pattern of Alpine glaciers (Minimal Glacier Models, Flowline models, empirical models, using information provided by WP1.1 and WP1.6); 

- Deterministic models for the snowpack description and evolution in specific study sites (using information provided by WP1.1 and WP1.6);

- Models that simulate surface hydrology (semi-distributed models in specific sampling sites, using information provided by WP1.1 and WP1.2); 

- Models that simulate the underground aquifers response to forcings in specific sampling sites (deterministic models and semi-empirical regional-scale models, in collaboration with water management companies well-established in the territory and using information provided by WP1.1 and WP1.2). 

Task 2. Ecosystems and Biodiversity 

- Empirical models for simulating the response of mountain animal biodiversity to climate and environmental changes (using information provided by WP1.1 and WP1.7)

- Empirical models for simulating the population dynamics of specific animal species (using information from the WP1.1, WP1.6 and WP1.7); 

- Deterministic and process models of water and carbon fluxes between soil, vegetation and atmosphere in mountain sites (using information provided by WP1.1, WP1.2 and WP1.7); 

- Deterministic and process models for describing the dynamics of high-altitude mountain lake ecosystems (using information from WP1.1, WP1.6 and WP1.7)

- Models describing the distribution of sampling species in mountain areas in Italy (using information from WP1.1, WP1.6 and WP1.7)