PASTUS Database

The PASTUS database compiles a collection of ecological samples on grasslands and other ecosystems related to the agro-pastoral cycle, the latter including cut meadows and legume-based sown swards, as well as shrublands and forests developed on abandoned pastures. It contains a large amount of contemporary and historical environmental information collected through monitoring surveys.

The database covers a wide range of geographical locations including mostly high-altitude grasslands in the Pyrenees (Catalonia mainly, Aragon and Navarra in Spain; Languedoc-Roussillon and Aquitaine in France); but also Mediterranean and semi-arid grasslands and rangelands in the North-Eastern (Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia) and Western (Salamanca) regions in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Global Change (ECOFUN) of the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) has integrated a wealth of data including location, positioning, climate, physiography, management, soil, plant diversity, productivity and vegetation variables. The main sponsors and projects involved in the development of the database are: EU program INTERREG III-A (FP6/2002-2006) I3A-4-147-E Project; Spanish Science Foundation through the projects CARBOPAS(REN2002-04300-C02-02), CARBOAGROPAS (CGL2006-13555-C03-03) and CAPAS (CGL2010-22378-C03-01); INIA with the project CARBOCLUS (SUM2006-0002-C02-01); several agencies of the Catalan Government, Generalitat de Catalunya, including the project CARBOCAT; the EU projects CARBOMONT (EVK2-CT2001-00125, FP6/2002-2006) and CarboEurope (GOCE-CT-2003-505572, FP7/2007-2013); and the EU Programme POCTEFA EFA 34/08 (INTERREG IV-A, FLUXPYR project).

The skills in environmental information management and data analysis of the ECOFUN Lab enable this database to be used for many lines of research: grassland, rangeland and forest ecology and management; productivity, quality and management of legume-based swards and cut meadows; biodiversity assessment and conservation; climate and land use changes; biogeochemical cycling; soil-plant interactions; soil-microorganisms-plant-invertebrates-livestock system.

Selected publications

Sebastià, M.-T.; Palero, N.; de Bello, F. 2011. Changes in management modify agro-diversity in sainfoin swards in the Eastern Pyrenees. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 31: 533-540.

de Bello F.; Thuiller W.; Lepš J.; Choler P.; Clement J. C.; Macek P.; Sebastià M.-T. & Lavorel S. (2009): Partitioning of functional diversity reveals the scale and extent of trait convergence and divergence. Journal of Vegetation Science, 20: 475-486.

Sebastià, M.-T.; de Bello, F.; Puig, L. & Taull, M. 2008. Grazing as a factor structuring grasslands in the Pyrenees. Applied Vegetation Science, 11: 215-222.

de Bello, F., Lepš, J., Sebastià, M.T. 2007. Grazing effects on the species-area relationship: Variation along a climatic gradient in NE Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science 18: 25-34.

de Bello, F.; Lepš, J. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2006. Variations in species and functional plant diversity along climatic and grazing gradients. Ecography, 29: 801-810.

de Lamo, X. and Sebastià, M.T. (2006). Role of biogeographical, ecological and management factors on plant diversity in grasslands. Grassland Sciences In Europe, 11: 832?834.

de Bello, F.; Lepš, J.; Sebastià, M.-T. 2005. Predictive value of plant traits to grazing along a climatic gradient in the Mediterranean. J. Appl. Ecol. 42: 824–833.

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