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Dr Gianni Bellocchi, French National Institute for Agricultural Research

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Seminar
22 March 2012, 1pm
at The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen
for scientists, students and other interested parties
Photograph of a Campbell Stokes sunshine recorder

Dr Gianni Bellocchi, French National Institute for Agricultural Research will deliver this seminar at our Aberdeen site on the topic 'Methods for vulnerability assessment to climate change'.

Vulnerability is the degree to which human and environmental systems are likely to experience harm due to a perturbation or a stress. In the last years, it has become a central focus of the global change (including climate change). The climate change literature contains many explanations of vulnerability, stemming from the notion of sensitivity to more complex ideas, yet taking into account the exposure history of the system up to residual impacts of climate change after adaptation.

This presentation addresses the issue of ecosystems vulnerability assessment by presenting a conceptual framework, as an attempt to generalise previous approaches. A model of concepts linked to climate change vulnerability, based on literature review is presented, in which the key concepts of adaptation and mitigation measures (and their respective capacity), ecosystem stability (sensitivity, ecological resilience and elasticity), exposure and impacts are detailed.

An exemplary case-study is illustrated to address the issue of vulnerability assessment for grassland ecosystems with the help of an impact model (ModVege). The interest of using a design of experiment is emphasised to account for different levels of uncertainties. As well, the need of using a set of vulnerability indices is highlighted to capture (if not all) most of the information.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.