Project: Functional connectivity and green infrastructure

Acronym FUNgreen (Reference Number: 36)
Duration 01/01/2017 - 30/12/2019
Project Topic The FUNgreen project will facilitate the translation of green infrastructure into functional connectivity and thus efforts to enhance the persistence of plants and maintenance of ecosystem services in fragmented European landscapes. The project will investigate the respective roles of green infrastructure – the configuration of the landscape – and plant functional connectivity – the effective dispersal of seeds and pollen – in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services. We will focus on plant communities of semi-natural grasslands, a habitat of high European and global conservation interest, in Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and United Kingdom. Specifically, we will compare functional connectivity in fragmented landscapes with either good or poor green infrastructure, and either high or low levels of management that promote functional connectivity (i.e. movement of livestock). Seed and pollen dispersal in these landscapes will be evaluated through genetic analyses, in situ pollination and recruitment experiments and models parameterized from field data. The effects of functional connectivity on biodiversity, genetic diversity and a range of ecosystem services will be investigated and used as the basis of predictive models which can shape future landscape management. Results will be relevant to farmers, land owners, nature organizations and policy makers, to whom project outputs will be made available. Farmers and conservation managers will take part in the development of alternative modelling scenarios for improving functional connectivity within economically realistic scenarios. The results from the project will be directly relevant for the strategy on green infrastructure proposed by the European Commission ( were a key step in implementing the EU 2020 Biodiversity strategy is to maintain and enhance ecosystem services by establishing green infrastructure and restore degraded ecosystems. We will provide knowledge of how the maintenance of green infrastructure and if alternative management practices (for example large-scale ranching) can improve functional connectivity affect biodiversity which is vital for the effective management of landscapes in the face of contemporary and future environmental change.
Network BiodivERsA3
Call BiodivERsA3 Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Dept of Physical Geography, Stockholm university Coordinator Sweden
2 Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats Partner Spain
3 University of Leuven Partner Belgium
4 University of Regensburg Partner Germany
5 NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Observer United Kingdom