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Agriculture and Environment

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Research activities

Research activities

The Centre advises the MiPAAF on contaminated or polluted soils (e.g. land of fires); it participates in technical task forces for the transfer of innovation in biology by participatory approach (researchers, MiPAAF, Federbio, Firab, AIAB,...); it supports the PQAI and DISR V - MiPAAF offices for drafting technical-scientific position papers to be presented at national and European level in response to the research actions activated.

Agricultural systems

Agricultural systems
Space-time analysis of crop system dynamics is essential for a planning aimed at optimizing productivity and resource use. Several research methods (field trials, agro-ecological indicators, simulation models) are integrated to provide stakeholders with information on climate risk, environmental impact, ecosystem services. Important outputs are the development of agrotechnical routes, oriented to climate mitigation and resilience, and the definition of strategies to enhance the biodegradable fraction of byproducts of agricultural, industrial and urban activities in a perspective of circular economy.

Sustainability of soils

Sustainability of soils
Many Italian agricultural soils are at risk of desertification and the variation of the rainfall regime exposes them to hydrological risk. The loss of biodiversity and biomass of soils leads to the productive decline of crops with serious impacts on high-income agricultural products. The objectives of the research are: to improve the hydraulic function of soils, to increase their organic substance content and to increase their carbon sequestration. The effectiveness of several strategies for increasing soil fertility in specialized systems is assessed: biofertilisation, growth promoters, radical pathogen antagonists, soil biological mechanisms for optimal plant growth.

Climate change

Climate change
Climate change affects agro-ecosystems to the point of making it impossible to maintain and recover their functionality. The vulnerability of agricultural systems to the increased frequency of extreme events (resulting in parasite attacks) will depend on their resilience and adaptability. Specific studies of possible impact, adaptation and mitigation are needed for productive areas, in order to provide elements in support of national policies. Agrometeorology and modelling play a key role in establishing robust analysis methodologies for the development of decision support systems at both national and regional levels.

Agri-environmental indicators

Agri-environmental indicators
The research aims to develop an innovative portfolio of analysis and monitoring services in agriculture, including the use of the new opportunities, provided by the Copernicus programme, that allow to capture the dynamics of the processes of interest through a better spatial coverage and temporal resolution. Among the main objectives: to improve national estimates of ammonia emissions (95% in Italy comes from agriculture) and greenhouse gases in agriculture, which are needed to meet EU demands, and to assess the risk of harmful biological phenomena through a multivariate study based on chemical, biological, microbial and agro-climatic indicators.

Services, analytics, data, and models

Services, analytics, data, and models
The aim is to make available to the various stakeholders the CREA databases (soil, climate, microorganisms) and models (static and simulation), useful for agricultural management, which are generally not accessible to end users. The metadata standards and the open data access paradigm will be met in the process and interoperability between CREA databases and those available on the national territory will be fostered, promoting standardization and homogenization. The use of open data from remote sensing provides time and spatial continuity, and the accessibility to cloud-computing free platforms enables users to work on a global scale.

Research programme 2018/2020 - Centre's objectives

Research programme 2018/2020 - Centre's objectives

Laboratory for analyses of honey and honey bee products

AnaEE - Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems

The history of the Center AA

AGRICOLTURE AND ENVIRONMENT

The history of the Center

The Centre for Agriculture and Environment Research was formally established in June 2017, following the reform of CREA (formerly C.R.A.) consisting in merging the C.R.A. Research Units in Rome, Bari, Florence and Bologna.

The administrative headquarters of CREA-AA is in Rome, via della Navicella, where formerly the Research Centre for the Study of Plant-Soil Relations (CREA-RPS) and the Research Unit for Agriculture-Applied Climatology and Meteorology (CREA-CMA) were based. CREA-AA includes also the researchers from the agro-economy department (formerly INEA) studying issues consistent with the Centre's mission.

The Florence Research Centre for Agrobiology and Pedology (CREA-ABP) moved from the palace in Piazza Massimo D'Azeglio to the headquarters of Cascine del Riccio, belonging to a different research Center (CREA-DC).

The same Research Centre AA embraces the Beekeeping and Bachiculture Research Unit (CREA-API) and those researchers from the Research Centre for Industrial Crops (CREA-CIN) in Bologna dealing with modelling.

CREA-AA includes also the Research Unit for Dry Farming Systems (CREA-SCA), based in Bari.

 

 

Source: Photo Fund of the National Historical Library of Agriculture Mipaaf (album 85 print 51)