Dear Readers,

This is the second release of the ECOPOTENTIAL newsletter. This number comes at the end of the first year of the project activities, during which we have undertaken important steps towards reaching the project objectives. The main ecosystems challenges in the Protected Areas have been addressed and described in the Storylines; available and needed in situ and Remote Sensing data have been identified; the conceptual framework has been detailed; and the whole project internal communication machinery has been put in place and started. As in the previous issue, also in this newsletter we describe two Protected Areas and their ecological threats, namely, the Montado system in Natura 2000 sites in Alentejo, Portugal, a semi-arid environment, and the Pelagos Sanctuary in the western Mediterranean Sea. Both areas are challenged by climate change and anthropogenic pressures and need to implement management practices that should benefit from the findings of the ECOPOTENTIAL project. You will also find a brief science dissemination article on whales, to complement the info on the Pelagos Sanctuary, and an article devoted to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ecology as a scientific discipline. We all hope that you will enjoy this issue and come back to us with your feedbacks and comments!


Antonello Provenzale, CNR-IGG, Coordinator of ECOPOTENTIAL