CREAF’s main objective is to generate knowledge and create new methodological tools in the field of terrestrial ecology, with special emphasis on forest ecology and biodiversity in order to improve environmental planning and management. This is achieved through: A) Basic research. CREAF conducts first-class, innovative basic research and is a centre of excellence at both national and international levels. B) Applied research. CREAF also conducts applied research in forest science and biodiversity. This research contributes to the sustainable management and conservation of resources and ecosystems. C) Development of methodological, conceptual and software tools. These tools are designed to facilitate decision making and improve environmental management. D) Transfer and diffusion of knowledge. CREAF transfers scientific and technological know-how through training courses, consultation and various types of publications.
CREAF’s activities include research over (1) the function and diversity of natural ecosystems and their response to disturbances, (2) environmental problems that may severely affect biodiversity and ecosystems, e.g. the spread of invasive species, changes in soil use or atmosphere and climate changes, and (3) the development of conceptual, methodological and software tools instruments to assist in decision-making and facilitate sustainable management. The research into biodiversity carried out by CREAF aims to increase the global knowledge of the mechanisms that generate and maintain biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems, the analysis of the territorial patterns that characterize biodiversity and the study of factors that threaten it. These studies mainly adopt approaches based on population ecology, community ecology and landscape ecology.
CREAF is also studying the effects of changes on a global scale, especially atmospheric and climate change as well as changes in land use, having a significant effect on terrestrial ecosystems and the biodiversity of an area.