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Aida Bargues Tobella

Aida Bargues Tobella


Programme Director of Studies (PSR), MSc program Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management

Course leader, MSc course Sustainable forestry and land-use management in the tropics

Other teaching:

  • Forest ecology (BSc, SLU)
  • Hydrology and watershed management (PhD, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania)
  • Soil science, hydrology and meteorology (BSc, SLU)
  • Skog, mark och skogsbruk (BSc, SLU)
  • Site productivity and production ecology (MSc, SLU)
  • Internaitonal silviculture (MSc, SLU)



Ongoing research projects:

  • Drylands Transform. Achieving the SDGs in East African drylands: Pathways and challenges towards a social-ecological transformation
    of landscapes, livestock and livelihoods
  • Drylands Restore. Management and restoration towards healthy rangelands in East Africa


  • PhD Soil Science. 2016. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden
  • MSc Soil Science. 2010. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden
  • MSc Forest Engineering. 2010. Universitat de Lleida, Spain
  • BSc Forest Engineering. 2007. Universtitat de Lleida, Spain
A female researcher is testing a rainfall simulator
Testing the rainfall simulator. Photo: Natxo Garcia Lopez


Supervision of doctoral students

  • Lufunyo Lulandala (SLU & University of Dar es Salaam), “Influence of tree cover and land use on soil hydrological properties related to soil and groundwater recharge”. Co-supervisor. Ongoing
  • Vestine Mukamparirwa (Sokoine University of Agricultural Sciences & University of Rwanda), “Potential of organic input from agroforestry tree biomass to improve soil nutrient content in two agro-ecological zones of Rwanda”. Co-supervisor. Ongoing
  • Isaac Kayumba (SLU & University of Rwanda), “Assessing the suitability of selected Eucalyptus species for agroforestry systems in Rwanda”. Co-supervisor. Ongoing

Supervision of master's theses

  • Anna Elisabeth Swärd. (SLU), “Ecosystem services from woody vegetation in East African rangelands”. Co-supervisor. Ongoing
  • Abdoulaye Dabre (Université Nazi BONI, Burkina Faso), “Reshaping zaï pits and its effects on soil physico-chemical properties and crop performance in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso”. Co-supervisor. Ongoing
  • David Falk (SLU), “Drivers of topsoil saturated hydraulic conductivity in three contrasting landscapes in Kenya”. Main supervisor. 2021
  • Lotte Mens (Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands), “Towards more effective restoration techniques for degraded dryland in Sub-Saharan-Africa. Linking plant functional traits with soil hydrology”. Co-supervisor. 2020
  • Mohammed Diarra (Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée - IPR/IFRA, Mali), “In-field water harvesting using contour bunds to cope with changing climate in semi-arid smallholder farming: impact on soil water infiltration and crop yield in Southern Mali”. Co-supervisor. 2020
  • Gustaf Dal (SLU), “Relationships between soil carbon and trees spatial distribution in agroforestry parklands in central Burkina Faso”. Co-supervisor.  2016
  • Addisu Almaw Semeneh (SLU), “Effects of trees and termite nests in agroforestry parklands on preferential water flow: image analysis of soil profiles after rain simulations and dye experiments”. Co-supervisor.  2012
  • Elsa Bengtsson (SLU), “Leaf area index in Vitellaria paradoxa parklands in Burkina Faso estimated by light interception and leaf sampling”. Co-supervisor. 2012
  • Klara Hedemyr Joelsson (SLU), “Soil organic carbon and infiltrability in relation to distance from trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) with and without termite mounds in a parkland in central Burkina Faso”. Co-supervisor. 2012


  • Marta Loreggian, MSc program 'International Land and Water Management, Wageningen University & Research. 2022

Selected publications

Google scholar 

Research Gate

  • Takoutsing B., Winowiecki L. A., Bargués-Tobella, A. &  Vågen, T. G. (2022). Determination of land restoration potentials in the semi-arid areas of Chad using systematic monitoring and mapping techniques. Agroforestry Systems. doi: 10.1007/s10457-021-00720-9
  • Lulandala, L., Bargués-Tobella, A., Nyberg, G., Masao, C. & Ilstedt, U. (2021). Excessive livestock grazing overrides the positive effects of trees on infiltration capacity and modifies preferential flow in dry Miombo woodlands. Land Degradation & Development. doi: 10.1002/ldr.4149
  • Winowiecki, L. A., Bargués-Tobella, A., Mukuralinda, A., Mujawamaria, P., Ntawuhiganayo, E. B., Mugayi, A.B., Chomba, S. & Vågen, T.G. (2021). Assessing soil and land health across two landscapes in eastern Rwanda to inform restoration activities. SOIL, 7, 767-783. doi: 10.5194/soil-7-767-2021
  • Benegas, L., Hasselquist, N., Bargués-Tobella, A., Malmer, A. & Ilstedt, U. (2021). Positive effects of scattered trees on soil water dynamics in a pasture landscape in the Tropics. Frontiers in Water 3:736824. doi: 10.3389/frwa.2021.736824.
  • FAO, IUFRO and USDA. (2021). A guide to forest-water management. FAO Forestry Paper No. 185. Rome. doi:10.4060/cb6473en
  • Sheil, D. & Bargués-Tobella, A. (2020). More trees for more water in drylands: myths and opportunities. In Pasiecznik, N. & Reij, C. (Eds.), ETFRN News. Issue No. 60 – Restoring African drylands. Wageningen: Tropenbos International
  • Bargués-Tobella, A., Hasselquist, N. J., Bazié, H. R., Bayala, J., Laudon, H. & Ilstedt, U. (2020). Trees in African drylands can promote deep soil and groundwater recharge in a future climate with more intense rainfall. Land Degradation & Development, 31(1), 81-95. doi:10.1002/ldr.3430
  • Sheil, D., Bargués-Tobella, A., Ilstedt, U., Ibisch, P. L., Makarieva, A., McAlpine, C., Morris, C.E., Murdiyarso, D., Nobre, A.D., Poveda, G., Spracklen, D.V., Sullivan, C.A., Tuinenburg, O.A. & van der Ent, R.J. (2019). Forest restoration: Transformative trees. Science, 366(6463), 316-317. doi: 10.1126/science.aay7309
  • del Campo, A., González-Sanchis, M., Ilstedt, U., Bargués-Tobella, A. & Ferraz, S. (2019). Dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral systems: water at the core. Unasylva, 70(1), 27-35.
  • Bazié, H. R., Sanou, J., Bayala, J., Bargués-Tobella, A., Zombré, G. & Ilstedt, U. (2018). Temporal variations in transpiration of Vitellaria paradoxa in West African agroforestry parklands. Agroforestry Systems, 92(6), 1673-1686. doi: 10.1007/s10457-017-0115-4
  • Jones, J.A., Wei, X., Van Noordwijk, M., Creed, I.F., Gush, M., Ellison, D., Blanco, J.A., Bishop, K., McNulty, S.G., Archer, E., Bargues-Tobella, A., Bruijnzeel, L.A., Duinker, P., Foster, D., Gebrekirstos, A., Giles-Hansen, K., Hacket-Pain, A., Harper, R.J., Ilstedt, U., Li, Q., Yingchun, L., Malmer, A., Mwangi, H., Orland, C., Steenberg, J., Wang, Y., Worthy, F., Xu, J. & Zhang, M. (2018). Forest landscape hydrology in a ‘new normal’ era of climate and land use change. In Creed, I. & van Noordwijk, M. (Eds.), Forest and water on a changing planet: Vulnerability, adaptation and governance opportunities. A global assessment report. IUFRO World Series Volume 38, 81-100. Vienna: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
  • Ellison, D., Morris, C. E., Locatelli, B., Sheil, D., Cohen, J., Murdiyarso, D., Gutierrez, V., Van Noordwijk, M., Creed, I.F., Pokorny, J., Gaveau, D., Spracklen, D.V., Bargués-Tobella, A., Ilstedt, U., Teuling, A.J., Gebrehiwot, S.G., Sands, D.C., Muys, B., Verbist, B., Springgay, E., Sugandi, Y., & Sullivan, C. A. (2017). Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot world. Global Environmental Change, 43, 51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.01.002
  • Olarieta, J. R., Bargués-Tobella, A., Rodríguez-Ochoa, R., & Antúnez, M. (2017). Soil control over the distribution of Mediterranean oak forests in the Montsec mountains (northeastern Spain). Geoderma, 291, 11-20. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.12.019
  • Bargués-Tobella, A., Hasselquist, N. J., Bazié, H. R., Nyberg, G., Laudon, H., Bayala, J. & Ilstedt, U. (2017). Strategies trees use to overcome seasonal water limitation in an agroforestry system in semiarid West Africa. Ecohydrology, 10(3), e1808. doi: 10.1002/eco.1808
  • Ilstedt, U.*, Bargués Tobella, A.*, Bazié, H. R., Bayala, J., Verbeeten, E., Nyberg, G., Sanou, J., Benegas, L., Murdiyarso, D., Laudon, H. Sheil, D. & Malmer, A. (2016). Intermediate tree cover can maximize groundwater recharge in the seasonally dry tropics. Scientific Reports, 6, 21930. doi: 10.1038/srep21930 * Shared first authorship
  • Bargués-Tobella, A., Reese, H., Almaw, A., Bayala, J., Malmer, A., Laudon, H. & Ilstedt, U. (2014). The effect of trees on preferential flow and soil infiltrability in an agroforestry parkland in semiarid Burkina Faso. Water Resources Research, 50(4), 3342-3354. doi: 10.1002/2013wr015197
  • Nyberg, G., Bargués Tobella, A., Kinyangi, J. & Ilstedt, U. (2012). Soil property changes over a 120-yr chronosequence from forest to agriculture in western Kenya. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16(7), 2085-2094. doi: 10.5194/hess-16-2085-2012

Other publications - Reports, policy briefs

  • Winowiecki, L.A., Magaju, C., Bargués-Tobella, A., Muthuri, S., Mutua, F., Mbuvi, C., Maithya, S., Mwende, M., Muendo, S., Crossland, M., Loreggian, M. & Vågen, T.G. (2022). Assessing the impact of farmer-centered restoration interventions on soil health: Evaluation of the planting basins and associated management across six sub-counties in Kenya. Nairobi: World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
  • Winowiecki, L.A., Takoutsing, B., Bah, A., Bargués-Tobella, A. & Vågen, T.G. (2021). Report on Field Training and Field Survey: Biophysical Soil and Land Health Assessment using the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) in the Gambia. Nairobi: World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
  • Vågen, T.G., Winowiecki, L.A., Bargués-Tobella, A. & Chesterman, S. (2020). A national system for assessment and monitoring of rangeland health in Lesotho. Final report as part of the Wool and Mohair Promotion Project (WAMPP). Nairobi: World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
  • Winowiecki, L.A., Bargués-Tobella, A., Magaju, C., Nabi, M., Onkware, B., & Vågen, T.G., (2019). Undertaking a biophysical baseline survey and annual tracking of ecosystem health for the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Window. Annual Report 2019. Nairobi: World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
  • van Noordwijk, M., Bargués-Tobella, A., Muthuri, C., Gebrekirstos, A., Maimbo, M., Leimona, B., Bayala, J., Xing, M., Lasco, R., Jianchu, X. & Ong, C.K.  (2019). Trees as part of nature-based water management. In van Noordwijk, M. (Ed.), Sustainable development through trees on farms: agroforestry in its fifth decade, 299-327. Bogor: World Agroforestry (ICRAF) Southeast Asia Regional Program.
  • SIWI (2019). Water for productive and multifunctional landscapes – Policy brief
  • Tenberg, A., Bargués-Tobella, A., Barron, J., Ilstedt, U., Jaramillo, F., Johansson, K.,  Lannér, J., Petzén, M., Robinson, T., Samuelson, L. & Östberg, K. (2018). Water for productive and multifunctional landscapes. Report no. 38. Stockholm: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
  • IUFRO (2018). Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Scientific Insights for Achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals – Policy brief
  • WeForest (2015). Managing forests for water and for climate cooling – Policy brief


Researcher at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management; Department of Forest Ecology and Management, joint staff
Telephone: +46907868346
Postal address:
Skogens ekologi och skötsel
901 83 Umeå
Visiting address: Skogsmarksgränd 17, Umeå