Project 9: Ecosystem management


This project addresses the impact of global change on structure, function and economic value of the regional ecosystems.


Our main focus is on climate change expressed in changes in annual precipitation and on land use change. Our approach is a combination of field observations along the prominent climatic gradients in the region, field manipulations of climate (precipitation) and land use (grazing), vegetation modeling and socio-economic evaluations of the value of open space.

We study ecosystem response to changes in precipitation and land use on several organizational scales:

9a: Modeling ecosystem response to climate and land use change

9b: Climate change effects on soil properties and runoff

9c: Climate change effects on extinction probabilities of plants

9d: Climate change effects on the soil seed bank

9e: Diversity-productivity relationships under climate change

9f: Combined effects of climate and land use change on ecosystem service and function

9g: Interactions between animals and plants under climate change

9h: A region-wide assessment of ecosystem processes under climate and land-use change

9i: Medium-term effects of climate change on plant communities

Current highlight results

Our main finding from the first project phase is that management efforts should concentrate on semi-arid regions. These regions are most vulnerable to climate change in terms of soil erosion, loss of plant species diversity and productivity. At the same time, public willingness to pay for the loss of these ecosystems is the highest among those studied here.

Intern data


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