Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European biodiversity and ecosystem scientists merge and gear up for long-term research

27.10.2008
Measures to tackle the human impact on biodiversity require long term research and collaboration between many countries working with common goals and frameworks. This emerged from a recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF), which moved towards establishing an ESF Research Networking Programme (RNP) for ecosystem and biodiversity analysis on the back of existing initiatives.

Before finding conservation solutions, the big challenge is to understand how human activities and their possible consequences, such as climate and land use change, interact with ecosystems and alter biodiversity, according to Markus Fischer, convenor of the ESF workshop.

The big first step will be to bring key researchers within Europe into a single “big tent” focusing on the whole field of biodiversity and associated ecosystem processes, from the molecular to the ecosystem level and across all groups of organisms. Until now, research into biodiversity and research into ecosystems have tended to be conducted separately even though the issues and underlying science are closely related.

Thus, “the most important result of the workshop was the rapid consensus that the two previously separated fields - biodiversity and ecosystem research - should team up and integrate their results more intensively,” said Fischer. “The best way to arrive at a better integration is by harmonising methodological protocols and agreeing on a sampling design for joint investigations on diversity and ecosystem processes.” The workshop has laid the ground for such harmonisation.

The workshop identified the need to understand what features enable some species to benefit from changes and others to be driven out following various kinds of human activities, over both the short and long term.”We can learn a lot about functional consequences of changes in biodiversity by comparing ecological traits of rare and endangered species with those from increasing or invasive species, or by comparing how these two groups of species respond to changes in the environment,” said Fischer. “However, biodiversity research cannot be successful if it limits itself to the species level. Clearly, evolutionary biology must be integrated within innovative biodiversity research. Moreover, biological interactions need to be considered, including pollination, seed dispersal, predation, and decomposition, all constituting integral elements of ecosystem functioning.”

All these objectives can only be met through a common approach linking suitable local projects on the ground across the whole of Europe. “It was generally agreed that functional biodiversity research requires a network of field sites distributed across Europe to cover different types of habitats, landscapes and land-uses,” said Fischer. “Furthermore it was recognised that all facilities must allow the conduction of long-term research because of the non-linear, slow and often delayed response of ecological systems.” In the long run, an integration of the network into currently emerging European research initiatives such as ANAAE and LIFEWATCH will allow the full potential for synergy to be realised.

The ESF workshop, Large-scale and long-term functional biodiversity research in Europe, was held in Werder (Potsdam), Germany in June 2008.

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esf.org
http://www.esf.org/activities/exploratory-workshops/workshops-list/workshops-detail.html?ew=6507

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>