Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LandKlif: Changing Ecosystems

06.07.2018

How does climate change affect biodiversity and ecosystem performance in Bavaria? Which strategies can counteract the impacts? The new Bavarian research alliance "LandKlif" seeks to answer these questions.

Bavaria is changing: In regions such as Lower Franconia, climate change is producing drier and hotter conditions. At the same time, extreme weather gets a boost with heavy rainfall or hail leading to flooding and soil erosion.


A butterfly (pale clouded yellow, Colias hyale) on a chalk heath in Lower Franconia. This habitat with its species-rich insect communities is at a special risk in Bavaria because of nitrogen input.

Photo: Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter


Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter coordinates the Bavaria-wide LandKlif research alliance which comprises ten subprojects.

Photo: Susanne Schiele

The landscape is changing, too: More impervious surfaces are being generated as a lot of villages built their own industrial zones. Vast monocultures of maize and rapeseed prevail on fields; this is aggravated by the widespread use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Biodiversity is dwindling, especially that of insects whose number and diversity have decreased. This will have serious implications since the yield and quality of many food crops depend on pollinating insects. Moreover, insects play a vital role in natural pest control. Their decline impairs the services which humans gain from ecosystems.

A scientific challenge

"All these changes present a major challenge for scientists," says Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Head of the Chair of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany. An interdisciplinary collaborative approach is needed to address the many open questions.

How do climatic differences and the structure of a landscape influence biodiversity and ecosystem performance? How do climatic conditions and land use interact? Does biodiversity at the level of populations, communities and landscapes mitigate the consequences of climate change and extreme weather events?

LandKlif: Four of ten subprojects at JMU

The new Bavarian research alliance "LandKlif" will investigate these issues with activities in 20 natural, agricultural and urban landscapes in five climate zones in Bavaria: from the dry and warm regions in Lower Franconia to the high altitudes of the Bavarian Forest National Park and Berchtesgaden. The goal is to identify options to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to changed climatic conditions.

Professor Steffan-Dewenter coordinates the alliance which comprises four research groups from the University of Würzburg, two from the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University,
two from the Technical University of Munich and one from the universities of Augsburg and Bayreuth, respectively. The Free State of Bavaria funds the alliance with a total of EUR 2.6 million of which EUR 1.4 million are allocated to JMU.

Measuring biodiversity and ecosystem performance

Subproject 1, headed by Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, measures the biodiversity of bees, wasps, hoverflies, beetles and butterflies as well as ecosystem performance in the area of pollination and biological best control. The researchers will perform relocation experiments and simulate extreme weather events to better understand the adaptation ability and resilience of major insect groups. The results could later be used to develop more sustainable management practices for the Bavarian ecosystems.

Simulating climate scenarios and drought stress

Subproject 2 is led by Professor Jörg Müller from the JMU Chair of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology. Its mission is to determine the quantity and diversity of arthropod communities – arthropods are a large group of animals that include insects – at 240 sites throughout Bavaria in habitats with different microclimates. The collected data will be used to model predictions for various climate scenarios. Moreover, the scientists will simulate drought stress on some areas and perform experiments in environmental chambers.

Landscape types and adaptability

PD Dr. Thomas Hovestadt, Chair of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, is in charge of subproject 6. His team will study the tolerance and adaptability of biological communities in the face of climate change. By running computer simulations, the research group wants to understand the role landscape plays in the adaptation of populations and biological communities and which landscape elements are particularly important in this context. Ultimately, their work could help identify strategies and management practices to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on ecosystem performance.

Investigating vegetation with satellite data

PD Dr. Christopher Conrad from the Chair of Remote Sensing leads subproject 7. This project is about measuring the development of the vegetation in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes in Bavaria over the past 20 years based on satellite data. The goal is to determine which landscape parts are more vulnerable or resilient to climate changes. They also analyse yields, cultivation patterns and diversity in the agricultural landscapes. The project's aim is to recognize detrimental impacts on ecosystem performance at any early stage and support counter-measures.

Bavarian network for climate research

The LandKlif research alliance is part of the Bavarian network for climate research (bayklif) launched officially by Minister of Science, Marion Kiechle, in early May 2018. The network is set to produce more insights into the social and ecological consequences of climate change. Building on this knowledge, models will have to be developed to help mitigate these consequences. Moreover, bayklif aims to develop regional and supraregional strategies for climate protection and adapting to climate change.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Chair of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg, T 49 931 31-86947, ingolf.steffan@uni-wuerzburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.bayklif.de/verbundprojekte/landklif/ Website of the LandKlif research alliance

Robert Emmerich | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht “Future of Composites in Transportation 2018”, JEC Innovation Award for hybrid roof bow
29.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Innovative tissue analysis: Munich spin-off project receives Helmholtz funding
26.06.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

Im Focus: Probing nobelium with laser light

Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible. Laser spectroscopy is an established technique in measuring fundamental properties of exotic atoms and their nuclei. For the first time, this technique was now extended to precisely measure the optical excitation of atomic levels in the atomic shell of three isotopes of the heavy element nobelium, which contain 102 protons in their nuclei and do not occur naturally. This was reported by an international team lead by scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

Nuclei of heavy elements can be produced at minute quantities of a few atoms per second in fusion reactions using powerful particle accelerators. The obtained...

Im Focus: Asymmetric plasmonic antennas deliver femtosecond pulses for fast optoelectronics

A team headed by the TUM physicists Alexander Holleitner and Reinhard Kienberger has succeeded for the first time in generating ultrashort electric pulses on a chip using metal antennas only a few nanometers in size, then running the signals a few millimeters above the surface and reading them in again a controlled manner. The technology enables the development of new, powerful terahertz components.

Classical electronics allows frequencies up to around 100 gigahertz. Optoelectronics uses electromagnetic phenomena starting at 10 terahertz. This range in...

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

Nanotechnology to fight cancer: From diagnosis to therapy

28.06.2018 | Event News

Biological Transformation: nature as a driver of innovations in engineering and manufacturing

28.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

LandKlif: Changing Ecosystems

06.07.2018 | Awards Funding

UV narrow-band photodetector based on indium oxide nanocrystals

06.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Expansion of agricultural land reduces CO2 absorption

06.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>