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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.
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 - Insects - Number - Diversity - Implications
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.
"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.
Differences - Structure - Landscape - Influence - Biodiversity
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?
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 - Alliance - Research - Groups
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...
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