Landscapes have to meet a wide variety of demands: They should provide fresh water, food and habitats, but also be functioning ecosystems with intact biodiversity. Our research aims to show ways in which multifunctional landscapes can exist in a balance of human influence and natural dynamics - despite population growth and resource hunger. To this end, we are developing field experiments, observation networks and prediction models of the latest generation.
In the face of rapid global environmental and climatic change and its impacts, there is an urgent need to distinguish between natural mechanisms and human-induced processes. Further, understanding of the causes and effects of extreme events and their space-time dynamics is a prerequisite for their predictability. Together with partners at the Helmholtz Centres UFZ, AWI and hereon we study in Topic 5 processes linking the geosphere, atmosphere and biosphere and determine the natural dynamics of the terrestrial surface system and what the principle limits for the stability of this system are. Also impacts of extremes on natural and anthropogenic systems are the focus of our research. To achieve this, we aim to elucidate the behaviour of the system as a whole across all timescales of climate and environmental change by combining methods from geodesy, remote sensing, geology, geomorphology, geophysics, organic and inorganic geochemistry, hydrology, meteorology, ecology, (palaeo-)genetics and geomicrobiology.
The goals of our research are:
Further information: Link to T5│Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung UFZ