Ecosystem research regarding climate adaptation
Repercussions from changes in the global climate are increasingly manifesting themselves in terms of the regional sphere. Ecological repercussions in all their dimensions are still not completely visible to date, hence there exists such a sense of urgency regarding solutions for the challenges we are facing in climate and ecological systems research. Forests, grasslands and lakes are ecological systems with longevity, thus causing to be considerably impacted by future climate changes. These ecological systems cover a large proportion of Bavaria and carry considerable economic significance. In light of current climate changes, the probability is steadily increasing that seldomseen and extreme climatological events will occur more often and with rising intensity. Moreover, novel forms of extreme conditions can be expected. Possibly negative developments must therefore be immediately addressed with sufficient adaptive measures.
There are climate researchers involved at the research cooperation FORKAST from 19 chairs and faculties at the universities of Bayreuth, Regensburg, Würzburg, Erlangen-Nuremberg as well as the Technical University of Munich. They research the repercussions of climate upon eco-systems and make thorough investigations in reference to the following central issues: How do extreme climatic conditions (e.g. drought and torrential rains) affect the characteristics of ecological systems and functions? How are ecological processes, such as the production of biomass or the interaction between animals and plants, affected? How resilient are our ecological systems? Research results in this matter are essential prerequisites in order to evaluate how ecological services (e.g. stability ofmountain slopes, agricultural and silvicultural production) will be affected.
Moreover, eventual positive developments should be recognised and developmental opportunities in the offing should be utilised early on. To facilitate the realisation of these subject-overlapping and inter-structural demands, FORKAST has inter-linked research competencies of Bavarian universities with technical authorities. FORKAST is, furthermore, included in the network of international research consortiums. Up-to-date developments in methodology are continuously implemented and combined within the research cooperation. In this manner, the various qualities of monitoring, manipulative experiments and modelling (i.e. simulations) can be optimally networked. The fundamental research results sought after within the cooperation offer opportunities for implementation in commerce and society in, for example, agriculture and silviculture, natural hazards, nature conservation, planning of spaces and water management. In this manner, this crucial Bavarian enterprise is able to assume the role of trailblazer within he sphere of climate research in Germany.