Home Programme Description Study region Publications Publication: Ambio Special Issue 2015 People Calendarium

Ekoklim is organised into four reseach themes:

Landscape Processes

The landscape scale is still a missing link between studies on global change and its effects on species level. Key issues for projecting the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services are understanding the flows and management of water and such key land-water system components as wetlands, the effects of land use changes on habitat configuration, and the landscape constraints on biodiversity (e.g. dispersal) and ecosystem services. Water is the most important ecosystem service on the globe, as it provides services to a multitude of sectors; from industry, agriculture and forestry, to tourism and obviously drinking water. Thus, changes in climate, hydrology and biogeochemistry have direct relevance to humans, but also indirectly to other ecosystem services.

Land and land use is the second important component for understanding and interpreting climatic effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Natural and semi-natural habitats are
key elements in the landscape providing biodiversity and ecosystem services, and habitats in a landscape are connected through the movement of organisms and matter. Not only do
agriculture and forestry alter landscape and species compositions, but also human activities such as hunting, which may change top-down and bottom-up regulation processes and the structure of entire ecosystems. The strength of these processes often depends on ecosystem productivity and will therefore be modified by climate change. The abiotic landscape
constrains land use changes and processes, for example abandonment of agricultural areas, which in turn impede or mitigate biological processes, such as dispersal between habitats.

Main goals

(i) To develop the cross-disciplinary conceptualizations, databases and improved models needed to decipher and realistically project the combined interactions, effects and feedbacks of climate, land-use, hydro-biogeochemical and ecological change in the landscape.
Contact: Prof Georgia Destouni

(ii) To analyse the effect of past and present landscape and land use patterns on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Contact: Docent Sara Cousins

(iii) To make recommendations for strategies to address adaptations in management and governance of water and other ecosystem services at a landscape level, both from a national and global perspective.
Contact: Prof Garry Peterson


Landscape processes
Contact: Prof Georgia Destouni
Department of Physical Geography & Quaternary Geology