The consequences of climate change and land use on biodiversity and ecosystem services are disentangled, according to a new research

Ivan Andonov | 03/12/2021 17:32:14 |

A recently published article in the open-access journal “Methods in Ecology and Evolution” gives more insight into the currently lacking long-term data on biodiversity trends.

In the Anthropocene, climate and land-use change are major causes of environmental deterioration, but little is understood about their interactions with biodiversity and ecosystem services. The authors of the paper, amongst whom are Sara Redlich, Safeguard’s coordinator Prof. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter and data manager Jie Zhang, introduce a multi-scale space for time study design to disentangle effects of climate and land use on biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

The study titled “Disentangling effects of climate and land use on biodiversity and ecosystem services - A multi-scale experimental design” was done in 60 regions. The researchers nested 180 study plots in differing local land-use categories, such as woods, grasslands, arable land, or settlement (local climatic gradient 4.5-10°C) inside these regions. This approach achieved low correlations between climate and land use (proportional cover) at the regional and landscape scale with |r ≤ 0.33| and |r ≤ 0.29| respectively.

You can read more about the methods and the findings of the paper here.

Photo: Implementation of a full-factorial, stratified design crossing regional climate and land use in Bavaria, Southern Germany. Climate zones (a) were based on 30-year (1981–2010) mean air temperatures in each quadrant (1: °C, 2: 7.5-8°C, 3: 8-8.5°C, 4: 8.5-9°C). For land use (b), we distinguished between near-natural quadrants (>85% near-natural vegetation with a minimum of 50% forest), agricultural quadrants (>40% arable land and managed grassland), and urban quadrants (>14 housing, industry and traffic infrastructure). The final 60 quadrants (i.e. study regions, c) covered 15 climate-land-use combinations with four replicates each.

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This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003476.

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