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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Schweiger, A*; ym, C: How gradual warming, extreme weather and landscape interactively affects ecosystem processes
Poster, IBS 2015 - 7th International Conference of the International Biogeography Society, University of Bayreuth: 2015-01-08 - 2015-01-12

Gradual climatic shifts and abrupt extreme weather events are expected to have major ecological implications on various scales. However, most future projections about climate change impacts are rather coarse and are not able to model ecological effects on the relevant (regional-) scale. Plant communities of springs response very sensible to water chemistry, which in turn integrates biogeochemical catchment processes which are sensible to climate and land use changes. By studying plant communities and hydrochemistry of springs in Central Europe, we are able to investigate the interactive effect of climatic extreme events, gradual climatic shifts and landscape characteristics on a regional scale. Based on 25 years of investigation we can show visible effects of gradual warming on landscape scale. However, the impact of climatic extreme events which strongly interacts with additional stressors linked to land use practice significantly modifies this long-term response. By combining these findings with our already existing knowledge about the ecological response characteristics of these systems we can provide a sound tool to assess regional effects of future climate change.
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