Department of Ecosystem Services
How do we define and apply the concept of "ecosystem services"? What functions do ecosystems have? How are they linked to human well-being? How can biodiversity science bridge to society and vice versa?
Our research in the Department for Ecosystem Services encompasses three interlinked themes: (i) We investigate patterns of spatio-temporal configuration of biodiversity and ecosystem service flows in socio-ecological systems at different scales. A focus is on the opportunities and risks presented by interregional telecoupled ecosystem services provision and their interaction with socio-economic drivers. Another interest is on the changing roles of national and international protected areas in provision of ecosystem services. (ii) Secondly, we explore the interrelationship of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their contribution to health and human wellbeing. (ii) Thirdly, we seek to operationalise the ecosystem approach by developing effective strategies and tools to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services in a changing world.
Working with partners from other research institutions, NGOs and experts from natural history societies, we are developing citizen science capacities for Germany to encourage innovative joint research approaches to biodiversity and ecosystem service science.