Research group

Biodiversity and Ecosystem services (BIOECOS)

Contacts Projects Partners Publications

Short description

Our research focuses on understanding, mapping and modeling spatio-temporal patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It comprises conceptual work, applied case studies and the development of methods. Our aims are:
  • First, to understand the impacts of different land use systems on species distributions and the capacity of ecosystems to provide ecosystem services.
  • Secondly, to characterize and quantify trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services and between ecosystem services and biodiversity.
  • Thirdly, to explore the suitability of information derived from remote sensing or other geospatial data to help inform decision-making and to develop future monitoring capabilities.
Collaboration across disciplines is of central importance for our research. We are concerned with a broad range of spatial scales, from the local (individuals, populations) to the national as well as continental/global level.

Methodological focus

  • Geospatial analysis and statistical modeling of spatio-temporal patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Analysis of large databases on biodiversity and ecosystem services using macroecological methods
  • Quantitative, spatially explicit analyses of trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services and between ecosystem services and biodiversity
  • Analysis of remote sensing products (e.g. Land Surface Temperature, Vegetation Indices, Leaf Area Index, UV-B radiation) for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Methodological focus


Dr. Michael Beckmann

Phone: +49 (0)341 235 1946
Fax: +49 (0)341 235 1939


  • WAKANAKA: Ermittlung naturschutzbezogener Kriterien in der Umweltprüfung der Bedarfsplanung für Stromnetze und in der Bundesfachplanung zur Erhöhung der Planungssicherheit und Verhinderung von Zielkonflikten more information
  • ECOPOTENTIAL: improving future ecosystem benefits through earth observations more information
  • TALE - Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between food production, biodiversity and ecosystem services more information
  • LEGATO: Land-use intensity and Ecological Engineering – Assessment Tools for risks and Opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems more information
  • Improving species distribution models of endangered plants in Mexico (completed) more information


  • Stanford University, Woods Institute for the Environment (USA) Link
  • University of Leeds, School of Geography (UK) Link
  • Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology & Environmental Sciences (Czech Republic) Link
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute of Biology, Department of Botany (Mexico) Link
  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Institute of Ecology Link
  • German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig Link
  • Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Bonn Link
  • University of Würzburg, Institute of Geography und Geology, Department of Remote Sensing Link
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Oberpfaffenhofen Link

Publications (selection)    

Ziv, G., Hassall, C., Bartkowski, B., Cord, A.F., Kaim, A., Kalamandeen, M., Landaverde-González, P., Melo, J.L.B., Seppelt, R., Shannon, C., Václavík, T., Zoderer, B.A., Beckmann, M. (in press): A bird’s eye view over ecosystem services in Natura 2000 sites across Europe. Ecosystem Services. Link

Dittrich, A., Seppelt, R., Václavík, T., Cord, A.F. (2017): Integrating ecosystem service bundles and socio-environmental conditions – A national scale analysis from Germany. Ecosystem Services, 28, 273-282. Link

Cord, A.F., Bartkowski, B., Beckmann, M., Dittrich, A., Hermans-Neumann, K., Kaim, A., Lienhoop, N., Locher-Krause, K., Priess, J., Schröter-Schlaack, C., Schwarz, N., Seppelt, R., Strauch, M., Václavík, T., Volk, M. (2017): Towards systematic analyses of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies: Main concepts, methods and the road ahead. Eosystem Services, 28, 264-272. Link

Geijzendorffer, I.R., Cohen-Shacham, E.,Cord, A.F., Cramer, W., Guerra, C., Martín-López, B. (2017). Ecosystem services in global sustainability policies. Environmental Science and Policy, 74, 40-48. Link

Cord, A.F., Brauman, K.A., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Huth, A., Ziv, G., Seppelt, R. (2017). Priorities to advance monitoring of ecosystem services using Earth observation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32(6), 416-428. Link

Dittrich, A.
, von Wehrden, H., Abson, D.A., Bartkowski, B., Cord, A.F., Fust, P., Hoyer, C., Kambach, S., Meyer, M.A., Radzevičiūtė, R., Nieto-Romero, M., Seppelt, R., Beckmann, M. (2017) Mapping and analysing historical indicators of ecosystem services in Germany. Ecological Indicators, 75, 101-110. Link

Lausch, A., Bannehr, L., Beckmann, M., Boehm, C., Feilhauer, H., Hacker, J.M., Heurich, M., Jung, A., Klenke, R., Neumann, C., Pause, M., Rocchini, D., Schaepman, M.E., Schmidtlein, S., Schulz, K., Selsam, P., Settele, J., Skidmore, A.K., Cord, A.F. (2016). Linking Earth Observation and taxonomic, structural and functional biodiversity: Local to ecosystem perspectives. Ecological Indicators, 70, 317-339. Link

Seppelt, R., Beckmann, M., Ceauşu, S., Cord, A.F., Gerstner, K., Gurevitch, J., Kambach, S., Klotz, S., Mendenhall, C., Phillips, H.R.P., Kristin Powell, Verburg, P.H., Verhagen, W., Winter, M. & Newbold, T. (in press). Harmonizing biodiversity conservation and productivity in the context of increasing demands on landscapes. BioScience Link

Cord, A.F., Roeßiger, F. & Schwarz, N. (2015). Geocaching data as an indicator for recreational ecosystem services in urban areas: Exploring spatial gradients, preferences and motivations. Landscape and Urban Planning, 144, 151-162. Link

Cord, A.F., Seppelt, R. & Turner, W. (2015). Sustainable development goals: Monitor ecosystem services from space. Nature, 525, 33. Link

von Wehrden, H., Abson, D.J., Beckmann, M., Cord, A.F., Klotz, S. & Seppelt, R. (2014). Realigning the land-sharing/land-sparing debate to match conservation needs: considering diversity scales and land-use history. Landscape Ecology, 29(6), 941-948. Link

Beckmann, M., Václavík, T., Manceur, A.M., Šprtová, L., von Wehrden, H., Welk, E. & Cord, A.F. (2014). glUV: A global UV-B radiation dataset for macroecological studies. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5(4), 372-383.

Václavík, T., Lautenbach, S., Kuemmerle, T., Seppelt, R. (2013). Mapping global land system archetypes. Global Environmental Change, 23(6), 1637-1647. Link