Work Package 2 - Relationships & feedbacks between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services along gradients of land use intensities and across scales

Short: Impacts of land use on multiple aspects of ecosystems
Human societies depend on a multitude of ecosystem services provided by multiple aspects of ecosystems and their biodiversity, but a simple black-and-white distinction between production and conservation sites cannot make the grade. Even in highly productive agricultural landscapes, we expect more ecosystem services than simple biomass production. These services can only be provided in a sustainable manner if the respective ecosystems have a high level of integrity and are resilient to the multiple and interacting drivers of global change.

To answer the question what makes an ecosystem resilient to global change, we need to understand the relationships between the impacts of multiple drivers on different aspects of biodiversity, how these drivers impact the complex interactions of species within and across trophic levels, how changes in biodiversity impact ecosystem integrity and resilience, and how species traits can be used to predict not only the impacts but also the consequences for ecosystem service provisioning.

WP2 will increase knowledge about these relationships and feedbacks, develop indicators to assess the state of ecosystems, and provide predictive models which can be used as input for analyses of trade-offs and synergies in multifunctional landscapes and to inform management and policymakers at the relevant spatial and temporal scales.

The Work Package 2 deals with the following objectives:

  • Review and develop indicators for ecosystem integrity and resilience (from genes to ecosystems)

  • Develop remote sensing methods to assess agricultural and urban land-use intensity

  • Identify spatial and temporal scaling properties

  • Identify how species traits relate to ecosystem services and to landscape multi-functionality

  • Assess and predict the effects of multiple interacting drivers of change, such as land-use intensity, landscape structure and climate, on biodiversity, ecosystem services, landscape multi-functionality, ecosystem integrity, and resilience

  • Consider multiple species interactions (e.g. plants, bees, pathogens, gut microbes)


  • Reviews
  • Monitoring
  • Macro-ecological (frequentist) statistic
  • Remote sensing data

Lead Scientist

     Dr. Oliver Schweiger
    Department of Community Ecology


     Dr. Sonja Knapp
    Department of Community Ecology

  • Beckmann, Michael (CLE)
  • Cord, Anna (CLE)
  • Durka, Walter (BZF)
  • Frenzel, Mark (BZF)
  • Henle, Klaus (NSF)
  • Herrmann, Sylvie (BZF)
  • Hofmann, Sylvia (NSF)
  • Kühn, Elisabeth (BZF)
  • Lausch, Angela (CLE)
  • Settele, Josef (BZF)
  • Slabbert, Eleonore (BZF)
  • Wubet, Tesfaye (BZF)