Ecosystem Functioning and Services

Going for multifunctionality as a path to sustainability:

The two main foci of the ecosystem functioning and services lab in­vol­ve ac­qui­ring a bet­ter un­der­stan­ding and fos­te­ring of ex­ten­si­ve­ly ma­na­ged bio­di­ver­se sys­tems and ma­king in­ten­si­ve­ly ma­na­ged sys­tems more sustainable.

Bio­di­ver­si­ty is a key com­po­nent of a func­tio­n­ing, sustainable pla­net, yet it is being lost at a rate ne­ver seen be­fo­re in the his­to­ry of the earth in the cur­rent 6th mass extinc­tion event. One of the main cau­ses of bio­di­ver­si­ty loss world­wi­de is land use chan­ge/ ha­bi­tat loss com­bi­ned with ex­cess nut­ri­ent in­put into our eco­sys­tems, as well as cli­ma­te chan­ge and in­va­si­ve spe­cies. Hence, key ques­ti­ons of our time on a crow­ded pla­net are:

  • How can we counter current biodiversity loss, whilst also allowing for food security and adequate livelihoods and social interactions?
  • What role can the restoration of biodiversity play in counteracting biodiversity loss, whilst helping to mitigate climate change and providing new forms of social and economic livelihood?

Pos­si­ble so­lu­ti­ons in­clu­de a com­bi­ned land sharing and land spa­ring ap­proach to land use, fo­cus­sing on both ex­ten­si­ve land use as well as a sustainable in­ten­si­fi­ca­ti­on of crop­ping sys­tems. Both bio­di­ver­si­ty and as­sem­bly re­se­arch in eco­lo­gy are of key re­le­van­ce to ad­dres­sing such ques­ti­ons, sin­ce in land sharing (e.g. na­tu­re-fri­end­ly far­ming) we need to main­tain or res­to­re high di­ver­si­ty whilst en­su­ring ade­qua­te agri­cul­tu­ral yield, and know­ledge from bio­tic in­ter­ac­tion re­se­arch will be es­sen­ti­al for im­pro­ving the ef­fi­ci­en­cy of in­ten­si­ve agri­cul­tu­re, as well as pro­vi­ding pos­si­ble le­ver­age in en­ab­ling both re­a­sonable yiel­ds as well as bio­di­ver­si­ty.

Team

Professor / Head of Unit

  • Prof. Dr. Vicky Temperton

Secretarial

  • Tanja Michaela Müller

Research Associates

  • Inés Alonso Crespo, M.Sc.
  • Dr. Benjamin Delory
  • Dr. Amit Kumar
  • Emanuela Weidlich

Employees in Technology

  • Dr. Thomas Niemeyer