Core Research Theme 2: Environmental processes and ecosystem dynamics
Mission and Aims
The aim of Core 2 is to understand processes and patterns in ecosystems that are important to solve environmental problems. We study the fluxes of energy, water, carbon, nutrients and toxicants through these systems as well as the dynamics of populations, communities, landscapes and biomes. Physical-chemical pressures to ecologiare linked cal and human health, covering important interrelated environmental issues, in particular global change, biodiversity loss, eutrophication, acidification, pollution, droughts and flooding. While we focus on natural sciences, interaction with social sciences is sought. In addition, we cooperate with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and private companies at various scales to facilitate implementation in society.
Research involves integrated lab, field and modelling studies, especially at regional scales.
- Ecosystem dynamics and adaptive capacity (V)
(temperature; nutrient, carbon and salt cycling in ecosystems; multiple stress; food webs; feedback mechanisms; disturbance and resilience; biodiversity processes, modelling at landscape, watershed and ecosystem scales;
variation in the response of organisms to global warming, urbanization, pollution, drought and other stresses, with emphasis on the consequences for species interactions, community diversity and community composition)
- Landscape ecology, restoration ecology and nature conservation (VI)
(key processes; causes for decline: effects of fragmentation; stable states & catastrophic events; strategies for restoration: nutrient impoverishment; restoring faunal communities; reintroduction of species; modelling; invasive (exotic) species)
- Processes in soil, water and atmosphere (VII)
(soil dynamics, subsurface hydrology, groundwater hydrology; water flow; transport of nutrients, micropollutants and bacteria in soil and water; soil degradation, erosion and landscape evolution; geophysics; atmospheric boundary layer dynamics, circulation and distribution of air pollutants; carbon and nutrient fluxes, the hydrological cycle; extreme weather events, the effects of climate change on floods and droughts; integrated soil and water management; scale issues; modelling)
- Remote Sensing of land processes and water resources (XV)