About us

Our team is interested in how land ecosystems, climate change and land-use change interact globally and regionally. We explore through a range of modelling approaches challenges and solutions to sustainable development arising from land system dynamics. We are based at the Campus Alpin of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, located in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Southern Germany.

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How do land and climate interact? Climate is a chief co-determinant of vegetation cover and carbon, water and nutrient cycles. Climate change, including the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, therefore will cause biomes’ boundaries to shift, and impact biodiversity and numerous processes in terrestrial ecosystems.

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Ecosystem functional diversity and services

Life together with climate and other abiotic drivers is the basis to the state and functioning of the ecosystems. Although we do not fully understand the entirety of consequences of our doing, humanity is exploiting, in many places over-exploiting, ecosystems around the world: to gather resources, as space for human living, and for agriculture, forestry, and many other forms of use.

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Impacts and future of land use

Land provides the basis for our livelihoods – but the current extend of human influence, magnitude and rate of change of resource use is historically unprecedented and not sustainable. The way humans make use of terrestrial ecosystems clearly will have to improve, especially since changing climate and rising CO2 concentrations will become additional key factors, which affect growing conditions for crops, pastures, and forests.

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Group Retreat Schneeferner Haus 2022

Group Retreat to Schneeferner Haus

Together with the Land Use Change & Climate Research Group of Prof. Mark Rounsevell we spent some days on top of Germany - on the Schneefernerhaus right next to the peak of Zugspitze.

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Himmel mit Abendroete

This year's Carbon Budget published

The annual update on the global carbon budget, which is led by the Global Carbon Project is published.

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Geduengte Wiese in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

A new, state-of-the-art tool to study ecosystem-climate interactions

Team members David Martin Belda, Almut Arneth and Peter Anthoni published an article in Geoscientific Model Development describing major developments into a state-of-the-art Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, LPJ-GUESS. These developments lay the ground work to use this tool to study complex interactions between the climate and the atmosphere.

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