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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Landwirtschaftlich genutzte Fläche

IPCC/IPBES workshop launched

Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other. Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together.

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Figure Total C Storage

Diverging land-use projections cause large variability in their impacts on ecosystems

Team members Anita Bayer, Almut Arneth and Peter Anthoni published a study in Earth System Dynamics demonstrating the large variability in ecosystem service indicators caused by diverging future land-use scenarios.

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KIT7IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Almut Arneth im Interview zum Henriette Herz-Scouting-Programm

Prof. Almut Arneth berichtet davon, wie sie als Humboldt-Scout bei der Talentsuche vorgeht.

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