The CT Biosphere will focus on the investigation of the interactions between biodiversity and processes related to hydrology, atmosphere and climate which are part of and altered by global change. Biodiversity and its function will be assessed in the regional, landscape and local context along broad environmental gradients as a basis for understanding impacts on and sustainable management of biodiversity under global change. Moreover, we will include external factors affecting biodiversity and the consequences of biodiversity change.


We propose to use the DPSIR (Driver - Pressure - State - Impact - Response; see Wieringa 1999, Tapio & Willamo 2008) scheme developed by the EEA as a basic framework to develop activities in research and monitoring. Within this framework potential targets of CT Biosphere are Pressure, State and Impact. Climate change and land use change will be the central pressures under investigation, causing a certain state of biotic and abiotic environmental conditions which have an impact on communities (change or loss of biodiversity) and the availability and sustainability of ecosystem services (e.g. pollination, nutrient cycling). The CT Biosphere will focus on the same set of pressures investigated in different systems (forest, grasslands, agro-ecosystems) and scales (from site to landscape). The used indicators within TERENO should be the same or closely related aiming at ecosystem services.


In order to increase synergistic effects and to be compatible to related programs and projects, it is advisable to tune parameters, indicators and the corresponding methods dealing with state and impact. This should be done explicitly with (a) the set of recommended parameters and methods developed by LTER-Europe (network of Long Term Ecosystem Research sites across Europe) and the methodological approach performed by the (b) biodiversity exploratories of the DFG. Moreover, we will consider (c) SEBI 2010 recommendations.


Due to the different foci of the participating Helmholtz centres and the manpower-demanding tasks related to CT Biosphere, we will take a simple and feasible approach adjusted to the resources of the centres. Basic tasks will be performed by all centres while some advanced tasks will only be carried by single centres. The common ground will be the aspects of land use change (forests, agro-forest, and energy plants) affecting nutrient cycling within agricultures and the stored soil carbon. Climate change can only be tackled using long-term data and long-term experiments which are the basis for modelling. This issue is covered by different approaches:

  • Helmholtz Centre Munich: simulation of global warming by experimental soil heating
  • UFZ: modelling of prospective species distributions; measurements of ring width and of isotope signals of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen in tree rings (recent state and temporal dynamics)

The selected parameters and indicators for state and impacts need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Sensitive to the selected pressures
  • Interactions between indicators, getting most out of it by combining indicators
  • Suitable for species pool analysis etc.

To spread the base for common data without a specific need for expert knowledge and to minimize the manpower passive sampling methods will be applied for selected issues.


  • Stefan Klotz (UFZ)
  • Mark Frenzel (UFZ)
  • Angela Lausch (UFZ)