Project leader: Juliano Cabral, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg

Climate change already has dramatic impacts on species and communities of species. So far, however, models have often only been used to investigate anthropogenic influences on individual species or on hypothetical communities of species. Therefore, it remains unexplored how climate change affects species communities in natural systems – both terrestrial and aquatic. The diversity and complexity of Bavarian landscapes is particularly suitable for researching how biodiversity reacts to climate and land use change.

In order to understand the potential effects of these interacting factors, the subproject investigates how aquatic and terrestrial species communities in Bavarian lakes and landscapes react to various changes in environmental factors. Spatially explicit niche and agent-based models for interacting plant and animal communities are being developed for this purpose. The simulated interactions between all relevant ecological processes result in the distribution and occurrence of plant and animal species within spatially structured communities. From the model results, biodiversity hotspots relevant to conservation are derived throughout Bavaria and displayed on maps.

How are species communities changing in climate and land use change? To answer this questions, in BLIZ models are created based on measured data.