Scientists at the University of Bayreuth are investigating how extreme weather events affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Together with their international partners, they study the local impacts of global climate change.
Although more than half of the world’s rivers have been altered by human activity and climate change, the floodplain ecosystems along the Naryn River in Kyrgyzstan remain largely untouched.
Floods do not stop at borders. That is why, funded by the EU, an international research consortium including the Floodplain Institute Neuburg of the Catholic Univerity Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU) has investigated the potential of the renaturization of Danube floodplains in reducing the impact of extreme floods. Having examined five pilote regions, the researchers concluded that floodplains have a verifiable effect in capping flood peaks and shifting water runoff.
Professor Christine Schmitt, geographer at the University of Passau, is part of an international research team that proves – in a “Nature” article – that tropical African mountain forests store more carbon than previously thought.
Temperatures on Earth have had a significant influence on the course of evolution. A particularly high number of new species of marine animals emerged after geologically short cooling periods that had already been preceded by a much longer cooling period. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the Universities of Bayreuth and Erlangen-Nuremberg in a new study that has now been published in the journal PNAS. By combining empirical data and computer simulations, they have found that the influence of rapid climate change on biodiversity is significantly influenced by longer-lasting climate trends in previous periods of the Earth’s history.
Geologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) joined forces with researchers from France, Berlin, and Portugal to investigate the extent to which the growth of belemnites and changes to their appearance depend on ecological reactions and whether these changes are evidence of environmental crises that could have a serious impact on the climate in future.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and fix it in biomass. Climate extremes such as droughts and heat waves lead to lower plant growth (primary production). This means that less CO2 is sequestered from the atmosphere. An international study led by researchers from the University of Augsburg shows that, especially in the northern latitudes, negative extremes in plant growth increased by 10.6 percent between 1982-1998 and 2000-2016. International research team publishes study in the journal ‘Nature Climate Change’, which also shows consequences for the carbon cycle as well as for agriculture
Paleontologists of the Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie (SNSB-BSPG) examined the remains of the long-necked dinosaur Patagosaurus fariasi (175 million years) from Argentina as part of a re-description. These investigations have great significance for the understanding of sauropod evolution. The researchers published their results in the scientific journal Geodiversitas.
Adding finely ground rock to ecosystems can stimulate CO2 uptake by increasing both the rate of weathering and plant productivity. In a new international study led by geographers from the Augsburg University, the proportion of increased CO2 uptake due to plant productivity was estimated for the first time and the results show that this biological effect is significantly higher than previously assumed.
The University of Bayreuth is establishing an interdisciplinary central laboratory on its campus, the Bayreuth Centre for Stable Isotopes in Ecology & Biogeochemistry (BayCenSI). The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the new facility from its "Core Facilities" programme for the next three years to the tune of € 560,000. Subsequent follow-up funding of € 315,000 is planned. BayCenSI builds on the expertise of the existing Laboratory of Isotope Biogeochemistry, and will be integrated into the Bayreuth Centre of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER).