Project groups

DATA AND MODELLING CENTRE

While the research activities 6 - 9 analyse the processes of biodiversity dynamics on all possible space and time ranges using empirical methods, the Data and Modelling Centre aims to take hold of this empirical knowledge and use it to develop models for the prediction of future, correlated shifts in biodiversity and climate. For this purpose, data collected by RA 6 - 9 are gathered and integrated as far as possible into a single database system with pre-defined quality standards. In addition, the collected empirical data are used to feed process-oriented, numerical models which, after extensive assessment, allow the creation of scenarios for the future. To ensure correct interpretations and realistic projections it is equally important to consider the feedback of a changing biodiversity on the climate system. The complexity of this feedback mechanism on climate, for instance on the water cycle or on energy balance, is characterised by an ever increasing degree of uncertainty with each further climate projection attempt. Therefore, we urgently need to reach an in-depth understanding of the relationship between climate and biodiversity.
To this end, biodiversity and biodiversity dynamics must be mapped onto climate-modelling systems for all relevant time-scales, and these mappings must be assessed in the light of retrospective climate simulations. While in RA 6 - 9, the range of selected taxa in key areas is statistically analysed against environmental parameters in order to draw prognoses about future range shifts, the Data and Modelling Centre seeks to develop a process-oriented method for these range-shift prognoses. In cooperation with the RAs, interconnected bio-climate modelling systems and integrated niche-migration modelling scenarios are developed to allow predictions about biodiversity and its impact on climate both at global and at regional levels.