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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

BiodivERsA Biodiversity dynamics and tipping points in our future freshwater ecosystems

Awarded: NOK 0.54 mill.


The accelerating loss of global biodiversity has affected species in all biomes and ecosystem types. However, recent reports suggest that freshwater species are lost at a rate higher than in any other biome (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005, Conventio n on Biological Diversity 2010). In addition to their major importance as natural habitats and sources of biodiversity at all levels ? genetic, species and ecosystems ? freshwater ecosystems also provide a wide array of ecosystem services for humans, incl uding harvestable goods (fish, fibre, fodder), water supply (drinking water, irrigation, etc), water storage (flood prevention) and sites for recreational activities. Further, lakes and wetlands are important in the carbon cycle dynamics with a high rate of carbon storage in some systems, while other are important conduits of CO2 and CH4. For this reason they have become increasingly important in the feedback processes in a climate change context. Even though freshwater ecosystems constitute Here we prop ose a trans-European research project addressing the ecological and social mechanisms behind tipping points, biodiversity loss and water resource deterioration in different climate change scenarios. We will use these scenarios as a basis for social-ecolog ical modelling and studies of both land use and management of ecosystem services for different regions in Europe to allow for proactive decision-making. The proposed project is organised in five strongly integrated work packages arranged under three umbre llas, including ?Past trends, early warnings and present situation?, ?Future scenarios? and ?The way back ? reversion from tipping points? Work package 1. Identification of patterns, structure and early warning signals WP 2:: Mechanistic understanding of biodiversity changes WP 2a: Effects of higher trophic levels on tipping points WP 3: Social-ecological integration WP 4: Reversion from tipping points WP 5. Post-doc program

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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling