Truly general understanding of ecological systems requires a broad perspective and thus the synthesis of knowledge across taxa, ecological processes, as well as spatial and temporal scales. The Biodiversity Exploratories was set up to coordinate research efforts so that data are collected according to a common study design and can therefore be directly linked and compared.
Since 2006 uniquely extensive biodiversity and ecosystem functioning/service datasets have been collected in 300 grassland and forest plots distributed in three regions in Germany. Within this large project, we perform Ecological Synthesis and try to understand:
a) how land use intensification affects biodiversity and species interactions by understanding the effect of land use on the assembly of multitrophic communities.
b) how biodiversity and land-use intensity affect ecosystem functioning and services by developing a more integrated understanding of multitrophic biodiversity-functioning relationships and by considering the role of biodiversity in promoting resilience.
Here you can find more information about Ecological Synthesis.
Header photograph taken by Martin Fellendorf ©.