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Sessions


The following thematic sessions have been approved:

Agriculture

1 Peatland rewetting and Paludiculture ▶
Full title: Peatland rewetting and Paludiculture
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Florian Jansen, Jürgen Kreyling, Wiltrut Koppensteiner

Contact: florian.jansen@uni-rostock.de

European mires have suffered in the past from peat extraction and drainage for traditional agricultural use. As a result, these drained areas have become a significant factor in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Germany, about 98% of all peatlands have been drained and despite covering only 7% of the total agricultural area, they account for 43% of the total GHG emissions from the agricultural sector. Land subsidence, release of nutrients and the habitat loss for specialized and now threatened flora and fauna are additional reasons for the rewetting of these drained peatlands. Rewetted peatlands can be managed for nature conservation or continued, but wet, agricultural production termed *paludiculture* with a multitude of approaches, target species, and intensities. Such innovative land use practises have to be developed and evaluated. The session will accomodate contributions that are dedicated to the sustainable use of peatlands. We invite studies addressing all types of peatland management, i.e. agriculture, forestry and nature conservation, their integration into GHG inventories and their impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity. Work on all spatial scales from laboratory to global level addressing biogeochemical and biological aspects and experimental and modelling studies are welcome. Implementation and efficiency of management practices depends not only on hydrogeology and climate but also on other regional factors. Therefore, we hope to host contributions from different geographical regions where peatlands are important including boreal, temperate and tropical peatlands.
2 IPM supports agricultural landscape transformation ▶
Full title: Role of IPM-based biodiversity measures in agricultural landscape transformation
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: M.Sc. Tiemo von Steimker, Dr. Tanja Rottstock, Dr. Stephanie I. J. Holzhauer, M.Sc. Bastian Häfner

Contact: tiemo.von.steimker@julius-kuehn.de

Agricultural landscapes are not only important to ensure food security. They also provide habitats and resources for a wide range of organisms thus supporting key ecosystem services such as pest control and pollination. However, landscape simplification and agricultural intensification, e.g. the use of chemical and mechanical inputs, put biodiversity at risk. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) takes a holistic approach and its general principles provide the basis for decision making for sustainable pest control. IPM offers the potential to maintain the productivity of the system while promoting and protecting biodiversity. Adapting field and landscape management strategies can support beneficial insects by reducing disturbance and providing additional food resources and (reproductive) habitats. Thus, IPM methods can be a valuable approach in a transformation process, and contribute to the increase of resilience in agricultural cropping systems and a reduction of chemical–synthetic pesticides. Although IPM is not a new concept, a further advanced, holistic and consistent consideration of agroecological concepts and enhancement of beneficials in agricultural practices, offers greater potential for transformation. A wide range of creative, regionally tailored policies and transdisciplinary actions involving scientists, farmers, and other stakeholders are needed to achieve a transformation towards more sustainable agricultural systems that support and secure biodiversity and ecosystem services. Specially designed monitoring and management strategies must support these actions. In joint efforts, trade-offs between ecological and economical demands have to be considered and met to ensure the acceptance and success of the transformation. In addition to the cost-effectiveness, the regional adaptation of measures and practicability must be considered to facilitate a long-term transformation, which addresses all aspects previously mentioned. In this session, speakers will discuss their experiences, progress, constraints and expectations in using and monitoring IPM measures to transform agricultural landscapes.
3 Agroforestry management: chances and trade-offs ▶
Full title: Above- and belowground structures and traits of agroforestry systems: chances and trade-offs
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Beyer, Friderike, Annighöfer, Peter

Contact: friderike.beyer@waldbau.uni-freiburg.de

Agroforestry systems exist in a large variety and complexity. As a result they can differ strongly in structures and traits. To gain a mechanistic understanding of dynamics inherent to the systems, interactions and potential trade-offs of above- and the belowground systems need to be understood. However, research on both above- and belowground structures and traits is still comparably scarce. This session aims at presenting recent findings of the often overlooked above- and belowground interactions that shape the functioning of agroforestry systems. By exploring innovative methodologies and recent data integration, we would like to advance the scientific foundation of agroforestry. We believe that a comprehensive understanding of both components is essential for optimizing agroforestry systems, influencing nutrient cycling, water-holding capacity, soil and plant health, as well as optimizing ecosystem services. As an imperative, research needs to identify sustainable practices such as optimizing water use efficiency, carbon sequestration, and adapting to changing soil conditions in order to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. We invite researchers, practitioners, and experts to contribute presentations that showcase their work in this field and present case studies to e.g. standardize research protocols and thus make results comparable. From novel research findings to practical applications, we seek diverse perspectives that contribute to the collective knowledge on the dynamics of agroforestry systems.
4 The biodiversity-energy nexus ▶
Full title: Ecological and social dimensions of future renewable energy systems
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Finn Rehling, Nora Adam

Contact: finn.rehling[at]nature.uni-freiburg.de

To reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and associated carbon emissions, the development of renewable energies must be accelerated. Developing renewable energies impacts large areas of land. If such projects are not designed and managed properly, detrimental consequences for biodiversity and the environment could take place. In addition, the development of renewables can compete with other types of land uses, including food and timber production. To simultaneously mitigate green-green and land use conflicts, concepts of spatial and environmental planning must integrate ecological and social perspectives. This will foster improved linkages among stakeholders across scales and enhance social acceptance of renewable energy development. To support this process, this session aims to unit researchers from diverse disciplines studying socio-ecological transitions of energy systems and biodiversity management, and will provide unique inputs from practitioners in the renewable sector. Therefore, the scope of this session is broad and provides a stage for interdisciplinary research on the biodiversity-energy nexus, including (1) green-green conflicts of developing renewable energies, (2) current limitations in technology, the regulatory framework and governance of sustainable energy transitions, and (3) paths forward towards multi-functional land use that addresses needs of biodiversity, renewables and society.

Computational / Methods

5 When theory meets data ▶
Full title: Bringing together theory and data to understand ecological communities
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Virginia Domínguez-García, David García-Callejas

Contact: domgarvir@gmail.com

In the face of unprecedented global change, unravelling the intricate responses of ecological communities becomes increasingly crucial for effective conservation and management strategies. To achieve a more comprehensive and mechanistic understanding of community dynamics, we recognize the imperative need to bridge the gap between advanced theoretical models and high-quality empirical data. However, studies combining these two ingredients remain scarce: for example, only a mere 4% of studies in ecological stability currently integrate both perspectives. The main reason behind this profound divide is that the methods that are more easily developed in a purely theoretical framework tend to be more difficult to implement in the field (and vice versa). Theoretical developments are often disconnected from the community-level properties that can be observed in the field and thus are exceedingly difficult to test in real conditions. From the other point of view, empirical studies are often designed without considering advanced ecological theory, leading to missed opportunities for positive feedback between theory and field studies. Historically, this has prevented the empirical testing of many theoretical advances. Likewise, field studies without strong connections to the theoretical developments in community ecology face the risk of becoming collections of interesting but isolated case studies. In order to bridge that gap, a truly interdisciplinary approach to studying ecological communities is needed, which can only come from a tight collaboration between theoreticians that develop new approaches, and field and empirical ecologists that design experiments able to generate high-quality data that allow the testing of these new theoretical models. By assembling a diverse group of researchers committed to this interdisciplinary endeavour, our symposium aims to showcase recent breakthroughs, shed light on emerging challenges, and foster collaborative discussions that bridge theory and empiricism in different areas of community ecology. We have already contacted a list of 8 researchers, well balanced in terms of gender and career stage, who agreed to participate in this session and are listed below.
6 Advancing ecology with deep learning ▶
Full title: Advancing ecology with deep learning
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Marc Grünig, Werner Rammer

Contact: marc.gruenig@tum.de

Artificial intelligence and deep learning have the potential to revolutionize ecological research by providing new ways to analyze and understand complex ecological systems. This session explores recent advances in applying deep learning to ecological questions. We welcome contributions demonstrating cutting-edge methods, including using neural networks in the context of ecological modeling, data mining to support biodiversity monitoring, or analyzing empirical data streams in novel ways. Moreover, we encourage contributions that improve our understanding of using deep learning to support conservation and decision-making. Of interest are also contributions that discuss the challenges, limitations, and ethical implications of using these approaches, as well as potential future directions for their use in ecological research. Overall, this session will offer a methods-focused overview of the current state of the field, highlighting the potential of deep learning to drive significant breakthroughs in ecological research.
7 Acoustic monitoring methods and applications ▶
Full title: The future of bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring across scales and ecosystems: Methods, challenges and applications
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Andrew J. Fairbairn, Dr. Michael Beckmann, Dominik Arend

Contact: andrew.fairbairn@tum.de

Goal of the session: Understanding the impact that humans are having on natural systems is one of the greatest challenges we face today. As such, there is a growing need to monitor biodiversity and ecosystems at spatial and temporal scales that have historically not been possible. Acoustic monitoring approaches offer a solution and are increasingly being used across terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. These techniques allow ecologists to study novel questions and gain new insights into ecological processes and interactions at previously unattainable spatial and temporal scales. Additionally, the growing demands of government monitoring schemes, such as Natura 2000, put great pressure on a limited number of experts. Bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring has the potential to reduce this pressure by supplementing or replacing components of traditional monitoring schemes or improving the scales at which sites are monitored. Further, the scalability of acoustic monitoring opens opportunities to track the impact of restoration projects or land-use regimes quickly. However, the increased scale, in turn, creates new challenges in terms of data management, processing, objectivity, transferability, scalability, and AI-based analysis workflows. Practitioners and researchers might not be familiar with the latest developments in AI. Whereas those developing the methods to analyse the unprecedented stream of data don’t necessarily understand the demands of ecological research. With this session, we would like to create a platform for interdisciplinary exchange on all aspects of bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring, including the development and application of methods, new and novel applications, and challenges. We would like to invite speakers from computer science, software and hardware developers and ecologists working in all realms to exchange ideas on shared challenges and opportunities. Diversity: The selection procedure for this session will prioritise contributions from non cis-male, non German speaking authors as well as from First Stage Researchers (R1) and Recognised Researchers (R2) as defined by the European Commission (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/europe/career-development/training-researchers/research-profiles-descriptors). The selection procedure will be made fully transparent for the GfÖ ethics board or any other relevant institutional body.
8 Good modeling practices for sustainable land use ▶
Full title: Can good modeling practices foster sustainable land management?
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Tatiane Micheletti, Marie-Christin Wimmler

Contact: tati.micheletti@gmail.com

Ecological models serve as invaluable tools for unraveling the complexity of ecological processes and can provide land managers with information to manage land sustainably, especially in the face of rapid global change. The spectrum of ecological model types available is broad, and their purposes range from understanding specific ecological phenomena, to predicting the response of ecological systems to biotic and abiotic change, to supporting decision-making related to land management. However, the integration of scientific advances into management decisions is often slow and remains more subjective than it should be. This is partly due to persistent challenges in validating, reproducing, predicting, and comparing ecological models, as well as to the reduced confidence in model outputs and their interpretation by practitioners. Several of these challenges can be mitigated and even overcome through the adoption of good modeling practices (GMPs) supported by established standards and principles, such as the ODD protocol for agent-based modeling and PERFICT for predictive ecological models. Yet, the adoption of GMPs and their implementation in ecological models is still in its infancy. This is true despite the growing demand for improved GMPs in ecology; published descriptions of models still often lack the necessary information for reproducibility and reusability, and often provide no or inoperable code. Therefore, in this session, we aim to explore the overarching characteristics of standards and principles that can help researchers achieve better modeling practices, discuss the challenges associated with adopting good modeling practices and how such challenges might be overcome, and provide examples that illustrate the potential of good modeling practices, particularly agent-based and predictive ecological models, to enhance sustainable land management efforts. We welcome contributions that discuss experiences and challenges in applying GMP from different areas of ecological modeling.

Ecosystem Ecology

9 Water in plants under climate change ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 2: Water in plants under climate change - From cells to ecosystems
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Richard Peters, Romy Rehschuh, Bernhard Schuldt

Contact: richard.peters@unibas.ch

Water is a key factor determining the structure and function of plants and ecosystems. Questions regarding plant and ecosystem water relations, the impact of water availability on plant growth and ecosystem biogeochemistry as well as impacts of future climatic changes such as increases in frequency and intensity of severe drought and heat events on ecosystem functions remain largely unanswered. This session brings together researchers investigating plant water relations across scales from organs to whole plant, stand and ecosystem level. We invite contributions covering plant hydraulics and processes related to or affected by water uptake via roots and leaves, transport, transpiration as well as their control mechanisms, from both observational studies and experimental manipulations. Of special interest is the effect of climatic extremes such as heat and drought on the water status of plants. This session aims at elucidating structural, functional and physiological responses of plants to their environments spanning from eco-physiological to flux based approaches from different fields. We plan to assemble a group of scientists who are willing to step out of their disciplinary comfort zone and to discuss emergent topics from organ to ecosystem levels in the scope of climate change.
10 Pollination under global change ▶
Full title: Pollinators and pollination services under global change
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Ingo Grass, Sara Leonhardt

Contact: ingo.grass@uni-hohenheim.de

The scientific session will address the multi-faceted impacts of global change on pollinators and the central role they play in sustaining crop production and wild plant reproduction. With the overarching goal of comprehensively understanding the threats of global change to pollinators and pollination services, and how these threats can be mitigated or reversed, the session will unravel the complex interactions of global change drivers, including habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and eutrophication, and their collective impacts on pollinators. Participants will gain insights into the specific threats posed by each factor and their synergistic effects, emphasizing the urgency of effective conservation action. The meeting will also explore the cascading consequences of global change on crop and wild plant pollination and provide insights into the changing dynamics of plant-pollinator communities through network studies and assessments of changes in community structure and functioning. In addition, the session will focus on restoration efforts that mitigate or reverse the negative impacts of global change on pollinators and pollination services. The session will also showcase the usage of modern methods in pollinator ecology, such as metabarcoding, artificial intelligence and remote sensing, as well as predictive models of pollinator dynamics. Participants will learn about innovative experimental approaches that use these technologies to unravel the complexity of pollinator responses to global change and gain a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In summary, the session will be a comprehensive exploration of the intricate interplay between global change and pollinators, examining impacts on both crops and wild plant ecosystems. By integrating state-of-the-art methods and predictive models, the session is expected to contribute valuable insights to the ongoing dialog on pollinator decline, pollination services and coping with global change.
11 Multiple stressors ▶
Full title: Multiple stressors in Global-Change Ecology
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Malte Jochum, Marie Sünnemann

Contact: malte.jochum@uni-wuerzburg.de

Global Change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. A lot of research focuses on this phenomenon with its drivers and consequences. Much of the existing research, however, tends to over-simplify Global-Change drivers such as climate change, land-use intensification, invasive species, and microplastic accumulation treating them as isolated factors in experiments or along observational gradients. This approach is problematic as these drivers rarely, if ever, occur in isolation in the real world. To effectively mitigate Global-Change impacts on both natural and managed ecosystems, we urgently need more studies testing effects of multiple, simultaneous stressors. Specifically, we need to i) embrace the multi-factored nature of real-world Global Change moving beyond single-factor approaches, and ii) be willing to explore novel approaches in multi-factor experimental and observational research. Our session aims to bring together researchers studying multiple stressors in different ecosystem types (terrestrial above- and belowground, freshwater, and marine systems) with experiments and observational approaches and in different parts of the world. There could e.g. be talks about classic field-experiment approaches, new laboratory setups, and novel ways of analysing long-term observational data. We believe that the 2024 GFÖ Conference will be the perfect setting to bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds who are at the forefront of multiple-stressor Global-Change research to exchange ideas and approaches. Such knowledge is pivotal for designing sustainable land-use strategies that are robust in the face of complex environmental challenges. Additionally, our session could boost the interest and motivation of the junior colleagues attending the meeting to pursue a career in multiple-stressor research because our topic lies at the heart of understanding the future of sustainable land use across ecosystems, landscapes and biomes. Considering the urgency of understanding and mitigating multi-factor Global Change, a session on this topic would be a vital addition to the 2024 GFÖ conference in Freising – and we would be very happy to host it.
12 Ecosystem response to repeated extremes ▶
Full title: Ecosystem response to repeated climate extremes - an integrated approach across organizational scales
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Qingqing Chen

Contact: chen.qingqing@senckenberg.de

Climate extremes are increasing in frequency, causing more repeated droughts and heavy rainfalls that threaten ecosystem stability and human societies. Ecosystem responses to single droughts have been studied extensively, but the majority of these studies focus on responses of different organisms in isolation. Ecosystem responses to repeated climate extremes are more complex than singular events due to that legacy from past extremes may influence ecosystem responses to subsequent extremes (i.e. legacy effects). So far, around 40 empirical studies have quantified legacy effects. But these studies focus mainly on responses of individual plant species, in particular crop plants, to repeated droughts. Therefore, we know little about how plant communities and organisms at higher trophic level (e.g. soil microbes, aboveground and belowground invertebrates) respond to repeated climate extremes. Understanding legacy effects of complex climate extremes at ecosystem level and the mechanisms may offer insights into increasing resistance of natural and agricultural systems to accelerating climate change. Studies of organisms across longevity and trophic levels are needed to mechanistically understand ecosystem responses to repeated climate extremes. These organisms are important components of ecosystems, they are interconnected, and they can impact one another through multiple pathways. Plants play a key role in ecosystem functioning, because plants form the base of food chains. Past studies have shown that plants can respond and adapt to repeated climate extremes from gene, epigenetics, physiology and morphology, species, and community levels separately. Similarly, organisms at higher trophic levels may directly respond and adapt to repeated extremes through adjusting metabolism, behaviors, and movements. Moreover, plants can impact organisms at higher trophic level through providing food, shelters, and changing local environments (i.e. bottom-up control). In turn, organisms at higher trophic level could impact plants through selective grazing and changing local environments (i.e. top-down control). Importantly, organisms could co-adapt. For instance, under a first drought, plants can change soil microbial community composition that in turn feedback to their own growth during a second drought. Thus, an integrated across-organizational approach is needed to study legacy effects of climate extremes to offer a holistic understanding. The goals of this session are: 1) Strengthen communication and collaboration among researchers working on legacy effects of climate extremes. 2) Develop better and more realistic methods and frameworks to quantify and understand legacy effects.
13 Plant responses to the environment ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 1: Plant responses to the environment across scales
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Benjamin Hafner, Emma Sayer, Thorsten Grams

Contact: benjamin.hafner@tum.de

Plant responses to the environment involve functional and morphological mechanisms at different evolutionary and ecological scales ranging from within species to among communities. To predict how plants respond to environmental change, we therefore need an integrated understanding of the interplay of the many traits involved in plant responses. This challenges us to elucidate how multiple 'species’ traits integrate into a whole-organism phenotype adjusting to its environment. The focus of this session is on the responses of individual plants, stands and ecosystems to their environment. This includes responses to both abiotic impacts such as radiation, temperature, elevated CO2, drought, and nutrient availability, as well as biotic interactions with other plants, animals, and microbiota. Contributions may also focus on anthropogenic impacts and disturbances, such as land use change, air pollution or climate change. We particularly welcome studies that integrate multiple scales or are relevant to ecosystem processes, functions and services. This may include experimental studies with mechanistic insights, observational or modelling studies, and work ranging from resource allocation and growth dynamics in individual organisms to whole ecosystems.
14 Lighting up the night-time landscape ▶
Full title: Lighting up the landscape: Effects of artificial light at night on natural, agricultural and urban landscapes
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Robin Heinen, Gregor Kalinkat, Eva Knop, Franz Hölker

Contact: robin.heinen@tum.de

Humans are increasingly lighting up areas of the world that not too long ago used to be dark. The most obvious example is the illumination of the nightly hours, through street and building lights, advertisement lights, and vehicle lights. In the past two decades it has become increasingly clear that aside from giving people a sense of safety and security, it also often has devastating impacts on natural systems, including humans. Although critically vulnerable taxa have been identified, both in aquatic and terrestrial systems, there are still many open questions that remain, for instance about taxa that have not been studied in this context in great detail. Also, consequences for communities and ecosystem functioning through direct and indirect pathways are often still unknown, including the behavioral and physiological mechanisms driving the changes. Another challenge that scientists face when studying artificial light at night, is that it is hard to get a clear view on the actual light levels that natural systems are exposed to in the landscape, i.e., the lightscape. On the one hand, this is caused by the fact that light levels change with distance from the light source, which creates a hypervariable light environment. On the other hand, it is also highly dynamic, as new lights are constantly installed in previously dark areas. Old lights are also regularly replaced by new lights, and with novel light technology, with trends toward higher-intensity lights. In this session, we aim to bring together speakers that investigate light levels in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes, focus on different study systems and taxa, both aquatic and terrestrial, and changes of communities and ecosystem functioning to provide an overview of the breadth of impacts this often overlooked form of pollution can have in ecosystems. Lastly, we also welcome input from applied scientists and industry to provide insights in potential solutions, and mitigation strategies that may pave the way to less light-dominated landscapes.
15 Root traits and ecological implications ▶
Full title: Root traits across biomes - links between belowground traits, species diversity and ecological implications
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Laynara F. Lugli, Lucia Fuchslueger, Nathaly Guerrero Ramirez

Contact: laynara.lugli@tum.de

Fine roots are a dynamic interface connecting plants and soils. They are pivotal in plants' water and nutrient uptake and transport, affecting soil organic matter formation and accumulation, mineral weathering and plant-soil microorganism interactions. In particular, many plants can adapt their fine root morphological physiological, biochemical and molecular features and facilitate inter-kingdom associations, such as interactions with root-associated bacteria or fungi, like mycorrhiza. Hence, the trait diversity of fine roots in an ecosystem can strongly influence ecosystem biogeochemistry (carbon and nutrient cycling) and biogeophysical processes (water and energy fluxes). Despite the undeniable significance of fine root traits in shaping plant and community functioning globally, a notable gap persists in our understanding of root ecology, especially compared to the wealth of existent knowledge for leaves and stems. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of root trait diversity, from individual species to the broader biome level, is crucial for predicting the impacts of resource shifts under future climatic conditions. In this session we want to bring together scientists investigating the diversity of root traits, root trait-trait relationships and inter-kingdom associations of individuals, species or community level. We are particularly interested in studies extending our understanding of the ‘root economic space’, linking root trait variation to ecosystem functions from different biomes around the Globe at local or regional scales, reporting on natural distributions, or adaptations to experimentally induced spatial and temporal resource availability gradients. Furthermore, we invite the presentation of innovative methodologies and promising approaches to foster the inclusion of root traits in future ecological research.
16 Beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning ▶
Full title: Beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning: Landscape homogenization, new indices and the potential for beta BEF research
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Kerstin Pierick, Oliver Mitesser

Contact: kerstin.pierick@uni-goettingen.de

Landscape homogenization is a major threat to both biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, especially affecting the turnover of species composition and provided ecosystem functions between local patches. In order to adequately predict biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of landscapes, it is essential to take the beta level into account. Recent developments in biodiversity indices offer new opportunities to decompose taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic gamma biodiversity into alpha and beta components. Analogously, beta ecosystem multifunctionality can be calculated. This represents novel possibilities for research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) on the beta level. With this session, we want to bring together the latest developments in new concepts and methodological approaches to quantify beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning with insights from diverse ecological research on the beta level. We hope to cover a broad range of biomes, intensively used to undisturbed systems, theoretical, observational and experimental approaches, and various taxonomic groups. Our potential speakers’ contributions already cover beta diversity research on birds, insects, seed plants, and multitrophic approaches, as well as study systems as different as tropical forests, oil palm plantations, temperate forests, and agricultural grasslands. We also want to bridge the gap to adjacent concepts like biotic homogenization, the meta community and meta food webs. Both contributions focusing on either beta diversity or beta ecosystem functioning, or contributions linking the two topics, are welcome.
17 Controlled environments in global change research ▶
Full title: Manipulation and control - the experimental foundation of global change research
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Dr. Bálint Georg Jákli, Dr. habil. Martin Schädler

Contact: balint.jakli@tum.de

Global change is transforming our ecosystems and will have a lasting impact far into the future. The development of adapted and sustainable land use and management practices requires an interdisciplinary understanding of the function, adaptability and resilience of ecosystems under changing climatic conditions. Essential for this understanding are scientific experiments in which specific environmental variables are deliberately manipulated and controlled. The experimental approaches can differ fundamentally, depending on whether the studies are conducted in the field or in controlled environments such as phytotron facilities, whether the focus is on long-term trends or extreme events, or whether individual parameters are modified incrementally or complex dynamic climate sequences are simulated. Furthermore, recent advancements in climate control, LED lighting, and lysimeter technology provide new possibilities to simulate complex conditions in controlled environments and, thus, to systematically complement field studies. The session is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of current and innovative methods for environmental manipulation and control in experimental research. Emphasis will be placed on multi-scale, interdisciplinary approaches to reveal interfaces and synergies between experiments conducted in the field and in controlled environments. The session welcomes contributions from a range of disciplines including experimental ecology, plant- and ecophysiology, agroecology, soil science, and other relevant areas. After the session, attendees should be provided with the chance to visit the TUMmesa phytotron facility.
18 Plant carbon allocation in a changing climate ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 3: Carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems under climate change
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Günter Hoch, Benjamin Daniel Hesse, Kyohsuke Hikino

Contact: guenter.hoch@unibas.ch

Climate change potentially alters carbon (C) relations of plants and ecosystems. This is related to the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 that alters plant and ecosystem stoichiometry with consequences for functioning. In addition, increasing temperatures and drought events can decrease C uptake and alter C allocation patterns at the plant and ecosystem level. Under extreme conditions this can cause disruptions of the plant and ecosystem C balances as well as tree mortality. However, plant and ecosystems are also able to acclimate to these changes, which might enhance plant and ecosystem resilience to climate change. Against this background, C allocation processes, including reserve formation, growth and respiration in plants and ecosystems have gained increasing attention in plant ecology. However, our current understanding of the controlling mechanisms and the ecological impact of changes in allocation – particular at the whole-plant to ecosystem level – is still surprisingly patchy. This also involves formation of C reserves and the re-allocation of stored C, as well as defense compounds and the C flux to symbiotic interactions. Moreover, the effect of increases in extreme events such as drought and heat stress and subsequent recovery, on the whole-plant C balance and on C allocation patterns, as well as the significance of C reserves for stress resistance and resilience of plants and possible acclimation responses are a persisting uncertainty. As a consequence, we cannot predict the C balance of terrestrial ecosystems with confidence, and are limited in our understanding of plant plasticity and possible physiological, anatomical and structural adjustments that may alter ecosystem resistance and resilience to climate change. In this session, we aim to bring together researchers working on all aspects of C allocation and storage in plants and ecosystem. In particular, we encourage contributions on quantitative analyses of phloem C transport in plants, C-allocation at the whole-plant and ecosystem level including stress and recovery responses, studies on the ecological significance of C reserves and allocation adjustments for stress resistance and acclimation to new climatic conditions.
19 BE – long-term biodiversity research platform ▶
Full title: Biodiversity Exploratories (BE): the value of long-term research platforms in the real world-land-use, biodiversity, ecosystem processes and services
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Markus Fischer, Nico Blüthgen, Marion Schrumpf, Marion Mehring

Contact: markus.fischer@unibe.ch

The Biodiversity Exploratories are a long-term and large-scale research platform that investigates the effects of land use on biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services since 2006. With its broad range of research disciplines, the interdisciplinary consortium (over 40 projects) covers the entire spectrum of biodiversity, from botany to soil ecology, climate and animals to social-ecological research. A major advantage of this platform is that all studies take place on the same 50 grassland and 50 forest plots in each of the three Exploratories Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün and Schorfheide-Chorin, which cover manifold land-use management types and intensities. This design, in which various aspects of the relationships between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem processes and services are studied through monitoring, comparative observation and large-scale experiments, enables well-founded conclusions and unique quantitative synthesis options. The session aims to present an overview of the most important research results of 18 years of biodiversity research from the BE and to illustrate the value of such long-term research platforms and provides future perspectives.
34 Wetland ecology and functioning ▶
Full title: Understanding and safeguarding wetland functioning and ecological networks
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Peter Müller, Kristin Ludewig, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Kai Jensen

Contact: mueller.p@uni-muenster.de

Wetlands and semi-terrestrial ecosystems provide a wide array of ecosystem services such as biodiversity support, flood protection, and long-term carbon sequestration. However, these ecosystems of high societal importance are being lost worldwide at alarming rates due to land use and climate change. At the same time, management and restoration actions are underway in many parts of the world to restore and safeguard these ecosystems. We believe that the scientific community working on specific wetland ecosystem types is often highly segregated, resulting in limited knowledge exchange and integration, and potentially slowing progress and innovation in the field of wetland ecology and management. The primary goal of our session is to bridge and integrate scientific research across diverse wetland ecosystems and involved disciplines. By convening scientists specializing in various wetland and semi-terrestrial ecosystems, including (but not limited to) coastal and estuarine marshes, floodplains, riparian forests, and peatlands, we aim to facilitate learning from each other and to foster collaboration to advance ecological understanding, as well as management and restoration strategies. We welcome presenters to share their insights on diverse aspects of wetland ecology, such as biotic interactions and food web dynamics, ecosystem connectivity, and carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes. We are particularly interested in contributions exploring synergies between biodiversity support and climate change mitigation, the predictability of restoration and management success, and the stability of ecological networks and ecosystem functioning in a changing climate.

Forest Ecology

20 Patterns and processes shaping forests ▶
Full title: Trends and advances in forest ecology: Ecological patterns and processes (AK Waldökologie)
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Lisa Hülsmann, Bettina Ohse, Jonas Stillhard

Contact: lisa.huelsmann@uni-bayreuth.de

Forests are one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. Characterized by the dominance of long-lived individuals, forests undergo change at relatively slow rates, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for ecological research. This session will cover ecological processes in forest ecosystems and their effects on ecological patterns at all spatial scales, including both local processes and large scale gradients. The session invites a broad range of studies dealing with issues related to forest ecology and natural forest dynamics. Possible topics are tree demographic processes, dynamics in community composition, tree species diversity, structure, equilibria and continuity in forest ecosystems, tree species characteristics, life history strategies and traits as well as tree species distributions. Studies may be based on (longitudinal) data from both unmanaged and managed forests at all spatial scales, but can also be based on simulations and dynamic forest models.
21 Forests in the climate crisis ▶
Full title: Reconciling forest conservation, forest protection and forest management in the climate crisis
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Rico Fischer, Nadine Bräsicke, Daniel Magnabosco Marra, Felix Storch

Contact: rico.fischer@julius-kuehn.de

Forests are essential for livelihood and provide multiple services, like climate protection, biodiversity, water availability or recreational and cultural values. In recent years, severe droughts, heat waves, insect infestations, diseases and forest fires have caused unprecedented high levels of forest damage, threatening the provision of ecosystem services. This new situation has sparked debates on how to address these challenges. The strategies range from “take no action” and leave forests alone, to active adaptation via gene flow or assisted migration. Since the late 19th century, conservationists and forest managers have taken opposite positions in debates on forest stewardship and the current crisis may have even fostered a certain dogmatism. Forest protection, whose task it is to prevent damage through preventive or curative actions, is now struggling with the ever-increasing insect infestation and complex diseases. From this perspective, the dramatic tree mortality and consequent changes that have occurred in our forests during the last few years call for synergistic cooperation and diversity of ideas, instead of dogmatic seclusion. In our session, we aim to discuss ideas, strategies and potential solutions to strengthen the resilience of forests against climate change and associated disturbances. We provide stage for a variety of contributions, ranging from integrated or precision pest and disease management via biological or biotechnical control measures, and all the way to fostering functional biodiversity as self-regulatory mechanisms of forest resilience. We invite contributions presenting new concepts and methods in monitoring (terrestrial and remote sensing) forest biotic damages, experimental or observational studies on the biology and ecology of host-pathogen interactions. We also encourage the introduction of new concepts for developing strategies for shaping resilient forests under ongoing climate change, in particular via forest ecosystem modelling.
22 Silviculture beyond the climax phase ▶
Full title: Silviculture beyond the climax phase: Adaptation strategies for a dynamic forest management in times of change (AK Waldökologie)
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Annighöfer, Peter, Seidl, Rupert

Contact: peter.annighoefer@tum.de

The traditional forestry and silviculture are facing new challenges due to climate change, increased disturbance events such as storms, pest infestations, and wildfires, as well as changes in land use. These developments are leading to dynamics that might require moving beyond the classic concepts of single-tree selection and late successional forest stages as management references. The session "Silviculture Beyond the Climax Phase" aims at present and discussing innovative, pragmatic, and generally new approaches and strategies aimed at strengthening the resilience and adaptability of forests and enabling sustainable management in times of change. The session can evolve around adaptive silvicultural concepts, silvicultural challenges in growing and regenerating new tree species, silvicultural concepts for early successional stages, management of a highly diversified tree species portfolio, and creating and maintaining structural diversity. All of what might be required for silviculture in the future. We invite case studies and other research, as well as practical applications and on-site experience to be shared. The session is intended as a platform for constructive dialogue on the future of forest management.
23 Northern ecosystems under change ▶
Full title: Understanding the impacts of climate and land Use change on tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Ramona Heim, Stefan Kruse

Contact: ramona.heim@uni-muenster.de

Tundra and boreal forest ecosystems are increasingly impacted by climate change and the growing influence of human activities. These high latitude ecosystems are tightly coupled with climate and the significant temperature increase at northern latitudes is thus expected to have strong impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem functioning. Key land use changes in these areas stem from the development of infrastructure for oil and gas extraction, forestry, or reindeer herding. Climate and land use changes in these regions can directly lead to alterations in the ecosystem structure and functioning but also to changes in disturbance regimes, which are for example increased fire activity and pest outbreaks. Far reaching consequences of climate and land use change in tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems can therefore encompass changes in vegetation, permafrost thaw, habitat reduction, changes in animal migration patterns, and ultimately loss of biodiversity. The consequences are not limited to the local ecosystem level, but they also have social and cultural dimensions related to indigenous and local communities. In addition, global consequences are to be expected, e.g. through greenhouse gases emissions from thawing permafrost, which form global feedback loops. A better understanding of the impacts of climate and land use changes and their interaction on ecosystems is essential for precise predictions but also for conservation, and management strategies. Solid and resilient conservation and management strategies are urgently needed to ensure the stability and ecosystem functioning of tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems. This session aims therefore to bring together the latest study results, visions, and perspectives on the topic of northern ecosystems under climate and land use change. We encourage contributions from all fields including modelling, remote sensing, experimental, survey, or conservation planning approaches.

Macroecology

24 Collection-based research in plant ecology ▶
Full title: Collection-based research in plant ecology
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Robert Rauschkolb, Jana Wäldchen, Paul Kühn

Contact: Robert.Rauschkolb@uni-jena.de

Plant collections provide an ecologically valuable resource and range from living collections in botanical gardens, to stored collections in seed banks and herbaria. More recently, global databases like GBIF also collected data from observations, which combine plant images with location data and timestamps. For many decades, collections have been used in particular to support taxonomic and systematic research. However, interest in using biological collections to capture, analyse, and understand plant or ecosystem responses to changes in land-use and climate during the last two centuries continues to grow. In addition, new methods have been developed and applied to extract information on morphological and chemical traits using non-destructive and cost-effective methods. In order to provide an overview on the state-of-the art in collection-based research and to further explore and discuss the potential of plant collections for ecological research, this session brings together scientists with different backgrounds. We specifically invite contributions that integrate plant collections in their research to (i) understand the responses of plant species or plant communities to environmental changes, (ii) to investigate ecosystem processes like plant-pollinator or plant-herbivore interactions and (iii) to develop methods to extract ecological information from data collections. In addition, the advantages and difficulties that arise when working with biological collections will be presented and discussed.
25 Globally coordinated experiments ▶
Full title: Insights from globally coordinated and distributed experiments and surveys
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Yujie Niu, Tyson Terry, Viviana F. Bondaruk

Contact: Yujie.Niu@uni-bayreuth.de

Globally coordinated experiments and surveys in ecology research are crucial to address the intricate challenges that span our planet's ecosystems and advance our understanding of global ecological patterns. To gain a comprehensive understanding on global change issues in ecosystems such as biodiversity loss, invasion and species redistribution, climate change and extremes, eutrophication, and land use changes, numerous coordinated initiatives (e.g., BugNet, DarkDIVNet, Dew, NutNet, DragNet, DroughtNet, GLORIA, HerbDivNet, MIREN, TraitDivNet) have been developed. Coordinated experiments not only enable scientists to explore diverse ecosystems and species to provide a holistic perspective on ecological dynamics, but they also foster collaboration by creating standardized methodologies that facilitate data integration for more robust statistical analyses. This collaboration broadens ecological research and fosters a globally mechanistic understanding of ecosystem functioning, aiding evidence-based conservation and sustainable resource management. Through the synthesis of ecological knowledge on a regional or global scale, this session seeks to provide a platform to exchange experiences, methodologies, and findings.
26 Macroecology ▶
Full title: Macroecology: investigating large-scale biodiversity patterns under global change (working group Macroecology)
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Alke Voskamp, Eva Katharina Engelhardt, Susanne Fritz

Contact: alke.voskamp@senckenberg.de

This session aims to bring together research on the responses of biodiversity to global change in the past, present and future. Halting biodiversity loss is one of the major global challenges faced by humanity in the 21st century and human wellbeing, economies and livelihoods all depend on biodiversity. Changes in land and sea use are a key driver of global biodiversity loss, which is characterized by the responses of individual species, species communities and ecosystems to ongoing environmental change. In line with the conference theme “The future of sustainable land use across ecosystems, landscapes and biomes”, we call for contributions focusing on the impacts of anthropogenic drivers on biodiversity loss, especially land-use change, but also other key drivers including climate change, pollution, and invasions. Understanding the mechanisms behind the changes caused by these and other drivers of biodiversity loss, is vital to develop solutions for a more sustainable future. We welcome submissions from all macroecological fields that investigate past, present, or future responses of biodiversity to environmental change, whether empirical, conceptual or methodological, as well as studies working at the intersections of macroecology with earth-system science, geosciences, paleobiology, geography, conservation, and social ecology. Studies should focus on a large spatial, temporal or taxonomic scale and investigate changes to biodiversity patterns including spatial patterns of species richness, community composition, and functional aspects. Consideration of diversity: Compiling the list of potential speakers we aimed for a balance between Germany-based and international scientists and a range from early career to established researchers as well as an even gender balance.

Nature Conservation

27 Insect declines ▶
Full title: New developments in the field of insect declines in Central Europe
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Roel van Klink, Jörg Müller

Contact: roel.klink@idiv.de

Insects are the most ubiquitous and diverse animals on the planet, providing multiple critical ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and decomposition) and disservices (e.g. crop pests and disease vectors), and forming a crucial part of terrestrial and freshwater food webs. Since 2017, the decline in the number and biomass of insects has been an important topic in ecology and conservation. Over the past few years, we have attained new insights, thanks to the publication of papers on previously poorly explored time series, resampling campaigns, causal analyses and data syntheses. It is now well established that there are fewer insects that there used to be, and that there are multiple causes for this phenomenon, all of which are related to human activities. However, the mechanisms behind most of the patterns observed are still unclear. In this session, we will bring together leading scientists to present the state-of-the-art in the field, to further our understanding of the patterns, processes, and causes of insect declines, and to stimulate new collaborations for future interdisciplinary research on this topic.
28 Conserving and restoring biotic interactions ▶
Full title: New perspectives on biodiversity conservation and restoration success through biotic interactions
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Elena Velado-Alonso, Felipe Librán-Embid

Contact: elena.velado@outlook.es

Ecosystem restoration schemes mostly focus on re-establishing vegetation and evaluate restoration success through the abundance of indicator species or richness indexes. Conservation measures have often concentrated on flagship species or iconic habitats, neglecting broader ecosystem dynamics such as gene flows, plant-animal interactions or trophic relationships. However, fundamental ecosystem processes, such as energy flows, nutrient cycling, pollination or seed dispersal depend on the maintenance or rehabilitation of biotic interactions. Thus, assessing biotic interactions could help to evaluate biodiversity conservation and restoration success from a functional perspective. Species interactions also serve as crucial indicators to monitor systemic properties such as ecosystem stability and sensitivity to environmental changes. In this session, we propose to address biotic interactions in restoration and conservation approaches across different trophic levels, geographical scales and ecosystem types to promote ecosystem multifunctionality and guide future environmental conservation and restoration policies. We also welcome socio-ecological approaches that help to better understand the success of conservation and restoration initiatives through species interactions. Considering the 2021–2030 Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the European Nature Restoration law and European Biodiversity Strategy this session covers a topic of high importance to tackle current societal challenges. Effective and scalable approaches are required to maintain and restore ecosystem multifunctionality. Ecological interactions can provide a new perspective to promote biodiversity and ecosystem resilience for a sustainable future.
29 Evaluating protected areas for biodiversity ▶
Full title: Evaluating protected areas for biodiversity conservation currently and in the future
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Joan Casanelles Abella, Bertrand Fournier

Contact: joan.casanelles@tum.de

Biodiversity conservation has become a hot topic in ecological research. The last international agreements and conventions (e.g., COP15, CBD, EU Biodiversity strategy) are aiming at increasing the extent of protected areas. However, they also have stressed main pressing needs to be resolved to achieve such conservation goals. Two main ones are (1) performing assessments on the success of conservation actions, and (2) developing tools to aid planning of protected areas under current and future conditions of ecological and social change. The goal of this session is to present ongoing advances in the field of biodiversity conservation with a focus on tools to plan protected areas and evaluate challenges, regardless of the focal taxa, geographic region or the spatial scale considered.
30 Temporal biodiversity change ▶
Full title: Temporal biodiversity change analyses to support sustainable land management and conservation
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Thore Engel, Klára Klinkovská, Eva Katharina Engelhardt, Martin Friedrichs-Manthey

Contact: thore.engel@idiv.de

Systematic and statistically meaningful time series data on biodiversity are essential in developing efficient conservation strategies and informing sustainable land management practices. Yet, such data is vastly unavailable for many species, assemblages, and regions of the world. Here, we aim at bringing together researchers and practitioners to discuss the use of biodiversity data from structured monitoring and opportunistic recordings, and ideally time series data to inform conservation management and action. Presentations are welcome from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical, experimental and applied research. We look for contributions for all taxon groups or habitat types and any type of approach, ranging from observational data to modeling. We are particularly interested in contributions focusing on the mobilization of so-far untapped data, development of methods for data analysis and synthesis, and the integration of systematic and opportunistic data from a wide range of sources, including nature conservation societies, federal and state agencies and citizen science platforms worldwide. We also welcome contributions on how different approaches might inform decision makers and policies. We welcome both oral and poster presentations, and encourage contributions from early career researchers. We look forward to a lively and engaging discussion in this important topic.
31 Interdisciplinary biodiversity research ▶
Full title: The future of biodiversity in interdisciplinary research
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Margarita Hartlieb, Johanna Berger

Contact: margarita.hartlieb@tu-darmstadt.de

The loss of biodiversity, such as the decline of insects, is an anthropogenic issue, and research for its protection concerns more than just biologists. It poses a significant risk to the environment and humanity, with drivers such as changes in land use, direct exploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species. In ecology, despite its broad scope, interdisciplinarity is often understood to mean collaboration with other areas of the natural sciences. However, the future and transformation of sustainable land-use across ecosystems, landscapes, and biomes requires interdisciplinary work between natural sciences with humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for addressing the complex challenges of the modern world and driving innovation and progress across various fields, but also because biodiversity and human health cannot be thought of separately. Despite the additional effort involved in collaborative projects, these enhanced connections can lead to a social gain and a more effective way to reduce the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. In an interdisciplinary context, researchers can learn from each other and find ways to think about social and environmental issues together to find holistic solutions. The aim of this proposed session is to bring scientists together, who are working in biodiversity research in an interdisciplinary way and would like to present interdisciplinary research projects between natural sciences with humanities or social sciences. Discussions in this session should be an inspiration to more interdisciplinary research and future solutions for biodiversity.
32 Wildlife in the Anthropocene ▶
Full title: Emerging challenges in wildlife ecology and management in the Anthropocene
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Wibke Peters, Hendrik Edelhoff

Contact: wibke.peters@lwf.bayern.de

This session focuses on the pressing topic of how land use and other human induced changes affect wildlife species in multi-use landscapes. We will address the challenges faced by wildlife in adapting to the changes brought about by human activities, including climate change. Yet, while some species will be negatively affected, others could benefit. In this session speakers should illustrate diverse ways in which species, from large mammals to birds, have been influenced. Key topics range from habitat alteration, such as agricultural expansion, reforestation efforts, fragmentation or urbanization, as well as recreation and hunting. Research presented may cover various methodological approaches drawn from e. g. movement ecology, species distribution modelling, nutritional ecology, etc. Thus, also advances in technologies like GPS tracking, satellite imagery, camera traps or genetic studies and how they can inform our understanding of wildlife and human interactions may be addressed. Finally, traditional approaches to wildlife management could no longer suffice in the face of these changes. Speakers may discuss how wildlife management practices need to adapt to ensure a sustainable balance between the needs of wildlife and the demands of human society. By bringing together different perspectives and the latest research, we hope to encourage discussions on effective wildlife management strategies in the Anthropocene era.
33 Grassland conservation and restoration ▶
Full title: AK Nature Conservation and Restoration Ecology. Trends in grassland conservation and restoration
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Johannes Kollmann, Juliane Vogt

Contact: johannes.kollmann@tum.de

For many years, grasslands have been in the spotlight of conservation and restoration. Grasslands host a high biodiversity on relatively small areas and they support numerous ecosystem services, among them pollination, erosion control and carbon sequestration. Unfortunately, the abundance and quality of grasslands are declining in many regions, mostly due to intensification or abandonment of agricultural management. This sparks interest in grasslands as part of green infrastructure, in reseeding of grass-dominated swards, plant–insect interactions, ecosystem engineering of site conditions, and the socioecological framework for successful initiatives. Moreover, delayed responses of grassland communities to changed site conditions are expected in terms of ‘extinction debt’ and ‘restoration credit’. Thus, this session aims at compiling the latest knowledge on synergies and trade-offs between grassland conservation and restoration.
35 Diverse perspectives on biodiversity monitoring ▶
Full title: Perspectives on biodiversity monitoring are diverse
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Johannes Rüdisser, Ulrike Tappeiner, Davnah Urbach

Contact: Johannes.Ruedisser@uibk.ac.at

Amateurs love butterflies; politicians call them pollinators; ecologists claim they are suitable biodiversity indicators. There are as many different perspectives on why biodiversity matters as there are on biodiversity monitoring: from successfully integrating citizen scientists in data collection, to the scientific analysis of drivers of biodiversity changes, to the application of ‘pollinator indicators’ to evaluate the success of the envisaged EU nature restoration law. Biodiversity monitoring is a key tool for documenting ecological changes, identifying trends in these changes and their causes, and identifying evidence-based measures to protect both, species and their habitats. Well-designed biodiversity monitoring is an indispensable prerequisite for evidence-based decision-making towards sustainable land use in a fast-changing world. This session deals with differing stakeholder perspectives on biodiversity monitoring, with a focus on method development and quality criteria for implementing comprehensive biodiversity monitoring. Our goal is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists to achieve an overview of existing approaches in biodiversity monitoring and discuss what novel monitoring approaches are needed to deliver scientific and quantitative information about the state and trends of various biodiversity aspects in social-ecological systems and best inform environmental policies.

Remote Sensing

36 Remote sensing ▶
Full title: Remote sensing of biodiversity
[ Primary Research Area: Remote Sensing ]

Chairs: Hannes Feilhauer, Antonia Ludwig, Sebastian Schmidtlein

Contact: hannes.feilhauer@uni-leipzig.de

Earth observation (EO) data are increasingly used to assess biodiversity and related ecosystem properties. Due to the spatially continuous satellite data availability, EO is therefore also considered a core tool to scale local biodiversity assessments. This is even more important in the light of intensively managed landscapes threatened by biodiversity loss. Related studies make use of various sensors and data to model and map species, functional or ecosystem diversity or to develop indicators of such properties. The employed approaches are manifold and include, for example: artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques as well as physical model inversions which enable the retrieval of leaf and plant traits from spectral data and provide insights in functional diversity aspects. The texture of high resolution imagery is frequently exploited towards information on species or ecosystem diversity. Various approaches aim to develop EO-based indicators of essential biodiversity variables that are designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of biodiversity on different spatial scales. These approaches all have in common that their development is still ongoing research and comprehensive assessments of their capabilities and limits are urgently needed. This session hence aims to give an overview on recent developments in remote sensing of biodiversity and aims to foster the discussion of this topic among interested users. We kindly invite all contributions that rely on remote sensing for spatio-temporal analyses of biodiversity and ecosystem properties across all spatial scales, sensor systems and biomes.
37 Remote sensing across scales ▶
Full title: Remote sensing for understanding sustainable land use across scales
[ Primary Research Area: Remote Sensing ]

Chairs: Cornelius Senf, Hanna Meyer, Martin Ehbrecht, Katja Kowalski

Contact: cornelius.senf@tum.de

Understanding how global land-use change and unsustainable land management impact biodiversity and ecosystem function requires consistent data across spatial and temporal scales. Remote sensing can help filling this data gap, but development of targeted methods applicable in ecology and ecosystem science are needed. We call for contributions that either develop new methodological approaches or apply existing approaches to current challenges in understanding sustainable land use, including agriculture, forestry, nature conservation and urban planning. Methods include both close-range and airborne/spaceborne sensors systems, ranging from local cameras over terrestrial laser scanning, uncrewed aerial vehicles to satellites. We in particular encourage submissions integrating sensors across spatial and temporal scales.

Society

38 Arts and Ecological Sciences ▶
Full title: Fostering collaboration between ecological sciences and the arts: opportunities and challenges
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Florian D. Schneider, Monika Egerer, Oliver Szasz, Somidh Saha

Contact: florian.schneider@isoe.de

The session will showcase collaborations of ecologists with artist and illustrate the potentials of art-science collaborations for the ecological sciences. In recent years, art-science collaborations are being explored as a mode for science communication and to facilitate transformative change towards sustainability. Furthermore, this transdisciplinary approach has the potential to produce novel methodological and conceptual insights from the mutual exchange of perspectives with artistic research on nature and human-nature relationships. Time will be reserved for a panel discussion with the speakers, providing a platform for conceptual discussions on the potentials (e.g. for public outreach, science communication, and for informing the ecological research perspective) and challenges (e.g. time requirements, transdisciplinary communication, budget, logistics) for art-science collaborations in ecology. The panel discussion may be cast into a perspectives paper for Basic and Applied Ecology, to motivate a continued discussion in the GfÖ community. The session will include artistic visuals and auditory ‚soundscapes‘ within the speaker breaks. Actual art exhibitions and performances will emanate from the session into the conference program (submitted separately as lunchtime-sessions). With this session, we are building upon positive experiences with artistic interventions at the joint ecology conference in Metz 2022 and the GfÖ Annual Meeting in Leipzig, 2023, and pick up the thread from a session on art-science projects in Metz, 2022.
39 Biodiversity and citizen science ▶
Full title: Biodiversity and citizen science
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Birte Peters, Aletta Bonn

Contact: birte.peters@idiv.de

Biodiversity change is happening at unprecedented rates, and reliable, large-scale data across space and time are needed for monitoring and to inform conservation and restoration planning and management. To address significant gaps in taxonomic and geographic coverage, biodiversity research has a long history of collaborating with volunteers in natural history societies and citizen science. In this session, we want to explore how innovative citizen science approaches, data integration of structured and opportunistic data, and the use of novel technologies as well as social media for citizen science recording can serve trend and attribution analysis as well as informing solutions for conservation and restoration in different ecosystems. In addition, we hope to gain insight how citizen science could foster nature connectedness and ecological knowledge, skills, as well as social benefits and collective action to conserve biodiversity.
40 Bridging the gap between knowledge and action ▶
Full title: Bridging the gap between knowledge and action: applying biodiversity knowledge in society, policy and economy
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Arne Cierjacks, Leonie Fischer, Nico Beier

Contact: arne.cierjacks@htw-dresden.de

Despite and numerous strategies and growing societal awareness, the loss of biodiversity continues unimpaired, underscoring the urgent need for taking real action for biodiversity in society, policy and economy. However, there often remains a clear gap between biodiversity knowledge and its transfer into practice, as this commonly exceeds the scope of scientific endeavors. This session aims at showcasing and discussing successful approaches of biodiversity management and governance. Mainstreaming biodiversity across different economic and societal sectors requires efficient conservation and restoration measures along with robust stakeholder involvement at various levels. In particular, scientists should interact with authorities, land users, corporations, and media for building strong networks based on scientific expertise and societal consensus. To address a wide range of biodiversity aspects, diverging environments such as natural, rural, and urban-industrial habitats should be taken into account. The compilation of best practice examples for mainstreaming biodiversity within this session may demonstrate how scientific knowledge can contribute to safeguard biodiversity and species conservation.

Soil

41 Soil food webs ▶
Full title: Illuminating the black box of soil food webs across ecosystems, scales, and approaches
[ Primary Research Area: Soil ]

Chairs: Olga Ferlian, Anton Potapov, Andrei Zuev

Contact: olga.ferlian@idiv.de

Soils food webs process most of the organic matter and channel most of the energy in terrestrial ecosystems, supporting numerous functions and services vital to our society. Soil food webs encompass tens of thousands of morphologically and functionally diverse species, living in a highly heterogeneous environment, small-sized and cryptic. Thus, the study of the ‘black box’ underneath our feet is especially difficult compared to other habitats. This leads to a limited knowledge on feeding interactions in soil and, consequently, the structure of soil food webs. In this session, we try to summarize recent advances in this field by answering the following questions: How to predict who feeds on whom in soil food webs? What are the basal resources in soil food webs and how do they differ across ecosystems? How are soil food webs structured by land-use and other (global change) drivers? How do soil food webs regulate soil functioning? To answer these questions, this session will host contributions reporting novel knowledge on the trophic interactions between resources and consumers, predators and prey, and across entire food webs in soil. Our focus topic is to understand how soil food webs vary in space and time across ecosystems and scales. We welcome a wide range of approaches, such as molecular and isotopic tools, energy flux, food-web modeling, and functional traits in laboratory and field experiments as well as in observational studies. We look at the entire spectrum of soil organisms, including microorganisms, animals, and plants, from single species to soil communities. We would like to show how we can build on current findings to advance the field in the future, and how we can apply the knowledge to understand the consequences of global change.

Urban Ecology

42 Social-ecological value of urban environments ▶
Full title: Urban biodiversity: how to assess the social-ecological value of urban environments
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Marco Moretti, Monika Egerer, Joan Casanelles-Abella

Contact: marco.moretti@wsl.ch

Urbanization has been identified as a significant contributor to global biodiversity loss and biotic homogenization. However, urban environments also present an opportunity to support biodiversity, ecological processes, and human well-being through the implementation of green and blue infrastructure. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) urges cities to “enhance green spaces and urban planning for the benefit of both biodiversity and residents” by 2030. Despite these recommendations, there is a lack of comprehensive assessment tools, analytical frameworks, and indicators of urban biodiversity to estimate the social-ecological values and qualities of different urban environments. Although such tools exist for natural ecosystems, they are still lacking in urban ecosystems. This gap hinders our ability to set goals for specific interventions and assess their success in countering biodiversity loss and related services. The main goal of the session is to foster discussions that will contribute to the development and implementation of effective indicators to evaluate and enhance urban biodiversity. By defining clear goals for ecological interventions in urban environments and establishing effective monitoring systems, we can ensure that cities play a crucial role in countering biodiversity loss and promoting the well-being of both nature and humans. The session will also foster discussion on creating collaborative systematic efforts to e.g., monitor biodiversity in cities worldwide.
43 Diverse perspectives on urban biodiversity ▶
Full title: Collaborative insights: A transdisciplinary perspective on urban biodiversity projects and lessons learnt
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Nadja K. Simons, Valentin Klaus, Tanja Straka

Contact: nadja.simons@uni-wuerzburg.de

In this session, we want to collect and discuss insights and experiences from urban biodiversity projects. Presentations can refer to any type of habitat (gardens, green spaces, forests or others) that are located in an urban context or include a comparison with peri-urban or rural areas. The session is meant to provide a platform where practitioners and researchers can present and discuss transdisciplinary projects on urban biodiversity. The focus will be on challenges and effective strategies, as well as on the approaches and methods that were decisive for the success of the projects. This may include encounters and lessons learned from transdisciplinary collaboration with different partners or organisations, the acquisition of funding, the implementation of new approaches or the communication with the general public. In relation to the conference theme, we would like to highlight innovative ideas and solutions for sustainable urban land use. As sustainability encompasses many dimensions, from environmental to economic to social, we invite presenters to include such different perspectives on sustainability in their contributions.
44 Urban ecology meets urban planning ▶
Full title: Urban ecology meets urban planning - using ecological insight to increase people-nature interactions
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Wolfgang Weisser, Thomas Hauck

Contact: wolfgang.weisser@tum.de

Cities are the place where most humans work and live. Cities are therefore also the place where humans can experience nature in their day-to-day life. While greening cities and allowing for more human-nature interactions is now a major aim of governments worldwide, there is a lack of tangible solutions that can be integrated into established urban planning procedures. This is because ecology has only recently started to understand what species can live in a city under what circumstances, and because urban planning has traditionally focused on planning for humans only. This session will start with an introductory 30min talk by Thomas Hauck (TU Vienna) on “What urban planners need from urban ecologists”. The session welcomes talks focusing on one or more of the following topics: a) integration of ecological knowledge into urban planning and design (both conceptual approaches as well as practical examples), b) the role of urban form for the occurrence of species in the city, c) the role of urban form and urban greening for people-nature interactions. In addition to the session, there will be a workshop on how ecology could contribute better to the planning of green cities.
45 Urban restoration ▶
Full title: Potential and challenges of urban restoration
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Leonie K Fischer, Somidh Saha, Brenda Maria Zoderer, Valentin Klaus

Contact: leonie.fischer@ilpoe.uni-stuttgart.de

Urban habitats for flora and fauna are found within all European countries, with differences and commonalities in each specific local context. Yet, urbanization is one of the most severe threats to biodiversity, and by 2030 about 80% of the European population will live in urban areas. Therefore, many people will rely on urban greenspaces as places for their cultural values, including health benefits. Greenspace planning in cities could thus follow a dual strategy, which counteracts biodiversity loss (as much as possible) and facilitates human wellbeing. Up to now, many concepts and projects on improving the ecological quality of urban habitats have been developed. Yet, urban areas are highly dynamic environments, and approaches assessing and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem functions/services must be adapted to the specific anthropogenic context. Moreover, it is crucial to take the urban population and their specific needs and plural values into account, when developing or changing urban green spaces. Thus, considering urban site conditions (e.g. parks, streets, meadows, cemeteries, woodlands), ecological processes, habitat connectivity, land use, and meeting the requirements of urban residents and other stakeholders represents a special challenge for approaches such as ecological restoration projects in cities. The aim of the special session is to present research on urban habitat restoration, including practical approaches such as biodiversity management, the restoration of natural processes through rewilding, or the inclusion of species of special conservation concern within urban greenspaces. In particular, we want to discuss challenges and opportunities in reducing potential trade-offs and promoting ecological values of urban green infrastructure for the benefit of both people and nature in cities. Bringing together these aspects will make the session a place for interdisciplinary discussions within a framework of ideas and projects to create biodiverse and socially-inclusive environments in cities.

1 Peatland rewetting and Paludiculture ▶
Full title: Peatland rewetting and Paludiculture
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Florian Jansen, Jürgen Kreyling, Wiltrut Koppensteiner

Contact: florian.jansen@uni-rostock.de

European mires have suffered in the past from peat extraction and drainage for traditional agricultural use. As a result, these drained areas have become a significant factor in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Germany, about 98% of all peatlands have been drained and despite covering only 7% of the total agricultural area, they account for 43% of the total GHG emissions from the agricultural sector. Land subsidence, release of nutrients and the habitat loss for specialized and now threatened flora and fauna are additional reasons for the rewetting of these drained peatlands. Rewetted peatlands can be managed for nature conservation or continued, but wet, agricultural production termed *paludiculture* with a multitude of approaches, target species, and intensities. Such innovative land use practises have to be developed and evaluated. The session will accomodate contributions that are dedicated to the sustainable use of peatlands. We invite studies addressing all types of peatland management, i.e. agriculture, forestry and nature conservation, their integration into GHG inventories and their impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity. Work on all spatial scales from laboratory to global level addressing biogeochemical and biological aspects and experimental and modelling studies are welcome. Implementation and efficiency of management practices depends not only on hydrogeology and climate but also on other regional factors. Therefore, we hope to host contributions from different geographical regions where peatlands are important including boreal, temperate and tropical peatlands.
2 IPM supports agricultural landscape transformation ▶
Full title: Role of IPM-based biodiversity measures in agricultural landscape transformation
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: M.Sc. Tiemo von Steimker, Dr. Tanja Rottstock, Dr. Stephanie I. J. Holzhauer, M.Sc. Bastian Häfner

Contact: tiemo.von.steimker@julius-kuehn.de

Agricultural landscapes are not only important to ensure food security. They also provide habitats and resources for a wide range of organisms thus supporting key ecosystem services such as pest control and pollination. However, landscape simplification and agricultural intensification, e.g. the use of chemical and mechanical inputs, put biodiversity at risk. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) takes a holistic approach and its general principles provide the basis for decision making for sustainable pest control. IPM offers the potential to maintain the productivity of the system while promoting and protecting biodiversity. Adapting field and landscape management strategies can support beneficial insects by reducing disturbance and providing additional food resources and (reproductive) habitats. Thus, IPM methods can be a valuable approach in a transformation process, and contribute to the increase of resilience in agricultural cropping systems and a reduction of chemical–synthetic pesticides. Although IPM is not a new concept, a further advanced, holistic and consistent consideration of agroecological concepts and enhancement of beneficials in agricultural practices, offers greater potential for transformation. A wide range of creative, regionally tailored policies and transdisciplinary actions involving scientists, farmers, and other stakeholders are needed to achieve a transformation towards more sustainable agricultural systems that support and secure biodiversity and ecosystem services. Specially designed monitoring and management strategies must support these actions. In joint efforts, trade-offs between ecological and economical demands have to be considered and met to ensure the acceptance and success of the transformation. In addition to the cost-effectiveness, the regional adaptation of measures and practicability must be considered to facilitate a long-term transformation, which addresses all aspects previously mentioned. In this session, speakers will discuss their experiences, progress, constraints and expectations in using and monitoring IPM measures to transform agricultural landscapes.
3 Agroforestry management: chances and trade-offs ▶
Full title: Above- and belowground structures and traits of agroforestry systems: chances and trade-offs
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Beyer, Friderike, Annighöfer, Peter

Contact: friderike.beyer@waldbau.uni-freiburg.de

Agroforestry systems exist in a large variety and complexity. As a result they can differ strongly in structures and traits. To gain a mechanistic understanding of dynamics inherent to the systems, interactions and potential trade-offs of above- and the belowground systems need to be understood. However, research on both above- and belowground structures and traits is still comparably scarce. This session aims at presenting recent findings of the often overlooked above- and belowground interactions that shape the functioning of agroforestry systems. By exploring innovative methodologies and recent data integration, we would like to advance the scientific foundation of agroforestry. We believe that a comprehensive understanding of both components is essential for optimizing agroforestry systems, influencing nutrient cycling, water-holding capacity, soil and plant health, as well as optimizing ecosystem services. As an imperative, research needs to identify sustainable practices such as optimizing water use efficiency, carbon sequestration, and adapting to changing soil conditions in order to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. We invite researchers, practitioners, and experts to contribute presentations that showcase their work in this field and present case studies to e.g. standardize research protocols and thus make results comparable. From novel research findings to practical applications, we seek diverse perspectives that contribute to the collective knowledge on the dynamics of agroforestry systems.
4 The biodiversity-energy nexus ▶
Full title: Ecological and social dimensions of future renewable energy systems
[ Primary Research Area: Agriculture ]

Chairs: Finn Rehling, Nora Adam

Contact: finn.rehling[at]nature.uni-freiburg.de

To reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and associated carbon emissions, the development of renewable energies must be accelerated. Developing renewable energies impacts large areas of land. If such projects are not designed and managed properly, detrimental consequences for biodiversity and the environment could take place. In addition, the development of renewables can compete with other types of land uses, including food and timber production. To simultaneously mitigate green-green and land use conflicts, concepts of spatial and environmental planning must integrate ecological and social perspectives. This will foster improved linkages among stakeholders across scales and enhance social acceptance of renewable energy development. To support this process, this session aims to unit researchers from diverse disciplines studying socio-ecological transitions of energy systems and biodiversity management, and will provide unique inputs from practitioners in the renewable sector. Therefore, the scope of this session is broad and provides a stage for interdisciplinary research on the biodiversity-energy nexus, including (1) green-green conflicts of developing renewable energies, (2) current limitations in technology, the regulatory framework and governance of sustainable energy transitions, and (3) paths forward towards multi-functional land use that addresses needs of biodiversity, renewables and society.
5 When theory meets data ▶
Full title: Bringing together theory and data to understand ecological communities
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Virginia Domínguez-García, David García-Callejas

Contact: domgarvir@gmail.com

In the face of unprecedented global change, unravelling the intricate responses of ecological communities becomes increasingly crucial for effective conservation and management strategies. To achieve a more comprehensive and mechanistic understanding of community dynamics, we recognize the imperative need to bridge the gap between advanced theoretical models and high-quality empirical data. However, studies combining these two ingredients remain scarce: for example, only a mere 4% of studies in ecological stability currently integrate both perspectives. The main reason behind this profound divide is that the methods that are more easily developed in a purely theoretical framework tend to be more difficult to implement in the field (and vice versa). Theoretical developments are often disconnected from the community-level properties that can be observed in the field and thus are exceedingly difficult to test in real conditions. From the other point of view, empirical studies are often designed without considering advanced ecological theory, leading to missed opportunities for positive feedback between theory and field studies. Historically, this has prevented the empirical testing of many theoretical advances. Likewise, field studies without strong connections to the theoretical developments in community ecology face the risk of becoming collections of interesting but isolated case studies. In order to bridge that gap, a truly interdisciplinary approach to studying ecological communities is needed, which can only come from a tight collaboration between theoreticians that develop new approaches, and field and empirical ecologists that design experiments able to generate high-quality data that allow the testing of these new theoretical models. By assembling a diverse group of researchers committed to this interdisciplinary endeavour, our symposium aims to showcase recent breakthroughs, shed light on emerging challenges, and foster collaborative discussions that bridge theory and empiricism in different areas of community ecology. We have already contacted a list of 8 researchers, well balanced in terms of gender and career stage, who agreed to participate in this session and are listed below.
6 Advancing ecology with deep learning ▶
Full title: Advancing ecology with deep learning
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Marc Grünig, Werner Rammer

Contact: marc.gruenig@tum.de

Artificial intelligence and deep learning have the potential to revolutionize ecological research by providing new ways to analyze and understand complex ecological systems. This session explores recent advances in applying deep learning to ecological questions. We welcome contributions demonstrating cutting-edge methods, including using neural networks in the context of ecological modeling, data mining to support biodiversity monitoring, or analyzing empirical data streams in novel ways. Moreover, we encourage contributions that improve our understanding of using deep learning to support conservation and decision-making. Of interest are also contributions that discuss the challenges, limitations, and ethical implications of using these approaches, as well as potential future directions for their use in ecological research. Overall, this session will offer a methods-focused overview of the current state of the field, highlighting the potential of deep learning to drive significant breakthroughs in ecological research.
7 Acoustic monitoring methods and applications ▶
Full title: The future of bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring across scales and ecosystems: Methods, challenges and applications
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Andrew J. Fairbairn, Dr. Michael Beckmann, Dominik Arend

Contact: andrew.fairbairn@tum.de

Goal of the session: Understanding the impact that humans are having on natural systems is one of the greatest challenges we face today. As such, there is a growing need to monitor biodiversity and ecosystems at spatial and temporal scales that have historically not been possible. Acoustic monitoring approaches offer a solution and are increasingly being used across terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. These techniques allow ecologists to study novel questions and gain new insights into ecological processes and interactions at previously unattainable spatial and temporal scales. Additionally, the growing demands of government monitoring schemes, such as Natura 2000, put great pressure on a limited number of experts. Bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring has the potential to reduce this pressure by supplementing or replacing components of traditional monitoring schemes or improving the scales at which sites are monitored. Further, the scalability of acoustic monitoring opens opportunities to track the impact of restoration projects or land-use regimes quickly. However, the increased scale, in turn, creates new challenges in terms of data management, processing, objectivity, transferability, scalability, and AI-based analysis workflows. Practitioners and researchers might not be familiar with the latest developments in AI. Whereas those developing the methods to analyse the unprecedented stream of data don’t necessarily understand the demands of ecological research. With this session, we would like to create a platform for interdisciplinary exchange on all aspects of bio- and eco-acoustic monitoring, including the development and application of methods, new and novel applications, and challenges. We would like to invite speakers from computer science, software and hardware developers and ecologists working in all realms to exchange ideas on shared challenges and opportunities. Diversity: The selection procedure for this session will prioritise contributions from non cis-male, non German speaking authors as well as from First Stage Researchers (R1) and Recognised Researchers (R2) as defined by the European Commission (https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/europe/career-development/training-researchers/research-profiles-descriptors). The selection procedure will be made fully transparent for the GfÖ ethics board or any other relevant institutional body.
8 Good modeling practices for sustainable land use ▶
Full title: Can good modeling practices foster sustainable land management?
[ Primary Research Area: Computational / Methods ]

Chairs: Tatiane Micheletti, Marie-Christin Wimmler

Contact: tati.micheletti@gmail.com

Ecological models serve as invaluable tools for unraveling the complexity of ecological processes and can provide land managers with information to manage land sustainably, especially in the face of rapid global change. The spectrum of ecological model types available is broad, and their purposes range from understanding specific ecological phenomena, to predicting the response of ecological systems to biotic and abiotic change, to supporting decision-making related to land management. However, the integration of scientific advances into management decisions is often slow and remains more subjective than it should be. This is partly due to persistent challenges in validating, reproducing, predicting, and comparing ecological models, as well as to the reduced confidence in model outputs and their interpretation by practitioners. Several of these challenges can be mitigated and even overcome through the adoption of good modeling practices (GMPs) supported by established standards and principles, such as the ODD protocol for agent-based modeling and PERFICT for predictive ecological models. Yet, the adoption of GMPs and their implementation in ecological models is still in its infancy. This is true despite the growing demand for improved GMPs in ecology; published descriptions of models still often lack the necessary information for reproducibility and reusability, and often provide no or inoperable code. Therefore, in this session, we aim to explore the overarching characteristics of standards and principles that can help researchers achieve better modeling practices, discuss the challenges associated with adopting good modeling practices and how such challenges might be overcome, and provide examples that illustrate the potential of good modeling practices, particularly agent-based and predictive ecological models, to enhance sustainable land management efforts. We welcome contributions that discuss experiences and challenges in applying GMP from different areas of ecological modeling.
9 Water in plants under climate change ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 2: Water in plants under climate change - From cells to ecosystems
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Richard Peters, Romy Rehschuh, Bernhard Schuldt

Contact: richard.peters@unibas.ch

Water is a key factor determining the structure and function of plants and ecosystems. Questions regarding plant and ecosystem water relations, the impact of water availability on plant growth and ecosystem biogeochemistry as well as impacts of future climatic changes such as increases in frequency and intensity of severe drought and heat events on ecosystem functions remain largely unanswered. This session brings together researchers investigating plant water relations across scales from organs to whole plant, stand and ecosystem level. We invite contributions covering plant hydraulics and processes related to or affected by water uptake via roots and leaves, transport, transpiration as well as their control mechanisms, from both observational studies and experimental manipulations. Of special interest is the effect of climatic extremes such as heat and drought on the water status of plants. This session aims at elucidating structural, functional and physiological responses of plants to their environments spanning from eco-physiological to flux based approaches from different fields. We plan to assemble a group of scientists who are willing to step out of their disciplinary comfort zone and to discuss emergent topics from organ to ecosystem levels in the scope of climate change.
10 Pollination under global change ▶
Full title: Pollinators and pollination services under global change
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Ingo Grass, Sara Leonhardt

Contact: ingo.grass@uni-hohenheim.de

The scientific session will address the multi-faceted impacts of global change on pollinators and the central role they play in sustaining crop production and wild plant reproduction. With the overarching goal of comprehensively understanding the threats of global change to pollinators and pollination services, and how these threats can be mitigated or reversed, the session will unravel the complex interactions of global change drivers, including habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and eutrophication, and their collective impacts on pollinators. Participants will gain insights into the specific threats posed by each factor and their synergistic effects, emphasizing the urgency of effective conservation action. The meeting will also explore the cascading consequences of global change on crop and wild plant pollination and provide insights into the changing dynamics of plant-pollinator communities through network studies and assessments of changes in community structure and functioning. In addition, the session will focus on restoration efforts that mitigate or reverse the negative impacts of global change on pollinators and pollination services. The session will also showcase the usage of modern methods in pollinator ecology, such as metabarcoding, artificial intelligence and remote sensing, as well as predictive models of pollinator dynamics. Participants will learn about innovative experimental approaches that use these technologies to unravel the complexity of pollinator responses to global change and gain a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In summary, the session will be a comprehensive exploration of the intricate interplay between global change and pollinators, examining impacts on both crops and wild plant ecosystems. By integrating state-of-the-art methods and predictive models, the session is expected to contribute valuable insights to the ongoing dialog on pollinator decline, pollination services and coping with global change.
11 Multiple stressors ▶
Full title: Multiple stressors in Global-Change Ecology
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Malte Jochum, Marie Sünnemann

Contact: malte.jochum@uni-wuerzburg.de

Global Change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. A lot of research focuses on this phenomenon with its drivers and consequences. Much of the existing research, however, tends to over-simplify Global-Change drivers such as climate change, land-use intensification, invasive species, and microplastic accumulation treating them as isolated factors in experiments or along observational gradients. This approach is problematic as these drivers rarely, if ever, occur in isolation in the real world. To effectively mitigate Global-Change impacts on both natural and managed ecosystems, we urgently need more studies testing effects of multiple, simultaneous stressors. Specifically, we need to i) embrace the multi-factored nature of real-world Global Change moving beyond single-factor approaches, and ii) be willing to explore novel approaches in multi-factor experimental and observational research. Our session aims to bring together researchers studying multiple stressors in different ecosystem types (terrestrial above- and belowground, freshwater, and marine systems) with experiments and observational approaches and in different parts of the world. There could e.g. be talks about classic field-experiment approaches, new laboratory setups, and novel ways of analysing long-term observational data. We believe that the 2024 GFÖ Conference will be the perfect setting to bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds who are at the forefront of multiple-stressor Global-Change research to exchange ideas and approaches. Such knowledge is pivotal for designing sustainable land-use strategies that are robust in the face of complex environmental challenges. Additionally, our session could boost the interest and motivation of the junior colleagues attending the meeting to pursue a career in multiple-stressor research because our topic lies at the heart of understanding the future of sustainable land use across ecosystems, landscapes and biomes. Considering the urgency of understanding and mitigating multi-factor Global Change, a session on this topic would be a vital addition to the 2024 GFÖ conference in Freising – and we would be very happy to host it.
12 Ecosystem response to repeated extremes ▶
Full title: Ecosystem response to repeated climate extremes - an integrated approach across organizational scales
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Qingqing Chen

Contact: chen.qingqing@senckenberg.de

Climate extremes are increasing in frequency, causing more repeated droughts and heavy rainfalls that threaten ecosystem stability and human societies. Ecosystem responses to single droughts have been studied extensively, but the majority of these studies focus on responses of different organisms in isolation. Ecosystem responses to repeated climate extremes are more complex than singular events due to that legacy from past extremes may influence ecosystem responses to subsequent extremes (i.e. legacy effects). So far, around 40 empirical studies have quantified legacy effects. But these studies focus mainly on responses of individual plant species, in particular crop plants, to repeated droughts. Therefore, we know little about how plant communities and organisms at higher trophic level (e.g. soil microbes, aboveground and belowground invertebrates) respond to repeated climate extremes. Understanding legacy effects of complex climate extremes at ecosystem level and the mechanisms may offer insights into increasing resistance of natural and agricultural systems to accelerating climate change. Studies of organisms across longevity and trophic levels are needed to mechanistically understand ecosystem responses to repeated climate extremes. These organisms are important components of ecosystems, they are interconnected, and they can impact one another through multiple pathways. Plants play a key role in ecosystem functioning, because plants form the base of food chains. Past studies have shown that plants can respond and adapt to repeated climate extremes from gene, epigenetics, physiology and morphology, species, and community levels separately. Similarly, organisms at higher trophic levels may directly respond and adapt to repeated extremes through adjusting metabolism, behaviors, and movements. Moreover, plants can impact organisms at higher trophic level through providing food, shelters, and changing local environments (i.e. bottom-up control). In turn, organisms at higher trophic level could impact plants through selective grazing and changing local environments (i.e. top-down control). Importantly, organisms could co-adapt. For instance, under a first drought, plants can change soil microbial community composition that in turn feedback to their own growth during a second drought. Thus, an integrated across-organizational approach is needed to study legacy effects of climate extremes to offer a holistic understanding. The goals of this session are: 1) Strengthen communication and collaboration among researchers working on legacy effects of climate extremes. 2) Develop better and more realistic methods and frameworks to quantify and understand legacy effects.
13 Plant responses to the environment ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 1: Plant responses to the environment across scales
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Benjamin Hafner, Emma Sayer, Thorsten Grams

Contact: benjamin.hafner@tum.de

Plant responses to the environment involve functional and morphological mechanisms at different evolutionary and ecological scales ranging from within species to among communities. To predict how plants respond to environmental change, we therefore need an integrated understanding of the interplay of the many traits involved in plant responses. This challenges us to elucidate how multiple 'species’ traits integrate into a whole-organism phenotype adjusting to its environment. The focus of this session is on the responses of individual plants, stands and ecosystems to their environment. This includes responses to both abiotic impacts such as radiation, temperature, elevated CO2, drought, and nutrient availability, as well as biotic interactions with other plants, animals, and microbiota. Contributions may also focus on anthropogenic impacts and disturbances, such as land use change, air pollution or climate change. We particularly welcome studies that integrate multiple scales or are relevant to ecosystem processes, functions and services. This may include experimental studies with mechanistic insights, observational or modelling studies, and work ranging from resource allocation and growth dynamics in individual organisms to whole ecosystems.
14 Lighting up the night-time landscape ▶
Full title: Lighting up the landscape: Effects of artificial light at night on natural, agricultural and urban landscapes
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Robin Heinen, Gregor Kalinkat, Eva Knop, Franz Hölker

Contact: robin.heinen@tum.de

Humans are increasingly lighting up areas of the world that not too long ago used to be dark. The most obvious example is the illumination of the nightly hours, through street and building lights, advertisement lights, and vehicle lights. In the past two decades it has become increasingly clear that aside from giving people a sense of safety and security, it also often has devastating impacts on natural systems, including humans. Although critically vulnerable taxa have been identified, both in aquatic and terrestrial systems, there are still many open questions that remain, for instance about taxa that have not been studied in this context in great detail. Also, consequences for communities and ecosystem functioning through direct and indirect pathways are often still unknown, including the behavioral and physiological mechanisms driving the changes. Another challenge that scientists face when studying artificial light at night, is that it is hard to get a clear view on the actual light levels that natural systems are exposed to in the landscape, i.e., the lightscape. On the one hand, this is caused by the fact that light levels change with distance from the light source, which creates a hypervariable light environment. On the other hand, it is also highly dynamic, as new lights are constantly installed in previously dark areas. Old lights are also regularly replaced by new lights, and with novel light technology, with trends toward higher-intensity lights. In this session, we aim to bring together speakers that investigate light levels in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes, focus on different study systems and taxa, both aquatic and terrestrial, and changes of communities and ecosystem functioning to provide an overview of the breadth of impacts this often overlooked form of pollution can have in ecosystems. Lastly, we also welcome input from applied scientists and industry to provide insights in potential solutions, and mitigation strategies that may pave the way to less light-dominated landscapes.
15 Root traits and ecological implications ▶
Full title: Root traits across biomes - links between belowground traits, species diversity and ecological implications
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Laynara F. Lugli, Lucia Fuchslueger, Nathaly Guerrero Ramirez

Contact: laynara.lugli@tum.de

Fine roots are a dynamic interface connecting plants and soils. They are pivotal in plants' water and nutrient uptake and transport, affecting soil organic matter formation and accumulation, mineral weathering and plant-soil microorganism interactions. In particular, many plants can adapt their fine root morphological physiological, biochemical and molecular features and facilitate inter-kingdom associations, such as interactions with root-associated bacteria or fungi, like mycorrhiza. Hence, the trait diversity of fine roots in an ecosystem can strongly influence ecosystem biogeochemistry (carbon and nutrient cycling) and biogeophysical processes (water and energy fluxes). Despite the undeniable significance of fine root traits in shaping plant and community functioning globally, a notable gap persists in our understanding of root ecology, especially compared to the wealth of existent knowledge for leaves and stems. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of root trait diversity, from individual species to the broader biome level, is crucial for predicting the impacts of resource shifts under future climatic conditions. In this session we want to bring together scientists investigating the diversity of root traits, root trait-trait relationships and inter-kingdom associations of individuals, species or community level. We are particularly interested in studies extending our understanding of the ‘root economic space’, linking root trait variation to ecosystem functions from different biomes around the Globe at local or regional scales, reporting on natural distributions, or adaptations to experimentally induced spatial and temporal resource availability gradients. Furthermore, we invite the presentation of innovative methodologies and promising approaches to foster the inclusion of root traits in future ecological research.
16 Beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning ▶
Full title: Beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning: Landscape homogenization, new indices and the potential for beta BEF research
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Kerstin Pierick, Oliver Mitesser

Contact: kerstin.pierick@uni-goettingen.de

Landscape homogenization is a major threat to both biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, especially affecting the turnover of species composition and provided ecosystem functions between local patches. In order to adequately predict biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of landscapes, it is essential to take the beta level into account. Recent developments in biodiversity indices offer new opportunities to decompose taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic gamma biodiversity into alpha and beta components. Analogously, beta ecosystem multifunctionality can be calculated. This represents novel possibilities for research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) on the beta level. With this session, we want to bring together the latest developments in new concepts and methodological approaches to quantify beta diversity and beta ecosystem functioning with insights from diverse ecological research on the beta level. We hope to cover a broad range of biomes, intensively used to undisturbed systems, theoretical, observational and experimental approaches, and various taxonomic groups. Our potential speakers’ contributions already cover beta diversity research on birds, insects, seed plants, and multitrophic approaches, as well as study systems as different as tropical forests, oil palm plantations, temperate forests, and agricultural grasslands. We also want to bridge the gap to adjacent concepts like biotic homogenization, the meta community and meta food webs. Both contributions focusing on either beta diversity or beta ecosystem functioning, or contributions linking the two topics, are welcome.
17 Controlled environments in global change research ▶
Full title: Manipulation and control - the experimental foundation of global change research
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Dr. Bálint Georg Jákli, Dr. habil. Martin Schädler

Contact: balint.jakli@tum.de

Global change is transforming our ecosystems and will have a lasting impact far into the future. The development of adapted and sustainable land use and management practices requires an interdisciplinary understanding of the function, adaptability and resilience of ecosystems under changing climatic conditions. Essential for this understanding are scientific experiments in which specific environmental variables are deliberately manipulated and controlled. The experimental approaches can differ fundamentally, depending on whether the studies are conducted in the field or in controlled environments such as phytotron facilities, whether the focus is on long-term trends or extreme events, or whether individual parameters are modified incrementally or complex dynamic climate sequences are simulated. Furthermore, recent advancements in climate control, LED lighting, and lysimeter technology provide new possibilities to simulate complex conditions in controlled environments and, thus, to systematically complement field studies. The session is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of current and innovative methods for environmental manipulation and control in experimental research. Emphasis will be placed on multi-scale, interdisciplinary approaches to reveal interfaces and synergies between experiments conducted in the field and in controlled environments. The session welcomes contributions from a range of disciplines including experimental ecology, plant- and ecophysiology, agroecology, soil science, and other relevant areas. After the session, attendees should be provided with the chance to visit the TUMmesa phytotron facility.
18 Plant carbon allocation in a changing climate ▶
Full title: Plant Ecology 3: Carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems under climate change
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Günter Hoch, Benjamin Daniel Hesse, Kyohsuke Hikino

Contact: guenter.hoch@unibas.ch

Climate change potentially alters carbon (C) relations of plants and ecosystems. This is related to the continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 that alters plant and ecosystem stoichiometry with consequences for functioning. In addition, increasing temperatures and drought events can decrease C uptake and alter C allocation patterns at the plant and ecosystem level. Under extreme conditions this can cause disruptions of the plant and ecosystem C balances as well as tree mortality. However, plant and ecosystems are also able to acclimate to these changes, which might enhance plant and ecosystem resilience to climate change. Against this background, C allocation processes, including reserve formation, growth and respiration in plants and ecosystems have gained increasing attention in plant ecology. However, our current understanding of the controlling mechanisms and the ecological impact of changes in allocation – particular at the whole-plant to ecosystem level – is still surprisingly patchy. This also involves formation of C reserves and the re-allocation of stored C, as well as defense compounds and the C flux to symbiotic interactions. Moreover, the effect of increases in extreme events such as drought and heat stress and subsequent recovery, on the whole-plant C balance and on C allocation patterns, as well as the significance of C reserves for stress resistance and resilience of plants and possible acclimation responses are a persisting uncertainty. As a consequence, we cannot predict the C balance of terrestrial ecosystems with confidence, and are limited in our understanding of plant plasticity and possible physiological, anatomical and structural adjustments that may alter ecosystem resistance and resilience to climate change. In this session, we aim to bring together researchers working on all aspects of C allocation and storage in plants and ecosystem. In particular, we encourage contributions on quantitative analyses of phloem C transport in plants, C-allocation at the whole-plant and ecosystem level including stress and recovery responses, studies on the ecological significance of C reserves and allocation adjustments for stress resistance and acclimation to new climatic conditions.
19 BE – long-term biodiversity research platform ▶
Full title: Biodiversity Exploratories (BE): the value of long-term research platforms in the real world-land-use, biodiversity, ecosystem processes and services
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Markus Fischer, Nico Blüthgen, Marion Schrumpf, Marion Mehring

Contact: markus.fischer@unibe.ch

The Biodiversity Exploratories are a long-term and large-scale research platform that investigates the effects of land use on biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services since 2006. With its broad range of research disciplines, the interdisciplinary consortium (over 40 projects) covers the entire spectrum of biodiversity, from botany to soil ecology, climate and animals to social-ecological research. A major advantage of this platform is that all studies take place on the same 50 grassland and 50 forest plots in each of the three Exploratories Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün and Schorfheide-Chorin, which cover manifold land-use management types and intensities. This design, in which various aspects of the relationships between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem processes and services are studied through monitoring, comparative observation and large-scale experiments, enables well-founded conclusions and unique quantitative synthesis options. The session aims to present an overview of the most important research results of 18 years of biodiversity research from the BE and to illustrate the value of such long-term research platforms and provides future perspectives.
20 Patterns and processes shaping forests ▶
Full title: Trends and advances in forest ecology: Ecological patterns and processes (AK Waldökologie)
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Lisa Hülsmann, Bettina Ohse, Jonas Stillhard

Contact: lisa.huelsmann@uni-bayreuth.de

Forests are one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. Characterized by the dominance of long-lived individuals, forests undergo change at relatively slow rates, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for ecological research. This session will cover ecological processes in forest ecosystems and their effects on ecological patterns at all spatial scales, including both local processes and large scale gradients. The session invites a broad range of studies dealing with issues related to forest ecology and natural forest dynamics. Possible topics are tree demographic processes, dynamics in community composition, tree species diversity, structure, equilibria and continuity in forest ecosystems, tree species characteristics, life history strategies and traits as well as tree species distributions. Studies may be based on (longitudinal) data from both unmanaged and managed forests at all spatial scales, but can also be based on simulations and dynamic forest models.
21 Forests in the climate crisis ▶
Full title: Reconciling forest conservation, forest protection and forest management in the climate crisis
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Rico Fischer, Nadine Bräsicke, Daniel Magnabosco Marra, Felix Storch

Contact: rico.fischer@julius-kuehn.de

Forests are essential for livelihood and provide multiple services, like climate protection, biodiversity, water availability or recreational and cultural values. In recent years, severe droughts, heat waves, insect infestations, diseases and forest fires have caused unprecedented high levels of forest damage, threatening the provision of ecosystem services. This new situation has sparked debates on how to address these challenges. The strategies range from “take no action” and leave forests alone, to active adaptation via gene flow or assisted migration. Since the late 19th century, conservationists and forest managers have taken opposite positions in debates on forest stewardship and the current crisis may have even fostered a certain dogmatism. Forest protection, whose task it is to prevent damage through preventive or curative actions, is now struggling with the ever-increasing insect infestation and complex diseases. From this perspective, the dramatic tree mortality and consequent changes that have occurred in our forests during the last few years call for synergistic cooperation and diversity of ideas, instead of dogmatic seclusion. In our session, we aim to discuss ideas, strategies and potential solutions to strengthen the resilience of forests against climate change and associated disturbances. We provide stage for a variety of contributions, ranging from integrated or precision pest and disease management via biological or biotechnical control measures, and all the way to fostering functional biodiversity as self-regulatory mechanisms of forest resilience. We invite contributions presenting new concepts and methods in monitoring (terrestrial and remote sensing) forest biotic damages, experimental or observational studies on the biology and ecology of host-pathogen interactions. We also encourage the introduction of new concepts for developing strategies for shaping resilient forests under ongoing climate change, in particular via forest ecosystem modelling.
22 Silviculture beyond the climax phase ▶
Full title: Silviculture beyond the climax phase: Adaptation strategies for a dynamic forest management in times of change (AK Waldökologie)
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Annighöfer, Peter, Seidl, Rupert

Contact: peter.annighoefer@tum.de

The traditional forestry and silviculture are facing new challenges due to climate change, increased disturbance events such as storms, pest infestations, and wildfires, as well as changes in land use. These developments are leading to dynamics that might require moving beyond the classic concepts of single-tree selection and late successional forest stages as management references. The session "Silviculture Beyond the Climax Phase" aims at present and discussing innovative, pragmatic, and generally new approaches and strategies aimed at strengthening the resilience and adaptability of forests and enabling sustainable management in times of change. The session can evolve around adaptive silvicultural concepts, silvicultural challenges in growing and regenerating new tree species, silvicultural concepts for early successional stages, management of a highly diversified tree species portfolio, and creating and maintaining structural diversity. All of what might be required for silviculture in the future. We invite case studies and other research, as well as practical applications and on-site experience to be shared. The session is intended as a platform for constructive dialogue on the future of forest management.
23 Northern ecosystems under change ▶
Full title: Understanding the impacts of climate and land Use change on tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems
[ Primary Research Area: Forest Ecology ]

Chairs: Ramona Heim, Stefan Kruse

Contact: ramona.heim@uni-muenster.de

Tundra and boreal forest ecosystems are increasingly impacted by climate change and the growing influence of human activities. These high latitude ecosystems are tightly coupled with climate and the significant temperature increase at northern latitudes is thus expected to have strong impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem functioning. Key land use changes in these areas stem from the development of infrastructure for oil and gas extraction, forestry, or reindeer herding. Climate and land use changes in these regions can directly lead to alterations in the ecosystem structure and functioning but also to changes in disturbance regimes, which are for example increased fire activity and pest outbreaks. Far reaching consequences of climate and land use change in tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems can therefore encompass changes in vegetation, permafrost thaw, habitat reduction, changes in animal migration patterns, and ultimately loss of biodiversity. The consequences are not limited to the local ecosystem level, but they also have social and cultural dimensions related to indigenous and local communities. In addition, global consequences are to be expected, e.g. through greenhouse gases emissions from thawing permafrost, which form global feedback loops. A better understanding of the impacts of climate and land use changes and their interaction on ecosystems is essential for precise predictions but also for conservation, and management strategies. Solid and resilient conservation and management strategies are urgently needed to ensure the stability and ecosystem functioning of tundra and northern boreal forest ecosystems. This session aims therefore to bring together the latest study results, visions, and perspectives on the topic of northern ecosystems under climate and land use change. We encourage contributions from all fields including modelling, remote sensing, experimental, survey, or conservation planning approaches.
24 Collection-based research in plant ecology ▶
Full title: Collection-based research in plant ecology
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Robert Rauschkolb, Jana Wäldchen, Paul Kühn

Contact: Robert.Rauschkolb@uni-jena.de

Plant collections provide an ecologically valuable resource and range from living collections in botanical gardens, to stored collections in seed banks and herbaria. More recently, global databases like GBIF also collected data from observations, which combine plant images with location data and timestamps. For many decades, collections have been used in particular to support taxonomic and systematic research. However, interest in using biological collections to capture, analyse, and understand plant or ecosystem responses to changes in land-use and climate during the last two centuries continues to grow. In addition, new methods have been developed and applied to extract information on morphological and chemical traits using non-destructive and cost-effective methods. In order to provide an overview on the state-of-the art in collection-based research and to further explore and discuss the potential of plant collections for ecological research, this session brings together scientists with different backgrounds. We specifically invite contributions that integrate plant collections in their research to (i) understand the responses of plant species or plant communities to environmental changes, (ii) to investigate ecosystem processes like plant-pollinator or plant-herbivore interactions and (iii) to develop methods to extract ecological information from data collections. In addition, the advantages and difficulties that arise when working with biological collections will be presented and discussed.
25 Globally coordinated experiments ▶
Full title: Insights from globally coordinated and distributed experiments and surveys
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Yujie Niu, Tyson Terry, Viviana F. Bondaruk

Contact: Yujie.Niu@uni-bayreuth.de

Globally coordinated experiments and surveys in ecology research are crucial to address the intricate challenges that span our planet's ecosystems and advance our understanding of global ecological patterns. To gain a comprehensive understanding on global change issues in ecosystems such as biodiversity loss, invasion and species redistribution, climate change and extremes, eutrophication, and land use changes, numerous coordinated initiatives (e.g., BugNet, DarkDIVNet, Dew, NutNet, DragNet, DroughtNet, GLORIA, HerbDivNet, MIREN, TraitDivNet) have been developed. Coordinated experiments not only enable scientists to explore diverse ecosystems and species to provide a holistic perspective on ecological dynamics, but they also foster collaboration by creating standardized methodologies that facilitate data integration for more robust statistical analyses. This collaboration broadens ecological research and fosters a globally mechanistic understanding of ecosystem functioning, aiding evidence-based conservation and sustainable resource management. Through the synthesis of ecological knowledge on a regional or global scale, this session seeks to provide a platform to exchange experiences, methodologies, and findings.
26 Macroecology ▶
Full title: Macroecology: investigating large-scale biodiversity patterns under global change (working group Macroecology)
[ Primary Research Area: Macroecology ]

Chairs: Alke Voskamp, Eva Katharina Engelhardt, Susanne Fritz

Contact: alke.voskamp@senckenberg.de

This session aims to bring together research on the responses of biodiversity to global change in the past, present and future. Halting biodiversity loss is one of the major global challenges faced by humanity in the 21st century and human wellbeing, economies and livelihoods all depend on biodiversity. Changes in land and sea use are a key driver of global biodiversity loss, which is characterized by the responses of individual species, species communities and ecosystems to ongoing environmental change. In line with the conference theme “The future of sustainable land use across ecosystems, landscapes and biomes”, we call for contributions focusing on the impacts of anthropogenic drivers on biodiversity loss, especially land-use change, but also other key drivers including climate change, pollution, and invasions. Understanding the mechanisms behind the changes caused by these and other drivers of biodiversity loss, is vital to develop solutions for a more sustainable future. We welcome submissions from all macroecological fields that investigate past, present, or future responses of biodiversity to environmental change, whether empirical, conceptual or methodological, as well as studies working at the intersections of macroecology with earth-system science, geosciences, paleobiology, geography, conservation, and social ecology. Studies should focus on a large spatial, temporal or taxonomic scale and investigate changes to biodiversity patterns including spatial patterns of species richness, community composition, and functional aspects. Consideration of diversity: Compiling the list of potential speakers we aimed for a balance between Germany-based and international scientists and a range from early career to established researchers as well as an even gender balance.
27 Insect declines ▶
Full title: New developments in the field of insect declines in Central Europe
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Roel van Klink, Jörg Müller

Contact: roel.klink@idiv.de

Insects are the most ubiquitous and diverse animals on the planet, providing multiple critical ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and decomposition) and disservices (e.g. crop pests and disease vectors), and forming a crucial part of terrestrial and freshwater food webs. Since 2017, the decline in the number and biomass of insects has been an important topic in ecology and conservation. Over the past few years, we have attained new insights, thanks to the publication of papers on previously poorly explored time series, resampling campaigns, causal analyses and data syntheses. It is now well established that there are fewer insects that there used to be, and that there are multiple causes for this phenomenon, all of which are related to human activities. However, the mechanisms behind most of the patterns observed are still unclear. In this session, we will bring together leading scientists to present the state-of-the-art in the field, to further our understanding of the patterns, processes, and causes of insect declines, and to stimulate new collaborations for future interdisciplinary research on this topic.
28 Conserving and restoring biotic interactions ▶
Full title: New perspectives on biodiversity conservation and restoration success through biotic interactions
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Elena Velado-Alonso, Felipe Librán-Embid

Contact: elena.velado@outlook.es

Ecosystem restoration schemes mostly focus on re-establishing vegetation and evaluate restoration success through the abundance of indicator species or richness indexes. Conservation measures have often concentrated on flagship species or iconic habitats, neglecting broader ecosystem dynamics such as gene flows, plant-animal interactions or trophic relationships. However, fundamental ecosystem processes, such as energy flows, nutrient cycling, pollination or seed dispersal depend on the maintenance or rehabilitation of biotic interactions. Thus, assessing biotic interactions could help to evaluate biodiversity conservation and restoration success from a functional perspective. Species interactions also serve as crucial indicators to monitor systemic properties such as ecosystem stability and sensitivity to environmental changes. In this session, we propose to address biotic interactions in restoration and conservation approaches across different trophic levels, geographical scales and ecosystem types to promote ecosystem multifunctionality and guide future environmental conservation and restoration policies. We also welcome socio-ecological approaches that help to better understand the success of conservation and restoration initiatives through species interactions. Considering the 2021–2030 Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the European Nature Restoration law and European Biodiversity Strategy this session covers a topic of high importance to tackle current societal challenges. Effective and scalable approaches are required to maintain and restore ecosystem multifunctionality. Ecological interactions can provide a new perspective to promote biodiversity and ecosystem resilience for a sustainable future.
29 Evaluating protected areas for biodiversity ▶
Full title: Evaluating protected areas for biodiversity conservation currently and in the future
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Joan Casanelles Abella, Bertrand Fournier

Contact: joan.casanelles@tum.de

Biodiversity conservation has become a hot topic in ecological research. The last international agreements and conventions (e.g., COP15, CBD, EU Biodiversity strategy) are aiming at increasing the extent of protected areas. However, they also have stressed main pressing needs to be resolved to achieve such conservation goals. Two main ones are (1) performing assessments on the success of conservation actions, and (2) developing tools to aid planning of protected areas under current and future conditions of ecological and social change. The goal of this session is to present ongoing advances in the field of biodiversity conservation with a focus on tools to plan protected areas and evaluate challenges, regardless of the focal taxa, geographic region or the spatial scale considered.
30 Temporal biodiversity change ▶
Full title: Temporal biodiversity change analyses to support sustainable land management and conservation
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Thore Engel, Klára Klinkovská, Eva Katharina Engelhardt, Martin Friedrichs-Manthey

Contact: thore.engel@idiv.de

Systematic and statistically meaningful time series data on biodiversity are essential in developing efficient conservation strategies and informing sustainable land management practices. Yet, such data is vastly unavailable for many species, assemblages, and regions of the world. Here, we aim at bringing together researchers and practitioners to discuss the use of biodiversity data from structured monitoring and opportunistic recordings, and ideally time series data to inform conservation management and action. Presentations are welcome from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical, experimental and applied research. We look for contributions for all taxon groups or habitat types and any type of approach, ranging from observational data to modeling. We are particularly interested in contributions focusing on the mobilization of so-far untapped data, development of methods for data analysis and synthesis, and the integration of systematic and opportunistic data from a wide range of sources, including nature conservation societies, federal and state agencies and citizen science platforms worldwide. We also welcome contributions on how different approaches might inform decision makers and policies. We welcome both oral and poster presentations, and encourage contributions from early career researchers. We look forward to a lively and engaging discussion in this important topic.
31 Interdisciplinary biodiversity research ▶
Full title: The future of biodiversity in interdisciplinary research
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Margarita Hartlieb, Johanna Berger

Contact: margarita.hartlieb@tu-darmstadt.de

The loss of biodiversity, such as the decline of insects, is an anthropogenic issue, and research for its protection concerns more than just biologists. It poses a significant risk to the environment and humanity, with drivers such as changes in land use, direct exploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species. In ecology, despite its broad scope, interdisciplinarity is often understood to mean collaboration with other areas of the natural sciences. However, the future and transformation of sustainable land-use across ecosystems, landscapes, and biomes requires interdisciplinary work between natural sciences with humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for addressing the complex challenges of the modern world and driving innovation and progress across various fields, but also because biodiversity and human health cannot be thought of separately. Despite the additional effort involved in collaborative projects, these enhanced connections can lead to a social gain and a more effective way to reduce the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. In an interdisciplinary context, researchers can learn from each other and find ways to think about social and environmental issues together to find holistic solutions. The aim of this proposed session is to bring scientists together, who are working in biodiversity research in an interdisciplinary way and would like to present interdisciplinary research projects between natural sciences with humanities or social sciences. Discussions in this session should be an inspiration to more interdisciplinary research and future solutions for biodiversity.
32 Wildlife in the Anthropocene ▶
Full title: Emerging challenges in wildlife ecology and management in the Anthropocene
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Wibke Peters, Hendrik Edelhoff

Contact: wibke.peters@lwf.bayern.de

This session focuses on the pressing topic of how land use and other human induced changes affect wildlife species in multi-use landscapes. We will address the challenges faced by wildlife in adapting to the changes brought about by human activities, including climate change. Yet, while some species will be negatively affected, others could benefit. In this session speakers should illustrate diverse ways in which species, from large mammals to birds, have been influenced. Key topics range from habitat alteration, such as agricultural expansion, reforestation efforts, fragmentation or urbanization, as well as recreation and hunting. Research presented may cover various methodological approaches drawn from e. g. movement ecology, species distribution modelling, nutritional ecology, etc. Thus, also advances in technologies like GPS tracking, satellite imagery, camera traps or genetic studies and how they can inform our understanding of wildlife and human interactions may be addressed. Finally, traditional approaches to wildlife management could no longer suffice in the face of these changes. Speakers may discuss how wildlife management practices need to adapt to ensure a sustainable balance between the needs of wildlife and the demands of human society. By bringing together different perspectives and the latest research, we hope to encourage discussions on effective wildlife management strategies in the Anthropocene era.
33 Grassland conservation and restoration ▶
Full title: AK Nature Conservation and Restoration Ecology. Trends in grassland conservation and restoration
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Johannes Kollmann, Juliane Vogt

Contact: johannes.kollmann@tum.de

For many years, grasslands have been in the spotlight of conservation and restoration. Grasslands host a high biodiversity on relatively small areas and they support numerous ecosystem services, among them pollination, erosion control and carbon sequestration. Unfortunately, the abundance and quality of grasslands are declining in many regions, mostly due to intensification or abandonment of agricultural management. This sparks interest in grasslands as part of green infrastructure, in reseeding of grass-dominated swards, plant–insect interactions, ecosystem engineering of site conditions, and the socioecological framework for successful initiatives. Moreover, delayed responses of grassland communities to changed site conditions are expected in terms of ‘extinction debt’ and ‘restoration credit’. Thus, this session aims at compiling the latest knowledge on synergies and trade-offs between grassland conservation and restoration.
34 Wetland ecology and functioning ▶
Full title: Understanding and safeguarding wetland functioning and ecological networks
[ Primary Research Area: Ecosystem Ecology ]

Chairs: Peter Müller, Kristin Ludewig, Klaus-Holger Knorr, Kai Jensen

Contact: mueller.p@uni-muenster.de

Wetlands and semi-terrestrial ecosystems provide a wide array of ecosystem services such as biodiversity support, flood protection, and long-term carbon sequestration. However, these ecosystems of high societal importance are being lost worldwide at alarming rates due to land use and climate change. At the same time, management and restoration actions are underway in many parts of the world to restore and safeguard these ecosystems. We believe that the scientific community working on specific wetland ecosystem types is often highly segregated, resulting in limited knowledge exchange and integration, and potentially slowing progress and innovation in the field of wetland ecology and management. The primary goal of our session is to bridge and integrate scientific research across diverse wetland ecosystems and involved disciplines. By convening scientists specializing in various wetland and semi-terrestrial ecosystems, including (but not limited to) coastal and estuarine marshes, floodplains, riparian forests, and peatlands, we aim to facilitate learning from each other and to foster collaboration to advance ecological understanding, as well as management and restoration strategies. We welcome presenters to share their insights on diverse aspects of wetland ecology, such as biotic interactions and food web dynamics, ecosystem connectivity, and carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes. We are particularly interested in contributions exploring synergies between biodiversity support and climate change mitigation, the predictability of restoration and management success, and the stability of ecological networks and ecosystem functioning in a changing climate.
35 Diverse perspectives on biodiversity monitoring ▶
Full title: Perspectives on biodiversity monitoring are diverse
[ Primary Research Area: Nature Conservation ]

Chairs: Johannes Rüdisser, Ulrike Tappeiner, Davnah Urbach

Contact: Johannes.Ruedisser@uibk.ac.at

Amateurs love butterflies; politicians call them pollinators; ecologists claim they are suitable biodiversity indicators. There are as many different perspectives on why biodiversity matters as there are on biodiversity monitoring: from successfully integrating citizen scientists in data collection, to the scientific analysis of drivers of biodiversity changes, to the application of ‘pollinator indicators’ to evaluate the success of the envisaged EU nature restoration law. Biodiversity monitoring is a key tool for documenting ecological changes, identifying trends in these changes and their causes, and identifying evidence-based measures to protect both, species and their habitats. Well-designed biodiversity monitoring is an indispensable prerequisite for evidence-based decision-making towards sustainable land use in a fast-changing world. This session deals with differing stakeholder perspectives on biodiversity monitoring, with a focus on method development and quality criteria for implementing comprehensive biodiversity monitoring. Our goal is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists to achieve an overview of existing approaches in biodiversity monitoring and discuss what novel monitoring approaches are needed to deliver scientific and quantitative information about the state and trends of various biodiversity aspects in social-ecological systems and best inform environmental policies.
36 Remote sensing ▶
Full title: Remote sensing of biodiversity
[ Primary Research Area: Remote Sensing ]

Chairs: Hannes Feilhauer, Antonia Ludwig, Sebastian Schmidtlein

Contact: hannes.feilhauer@uni-leipzig.de

Earth observation (EO) data are increasingly used to assess biodiversity and related ecosystem properties. Due to the spatially continuous satellite data availability, EO is therefore also considered a core tool to scale local biodiversity assessments. This is even more important in the light of intensively managed landscapes threatened by biodiversity loss. Related studies make use of various sensors and data to model and map species, functional or ecosystem diversity or to develop indicators of such properties. The employed approaches are manifold and include, for example: artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques as well as physical model inversions which enable the retrieval of leaf and plant traits from spectral data and provide insights in functional diversity aspects. The texture of high resolution imagery is frequently exploited towards information on species or ecosystem diversity. Various approaches aim to develop EO-based indicators of essential biodiversity variables that are designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of biodiversity on different spatial scales. These approaches all have in common that their development is still ongoing research and comprehensive assessments of their capabilities and limits are urgently needed. This session hence aims to give an overview on recent developments in remote sensing of biodiversity and aims to foster the discussion of this topic among interested users. We kindly invite all contributions that rely on remote sensing for spatio-temporal analyses of biodiversity and ecosystem properties across all spatial scales, sensor systems and biomes.
37 Remote sensing across scales ▶
Full title: Remote sensing for understanding sustainable land use across scales
[ Primary Research Area: Remote Sensing ]

Chairs: Cornelius Senf, Hanna Meyer, Martin Ehbrecht, Katja Kowalski

Contact: cornelius.senf@tum.de

Understanding how global land-use change and unsustainable land management impact biodiversity and ecosystem function requires consistent data across spatial and temporal scales. Remote sensing can help filling this data gap, but development of targeted methods applicable in ecology and ecosystem science are needed. We call for contributions that either develop new methodological approaches or apply existing approaches to current challenges in understanding sustainable land use, including agriculture, forestry, nature conservation and urban planning. Methods include both close-range and airborne/spaceborne sensors systems, ranging from local cameras over terrestrial laser scanning, uncrewed aerial vehicles to satellites. We in particular encourage submissions integrating sensors across spatial and temporal scales.
38 Arts and Ecological Sciences ▶
Full title: Fostering collaboration between ecological sciences and the arts: opportunities and challenges
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Florian D. Schneider, Monika Egerer, Oliver Szasz, Somidh Saha

Contact: florian.schneider@isoe.de

The session will showcase collaborations of ecologists with artist and illustrate the potentials of art-science collaborations for the ecological sciences. In recent years, art-science collaborations are being explored as a mode for science communication and to facilitate transformative change towards sustainability. Furthermore, this transdisciplinary approach has the potential to produce novel methodological and conceptual insights from the mutual exchange of perspectives with artistic research on nature and human-nature relationships. Time will be reserved for a panel discussion with the speakers, providing a platform for conceptual discussions on the potentials (e.g. for public outreach, science communication, and for informing the ecological research perspective) and challenges (e.g. time requirements, transdisciplinary communication, budget, logistics) for art-science collaborations in ecology. The panel discussion may be cast into a perspectives paper for Basic and Applied Ecology, to motivate a continued discussion in the GfÖ community. The session will include artistic visuals and auditory ‚soundscapes‘ within the speaker breaks. Actual art exhibitions and performances will emanate from the session into the conference program (submitted separately as lunchtime-sessions). With this session, we are building upon positive experiences with artistic interventions at the joint ecology conference in Metz 2022 and the GfÖ Annual Meeting in Leipzig, 2023, and pick up the thread from a session on art-science projects in Metz, 2022.
39 Biodiversity and citizen science ▶
Full title: Biodiversity and citizen science
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Birte Peters, Aletta Bonn

Contact: birte.peters@idiv.de

Biodiversity change is happening at unprecedented rates, and reliable, large-scale data across space and time are needed for monitoring and to inform conservation and restoration planning and management. To address significant gaps in taxonomic and geographic coverage, biodiversity research has a long history of collaborating with volunteers in natural history societies and citizen science. In this session, we want to explore how innovative citizen science approaches, data integration of structured and opportunistic data, and the use of novel technologies as well as social media for citizen science recording can serve trend and attribution analysis as well as informing solutions for conservation and restoration in different ecosystems. In addition, we hope to gain insight how citizen science could foster nature connectedness and ecological knowledge, skills, as well as social benefits and collective action to conserve biodiversity.
40 Bridging the gap between knowledge and action ▶
Full title: Bridging the gap between knowledge and action: applying biodiversity knowledge in society, policy and economy
[ Primary Research Area: Society ]

Chairs: Arne Cierjacks, Leonie Fischer, Nico Beier

Contact: arne.cierjacks@htw-dresden.de

Despite and numerous strategies and growing societal awareness, the loss of biodiversity continues unimpaired, underscoring the urgent need for taking real action for biodiversity in society, policy and economy. However, there often remains a clear gap between biodiversity knowledge and its transfer into practice, as this commonly exceeds the scope of scientific endeavors. This session aims at showcasing and discussing successful approaches of biodiversity management and governance. Mainstreaming biodiversity across different economic and societal sectors requires efficient conservation and restoration measures along with robust stakeholder involvement at various levels. In particular, scientists should interact with authorities, land users, corporations, and media for building strong networks based on scientific expertise and societal consensus. To address a wide range of biodiversity aspects, diverging environments such as natural, rural, and urban-industrial habitats should be taken into account. The compilation of best practice examples for mainstreaming biodiversity within this session may demonstrate how scientific knowledge can contribute to safeguard biodiversity and species conservation.
41 Soil food webs ▶
Full title: Illuminating the black box of soil food webs across ecosystems, scales, and approaches
[ Primary Research Area: Soil ]

Chairs: Olga Ferlian, Anton Potapov, Andrei Zuev

Contact: olga.ferlian@idiv.de

Soils food webs process most of the organic matter and channel most of the energy in terrestrial ecosystems, supporting numerous functions and services vital to our society. Soil food webs encompass tens of thousands of morphologically and functionally diverse species, living in a highly heterogeneous environment, small-sized and cryptic. Thus, the study of the ‘black box’ underneath our feet is especially difficult compared to other habitats. This leads to a limited knowledge on feeding interactions in soil and, consequently, the structure of soil food webs. In this session, we try to summarize recent advances in this field by answering the following questions: How to predict who feeds on whom in soil food webs? What are the basal resources in soil food webs and how do they differ across ecosystems? How are soil food webs structured by land-use and other (global change) drivers? How do soil food webs regulate soil functioning? To answer these questions, this session will host contributions reporting novel knowledge on the trophic interactions between resources and consumers, predators and prey, and across entire food webs in soil. Our focus topic is to understand how soil food webs vary in space and time across ecosystems and scales. We welcome a wide range of approaches, such as molecular and isotopic tools, energy flux, food-web modeling, and functional traits in laboratory and field experiments as well as in observational studies. We look at the entire spectrum of soil organisms, including microorganisms, animals, and plants, from single species to soil communities. We would like to show how we can build on current findings to advance the field in the future, and how we can apply the knowledge to understand the consequences of global change.
42 Social-ecological value of urban environments ▶
Full title: Urban biodiversity: how to assess the social-ecological value of urban environments
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Marco Moretti, Monika Egerer, Joan Casanelles-Abella

Contact: marco.moretti@wsl.ch

Urbanization has been identified as a significant contributor to global biodiversity loss and biotic homogenization. However, urban environments also present an opportunity to support biodiversity, ecological processes, and human well-being through the implementation of green and blue infrastructure. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) urges cities to “enhance green spaces and urban planning for the benefit of both biodiversity and residents” by 2030. Despite these recommendations, there is a lack of comprehensive assessment tools, analytical frameworks, and indicators of urban biodiversity to estimate the social-ecological values and qualities of different urban environments. Although such tools exist for natural ecosystems, they are still lacking in urban ecosystems. This gap hinders our ability to set goals for specific interventions and assess their success in countering biodiversity loss and related services. The main goal of the session is to foster discussions that will contribute to the development and implementation of effective indicators to evaluate and enhance urban biodiversity. By defining clear goals for ecological interventions in urban environments and establishing effective monitoring systems, we can ensure that cities play a crucial role in countering biodiversity loss and promoting the well-being of both nature and humans. The session will also foster discussion on creating collaborative systematic efforts to e.g., monitor biodiversity in cities worldwide.
43 Diverse perspectives on urban biodiversity ▶
Full title: Collaborative insights: A transdisciplinary perspective on urban biodiversity projects and lessons learnt
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Nadja K. Simons, Valentin Klaus, Tanja Straka

Contact: nadja.simons@uni-wuerzburg.de

In this session, we want to collect and discuss insights and experiences from urban biodiversity projects. Presentations can refer to any type of habitat (gardens, green spaces, forests or others) that are located in an urban context or include a comparison with peri-urban or rural areas. The session is meant to provide a platform where practitioners and researchers can present and discuss transdisciplinary projects on urban biodiversity. The focus will be on challenges and effective strategies, as well as on the approaches and methods that were decisive for the success of the projects. This may include encounters and lessons learned from transdisciplinary collaboration with different partners or organisations, the acquisition of funding, the implementation of new approaches or the communication with the general public. In relation to the conference theme, we would like to highlight innovative ideas and solutions for sustainable urban land use. As sustainability encompasses many dimensions, from environmental to economic to social, we invite presenters to include such different perspectives on sustainability in their contributions.
44 Urban ecology meets urban planning ▶
Full title: Urban ecology meets urban planning - using ecological insight to increase people-nature interactions
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Wolfgang Weisser, Thomas Hauck

Contact: wolfgang.weisser@tum.de

Cities are the place where most humans work and live. Cities are therefore also the place where humans can experience nature in their day-to-day life. While greening cities and allowing for more human-nature interactions is now a major aim of governments worldwide, there is a lack of tangible solutions that can be integrated into established urban planning procedures. This is because ecology has only recently started to understand what species can live in a city under what circumstances, and because urban planning has traditionally focused on planning for humans only. This session will start with an introductory 30min talk by Thomas Hauck (TU Vienna) on “What urban planners need from urban ecologists”. The session welcomes talks focusing on one or more of the following topics: a) integration of ecological knowledge into urban planning and design (both conceptual approaches as well as practical examples), b) the role of urban form for the occurrence of species in the city, c) the role of urban form and urban greening for people-nature interactions. In addition to the session, there will be a workshop on how ecology could contribute better to the planning of green cities.
45 Urban restoration ▶
Full title: Potential and challenges of urban restoration
[ Primary Research Area: Urban Ecology ]

Chairs: Leonie K Fischer, Somidh Saha, Brenda Maria Zoderer, Valentin Klaus

Contact: leonie.fischer@ilpoe.uni-stuttgart.de

Urban habitats for flora and fauna are found within all European countries, with differences and commonalities in each specific local context. Yet, urbanization is one of the most severe threats to biodiversity, and by 2030 about 80% of the European population will live in urban areas. Therefore, many people will rely on urban greenspaces as places for their cultural values, including health benefits. Greenspace planning in cities could thus follow a dual strategy, which counteracts biodiversity loss (as much as possible) and facilitates human wellbeing. Up to now, many concepts and projects on improving the ecological quality of urban habitats have been developed. Yet, urban areas are highly dynamic environments, and approaches assessing and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem functions/services must be adapted to the specific anthropogenic context. Moreover, it is crucial to take the urban population and their specific needs and plural values into account, when developing or changing urban green spaces. Thus, considering urban site conditions (e.g. parks, streets, meadows, cemeteries, woodlands), ecological processes, habitat connectivity, land use, and meeting the requirements of urban residents and other stakeholders represents a special challenge for approaches such as ecological restoration projects in cities. The aim of the special session is to present research on urban habitat restoration, including practical approaches such as biodiversity management, the restoration of natural processes through rewilding, or the inclusion of species of special conservation concern within urban greenspaces. In particular, we want to discuss challenges and opportunities in reducing potential trade-offs and promoting ecological values of urban green infrastructure for the benefit of both people and nature in cities. Bringing together these aspects will make the session a place for interdisciplinary discussions within a framework of ideas and projects to create biodiverse and socially-inclusive environments in cities.