Depart. T&E > FP6 - ECOCHANGE (2007-2011)

EcoChange -“Challenges in assessing and forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem changes in Europe” is supported by the 6th Framework Programme of the European Union.

Contract number: FP6-036866

Integrated Project with 23 partners from all across Europe.

Project duration: January, 2007 - December, 2011

Project description:

A range of advanced modelling approaches has been used so far to assess the impact of global change on biodiversity and ecosystems.

The project follows four main limitations remain associated with these approaches :

* knowledge and data of past species distribution is still limited, yet necessary for testing them in the past before projecting them to the future.

* we miss sound estimates of species? long distance migration rates in order to assess whether species will be able to keep pace with rapid global change.

* some key assumptions of models, such as niche stability over time and/or space, are not well tested.

* we need more reliable estimate of uncertainties in model predictions.

Ecochange project follows 5 approaches :

1. Improve the current data structure with respect to biodiversity, climate, land use, land structural and socio-economic information.

2. Improve current models and test critical model assumptions to cope with the required forecasting.

Integrate prediction uncertainties into forecasting.

3. Test a series of assumptions relevant for predicting the effects of global change upon biodiversity, ecosystems and relevant goods and services.

4. Develop a series of future projections of biodiversity, ecosystem functions and the goods and services they provide based on coupled climate and land use and socio-economic change scenarios both at EU and case study scales.

5. Final goal of the project is to provide data, scenarios and associated confidence limits so that policy markers and land managers can use them for anticipating societal problems and for designing sustainable conservation strategies by accounting the most likely global change effects on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Expected outputs:

The scientific core output of ECOCHANGE is a suite of model scenarios and data sets that can be summarized as follows:

1. Tested scenarios of biodiversity patterns, ecosystem boundaries and species distributions sensitive to climate, economic development and land use under current and simulated future conditions;

2. Improved modelling of dynamic ecosystem biogeochemistry and functioning, as well as the spatial re-adjustment of plant functional types (PFTs) or bioclimatic affinity groups under current and simulated future climate, economic and land use scenarios;

3. Historical rates of migration for 72 key plant species of important PFTs derived from novel molecular techniques tested against palaeodata (macrofossils, pollen);

4. Spatially explicit climate, economic and land use change scenarios for the next century (up to 2100).

All four outputs will be used for forecasting the global change effects on biodiversity and ecosystems, thus reducing uncertainties in future projections.

Participant list

1 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS France

2 Université de Lausanne UNIL Switzerland

3 Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt WSL WSL Switzerland

4 SERI Nachhaltigkeitsforschungs und -kommunikations GmbH SERI Austria

5 Kobenhavns Universitet UKBH Denmark

6 Universitetet I Oslo UiO Norway

7 University of Southampton UniSouth United Kingdom

8 University of Basel UniBa Switzerland

9 Instytut Botaniki im. W. Szafera, Polska Akademia Nauk IBPAS Poland

10 Institutul de Cercetari Biologice Cluj-Napoca IBRC Romania

12 Institut fuer Naturschutzforschung und Oekologie GmbH VINCA Austria

13 Faculty of Science, Universitetet I Tromsoe TROMSOE Norway

14 University of Tartu UT Estonia

15 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas CSIC Spain

16 Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu AMU Poland

17 Wageningen Universiteit WU The Netherlands

18 Universite de Liege ULg Belgium

19 Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences ZIRAS Russia

20 University of East Anglia UEA United Kingdom

21 Alterra B.V. ALTERRA The Netherlands

22 The University of Edinburgh UEDIN United Kingdom

23 Lunds Universitet ULUND Sweden