Biodiversity and climate change

Climate change is influencing biodiversity in many ways, both in utilised and pristine ecosystems. Together with higher temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and also rising CO2 concentrations are modifying plant physiology and competitiveness.
In order to assess the climate-related changes to environmental services, other influencing factors such as deforestation and soil degradation must also be measured. The conservation of biodiversity can interact in many ways and create a buffer against the consequences of climate change such as erosion, drought and flooding. Soil-conserving cropping methods enhance the functionality of soil fauna and also raise the soil's holding capacity. Promoting locally adapted plant varieties not only contributes to rural development but also to food security.

Katrin Vohland
Hermann Lotze-Campen
Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research Potsdam, Germany

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