831340 Biodiversity, ecosystems, and climate crisis

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Winkler, Manuela , Hietz, Peter , Diaz-Pines, Eugenio , Meimberg, Harald
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


What is biodiversity and how is it measured? Evolution of biodiversity and extinction events, global and local patterns of biodiversity and current drivers of biodiversity loss and interrelations with climate change.
As CO2, N2O and CH4 are the main greenhouse gases, we will explore the role of ecosystems and human management of these on the global carbon and nitrogen cycles.
We will also discuss how ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, provisioning of resources and climate regulation are affected by climate change and can be managed to mitigate negative effects.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Students know different measures of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. They understand how these are interrelated, how the composition and functions of ecosystems are affected by climate change and also how ecosystems feed back on the climate via the carbon and nitrogen cycles. They understand the impact of human activities and the importance of ecosystem services on human well-being and measures to mitigate negative human impacts.

Students ate able to discuss biodiversity and ecosystem functions in light of scientific data. They can describe measures of biodiversity and important drivers of biodiversity and its loss. They can discuss the potential responses of organisms and ecosystems to human-driven stressors, such as increased atmospheric CO2, warming, increased precipitation variability or intensification of land use and their effects on ecosystem processes and ecosystem services, including biodiversity changes and biogeochemical cycling. Students are able to elaborate on the interrelations between climate change, land use and management, biodiversity and ecosystem responses

Students are able to critically discuss human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and understand the impact of humans for the Grand Challenges including loss of biodiversity and ecosystems

Students will advance their engagement with diverse perspective and critical thinking and can relate the Global Challenges to their personal lives.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.