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About Topic 5


The mission of Topic 5 is to develop pathways towards multifunctional landscapes which maintain functioning ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss, and provide fresh water, food, and habitable living spaces as essential resources for humans.

Our focus:

Future landscapes must sustainably deliver the many and diverse services demanded by society, even under intensifying pressures, while retaining their natural capacities to fulfill their vital role in the Earth system. T5 is focused on terrestrial landscapes as spaces where human impacts, ecological alterations, and social costs of land use changes and effects of climate change directly shape human life. Topic 5 focuses on the interplay of human impacts and natural dynamics of landscapes. We aim to provide actionable knowledge and develop societal responses (e.g., governance mechanisms and policy options) for adaptation to climate change, halting biodiversity loss, sustainable agricultural policies, achieving freshwater security, and transforming cities as resilient human-natural systems.

T5 provides a unique platform for synthesizing pathways towards multifunctional landscapes of the future.

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Recent Highlights

Does biodiversity-depleted ecosystems will have a negative effect on climate, provoking or even exacerbating weather extremes?

We have to understand the intertwined global crises of biodiversity loss and climate extremes.

Ecosystems are better able to cope with unexpected weather and climate extremes when they have higher levels of biodiversity. Furthermore, if such intense climate extremes accelerate the degradation and homogenisation of ecosystems, such systems could promote these extremes even further. This is, however, a rather underexplored link that needs to be investigated in depth. To achieve this, ecologists and climate scientists need to work closely together and establish a joint agenda. The idea is to monitor intertwined processes in the Earth system, its changes, and enable early warning of emerging risks of removing biodiversity buffers against climate extremes.


Graphic Representation of Subtopics

© Helmholtz

Subtopics in detail

Participating Centers