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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

Anthropogenic land-use change of fluvial systems

Meanders help the climate

River beds that can shift naturally are more efficient carbon sinks than straightened rivers. Meandering rivers are much more efficient in exporting photosynthetically fixed carbon into long-term marine sinks as straight rivers with stable riverbanks. As such, artificially straightened rivers may become carbon sources, rather than sinks. These findings let us quantify the consequences of anthropogenic land-use change on fluvial systems and pave the way towards the establishment of future (carbon) sustainable landscapes.


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