Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

751-5118-00L  Global Change Biology

SemesterSpring Semester 2015
LecturersH. Bugmann, N. Buchmann, C. Emmel, L. Hörtnagl
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course focuses on the effects of anthropogenic climate change as well as land use and land cover change on terrestrial systems. Our current understanding of the coupled human-environmental systems will be discussed, based on observations, experiments and modeling studies. Different management options for sustainable resource use, climate mitigation and adaptation will be studied.
ObjectiveStudents will understand consequences of global change at various spatial and temporal scales, be able to synthesize their knowledge in various disciplines in view of global change issues, know international and national treaties and negotiations concerning management and climate and land use/land cover change, and be able to evaluate different management options, including sustainable resource use and climate mitigation as well as adaptation options.

Students will learn to present scientific information to an audience of educated laymen by preparing an executive summary and an oral presentation to answer a specific scientific question. Students will get extensive feedback from teachers and peers. Thereby, students will also learn how to give constructive feedback to peers.
ContentChanges in climate and land use are major issues that students will be faced with during their working life, independently of where they will work. Thus, an advanced understanding on how global change, biogeochemistry, land use practices, politics, and society interact is critical to act responsibly and work as agricultural or environmental scientists in the future.

Thus, during this course, the effects of global change (i.e., changes in climate, atmospheric chemistry as well as land use and land cover) on forest and agro-ecosystems will be presented and discussed. Effects on ecosystem structure, composition, productivity and biogeochemical cycling, but also on stability of production systems against disturbances will be addressed. Current scenarios and models for coupled human-environmental systems will be discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of different management options will be studied, including the sustainable resource use and climate mitigation as well as adaptation.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is based on fundamental knowledge about plant ecophysiology, soil science, and ecology in general.