Ecological Synthesis


Previous project phase (2011 - 2017)


Scientific investors:

Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer

Dr. Eric Allan

Dr. Peter Manning

(University Bern)

 Dr. Oliver Bossdorf

(University Tübingen)

Truly general understanding of ecological systems requires a broad perspective and thus the synthesis of knowledge across taxa, ecological processes, as well as spatial and temporal scales. The most powerful approach to working towards such broad ecological syntheses is to coordinate research efforts so that multiple data are collected in a common study design and the data therefore can be directly linked and compared. Providing such a common design, and thus unique opportunities for broad quantitative ecological syntheses, was one of the main motivations for setting up the Biodiversity Exploratories. The aim of the synthesis core project is to ensure that these ecological syntheses are realized.



We have three major goals for the next phase:

1. to conduct a series of comprehensive ecological syntheses that address the central questions of the Biodiversity Exploratories about relationships between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem processes,

2. to take a closer look at the important and still not completely resolved question of how to quantify land use intensity in grasslands and forests, and

3. to catalyse synthesis efforts of others by spreading the concepts and statistical methods for synthesis across the entire Biodiversity Exploratories. The synthesis project will create synergies and true added value across projects, in accordance with the main guiding questions of the Biodiversity Exploratories.