University of São Paulo/ Brazil
In the last decades there has been enormous progress in understanding how land use/land cover, biodiversity, or climate affect ecosystem service provisioning, i.e. the goods and services that mankind receives from ecosystems. However, studies have shown that there is a wide variety of responses of different ecosystem services to changes in different drivers. Such heterogeneous results can derive from (1) limitations in the sets of ecosystem services considered and unclear relationships between these services, (2) restricted knowledge biodiversity distributions in the real world and biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships, and (3) limitation in consideration of spatial structure.
We use a big data approach, i.e. ecological synthesis, to integrate data on ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, and their drivers such as land use to generate insights that are both general and robust. Data originate from projects in Germany and Brazil where the PIs have been involved and from public databases. The project asks the following questions: (1) For which ecosystem services are negative trade-offs particularly eminent? (2) How does landscape structure affect biodiversity and ecosystem services provisioning? And, (3) can we identify critical thresholds and the risks of regime shifts related to drivers of landscape structure, such as land use changes and climate change? Answering these questions is important for both fundamental ecology and for the development of sustainable land use decisions in the face of climate change.