Feedbacks between climate and land cover
The vegetation-soil-continuum covering the continents has decisive influence on climate, exchanging heat, moisture, momentum, and a variety of chemical materials with the atmosphere. Humans are substantially interfering with this exchange by altering the land cover.
A combination of field data, site and global scale modeling is applied to investigate the influence of land use management and cover change on climate and vice versa. In particular, drylands and the role of soils are a major focus.
Encroachment of woody species in drylands
Drylands cover nearly 30% of the global land surface. They are characterized by high climate variability and are sensitive to land use practice.These areas are well suited to investigate the feedbacks between climate and land cover change.
Globally, an encroachment of woody species in drylands is observed. The complex mechanism behind this phenomenon are not yet understood. To what extent changes in climate and land use are responsible for this is under investigation in the research area B2.