Biodiversity and Climate
The loss of biodiversity and climate change count amongst the greatest challenges of the era. These factors exercise a mutual influence on each other. This means that, in order to be able to understand them properly, research activities must take both factors into account. This is exactly what the research area Biodiversity and Climate is concerned with. At its core is the LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F).
In 2008, the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main established BiK-F as a joint venture. Other participants include the Institut für sozialökologische Forschung (Institute for Social-Ecological Research, ISOE), the Deutsche Wetterdienst (German Weather Service), EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) as well as a number of small and medium-sized companies.
One of its kind: biodiversity in focus
Over 130 scientists are doing research at BiK-F on the multifarious interactions that occur between biodiversity and climate. They work in close cooperation with the thematically related departments of the partner institutions. The focus of their fundamental biological, geoscientific and social scientific research is always placed on biodiversity. This combination is unique on both national and international levels.
A new approach: service and consultancy for decision-makers
On the basis of the research findings and models BiK-F is in a position to make forecasts about future developments. These in turn provide a basis for decision-making for politicians and other interest groups. In view of the huge significance of climate and biodiversity change for society and economic progress, this kind of information is currently in great demand. Thus BiK-F is helping to implement international agreements, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the EU Habitats Directive, the EU Water Framework Directive and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, through the provision of scientific services and expert opinions to various stakeholders in society.
Core Area Participation no Participation
The diagram above displays the degree of participation of the Senckenberg research departments in the research field "Biodiversity and Climate". Click on the department name to view its webpages.
Research activity highlights
Genomes reveal the history of the brown bears and polar bears
Brown bears and polar bears have adapted to very different habitats — but they remain very closely related. By means of genome analysis, researchers at the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) have found out that they went their separate ways as species only as recently as 800,000 to 400,000 years ago. However, during warm periods their paths crossed again. more
Fossil rain isotopes reveal all
The Alps have been influencing precipitation patterns in Europe and Central Asia for 15 million years. Researchers from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) have extracted this information, as well as many other facts, from their studies of fossilized raindrops. For the isotopes that were contained in the raindrops when they fell have remained in fossilized form. more
Cryptic biodiversity and climate
We cannot detect so-called cryptic biodiversity with our human senses, and yet it is of great importance for the survival of species. The term refers to the genetic variability within a given species. How does climate change affect this? As scientists from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) have found out as a result of a recent overview study, the influence of climate change is frequently unfavourable. more