Ecotron Rapid Assessment Units (RAU) (Research)
To combat climate change, humankind urgently needs to understand how the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems is affected by interactions of land use and climate, and which natural mechanisms we could employ in land management to counteract enhanced carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. Accordingly, sustainable land use aimed at reducing atmospheric carbon, as well as adaptation of agricultural practices to climate change are key EU and UN sustainability goals, as revealed by the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, the EU Green Deal program and the UN sustainability goals. Yet the lack of quantitative knowledge about the climate impacts on mechanisms of ecosystem functioning impedes policy development towards sustainable use of terrestrialecosystems. Natural and agricultural ecosystems are affected by the changing climate and will be faced with more and longer periods of heat waves, drought, sudden rainfall and violent storms. The high-quality scientific data about biodiversity dynamics, greenhouse emissions and ecosystem functioning in the face of climate change are critically important for development of policies to fulfil the EU climate ambitions for 2030 and 2050, and to enable halting biodiversity loss. Developing mitigation strategies to adapt land management to climate change directly contributes to the "Farm to Fork" EU strategy for sustainable agriculture. Addressing this challenge is within the core priorities of the EU Green Deal strategy, being (i) reducing greenhouse gas emissions through halting biodiversity loss and sustainable management of ecosystems; (ii) designing environmentally-friendly food production systems; and (iii) fostering data-driven innovations to facilitate evidence-based decisions to environmental challenges. The establishment of the infrastructure inquired here, Ecotron Rapid Assessment Units (RAUs) will contribute to the climate change combat by providing a possibility to address the questions about impacts of the environmental change on ecosystem functioning and fostering a search for mitigation solutions, with a specific focus on impacts of climate change, and land use change.
Period of project
07 July 2023 - 06 July 2027