Scientific goal and background

The goal of EuroDIVERSITY is to support the emergence of an integrated biodiversity science based on an understanding of the fundamental ecological and social processes that drive biodiversity changes, their impacts on ecosystem functioning and services, and societal responses to these changes. This should result in new tools and strategies for the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity. The programme has a strong focus on generalisations across particular systems and on the generation and validation of theory relevant to experimental and empirical data. Projects are expected to contribute to this goal by initiating or strengthening major collaborative research efforts across Europe and worldwide.

Research Topics

1. Understanding biodiversity change

  • Ecological, evolutionary and socio-economic processes that drive biodiversity change, and the interplay between these processes.

  • Causes and predictive value of biodiversity patterns, including macroecological and other emergent properties of complex systems across levels of biological organisation.

  • Effects of genetic biodiversity within and among species on population, community and ecosystem processes.

2. Understanding impacts of biodiversity change on ecosystem services

  • Impacts of biodiversity changes (including biological invasions) on ecosystem functioning, stability and services, and their underlying mechanisms.

  • Functional role of microbial biodiversity in ecosystems.

  • Consequences of food-web and non-trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning.

  • Spatial processes across systems, metacommunities, and the dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem processes at landscape to regional scales.

3. Exploring the interface between biological and social systems

  • Socioeconomic consequences of changes in ecosystem services driven by biodiversity; assessment of opportunities for, and limits to, substitution between these services and man-made capital.

  • Identifying the basis of social choice (values, incentives) for the conservation, restoration and management of biodiversity.

  • Dynamics of coupled social and ecological systems: effects of cross-scale interactions and mismatch between ecological processes, socio-economic processes and management institutions.