Temporal dynamics, uncertainty and resilience of pond ecosystems in response to climate change

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 26 Feb 2021

The project’s overarching aim is to develop improved methods for maximising the use of ponds and pondscapes in climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services.

Small standing water bodies, such as ponds, are the most numerous freshwater bodies and strongly contribute to biodiversity and vital ecosystem services. In spite of their great importance, ponds are largely neglected in water-and nature related policies and strategies. While ponds are exposed to the same threats facing larger waters, they may be particularly vulnerable to climate change. As biodiversity value and ecosystem services delivery are likely to dramatically change with the ecological status of ponds, there are important feedbacks to consider. The main aim of the research in PONDERFUL will be to increase understanding of the ways in which ponds, as a Nature-Based Solution (NBS), can help society to mitigate and adapt to climate change, protect biodiversity and deliver ecosystem services. This important and innovative project brings together experienced researchers from nine European states and from Turkey and Uruguay.
The research involves highly standardized field studies and targeted case-studies investigating interactions and feedbacks between pond biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change. We specifically aim to (1) analyze the short-and long-term stability of pond ecosystems and services, (2) test for the effect of landscape characteristics on the dynamics following pond restoration and creation of new ponds, and (3) estimate resilience and the occurrence of potential tipping points in ecosystem state. Additionally to the practical work, the candidate will analyze and publish the results. The work will be done in very close collaboration with the teams of PD Dr. Thomas Mehner and Dr. Sabine Hilt at IGB (Berlin, Germany).

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